Description: Bedford Hall
Date Listed: 7 November 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 213498
OS Grid Reference: SJ6742098929
OS Grid Coordinates: 367420, 398929
Latitude/Longitude: 53.4861, -2.4924
LEIGH HOOTEN LANE
SD 69 NE
6/30 Bedford Hall
A late medieval farmhouse modified and now converted into two two-storey houses with attics, architect unknown.
MATERIALS: Hand-made English garden wall bond brick beneath graduated stone and slate roofs with some timber framing.
EXTERIOR: The front elevation is virtually symmetrical with doors to each of the wings, five-light windows on the ground and first floors and three-light attic windows with modern timber bargeboards to the gables above. The central range has a three-light mullioned-and-transomed window with a wooden-framed cross-window to the ground floor and a wooden mullioned and transomed window to the first floor. The side elevations are similar, each being windowless with tall projecting brick chimney stacks with twin diagonally-set chimneys. There is a modern single-storey addition to the left elevation and a doorway has been cut through one of the chimney stacks to give access to it. The rear elevation is more irregular. Both wings have doors protected by modern porches and five-light ground and first floor windows, while the north east wing has a three-light attic window. A gabled former stair tower is attached to the south western wing. The central range has an attached C20 WC, two former three-light windows both now modified, and a tall chimney stack rising from the eaves. All windows have been rendered to give the impression of being constructed in stone and subsequently painted. There is a painted rendered plinth to the side and rear elevations.
INTERIOR: The south west range has a front living room and rear kitchen to the ground floor with timber beams with a double chamfer and broach stop. There are modern fireplaces to both rooms. A small utility room off the kitchen is located in the former stair turret; its inner wall has two recesses, either of which may have been a doorway from the house to the stair. Also in the kitchen is a quarter-turn staircase with a batten-plank door with ventilation holes beneath. The first floor has two bedrooms with a dividing wall containing partially-exposed wallposts with deep arch braces supporting a roof truss above. The door to the shower room in the former stair turret has a wooden frame with a deep four-centred arched head.
The north east range has a rear dining kitchen with a single spine beam and a modern fireplace, and a front kitchen with access to a modern extension through a door inserted into a former fireplace. A corridor off the dining kitchen leads to the front door. Off this corridor a door gives access to the living room which occupies the central range of the building. This room contains two substantial axial beams of deep quarter-round moulding suggesting a date of around 1600 together with exposed ceiling joists, some of which appear to be early while others are later replacements. There is a modern fire surround on the rear wall. A modern staircase leads off the kitchen to the first floor where there are three bedrooms, a bathroom and a WC. Some reused beams are visible.
An attic floor runs throughout the building and the presence of windows at both ends of the north east wing and the front end of the south west wing indicates that the attic was intended for storage or accommodation.
The roof structure contains timbers of two periods relating to the hall-house of late-medieval date and the subsequent truncation and remodelling of about 1600. The truss at the upper end of the hall range has a canted tie beam, angle struts and formerly a king strut, now removed, and displays smoke blackening indicating that the hall was formerly open and thus of a date prior to approximately the mid-C16. The north east range has roof timbers of poorer quality including a kingpost truss, tiebeam and purlins of around c1600 or later with some late-C18 or C19 replacements.
HISTORY: Bedford Hall is of medieval origins and appears to have consisted of a central open hall with a solar wing at the upper or south west end and a lower wing at the north east end. It is one of a significant group of medieval halls on the rural hinterland of Leigh including the nearby Sandy Pool Farm, Hopecarr Hall (now demolished), and Peel Hall at Ince, Morley's Hall at Astley and Kirklees Hall at Aspull. About c1600 Bedford Hall appears to have been substantially rebuilt and modernised: a ceiling was inserted into the open hall to create a chamber above and the lower wing was demolished and replaced by a new, smaller lower wing. A further modernisation took place in the mid-C17 with the replacement of the timber-framing by brickwork and the insertion of brick mullioned windows plastered to give the impression of stone. By 1928 the hall had been divided to form two separate dwellings with the north east range and central ranges forming the larger dwelling and the south west range the smaller. Separate doors were provided in each of the wings and separate staircases were fitted, thus making redundant an earlier rear stair turret. Rear porches and a single-storey addition to the left return were also added during the C20.
Garry Miller, Bedford Hall: Historic Building Report, 2009.
Garry Miller, Historic Houses in Lancashire, The Douglas Valley, 1300-1770, 2002.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Bedford Hall is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Bedford Hall is a good example of a late medieval-house that has been modified over numerous centuries to provide continuous and contemporary accommodation
* It retains significant elements of architectural detail relating to each of its periods of modification
* Along with nearby Sandy Pool Farm, Morley's Hall, Peel Hall and Kirklees Hall it survives as one of a significant group of timber-framed medieval halls located on the rural hinterlands of Leigh.
Listing NGR: SJ6742098929
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.