Grieving family's Alston Hall appeal

Alston Hall in Longridge was formerly a Lancashire County Council run adult education college.
Alston Hall in Longridge was formerly a Lancashire County Council run adult education college.

A grieving Preston family is appealing for Alston Hall’s new owners to let them visit the site.

The Boswell family want permission to visit the grounds of the former Grade II listed college in Longridge to access the memorial site where the ashes of their mother and brother are buried.

Robert Boswell

Robert Boswell

They also want to scatter their father’s ashes at the the memorial tree they purchased when the Hall, which was formerly an adult education centre, was run by Lancashire County Council.

Robert Boswell of Ashton, who is also a Preston city councillor, says it has proved impossible to make direct contact with the new owner of the Hall.

The residential and day course college was sold in 2016.

Robert said: “My brother died in 1989 and Alston Hall was then under the ownership of Lancashire County Council. It had this system where you could buy trees and put ashes under.

Fire ravaged Alston Hall in 2017

Fire ravaged Alston Hall in 2017

“Mum died in 1997 and we did a tree for her. My dad died of cancer a year ago and he wanted to have his ashes put under the tree at
Alston Hall.

“I’ve been round to the owner’s house and left a card. I do think out of courtesy given the delicacy of the situation he should talk to us about it and discuss it.

“It’s a deeply personal matter – we can’t bring closure at the moment. It’s not just for me and my sister it’s our children as well who are upset.

“We recognise it’s not practical to go and visit regularly but we would just like access to do this one thing.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We sold the building back in 2016. At the time an assurance was given by the new owner to allow the Friends of Alston Hall and families to access the grounds.”

The Friends said they had failed to gain permission for Mr Boswell’s family to scatter the ashes.

No comment was available from the Hall’s new owner Mr I. Patel.

*In December 2016 permission was gained for a change of use for the Victorian Gothic style mansion from educational to residential occupation. lt was badly damaged by fire in March, 2017 and Ribble Valley Council gave approval in May, 2018 for the roof to be replaced.