Much loved Lancashire tourist attraction to get £1.5m spent on it
One of Lancashire’s finest country houses is to be handed a £1.5m facelift
Chorley Council is investing the money to improve Astley Hall in a project which will include repairing the front of the building, a revamp of the visitor route and the creation of a museum shop.
The Grade I listed property will close to the public in September 2020 for a revamp designed to help preserve it for future generations.
Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council said: “Astley Hall is a major part of our history, so it is vital that we invest to preserve it for future generations. Renovations like this not only helps preservation but also help us to discover more about the hall’s history which is exciting.”
The hall, well known for its family portraits, impressive 17th century ceilings and rare painted panelling is currently closed for its annual dark period which gives the hall’s structures, interior and artefacts a break from visitor traffic.
It will reopen for Easter through to September 2020 and will then close for major renovation.
Original plans were for the hall to be closed from early 2020, however, these were delayed so the hall could accommodate the Mayflower 400 commemorations.
Work will be focused on the elevation of the south facing façade, and plans include the removal of the render that was added at the turn of 19th century to expose the hall’s original red brick.
Under the guidance of Historic England, the condition of the bricks will be evaluated to determine if it can be kept in that state or have new render applied.
The large soft wood windows which feature at the front of the hall are also due to be replaced and the original Tudor windows in The Long Gallery will be assessed and repaired in keeping with the original techniques used in the creation of the original panes.
Visitor access and experience will also be assessed and improved throughout Astley Hall, plus there are also plans for a new retail outlet/gift shop in existing space within The Coach House, which is expected to open in Summer 2020.
This work follows other enhancements in the park. The Coach House and Farm House have also seen some changes recently.