Renovation at Astley Hall in Chorley unveils gems hidden for 200 years

After spending months under sheeting and scaffolding undergoing exciting renovation work, Astley Hall’s new look exterior is slowly being revealed.

Astley Hall’s new look being revealed
Astley Hall’s new look being revealed

After spending months under sheeting and scaffolding undergoing exciting renovation work, Astley Hall’s new look exterior is slowly being revealed.

Chorley Council embarked on ambitious plans to renovate Astley Hall and enhance the visitor experience through a series of renovations, which has included removal of the Hall’s grey exterior render to reveal original brick work unseen for 200 years.

Coun Peter Wilson, Deputy Leader of Chorley Council said “Astley Hall is a huge part of Chorley’s history, so it was vital that we undertook this renovation work to preserve it for the future.

“When we started work on the exterior of the Hall, we didn’t know what state the original brick work would be in once the render was removed and we are beyond thrilled that we’ve been able to put the Hall back to its original state and show everyone even more of its history.

“Visitors to Astley Park will start to see a glimpse of how the Hall will look when it’s fully revealed, which we expect to be in the next month.”

Specialist contractors who have been working on the project began revealing the Hall earlier this week by removing upper two scaffolding lifts and are expected to have revealed the full front exterior within the month.

In addition to the newly exposed brickwork being steamed, pointed and repaired ready for its reveal, the Hall has also benefited from some work to the windows to the front of the Hall to contribute to its breath-taking new look.

New bespoke oak windows have been installed (the colour of which is influenced by paint scrapings from one of the oldest windows in the Hall), including an unique oval window overlooking the lodge, and the leading to the windows in the Long Gallery has been repaired.

The huge doors to the Hall’s main entrance have also undergone a makeover and the main staircase in the Great Hall has been strengthened to cope with visitor footfall in the future.

Councillor Wilson continued “This milestone is one of many in our restoration plans, as we still have a significant amount of work to do at the Hall as we continue with the renovations that will take us through to Spring 2022, which coincidentally is the 100 year anniversary of Chorley Council taking over the Hall.

“Astley Hall will remain closed while we continue with the work and we look forward to welcoming visitors back next year.”

Once the exterior of the Hall is unveiled, work will move to other parts of the Hall, which will include redecoration of its interior, carpets, window coverings and reinstallation of the outstanding collections at the Hall.

The journey around the Hall will also be remapped to enhance the visitor experience and to give some areas of the Hall’s structures a break from foot traffic.

Prior to the exterior work commencing, the Astley Gift Shop & Information Centre opened its doors, which will complement the work being carried out.