Cuerden Hall's hidden gems tracked down 3,000 miles away in Canada

A local historian has helped track down the original architectural drawings of Cuerden Hall, as the new owner prepares to undertake a £15m renovation.
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Manchester businessman Colin Shenton has recently bought the Grade II building from Sue Ryder Care. Working with architects Purcell, he plans to commission extensive archaeological and historical research to form the basis of a future book about the hall, of which the Lewis Wyatt drawings will make a notable chapter.

>>>Take a sneak peak inside Cuerden Hall hereThe starting point for the book’s research stems from a conversation with passionate local historians such as Alison Whitham, a local resident and enthusiast of Cuerden Hall and its surrounding parklands.

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Mrs Whittam managed to track 122 drawings down to the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal 3,000 miles away after gaining information from fellow local historian Joan Langford, author of Book 7, Farrington, A Lancashire Cotton Mill Village – People, Places and Event.

An aerial shot of Cuerden Hall as it is todayAn aerial shot of Cuerden Hall as it is today
An aerial shot of Cuerden Hall as it is today

Mrs Langford received the information from the head of Central Lancashire Development Corporation when it was still in operation at Cuerden Hall.

Mrs Whitham said: “When I contacted the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal earlier this year, they had the drawings but unfortunately no record of how they got there.”

Colin said: “It is very unusual to find such a large treasure trove of original drawings for any house, but Cuerden Hall and Lewis Wyatt are both very important.

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“We’re truly delighted to have found them and can’t thank Alison enough.”

An original drawing of Cuerden Hall by Lewis WyattAn original drawing of Cuerden Hall by Lewis Wyatt
An original drawing of Cuerden Hall by Lewis Wyatt

Cuerden Hall is currently gaining permission on the copyright of the drawings and plans to display them at the Hall.

The architect

Lewis William Wyatt (1777–1853) was a British architect, born in Staffordshire, a nephew of both Samuel and James Wyatt of the Wyatt dynasty of architects, who articled with each of his uncles and began practice on his own about 1805.

Lewis Wyatt is known primarily for the English country houses he designed, which include Grade II Cuerden Hall in 1816-1819, restoring and altering Lyme Park and Heaton Park. Between 1795 and 1800 he partially rebuilt Wythenshawe Hall.