Great Hall Roof
Our unexpected indoor water feature
Here at Middleton Hall & Gardens, we are entering a period with lots of exciting projects on the go, from master-planning and developing how we share our stories with our visitors, to the more mundane but still vitally important role of managing to keep the roof on!
We started seeing staining on the ceiling of our Great Hall early this year, we began to get a little worried and then such a wet early summer has led to us developing an indoor water feature that we hadn’t planned on…
We have had surveyors assess the damage and roofers quote for the likely cost of repairs and at this early stage these are estimated to be between £5,000 and £8,000. If we get this fixed soon, then water ingress should not cause further damage to the structure of the roof which would be much more costly to repair.
The Great Hall was originally restored by our volunteers over 25 years ago from its derelict state. It had been a lived-in family home up until 1966 when it was sold and left to fall into ruin. In 1980 the Middleton Hall Trust was formed and started the ongoing process of restoring and conserving Middleton Hall & Gardens. Money was raised through fundraising events, even holding concerts in the Great Hall when there was no roof at all! The local community has always played a part in keeping this important part of their built heritage standing, and alive through fundraising but also using our place for their family celebrations, as a local meeting space for groups and attending concerts and plays.
The Great Hall in 1980 before it was restored
Our unexpected water feature
The Great Hall is central to all our activities here, and throughout its history has also been fundamental in the role it has played. Originally built in 1490, it was in the Great Hall within a circle of wood that Queen Elizabeth I knighted the owner of the Hall, Sir Francis Willoughby, when she came to visit in 1575. Today it is used to host plays and concerts as the acoustics created by its triple height ceiling are something to experience, it is also the place where couples exchange their wedding vows and where we host our seasonal Fetes and Fairs. All these activities help us to raise vital funds to keep our doors open to the public, as we don’t currently receive any regular support or funding from outside bodies.
In order to keep our Great Hall standing we are hoping to raise the funds for the roof, and any imminent work that may need to be done, as quickly as possible. There are lots of ways to get involved, from direct donations, raffles on our special event days, to sponsoring our volunteers in one of their chosen challenges.
The Great Hall today, used for theatre performances, weddings, telling ghost stories or just for having a wander in on our public open days