Experience tells history of Chorley’s Astley Hall

History lesson: A glimpse of the Serving Stories workshops being held to tell the stories of those who lived and worked at the historic Astley Hall. Photographer: Simon Critchley.

History lesson: A glimpse of the Serving Stories workshops being held to tell the stories of those who lived and worked at the historic Astley Hall. Photographer: Simon Critchley.

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Chorley’s historic Astley Hall is still closed for vital conservation work - but the stories of the people who lived and worked there are being shared in a new exhibition.

The building has been shut since Christmas and was due to reopen earlier this month, but will remain closed until the summer after work revealed a foundation beam supporting a 400-year-old wall needed to be replaced.

Chorley Council has now created Astley Experience in the Coach House, sharing the museum collection and hall’s history.

Today and tomorrow there will be an Astley Then And Now exhibition, exploring the 90th anniversary of the hall being transferred to Chorley Council, plus mystery objects, quizzes and games.

Serving Stories workshops will be held from noon to 4pm from April 18 to May 24, where visitors can discover the roles of the domestic servants who lived and worked at the hall, view tools of the trade and see what life was like in the mid-19th Century.

Visitors can travel to the Tudor period from May 30 until June 27, when they can explore how people dressed and what they ate, as well as look at mystery objects from the late 1570s.

We’ve tried to recreate as much of the hall and its stories as possible and I’m sure anyone who visits will be delighted to still be able to journey through history and discover the hall’s hidden treasures and secrets

Chorley Council’s director of public protection, streetscene and community, Jamie Carson, said: “It was hugely disappointing when we discovered the hall couldn’t reopen as planned at the beginning of April so we decided to create a temporary Astley Experience to ensure that visitors won’t miss out on viewing and experiencing an important part of Chorley’s history.

“We’ve tried to recreate as much of the hall and its stories as possible and I’m sure anyone who visits will be delighted to still be able to journey through history and discover the hall’s hidden treasures and secrets.”

The Astley Experience will be open from noon to 4pm every weekend and from Saturday to Wednesday during school holidays. There will be no activities on April 26, June 13 and June 28 due to prior arrangements.