Hopwood Hall

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Hopwood Hall is a Grade II* historic house in Middleton, Greater Manchester, England, which was the ancestral country home of the Hopwoods, landed gentry who held it from the 12th century.

Hopwood Hall was founded as a moated site. Later, the property had pleasure grounds and an extensive park with scattered woods. Features in the grounds included a kitchen garden, ice house, ha-ha, Italian garden, fountain, corn mill and small cross-shaped bower or grotto.[1]

Hopwood Hall gives its name to an electoral ward in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, and Hopwood Hall College, a further education college with a campus on the original estate grounds.

Architecture[edit]

Hopwood Hall is a Grade II*-listed two-storey brick-and-stone manor house, built in a quadrangle around a timber-framed hall that has been dated back to 1426. Some of the current building dates back to the early 17th century, with some late-16th century elements.[2] The 1830s ice house in the grounds is also listed.[3]

After over 500 years, the Hopwoods were no longer living at the estate in 1923. The Hall was utilised by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation (LCC) during World War II. The corporation used it, in conjunction with Blackfriars House, to run the firm during the war years. After the war, in 1946, the Hall became a training ground for Roman Catholic teachers under the De La Salle Brothers. [4] On part of the estate grounds, the Brothers built a concrete chapel (1964–65) designed by Frederick Gibberd (architect of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral), now deconsecrated but a listed building.[5] It has been retained for use by Hopwood Hall College as the Milnrow Building.[6]

Occupants and owners[edit]

Hopwood family[edit]

The family name Hopwood is a corruption of "Hopwode", which dates from when a Knight was granted land between the then townships of Hopwood, Thornham, and Middleton. Thesse estates - Hopwood, Birch, Stanleycliffe and Thornham - were ruled thereafter by the specific family of "Hopwode de Hopwode". For a period of at least 500 years, the Hopwoods were interred in the churchyard of the Church of St Leonard, Middleton. The family is documented since before 1380, when Alain de Hopwood was mentioned. Edmund Hopwood was a magistrate and sheriff during the Commonwealth of England, and a member of the Presbyterian congregation at Bury.[7]

Lord Byron[edit]

The poet Lord Byron (1788-1824), stayed with the Gregge-Hopwood family at Hopwood Hall from the end of September 1811 for about 10 days. He had come up to try and sell parts of the Byron family estate in Rochdale, a complex deal that was not to be completed fully in his lifetime. The 23-year-old poet probably spent his days at the Hall revising the draft of his ground breaking poem, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. A first hand account of his stay and the impression he made on the Gregge-Hopwood family and their friends can be found in an essay 'Byron’s Week in Middleton', by Anne Falloon of Middleton Archaeological Society, published in the Byron Journal of 2013.[8]

Hopwood DePree[edit]

In September 2017, The Daily Telegraph released a feature article announcing American actor and entrepreneur Hopwood DePree, a descendant of the Hopwoods, had accepted an offer from Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council to take over Hopwood Hall with plans to restore it. DePree had been living in Hollywood and subsequently has moved to England to pursue the restoration full time.[9][10] Emergency work to make the building structurally sound and waterproof started in May 2018.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hopwood Hall, Middleton, England". parksandgardens.org. Parks & Gardens UK. 
  2. ^ "Hopwood Hall – Middleton". British Listed Buildings. 
  3. ^ "Hopwood Hall Icehouse". British Listed Buildings. 
  4. ^ Hopwood Family
  5. ^ "Former Chapel at Hopwood Hall College". British Listed Buildings. 
  6. ^ "Full details of Rochdale colleges' £100million investment". Rochdale Online. 
  7. ^ 'Townships: Hopwood.' A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Ed. William Farrer and J. Brownbill. London: Victoria County History, 1911. 170–173. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2015. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol5/pp170-173.
  8. ^ https://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/pdf/10.3828/bj.2013.4
  9. ^ Mendick, Robert. "From Hollywood to Hopwood: Star tries to restore his ancestral pile". www.telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  10. ^ Beard, Stephen. "U.S. actor has a leading role in English house restoration". www.marketplace.org. Marketplace. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Helen (15 May 2018). "Emergency work begins to save the historic Hopwood Hall". men. 

Coordinates: 53°34′16″N 2°11′25″W / 53.5711°N 2.1903°W / 53.5711; -2.1903