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Bewsey Old Hall set alight !


Dizzy
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As the title says.... The Grade II Listed Bewsey Old Hall apparently went up in flames yesterday.

 

According to what I've heard the fire brigade have said most of it has been gutted by the fire. I hope it hasn't but it would be very convenient for the developers and others if it has eh as it wont be in the way now :cry:

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In the "Recent Topics Added Box". It quite clearly states, Bewsey Old Hall Set Allight! By Dizzy.

 

Was this Dizzy practicing her new role as Mrs Fairfax in the stage play Jayne Eyre for the Warrington Theatre Group. The wench allways was over enthusiastic if yer ask me.

 

 

The wench. I like that. :D :-D :D

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:shock::lol::lol: Trust you to spot that Wingy.

 

You've ruined my serious topic now and my line of thought has geared away into giggle land :blink::oops:

 

There was little old me in a right old grump that some idiot had set fire to Bewsey Old Hall which dates back to the 13th century, and after all that has gone on over the past years to try and save it from unsympathetc development and bring it back into the local eye in a more fitting way and restore it into the landmark it deserves to be all I can do is giggle.... and worry about a possible knock on the door by the police of course incase they read the recent posts box like you did. IT WASN'T ME !!!

 

It seems a lot of hay bales were also set alight in a field in Burtonwood too last night which kept the fire brigade busy so I guess the idiots were out in force over the weekend or maybe the hay bales were meant as a distraction to make us all think Bewsey Old Hall was just a result of opportunist idiots too.

 

How's that for another conspiracy theory... allegidely of course :unsure:

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Sorry Dizzy, I couldn't resist it.

It's bonfire night every night of the school hollidays isn't it. I still don't think the powers that be should use what has happened as an excuse to demolish it though. if that's what their intentions are. Although I don't think anybody has said what will happen yet.

 

There is something else that I noticed.

On the front page story. On the first photograph there is an image of a face on the top right hand side by the window in the brickwork (Garys Link).

 

I truly hope this is The White Lady, and she haunts whoever did this for the rest of their lives.

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You are tight Wingy, no one has said it's going to be demolished and I hope it's not going to be but it will certainly cost more to renovate now (unless it was well insured of course :wink: )

 

Maybe the facade is still intact but in all fairness is it only a small part of what was a much bigger hall at one time and what was inside were probably more interesting than the outer shell and that may have gone now. To replicate it's innards would not be the same as the real thing in my book.

 

Try as I might though I can't see the white lady on the fist picture... although I think the news report and images may have been changed since earlier on today.

 

Anyway like the white lady is probably saying..... "Karma" :wink:

 

I believe that a spirit woman scorned is a dangerous thing indeed .... as is a live wench :P

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Maybe the facade is still intact but in all fairness is it only a small part of what was a much bigger hall at one time and what was inside were probably more interesting than the outer shell and that may have gone now. To replicate it's innards would not be the same as the real thing in my book.

You're right about the facade Dizzy. In the 70's Warrington New Town practically rebuilt the insides with girders and new brickwork to prevent the building from collapsing completely. Consquently there is nowt much of historical value within its carcase any more. The inspector at the public inquiry stated as much when giving Urban SPlash the go ahead to develope it. You can read the gory details of the inquiry at Planning Inspectorate (.Gov) ref APP/M0655/E/08/2092758 AND 2092759. Is it possible to post pdf documents

on here ? If so I have a copy.

 

There's a cospiracy theory circulating that the fire was set to get rid of the bats to enable the project to get off the ground !!! (shades of Roy Cropper and Coronation Street )

It's reported elsewhere that the bats don't like the new bat house erected in nearby woodland and keep returning to the Old Hall roosting place.

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Am I right in thinking that they were just about to do a repeat/proper bat survey on the hall and grounds :unsure:

 

As for there not being anything of historical importance in there anymore since parts were rebuilt... I think you are wrong there boris1066. Apart from which you can't just go into a grade II* listed building to do it up without permission from EH to say what you are doing is acceptabel.

 

Anyway here is what IS in it according to it's listingg status(or was until the fire anyway)

 

Hall, late C16, C17, C19 and early C20, restored (with some

rebuilding) late C20. The present building is a fragment of the

former Hall, of which archaeological and documentary evidence extends

to C13. Stone-dressed small brown brick in irregular English garden

wall bond; grey slate roofs. L-shaped with projecting south

cross-wing. Edwardian facsimile 2-storey Tudor porch in north end.

