The stone of Henry Sudell's mansion was quarried on Abbot's Brow, but the foundations were built upon his profits from the thriving weaving trade throughout Blackburn district. After his marriage in 1796, Sudell set up home in this seat from which he discharged his duties as Lord of the Manor of Mellor, and of which Blackburn historian George C. Miller observed "its nature is more that of a temple than a dwelling". As this plan of the ground floor shows, Woodfold Hall allowed Sudell to enjoy the high life of a successful entrepreneur: there are over twenty rooms downstairs surrounding a sizeable yard, and including a dairy, a brew house and a china closet which would rival many modern living rooms at over 17ft x 14 ft. Sudell stocked his 400-acre grounds with deer, wildfowl and a pack of hunting dogs, and travelled into Blackburn by in a grand coach-and-four with uniformed postillions. He also played the role of philanthropist with energy, founding St. John's church in Blackburn and St. Mary's in Mellor, helping recruitment to the Lancashire Fencibles, and supporting many of his fellow townsmen in lean times - even roasting an ox in the old marketplace at Christmas each year. When 6,000 handloom weavers marched upon Woodfold from Blakey Moor in 1818, Sudell had the pragmatism to accede to their demand for a 5% advance; and even when his high living caught up with him nine years later, Sudell left his butler with enough money to establish himself at the Fox & Grapes pub on Preston New Road.
After Sudell fled Blackburn, his grand lifestyle there was continued first by John Fowden Hindle as High Sheriff of Lancashire, and then by the Thwaites family; they owned it for a century up to 1949, when its contents were offloaded in a mammoth three-day sale of nearly 800 often elegant and valuable items. The building itself remains as a derelict but still striking and poetic testimony to the glory of Blackburn's cotton days. *
Woodfold Park contains two listed buildings: the Bridge over Arley Brook and the Ice House in Old Woodfold Wood. Click here to view the other listed buildings in Blackburn and Darwen.
The lithograph pictured above of Woodfold Hall makes the most of its rural setting, and was created by C. J. Greenwood whilst John Fowden Hindle, High Sheriff of Lancashire, lived there before 1850.
By Matthew Cole
* Since this article was written, Woddfold Hall has undergone extensive renovation work and has been divided into very desirable apartments.
Date listed: 27th September 1984
Date of last amendment: 27th September 1984
SD 62 NW
Pleasington, Woodfold Park Ice House 100 metres west of White House Pond. Ice house, probably c.1800. Brick with sandstone rubble walls and earth covering. Egg-shaped brick-lined vessel mostly below ground, the upper part enclosed in square walls of sandstone rubble. Now damaged: entrance on north side was probably by a square porch of which only the foundations now remain.
Date listed: 19th July 1988
Date of last amendment: 19th July 1988
SD 6828 SW 4/82
Blakey Moor, K6 Telephone Kiosk. Type K6. Designed 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Made by various contractors. Cast iron. Square kiosk with domed roof. Unperforated crowns to top panels and margin glazing to windows and door.
These images of Livesey Old Hall have been sent to us by a Cottontown reader. The first picture shows Livesey Old Hall in 1956,still complete with its barns; the lump visible in the field was an underground cold store with shelving, where children used to play. Also visible is the steam from a train at Pleasington Station and the curve of the Chorley line going behind the Hall. The second and third images from 1967 show the barns demolished to make way for houses on Woodlands Ave and the Chorley line recently closed.The third image shows "The Crescent". The present estate was built on the field in 1969 - 70 after the Hall was demolished in 1968
Blackburn's Turkish Baths were situated on Richmond Terrace. They opened in 1891 and closed in 1920.
We are grateful to Malcolm Shifrin who has written an article about them which can be found on a site dedicated to Victorian Turkish Baths.
Click here to find out more.
Date listed: 1st August 1995
Date of last amendment: 1st August 1995
SD 6828 SW
Museum Street. Library, museum and art gallery, now museum and art gallery. 1872-4, by Thomas Edward Collcutt of Woodzell & Collcutt, with sculpture by C.W.Seale of London; enlarged in C19, altered in C20. Coursed sandstone rubble with freestone dressings, steeply-pitched slate roof (now hipped but formerly with gables over the outer bays ofboth facades), red ridge tiles. Broad L-shaped plan on corner site facing west, with extension at east end. Free Gothic style with some Arts-and-Crafts detailing. Two storeys, 1:3:1 bays in a symmetrical design formerly with gables over the outer bays; with a plinth, carved foliated impost bands to both floors (differing), a similarly carved cornice and a plain parapet, all these carried round. The ground floor has a wide and deeply splayed 2-centred entrance archway chamfered in 4 orders, furnished with wrought-iron gates with lettered metal banners in Arts-and-Crafts style and leading to an internal porch with steps up and tiled side walls including pictorial panels depicting Painting and Poetry (left) and Science and Labour (right); and above the arch a stone pentice with a richly foliated carved panel. Flanking the entrance the inner bays have tall 2-centred arched one-light windows and the outer bays have windows of2 similar lights, all these windows in sunk panels. At 1st floor the centre and outer bays have large 2-centred arches with double-chamfered surrounds, carved impost bands, and quatrefoil windows in the heads, below which those in the outer bays have 3-light mullioned windows and that in the centre has a carved'panel (see below); the inner bays have square windows of 3 transomed arched lights above the impost band and carved panels below. The set of 3 panels contain bas relief sculpture of figures in ancient and medieval costume representing Art (left), Literature (centre) and Science (right). In the left return to Richmond Terrace (likewise lacking gables to the outer bays), the fenestration ofthe original range of 1:4:1 bays follows the pattern of inner and outer bays at the front (except that at ground floor the outer bays have 1-light windows and the inner have 2-light windows), and beneath the 1st-floor windows are four similar but more interestingly detailed relief panels representing contemporary Commerce, Textiles, Iron Founding and Agriculture. Continued to the east is a short 3-window symmetrical extension in similar style, with a large arched window containing a relief panel flanked by enriched blank arches containing carved shields.
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