Bank Hall is a Grade II* listed building and was the Manorial home of the Bannister (Banastre) family whose ancestors came from Normandy with William The Conqueror. The Friends of Bank Hall (formerly Bank Hall Action Group) have worked tirelessly since 1995 to saved the Hall which had become derelict. With the help of Heritage Trust for the North West & Lottery funding, this has now been achieved with the restoration of the Hall being started in July 2017.
Currently in the highest risk category on Historic England’s Buildings at Risk register, Bank Hall was the first building to feature on BBC Two’s TV series ‘Restoration’. The restoration project is being delivered by Chorley Borough Council in partnership with Heritage Trust North West, Urban Splash and Next Big Thing Developments Ltd.
Bank Hall restoration is underway, thanks to National Lottery players!
Thanks to money raised by the National Lottery players the project aims to conserve the building and convert it to high quality living accommodation with the central ‘Prospect Tower’ having public access and providing educational resources.
The grant will help with the conservation of the historic Lancashire landmark and it’s sympathetic conversion to residential use.
Whilst the outer shell of the building will be repaired and returned to its former glory, the interior will be converted to twelve high quality apartments. the Entrance Hall and Prospect Tower will be accessible to the public and will include an educational resource center and space for the public exhibitions and meetings.
The Phoenix rises from the ashes
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that regenerates or is born again. How fitting a comparison with Bank Hall a building of great importance locally and to the nation on the brink of being lost through dereliction, facing an uncertain future neglected and with no purpose.
It is over 35 years since SAVE Britain’s Heritage drew attention to the plight of Bank Hall in their Buildings at Risk Publications – Silent Mansions. The Bank Hall Action Group formed (now Friends of Bank Hall) in 1995 has fought tirelessly to save the Hall, but as the years went by, the public started to say “is it ever going to happen?”. Well it is and work is now going on at a pace thanks to the support if the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Due to the dangerous condition of the building, no one has been able to see inside. Now that the fallen debris has been removed, it is possible to inspect the interior. Behind scaffolding, the beginnings of the construction of the new apartments are being carved out of the ruins. Nothing stays the same forever, buildings must have a purpose and use, they must involve and change and so it is with Bank Hall. it is an exciting time, ad we hope the public will turn out the see this miracle taking place in front of out eyes.
Who owns Bank Hall?
Heritage Trust for the North West became owners of the site in June 2017 when the Trustees signed a 999 year lease with Lord Lilford Estates to restore the Hall and manage the surrounding Pleasure Gardens, which extended to 15 acres.
A management company has been set up to manage, maintain and repair Bank Hall and the Pleasure Grounds in perpetuity with Heritage Trust for the North West.
“Had a lovely afternoon for the last Snowdrop Sunday of this year. My little boy loved running through the woods and he even stroked an owl. The weather couldn’t have been better and there were some amazing trees as well as the beautiful snowdrops. Fascinating reading about the progress of the hall too. Unfortunately we just missed out on cake so shall endeavour to come a little earlier next year. Thank you.”A Visitor
“We have just visited Bank Hall during one of their Open Days, we both really enjoyed the tour, with a really well informed guide we were taken round, every part of the restoration was explained, the history of the buildings was brought to life and the enthusiasm of all the volunteers really was inspiring.We had tea and cakes sat in part of the garden, and spoke to a lady beekeeper and watched a hive at work, and then looked at a marvellous selection of walking sticks and crooks by a stick maker.We can highly recommend a visit to watch Bank Hall rise from the ruins”A Visitor