If you’re looking for a weekend-trip, to experience something different from the urban cities of the North West, then within the rural towns of Lancashire you’ll find a proud and fascinating history to uncover. Visit Rufford Old Hall, an exquisite old Tudor building in Ormskirk, to discover stories of romance and wealth with 500 years of family history, and explore beautiful gardens and woodlands.
Rufford Hall dates back nearly 500 years to 1530 – this timber-framed great hall is one of the best surviving examples of Tudor construction in England. Unique among houses built in Lancashire, you can admire the ‘hammerbeam’ roof that have been similarly used in famous buildings such as Edinburgh castle, or Westminster. You’ll find rich, decorative carvings and artefacts, and a remarkable collection of ‘Gothic revival’ furnishings, all with meticulously crafted detail. Highlights include: the Carved Screen, the only construction of it’s kind to have survived intact; the beautiful stained glass drawing room; weapons and suits of armour from across Europe; and the striking watercolour collection of Ellen Stevens.
The Victorian style gardens and woodlands are a wonderful place for a relaxing walk, taking in the tranquil sounds of birdsong and brilliant colours throughout the year. The best time to visit is in spring and autumn, as the carpets of bluebells come alive and the smell of roses is in the air. Enjoy a picnic on the orchard surrounded by the apple and pair trees, or stroll along the beech walk paddock and woodlands, with fantastic views of the Leeds-Liverpool canal and an abundance of wildlife, including kingfishers, woodpeckers and hedgehogs.
Grab a drink or bite to eat in the Victorian tea-room, with a delicious menu of hot food, sandwiches and beverages. If you’re feeling inspired by the stories of the Tudor house, then browse the second-hand bookshop where you’ll discover your next story.