CONSERVATION work going on at a stately home has revealed some of its fascinating secrets, some dating back almost 450 years.

Astley Hall in Chorley, a Grade I-listed building, is closed to the public until March while a team of specialist surveyors inspect and review the foundations and materials to ensure the historic building is in good condition for future generations.


So far, experts undergoing the work have revealed early nineteenth century wallpaper in the Scullery rooms and mid-nineteenth century newspapers lining the walls of a cupboard at the rear of the Great Staircase.

Experts believe that parts of the wall in the Morning Room pre-date the Great Hall refurbishment of the 1660s and formed part of the old hall from the late sixteenth century.

There has also been the discovery of the original post medieval floor level of the old Great Hall before the major redevelopment and remodelling of the building in the 1660s.

Lancashire Telegraph:

This floor level dates back to the late 1570s when Robert Charnock built the first hall on the site.

Councillor Bev Murray, who is responsible for the Astley complex at Chorley Council, said: “We are finding lots of fascinating discoveries as we continue to examine the walls and flooring of Astley Hall as part of our conservation programme.

“It’s brilliant to see the history of the building coming to life and we will keep everyone posted with developments as they happen.” Throughout January and February, Astley Hall is closed to members of the public.

However, Astley Farmhouse, Astley Park, the Walled Garden and the Coach House including the Chorley Remembers Experience and Café Ambio will remain open as normal.

The site was acquired in the 15th century by the Charnock family from the Knights of St John of Jerusalem.

The Charnocks built the original timber-framed house, around a small courtyard, about 1575-1600. In 1665, Margaret Charnocke married Richard Brooke of Mere in Cheshire and they built the present grand but asymmetrical front range of brick with a pair of vast mullion and transomed bay windows.

This front has a doorway with distinctly rustic Ionic columns.

The interior is notable for the mid-17th century plasterwork in the ceilings of the Great Hall and drawing room, which have heavy wreaths and disporting cherubs.

The staircase is of the same period with a carved acanthus scroll balustrade and square newels with vases of flowers on top.

The lower parts of the hall are panelled with inset paintings of a curious selection of modern worthies For updates on the work taking place at Astley Hall, like the Astley Hall, Coach House and Park Facebook page or visit