#buildingconservation

Progress Spotlight – Lost time at Bank Hall, Leyland

The Grade II listed building that is Bank Hall, Leyland consists of the main house, gardens, entrance hall and clock tower. The aim of the restoration works going on there by ourselves at present are to transform the building into renovated apartments. With the main house to become apartments, the gardens are to be retained along with the entrance hall and clock tower for public access.

The Clock Tower is an unusual and important architectural feature at Bank Hall which gives the house regional significance. It was designed to provide views onto the gardens and wider landscape and embellished and restored in the early 19th Century when a clock was added.

The Clock Tower rises to a height of 60ft (18m) and was originally built between 1660-65 and again re-modelled in 1832-33. During the 1980’s, the north east elevation of the tower collapsed leaving the remains of the north-facing clock lost and decaying on the grounds, forever?

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The clock tower currently decorated by scaffolding.

It was mentioned in our last progress update on Bank Hall that the building is being pieced back together, just like the process of completing a jigsaw, by our workers on site. The process of collecting old fallen stone from the grounds has been a long and tedious task, but one that has been worth every second.

Found amongst the fallen bricks and stone was something nobody was expecting to find – all pieces from the fallen clock.

Piece of clock

All members of our team on site were incredibly pleased through finding the remains of this lost clock which, once repairs are complete (by the process of careful dowling) and cleaning undertaken the original clock will take it’s rightful place back on top of the 16ft high clock tower. What was once lost, is now found!

Clock

Our fingers are crossed to receive more news like this from site!

Bank Hall, Leyland – Timeline

13th – The Banastre’s are recorded as being in the area at this time. In 1240 a branch of the family acquired the lands in the Bretherton area. (Reference: In the History of Lancashire there is reference to Bank Hall as pre-dating Edward II (1306-1326)

1548 – Richard Banastre died – He is buried in Croston.

1555 – William Banastre (Aged 55), successor to Richard died. His Son Henry, inherits the Hall.

1577 – Saxton’s Map of Lancashire shows both “Brotherton” (The Old Spelling) and “Bank Hall”, then seat of the Banastre Family.

1593 – Henry Banastre died at Aged 70 – He had come into possession of the Hall at age 33. His second son, William, inherits the Hall. (On William’s death the Hall passed to his eldest son Henry. As no death is recorded for William, it is not clear whether it was William or Henry who instigated the re-building of the Hall)

1608 – The core of the present Bank Hall building is completed in its early form.

1617 – Henry (Son of William) died, His infant Son “Henry” inherited the Hall.

1641 – Henry (Son of Henry) dies at aged 40 in London but was brought to Croston for burial. (Henry had two sons – Henry & Christopher – Henry was murdered at the age of 28 in 1664 in Delamere Forest in Cheshire and had no heirs)

1650-60 – About this time the Tower was added to the building.

1664 – Christopher Banastre took over the ownership of the Hall and in this year his eldest daughter Anne was born. In 1669 he achieved the office of the Sheriff of Lancashire. He was recorded as still living in 1682 and when he died, he left two daughters: Anne and Elizabeth. He was the last of the Banastre family.

1713 – Elizabeth, the younger of the two co-heirs died leaving Anne as sole heir. Anne married Thomas Fleetwood and they had one daughter Elizabeth who married Thomas Legh of Lyme in 1701. Thus the Hall passed to the Legh family at this time

1717 – Thomas Legh died leaving 10 children. The eldest Fleetwood Legh inherited the Hall.

1725 – Fleetwood Legh died aged 25 on the 21st January. His brother, Peter, inherited Bank Hall. He and his wife, Martha, spent most of their time at Lyme Hall.

1787 – Martha Legh died.

1792 – Peter Legh died. (There was then a dispute involving succession but the Estate eventually passed to George Anthony Legh-Keck via his wife, Elizabeth Atherton – 2nd daughter of Robert Vernon Atherton of the Bewsey Estate, near Warrington)

1832 – George Anthony Legh-Keck completes extending and remodeling the Hall.

1837 – Elizabeth (nee Atherton) wife of George Anthony Legh-Keck died. George Anthony Legh-Keck did not remarry.

1860 – Legh-Keck died 4th September whereupon his estates passed to Thomas Atherton Powys, Lord Lilford III.

1861 – Lord Lilford III died. The Hall passed to Thomas Littleton Powys (Lord Lilford IV)

1895/96 – Lord Lilford’s son lived at the Hall for approximately 18 months.

1896 – Lord Lilford IV (born 1833) died.

1897 – 9th March – Lady Lilford planted an Atlantic Cedar in the grounds of the property beyond the walled gardens at the rear of the Hall. This, we believe was to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (60 years as Monarch) which was celebrated on the 22nd June in that year.

1899 – Harcourt Everard Clare appointed Chief Clerk to the Lancashire County Council and took up the tenancy of Bank Hall.

1916 – Mr. Clare was Knighted and became Sir Harcourt Clare.

1922 – (1st March) – Sir Harcourt Clare died whilst still in office at the Lancashire County Council. He is buried at Bretherton Church.

1924 – Lt. Col. Sir Norman Seddon-Brown took up the tenancy of the Hall.

1932 – About this time Sir Norman Seddon-Brown had the swimming pool constructed on the westerly side of the Hall.

1937 – The Seddon-Browns left the Hall.

1940 – The Army – The Royal Engineers – took over the untenanted Hall until the end of the War. It was a duplicate communications centre for ship movements in the Atlantic.

1945 – John Powys (born 1863) and now Lord Lilford V, died and the Estate and Title passed to his brother, Stephen.

1949 – Stephen Powys (born 1869) – Lord Lilford VI, died and the Estate and Title passed to his kinsman, George Vernon Powys who became Lord Lilford VII.

1960’s – The Lilford Estate Office occupied the East end of the building throughout this decade and through to 1972.

1971 – The West wing of the Hall, was occupied by a family who had purchased the nearby Windmill. They took up residence whilst the Windmill was being restored and altered into a residence.

Since then the Hall has been empty and subjected to much Vandalism.

1995 – To present – Bank Hall Action Group was formed with the object of saving the Hall.

2017 – Aura Conservation secure contract to renovate Bank Hall into Apartments.

Information taken from Bank Hall, Leyland website.

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Incorporated in 2006, Aura Conservation have existed for over twelve successful years. We have a sound and experienced management team. We can assist you in any of your conservation needs and have a body of long standing and experienced tradesmen we can call on with specialist knowledge of the conservation world. Along with prudent financial management, we have a sound financial foundation that will see us prosper in the coming years.

You can contact us at:

Dunham House, 181 Wellington Road North, Stockport, Cheshire, SK4 2PB. Tel. 0161 442 9850 Fax. 0161 432 8478

Email  enquiries@auraltd.co.uk
Web    www.auraltd.co.uk

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