Historic Lancashire hall hosts Gothic horror film

On Film: Filming at the historic hall
On Film: Filming at the historic hall
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Dozens of ghostly visitors have been spotted in the grounds of Sue Ryder’s historic Cuerden Hall.

But although the century’s old building, which is used for specialist neurological care is known for a few spooky tales, these latest guests have a more earthly explanation.

Lights, camera ... action

Lights, camera ... action

The grounds of the hall were recently used by the British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) to film their main feature for 2015; a gothic horror called Hamlin.

BYFA students filmed at Cuerden Hall for five weeks over the summer; with a professional crew of freelancers, a large cast and around 100 students joining in on the production process.

Rachel Brogan, director of Hamlin, said: “We needed a building that was both grand and imposing, and surrounded by the most beautiful Lancashire countryside.

“Every person we spoke to from the area suggested Cuerden Hall and they were not wrong. With its ornate carvings and vast exterior, in such a wonderful setting, we couldn’t have asked for more.”

She added: “The staff at Cuerden Hall were very helpful and supportive in the making of this film, which is an important step in the careers of the many young people involved. It was also particularly wonderful for us to interact with residents whilst we were on site which made filming a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all.”

Terry Mears, neurological care centre director at Sue Ryder – Cuerden Hall, said: “Having a film crew at Cuerden Hall really was exciting for our residents, their relatives and our staff.

“Specialist neurological care and rehabilitation is about so much more than just what happens within our building.

“It is also about supporting our residents to stay as connected as possible which is why we wholeheartedly support positive engagement with the local community such as this.”

Laura Brewer, volunteer engagement co-ordinator at Cuerden, said: “The residents quite like a bit of drama and go to local productions, so it was fun to see people all dressed up in the grounds, wearing grey and white paint looking ghostly.

“They were very unobtrustive and although we have no further plans for this type of thing, we would certainly encourage it as we love helping people in the local community.”

With origins dating back to the 12th century, the grounds of Sue Ryder - Cuerden Hall are steeped in history. The estate lands were initially owned by Norman settlers in the early 1100s, although the current building dates from 1717 when it was rebuilt.

During WWI it was adapted for use as an infirmary for troops with the drawing rooms being used as wards. In 1986, Cuerden Hall was taken over by Sue Ryder to provide the specialist neurological care it is known for in Lancashire today for people with life-changing conditions such as motor neurone disease; multiple sclerosis, stroke and acquired brain injury.