Old Hall Hotel, Sandbach
|Old Hall Hotel|
|Architectural style||Primarily Black and white timber framed but also with elements of Jacobean architecture|
|Town or city||Sandbach, Cheshire|
|Client||Sir John Radclyffe|
The current building dates from 1656 with the left wing being slightly later but occupies the site of the ancient mansion of the former lords of the manor, whom were of the Radclyffe family from around 1480. A fire wiped out the original building and the current property was rebuilt by Sir John Radclyffe in 1656.
It is a timber-framed building at the front and partly timber framed and partly brick at the back. The roofs are of stone flags. The building has three storeys with four gables on the front elevation. On the right hand side of the building is a carriage arch. Inside are three Jacobean fireplaces, a priest hole oak panelling and an original oak baluster staircase. In the 18th century an extension was added to accommodate the horses of the Liverpool to Lichfield Coach. Some believe that a tunnel leads from the building to the church across the road. As High Street was considerably altered in the 19th century, this is highly unlikely.
The building has had many uses over the years from being originally a coaching inn, pub and restaurant and more recently a hotel. Since July 2011, it has been trading as a pub restaurant operated by Brunning and Price, a Chester-based pub group specialising in the restoration of historic buildings and their conversion into characterful pubs.
The Old Hall has now been purchased by Brunning & Price, a growing pub chain, who have recently completed an 18-month renovation project and re-opened Old Hall as of July 2011.
Due to the rapid deterioration of the building since its closure in 2006, an action group called the Save the Old Hall Action Group (SOHAG) was set up. Its battle to save the hall was reported in the local press, and they succeeded in persuading the then-owners to make the building water-tight. Since Old Hall re-opened its doors as a Brunning and Price pub in July 2011, Save Old Hall Action group has been renamed Sandbach Old Hall Appreciation Group.
The credulous believe the Old Hall to be haunted. It has also been recorded as possibly being the most haunted hotel in England and has been investigated by the Most Haunted team as well as individual paranormal teams such as the Xmotu Team.
Room 2 is said to be haunted by a small boy called Matthew and was used as a private room when the building was run as a hotel. Room 11 was used as a guest room and is known as one of the most haunted rooms in the building. Guests have reported a feeling of being pushed down in the water when taking a bath in this room. Three separate guests staying weeks apart also reported waking up at 3 am to the intense feeling of the room being on fire. Upon waking they soon realised that the room is at a normal temperature. Jewellery has also been known to go missing within this room.
Previous owners believe that an old lady haunts the room and likes to sit in the rocking chair that was once kept in the room. It is believed she is a servant who once lived in the room until she died.
Around 2003 extensive building work was done on the building which meant all the panelling was removed. A skeleton of a baby was discovered. Owners reported that paranormal activity increased during this time which actually led them to bring in psychics to try and discover what was happening. Fourteen separate ghosts have been reported by psychics.
Previous owners and guests at the hotel have seen the ghosts of a large ginger cat that likes to walk around the property as well as a dog which can be heard. Sir John Radclyffe is said to haunt the downstairs restaurant area and has been seen on numerous occasions, usually early in the morning when the hotel was quieter. A lady has been seen walking the corridors as well as items disappearing and being moved around.
- Old Hall History, SOHAG- Save the Old Hall Action Group, retrieved 25 August 2008
- English Heritage, "Old Hall Hotel, Sandbach (1310849)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 16 August 2012
- Old Hall Hotel, Sandbach, English Heritage, retrieved 30 April 2011
- Don't let old hall crumble, Crewe Chronicle, retrieved 25 August 2008
- "Sandbach Memories: Plans for Old Hall Hotel", Crewe Chronicle, Cheshire Memories (Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales), 2009-03-18, retrieved 28 March 2010
- Old Hall Hotel, Haunted Hotel Guide, retrieved 29 March 2008
- Xmotu – Haunted Places in Cheshire, Xmotu – Haunted Places in the UK, retrieved 28 August 2008