Astley Hall

related topics
{church, century, christian}
{build, building, house}
{son, year, death}
{island, water, area}
{@card@, make, design}
{day, year, event}
{work, book, publish}

Astley Hall is a country house in Chorley, Lancashire, England. Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed here for a time. The hall is now owned by the town and is known as Astley Hall Museum and Art Gallery. The extensive landscaped grounds are now Chorley's Astley Park.

Contents

History

The site was acquired in the 15th century by the Charnock family from the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and they built the original timber-framed house around a small courtyard c.1575-1600. In 1665, Margaret Charnocke married Richard Brooke of Mere in Cheshire, and they built the present grand but asymmetrical front range of brick with a pair of vast mullion and transomed bay windows. This front has a doorway with distinctly rustic Ionic columns, remarkable at such a late date.

The interior is notable for the staggering mid 17th century plasterwork in the ceilings of the Great Hall and drawing room, which have heavy wreaths and disporting cherubs. The ceilings are barbaric in their excesses, and the figures are relatively poorly modelled, although the undercutting is breathtaking. Not all the moulding is of stucco: there are elements of lead and leather too. The staircase is of the same period with a coarse but vigorously carved acanthus scroll balustrade and square newels with vases of flowers on top. The lower parts of the hall are panelled with inset paintings of a curious selection of modern worthies, including Protestants such as Elizabeth I and William the Silent; Catholics such as Philip II and Ambrogio Spinola; the explorers Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan, and Muhammadans such as Bajazet[disambiguation needed] and Mohammed II[disambiguation needed]; it is thought this scheme might be rather earlier than the other work and date from the time of Thomas Charnock MP, who died in 1648. The whole width of the house on the top floor is occupied by a long gallery which contains the finest shovelboard table in existence, 23½ feet long.

The house contains a bird's-eye view by an unknown artist showing the house c.1710, which depicts small tower-gazebos at the angles of its forecourt. In due course, the Brookes failed in the male line and the house descended to Robert Townley-Parker of Cuerden, who added the south wing in 1825 and stuccoed the exterior, probably to the design of Lewis Wyatt, who worked for him at Cuerden Hall. The dining room in the early 19th century wing has inlaid 16th century panelling brought in from elsewhere.

Full article ▸

related documents
Roche Abbey
Middleham Castle
Holyrood Abbey
Buckfast Abbey
Cartmel Priory
List of abbeys and priories in Northern Ireland
Château de Chambord
Kimbolton Castle
Kyrenia
Het Loo
Pope Sylvester I
Pope Leo II
Pope Clement XI
Les Invalides
Veit Stoss
Pope Stephen I
John Climacus
Fourth Council of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox)
Doge's Palace
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Abbess
First Council of the Lateran
Olaf II of Norway
Antipope Felix II
Third Council of Constantinople
Hippo Regius
Girolamo Savonarola
Western Christianity
Second Council of Constantinople
Saqqara