Balderstone Hall archaeology project unearths 'exciting' finds

Date published: 14 June 2013

Balderstone Hall in Rochdale has been carefully unearthed by professional and novice archaeologists who have discovered some exciting ‘finds’ and items from bygone years including plenty of ceramics, coins and tools.

The University of Salford’s archaeology department and enthusiastic volunteers have spent two weeks excavating a historic hall buried beneath Balderstone Park that has origins stretching back to 1414.

Streams of locals and school children have been paying the site a visit to learn more about the old hall and the history of the local area. 

On Saturday 15 June the general public can take part and learn about what has been found and what they have discovered plus there may be an opportunity to have a “dig” between 10.00am – 4.00pm at Balderstone Hall, Balderstone Park, Platting Lane, Rochdale, OL11 2 HD.

Also on Saturday 15 June 2013 the Heritage Environment Record which documents every historical site across Greater Manchester will also be available for viewing.

The project is part of Dig Greater Manchester, which will involve over 9,000 people taking part in archaeological projects over four-and-a-half years in 11 boroughs in the region. It is being funded by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and managed by the University of Salford.


The earliest reference to the Hall can be found in the 15th Century when James Holt married the daughter and heiress of Henry de Balderston and the couple are said to have had ‘a house of some pretensions’ in Balderstone.

The Hall was first officially recorded in the early 17th Century, still in the hands of the Holt family. Subsequently however, it changed ownership and was modified several times before being acquired by local mill owner Joshua Radcliffe in1851, who rebuilt it a year later. 

The Hall built in 1852 by Radcliffe was a substantial residence with 15 rooms, a billiard room, cellars, stables and a saddleroom, together with a coachman’s cottage, greenhouse, fernery and peach house.



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