Fenestration of lower 2 storeys of east front is Edwardian replacement

in late C16 manner of previously inserted Georgian fenestration: 2

full-height openings to each wing of lower storey; two 6-pane

facsimile casements to each wing of 2nd storey. The 3rd storey has

restored windows of early C17 type with recessed mullions and

transomes, of 8 lights to front of cross-wing returning (as a half bay

window) with 3 lights to north side of cross-wing; 4-light mullioned

and transomed window to north wing. Stepped flush-mullioned window to

former attic in cross-wing has 1 upper and 3 lower lights.

In south side of cross-wing is a 3-light recessed mullioned and

transomed window to lower storey with 4-light mullioned window to left.

Stone quoins suggest that 3-light window replaces one similar to that

at right. Brick label to 4-light window and fragment of left end of

label above blocked quoins. Two 4-light recessed mullioned windows to

2nd storey; 2 4-light recessed mullioned and transomed windows to 3rd

storey. The front 2 metres of the cross-wing are a little later than

the rest. Moulded stone strings at 1st and 2nd floors to front and

older part of side of cross-wing. Part of stone plinth. The

cross-wing had a south-east corner stair turret, demolished. A

blocked window-opening in the 2nd storey and a blocked doorway in 3rd

storey between wing and former turret. Cyma stone coping and ball

finial to gable. Chimney of brick on ridge of north wing opposite

north wall of cross-wing has 5 separated diagonal flues.

 

North end-gable has a blocked skew-back arched sash-window opening to

each of 2 lower storeys and a 5-light recessed mullioned and transomed

window with lattice leads to 3rd storey. Coped gable with ball

finial.

 

The Edwardian Tudor porch has replaced prison-nailed double doors with

4-light recessed mullioned window above containing leaded glazing of

polygonal and square panes.

 

Kitchen wing of 1 storey south of main building (linked by passage) is

C19, in keeping, with late C20 restoration and embellishment.

 

Interior. Victorian stair of 1 flight with winders at foot in north

wing; broad blocked C18 basket-arched opening at rear of cross-wing

(now against east wall of Bewsey Old Hall Farmhouse, q.v.) The room

in 2nd storey of north wing has 2 Tudor-arched openings to cross-wing;

the embrasures and chamfers suggest that the cross-wing was the

earlier or "interior" chamber. The wall between the wings is 1 metre

thick. Oak stud wattle-and-daub partition between front and rear

parts of cross-wing; one ovolo beam above each room; C16/C17 painting

"On plaster reveals. 3rd storey has altered oak roof structure.

Fragments of painting in rear room and in fireplace reveals. Much

internal reconstruction in modern brick.

 

I shall now go and dig out the old folder I have somewhere which says more about each room to see what else there is/was in there

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No need to blow the dust of your folder Dizzy, if you can bring up the inquiry website and read on!! I've pulled a few items and pasted them below. The full inquiry report is quite a good read, as well as info on the state of the Hall and recent history, it exposes the cock ups by WBC councillors and planners which ultimately cost the rate payers £70,000.

 

When first acquired, the Old Hall was in a dilapidated condition and major works

were carried out in the late 1970s to ensure its stability. This entailed the loss of

much historic fabric, including all the floors, the stripping of plastered walls and

major interventions to the roof structure. A network of concrete tie beams was

inserted and many walls were extensively patched with modern brickwork. While

this was particularly harmful internally, there was limited damage externally, and

the repair work clearly prevented the collapse of the whole structure, thereby

ensuring the survival of this important historic building.

 

Bewsey Old Hall occupies a 13th century moated site. The original house was built

by the Boteler family, Lords of the Manor of Warrington. The current building on

the site dates from the late 16th century, and has been subject to a complex

series of alterations, additions, losses and rebuildings ever since. It was listed

grade ll* in 1951 for its outstanding architectural and historic interest, although

the interior finishes and fittings have since been all but lost. While there is a

Ranger presence on site, the building is unoccupied and has been subject to

vandalism and damage. Despite basic maintenance, the building although stable

is generally in poor condition and for some time has been included in the English

Heritage Register of Buildings at Risk. The adjoining late 18th century farmhouse

is listed for its group value with Old Hal

 

17. It seems to me that, following the major intervention in the 1970s, the

outstanding architectural and historic interest of the Old Hall now lies primarily in

its external form and appearance and its location within the moated site. Neither

of these would be affected by the proposed conversion works. Internally, while

the basic plan form and volume remains, there is little of special interest. What

there is, including a fragment of wall painting, 2 Tudor-arched openings and an

oak stud wattle and daub partition on an upper floor, all probably late 16th /early

17th century, would be carefully retained and protected as part of the conversion

work. They would effectively be preserved.[/i]

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There are some conspiracy theories going round on here, if it was kids, it definitely wasn't a conspiracy. Now its burnt out, there will be planning permission in with the council pretty soon for the apartments, I would imagine.

