Disclosure: This post is a review in collaboration with Ordsall Hall, please see our disclosure policy for more information.
Ordsall Hall in Salford, Manchester is a true hidden gem, one that more people should know about in my opinion. Surprisingly situated within a built-up residential area, the mansion sits proudly surrounded by beautiful and lovingly well-kept grounds. The former manor house dates back over 820 years, it’s rich in Tudor history and as many believe, haunted. Families are welcome and there are lots of activities to keep the kids interested.
We were recently invited to experience Ordsall Hall and paid them a visit on our way back from Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Driving up to the hall I was in awe of its magnificence, the building itself is Tudor and stands out strikingly against its modern surroundings.
On entering the hall we were greeted by one of the very knowledgeable volunteers who explained all about the history of the hall to us and told us where we could find some of the oldest original parts of the building. She also told us the kids were welcome to dress up in the costumes in the Great Hall.
Once inside the great hall, the kids made a beeline for the majestic closet full of Tudor finery. Jake found a kings robe and Daisy chose a pretty dress to wear. The table in the great hall is set up for a feast and the kids delighted in taking turns sitting at the head of the table. The attention to detail in this room is amazing, you really get a feel for how life would have been around the table in a Tudor mansion.
The kids were able to keep their costumes on while we explored the rest of the hall, they took the opportunity to stay in character as lord and lady of the manor.
The next room we explored was The Star Chamber in the oldest wing of the hall. The room contains the Radclyffe bed which was bought in 1572, the kids said they would love a bed like it complete with curtains so they could play hide and seek. In this room we also found an interactive globe where we learned all about Tudor travels, the kids did some brass rubbings in this room too. Again a friendly volunteer pointed out the armour in the room, he told us we were welcome to try it on but after feeling the weight of the chainmail we declined.
We moved onto The Great Chamber next where we found more costumes, a reproduction Tudor bath, and a grand bed that Daisy and Jake took a little rest on. They both agreed the bed wasn’t as comfortable as their beds at home. Again the attention to detail in this room was fantastic and you could imagine it being a real bedroom once upon a time.
Next, it was time to head into the kitchen, we were in for a real treat in this room. In the kitchen, we found an interactive Tudor menu, a pestle and mortar that where we could grind some herbs, a suckling pig full of interesting facts. Daisy pretended to bake some bread in the Victorian bread ovens. Jake loved that he could touch some of the kitchen implements and we all agreed that the herbs made the kitchen smell amazing. This was definitely our favourite room in the hall, there were so many things to see and do.
After the kitchen, we headed upstairs to The Frederick Sheilds Gallery where we found an interactive exhibition all about the hall’s history. We found some more brass rubbings, a stained glass window puzzle and a ghostly video game which the kids loved. This room is fantastic for families, there’s something for all ages and lots to learn.
Once we had finished in the gallery we returned (reluctantly) the costumes to the great hall and headed outside to explore the hall’s beautiful gardens and grounds. To the back of the hall, there’s a stunning Tudor style knot garden, a herb garden, and an orchard. We spent some time smelling all the herbs and looking at all the fruits growing on the trees. There were picnic benches in the orchard which I think would make the perfect place for a summer picnic.
There is also a WWI allotment, where the gardeners grow varieties of vegetables used during the war years. We spotted some onions and potatoes growing.
Ordsall Hall is free to visit but donations are always welcome. You can find out more information including opening times and how to get there on the Ordsall Hall Website.
What We Loved About Ordsall Hall
- Friendly and helpful volunteer guides.
- The interactive activities that are available for the whole family.
- That there were costumes for the kids to dress up in.
- The stunning grounds and gardens, especially the orchard and allotment.
- Being able to see lots of the hall’s original features.