Monday, October 26, 2009

SPAB Conservation experts make desperate plea to save two historic tudor-era buildings.

SPAB (The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) has written to Rochdale Council earlier this month, calling for action to save both Tonge Hall and Hopwood Hall, noting that the state of Hopwood Hall was now ‘utterly deplorable’ and also warning that a hard winter could result in the complete loss of Tonge Hall. Both buildings have deteriorated sharply in recent years, with Tonge Hall suffering a devastating fire in 2007. For its part, Hopwood Hall has seen several attempts at rehabilitation fall through.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr user / artaddict2.

SPAB deputy secretary Matthew Slocombe explained that while the fire at Tonge Hall was clearly a tragic event, the effects have been compounded because the the building has not been adequately protected from damage since that time. The complete loss of a truly appealing, original timber frame building could soon result if protective measures are not taken very soon.

PHOTO CREDIT: Panoramio.

As for Hopwood Hall, which is in the council’s ownership, SPAB believes that action must "quickly be taken now to halt further attack and decay." The principal issue with this building is the lack of protective roof covering, which has led to catastrophic water penetration and the ensuing structural problems.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr user / tracetone1.

Tonge Hall is generally regarded as one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in the country and still retains many of its original features, including carved oak beams and inglenook fireplaces. The stately Hopwood Hall also dates back to Tudor times and was the ancestral home of the Hopwood family.

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