Shipshape new playground for historic hall

Samlesbury Hall has secured a £50,000 grant for a swashbuckling new play area.

Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 1:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 2:33 pm
The Mayflower play ship being built. Once completed, it will be put in place in a new £50,000 playground at Samlesbury Hall

The cash, from Biffa Award, will see a handmade replica Mayflower ship installed in the hall’s educational playground.

Seven hundred-year old Samlesbury Hall was the original home of the Southworth family whose early descendants

were amongst the first pilgrims to set sail to America in the 17 th century aboard the Mayflower.

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The journey overseas was treacherous and not many survived the trip, however the hall frequently still welcomes visitors from across the Atlantic bearing the name Southworth, and the ship is their link to Lancashire.

The funding - aimed at expanding and improving on the current play facilities across the country - will also allow for a child size Samlesbury Hall to be installed in the playground.

Interpretation boards will also be used to explain the significance of the Mayflower to the area.

It is hoped that 50,000 children a year will visit the free facility - double the current total.

Sharon Jones, hall director, said: “The project will bring more families to the Hall and give the local community a sense of belonging by encouraging them to get involved with their local heritage.

“We are looking forward to welcoming people who may not ordinarily have visited a historic house.”

Abid Salah, a local Scout Group leader, said: “I will definitely be returning with my group, especially as the area will be free to use.

“The development will be a brilliant addition to Samlesbury Hall and no doubt will be used by all children that visit all year round.

“I have no doubt it will bring massive smiles to the faces of all children.”