1. A quiet country lane leading to the estate.
2. The rhododendron lined avenue approaching the hall.
3. Blooming lovely.
4. A glimpse of the hall from the tradesmen entrance.
5. The 'grand plan'.
I set off from the boat the other evening in search of Bank Hall, a local Jacobean Mansion and gardens apparently decaying amongst the trees at Bretherton. After crossing the River Douglas and cutting through fields using an old right of way, I came to a lane leading to a long rhododendron lined avenue and the tradesmen entrance to the hall.
Here a sad and sorry sight met me at a chained and padlocked gate entwined with barbed-wire. Leading up to the mid nineties the mansion had literally been vandalised to the point of destruction. Since then a group has endeavoured to secure funding to restore the mansion and grounds to its former glory. But, as is the way with volunteer vanity projects needing expensive and extensive restoration, time has stood still.
Apart from the scaffolding supporting the buildings crumbling facade it appears to be just an open shell of what once stood there. A Google satellite view of the site shows the extent of the work required.
This project has stood near derelict for too long despite good intentions to save it. Wouldn't it be better to bulldoze this near irrecoverable project and the adjacent concrete outbuilding and replace it with a activity and community youth centre or something else that will be of real benefit to the local area?
The original gatehouse, which once led to the mansion, is testament to what once was, yet stands forlorn, unloved and unkempt, despite 'looking' occupied. A sad indictment of our times.
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