 

I know I, even as a born and bred Warringtonian, had never visited Bewsey Old Hall, or seen it in all its finery. Now I am pretty sad about that, another piece of our Town's great history virtually gone. Hope they do restore it, but I genuinely can't see it happening :cry:

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No conspiracy theories from me PIEMAN and it probably was just idiots. Like you I have never been inside it but that's understandable seeing as though it has been closed and unused for so many years.

 

It's odd but I can't find any internal pictures of it anywhere online and you would have thought it being such an old and important building and having it's own conservation type group there would at least be more info and images available. Maybe there is a new book on the horizon or something :wink:

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Thanks Algy :D It looks a bit creepy on thse pictures :unsure:

 

I think I will dig out the old folder I mentioned as I seem to recall a few sketches and pics in there.

 

I think it was someones school project and I've no idea how my mum came to have it amongst all her local history stuff. Off into the loft now and I may be some time :unsure:

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just some i have taken on a tour of the building some years back

 

 

scans005.jpg

Fireplace downstairs

 

scans016.jpg

north facing window at the landing of the staircase

 

scans027.jpg

this is the original entrance to the old hall where carriages used to pull up and was once open at both ends the grooms having to sleep in little alcoves so that any guests arriving late would be greeted etc.

 

scans038.jpg

this is the window to the bedroom where the gruesome murder of the then owner took place.

 

 

scans004.jpg

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A photocopy of your second photo is in the folder I have Algy. There is a little bit of info about it but not what you'd expect.

 

It says ...

 

" This picture was in the local paper to find out if anyone recognised the women in the photograph. A week later a relative, nephew, wrote back complaining of the publicity. He refused to tell his name and the name and history of his aunt therefore the case was dropped. "

 

How odd and I wonder if the nephew will complain again now it is on here... if he is still alive of course :blink:

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Gosh I typed too slow again and yours hadn't appeared when I was replying to Algy so I've only noticed them now I have come back on... sorry Evils.

 

Some good pics but I must admit it's not quite how I imagined it to look after reading the info in my mums little 'acquired' project folder which I guess must have been compiled and written in 1980 as there is a letter dated 21 March 1980 from a company called 'Acland Bracewell & Co' in it to the girl that was doing the project.

 

When did you go round it and questions should be asked how and why the Council and others allowed it to get into, or remain in, such a run down state given it;s fascinating history? Disgraceful :evil:

 

Anyway I will still upload the external pics I scanned from the folder. They are not very good as they are on odd paper so don't seem to scan too well but nice for others to see them as there are so few images available.

 

I may scan the floor plans and post the other descriptive info for each room later but I'm full of a cold and flagging a bit now.

 

Photo's and images about to follow......

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1978 Front Elevation

 

bewseyoldhall1978frontelevation.jpg

 

1978 Back Elevation (1)

 

 

bewseyoldhall1978backview.jpg

 

1978 Back Elevation (2)

 

bewseyoldhall1978backview2.jpg

 

1978 Owner's Cottage attached to Hall

 

bewseyoldhall1978ownwerscottageattachedtoHall.jpg

 

That's it I'm afraid for actual images of the Hall etc other than floor plans and descriptions of rooms and whoever did the school project obviously took a lot of time and effort to find out as much as possible and also contacted many people but alas no more actual photos.

 

There is a whole family tree though, a history of the hall and quite a few press cuttings and other info about murders and other ghostly goings on EEK !!

 

Here's hoping the ghost all haunt the people who allowed it to get into such a state and also those who have now burnt down yet another part of the historic hall.

 

So whoever it was BE WARNED... and try to SLEEP WELL but do listen out for those creaks and bumps in the night !!

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Blimey Diz, didn't you start off by saying you couldn't find any images, you finished by having the best selection of sketches and photos I have ever seen of the place. I do have a large amount of information regarding the history of the hall but may be a bit too long and laborious to display here.:blink:

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Thanks boris1066. I tried to access the full reports which you mentioned but I can find them on the Planning Insepctorate's Website or anywhere esle. Probably just me looking in the wrong place :blink:

 

Hi Diz

if you Google Planning Inspectorate look in "appeals" use the last seven numbers of the case ID 2092758 and address Beswey Old Hall. You can pull up the appeal result and the appeal for cost which were paid by WBC.

 

I'm amazed at the amount of pictorial evidence that you guys have uncovered. I'd also be very interested to read the full,with knobs on, history of the Hall. Perhaps you guys should write it up for the Warrington Guardian ?? I've been living alongside the hall for thirty years but have never been inside so the images of the inside were of interest and also show the amount of new brickwork that was required to keep the roof on.

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