There have been 3 significant manorial halls on the Worsley Park estate. The first being the existing Worsley Old Hall, which is now a restaurant and public house, the second known as Brick Hall and the third being Worsley New Hall.

Worsley Old Hall is believed to have been built in the 15th century on the sites of a previous building. Worsley Old Hall has been extended over the centuries. In the 1750’s it was used by Francis Egerton, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to plan the building of his canal that was to transport coal from his Worsley mines to Manchester.

The Brick Hall, a Georgian style house, was built by the 3rd Duke in 1768, about 150 metres south of Worsley Old Hall. It became the home of John Gilbert who was the Duke’s estate manager and friend who was responsible for the development of the underground canal system under and north of Worsley. Brick Hall was demolished in the 1840’s when another Francis Egerton, the 1st Earl of Ellesmere inherited the Worsley estate under the terms of his great uncle’s

will. In 1846 Worsley New Hall, a grand Gothic style house designed by Edward Blore, was built for the 1st Earl, 50 metres south of the Brick Hall, on top of the south-facing escarpment that overlooks the North Cheshire Plain and commands of view of no fewer than seven counties. Worsley New Hall had formal gardens that were terraced down to an ornamental boating lake. The gardens contained fountains one of which was reputed to have a plume that rivaled the Emperor fountain at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. 

Worsley New Hall was visited by Queen Victoria on two occasions and was used as one of the Ellesmere’s houses up until the First World War when it was used as an officer’s hospital. The 4th Earl of Ellesmere family sold the Worsley estates including the two Halls in 1923 due to death duties on the passing of the 3rd Earl of Ellesmere. It was bought by a group of Manchester businessmen who created the Bridgewater Estates Company. The New Hall was used in the Second World War to billet servicemen who had been evacuated from Dunkirk. In 1944 American forces were also billeted there prior to the D-Day offensive.

In 1943 Worsley New Hall suffered a fire during its occupation by the armed forces and subsequently became derelict. It was sold in 1946 to a scrap dealer who dismantled it over the next three years.

In 1983 Bridgewater Estates Company was bought by Peel Holdings who had plans to build a hotel on the site of the New Hall. This plan has been superseded in 2015 when it was announced that the site was to be developed as the 5th National Royal Horticultural Society garden to be called RHS Bridgewater. The Garden is to be opened in 2020.






 

Worsley New Hall & the RHS Garden Bridgewater

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