It’s been confirmed today that parts of one of north Manchester’s oldest buildings have been demolished over fears it could become a “danger to the public”.
Hough Hall in Moston – a now-dilapidated timber-framed Grade II-listed farm house that dates back to the early 16th century – is thought to have been built in 1502 for a Moston merchant called Hugh Sherlock, and has been used as a butchers shop, doctors surgery and a lipstick manufacturer over the years it, but has since stood empty for some time.
Local historian Alan Hampson once described the hall as “representing a snapshot of life in a north Manchester village as it was 400 to 500 years ago”.
It is not clear who currently owns the hall, as it was sold at auction by its long-term owner for £150,000 last March, and is believed to have been sold once again last October, although Land Registry records for the property have not been updated.
Mr Hampson added that: “It would be a huge shame if, having lasted all this time, it were lost now”.
But sadly, a spokesperson for Manchester City Council has revealed that, after building control officers were called out on a “emergency response” following reports that the gable end was buckling, sections of the gable end and chimney stack at 500-year-old building have now been knocked down.
Speaking on the decision to carry out emergency repair works to the historic building, a Manchester City Council spokesperson said: “Hough Hall in north Manchester is a privately owned property, and the council has attempted to work with successive owners due its poor state of repair for a number of years.
“The council’s building control team were called out as part of an emergency response following concerns that a gable end of the property had buckled and could be a danger to the public.
“A notice was served on 23rd February to make the building safe and part of the gable end was cleared to ensure safety. Another notice was served at the end of last week which required the chimneys to be taken down and the site secured, and a partial road closure has been put in place next to the property.
“A council structural engineer and conservation officers have attended the site and building control are awaiting further information on the structural integrity of the building.”
Hough Hall Road is currently closed while the work is being carried out.