03
Jan

A Lonely Old Hall on The Hill

Extwistle Hall is an historic building which stands high up on Extwistle Moor between Haggate (east of Brierfield) and the village of Worsthorne (near Burnley Lancashire). This listed building was built using coursed sandstone and has an original courtyard on three sides. Unfortunately, all that now remains is a derelict ruin in desperate need of major renovation by a professional contractor. This Tudor-style historic building does have quite an interesting past.

Extwistle Hall – The History of a Listed Building

Once prominent in local affairs, the Parker family built Extwistle HalI in the 16th century. Although it was initially owned by Kirkstall Abbey, Robert Parker bought the land in 1537 after the Dissolution of the Monasteries *. The Parker family then occupied it for some two hundred years before moving to Cuerden Hall around 1718. The house was remodelled in the late 18th century. In 1653, John Parker became High Sheriff of Lancashire. In 1710, Robert Parker took on that role.

(* – a series of administrative and legal processes started in 1536 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former members and functions)

Extwistle Hall – A Historic Building At Risk

The hall is a listed Grade II building owned by a property company based in the Isle of Man. Yet it has remained unoccupied for more than twenty years and is listed in English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk register. The hall is almost beyond practical repair. Walking around the structure today you would see its Yorkshire grey roof slates are missing, having been either stolen or smashed to pieces within the belly of the building. Its fine leaded windows have been smashed into a thousand tiny pieces, whilst inside there are mangled and contorted oak beams, with the fabulously ornate plaster now slowly drooping away from the walls and ceiling; mostly the result of excessive water ingress.

Extwistle Hall – A Brighter Future?

Despite all these problems, Extwistle Hall would make for a fantastic historic building renovation project. With skill and careful conservation this listed building could be brought back to its former splendour. Luckily, there is some very exciting news.

Blackburn-based ATC Construction and Design are working closely with English Heritage and Burnley Council in drawing up detailed plans for an extensive listed building restoration programme. The scheme is being put together by Crawshawbooth-based owner John Schofield. Now working closely with English Heritage, Mr Schofield said he was very excited about the proposed development. He commented,

“The historic building restoration of Extwistle Hall would cost in the region of £2.4m. English Heritage and the council have asked us to look at a few different options for the conservation work and we will be exploring these before we put in any planning application”.

Extwistle Hall – Public Concerns

Historian and local councillor Roger Frost said he would like to see the hall as part of a listed building restoration, but said residents could be concerned about an increase in traffic through Granville Street to gain access to the proposed housing development.

“The company owns quite a lot of land on Bend Hill Farm and access to the farm is through Harle Syke. I think the site is around ten acres. I know when applications have been made in the past for that part of the parish; there has been a lot of opposition in the area. To get to Bend Hill you have to use Granville Street and Queen Street. In the past Briercliffe Parish Council has agreed with residents. It could affect existing residents’ access and parking rights”.

There is hope that the access problems can be resolved and that we might see the beautiful listed building restored to its former grandeur once again.