Tonge Hall is generally regarded as one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in the country and despite a devastating fire in 2007, still retains many of its original features, including carved oak beams, inglenook fireplaces timber panelling and a wonderful spiral staircase. The building was heroically saved by Heritage Trust for the North West whose contracting arm undertook extremely skilful emergency conservation work after the fire – work beyond the ability of the majority of contractors.
The work was planned and supervised by conservation surveyor Alan Gardner, a regular supporter of Middleton’s ‘Golden Cluster’ of buildings. Great credit should also go to English Heritage, which provided the finance and to Rochdale Council which initially secured the site and has now taken over the ownership. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings has also contributed with money and support as has the local support group, Friends of Middleton View who are pushing for a conservation area. Tonge Hall now sits in a huge scaffold cage supporting and protecting it, while a long term scheme is drawn up by the Council. Heritage Trust for the North West are keeping an eye on things in the meantime.
Listed Outstanding Grade II* by English Heritage
Timber frame repairs undertaken by Heritage Trust for the North-West (copyright: Alan Gardner)