Wycoller Hall: Grade II Listed Ruins in Lancashire

These incredibly worn-out steps can be found at Wycoller Hall in Lancashire.

Wycoller Hall steps

Wycoller Hall was a late 16th century Manor House in the village of Wycoller.

The hall was the centre of a sizeable estate, but subsequently fell into disrepair – the ruins are now Grade II listed and form part of Wycoller Country Park.

Wycoller is also well-known for its three ancient bridges, including this incredible 800-year-old packhorse bridge (pictured below).

Wycoller

Wycoller Hall was built by the Hartley family and subsequently extended in the 18th by Squire Henry Owen Cunliffe, as part of his campaign to attract a wealthy wife.

The building work took over a year to complete, during which time an ornate porch and larger windows were constructed.

The interior was improved by the addition of a very grand fireplace.

 

The squire mortgaged his property to pay for the works and when he died in 1818 he left many debts.

Charlotte Brontë is thought to have frequently visited Wycoller village in her many walks around the area.

Wycoller Hall

The Hall is believed by some to be ‘Ferndean Manor’ in her novel ‘Jane Eyre’ and was used to illustrate the 1898 edition.

Although the Hall appears to have remained reasonably intact until the early 1900’s much of it was unoccupied and neglected.

Stone was subsequently plundered for other buildings. The ornamental porch went first to Trawden and then to Foulridge, while flagstones and steps have been used in local walls.

 

Under the ownership of the Water Board the village fell in to disrepair.

The Friends of Wycoller were established in 1948 with the aim of preserving the village and in particular the Hall.

Wycoller Hall

Some restoration work began in 1950, principally rebuilding the fireplace.

There is no admission fee to see these ruins – it’s open everyday from 9am – 5pm.

Wycoller and Wycoller Hall also became the site of several ghost stories. One such concerns the murder of the wife of one of the squires of the hall, one Simon Cunliffe.

 

During the reign of King Charles II, the squire and his hunt were pursuing a fox. The fox ran into the hall and up into the woman’s chamber.

The hounds pursued it and attacked it, with Simon Cunliffe riding his horse into the hall and up the stairs.

Wycoller Hall

Finding his wife terrified at the scene, he cursed her cowardice and raised his hunting crop as if to strike her. She then died of fright.

The squire is supposedly still seen at night returning to the hall, dressed in the costume of the early Stuart era.

The noise of his horse clattering across the bridge and up to the hall door, and then up the stairs can be heard, followed by a woman’s screams.

 

The ghost then returns the way he came. He supposedly is seen once a year, during stormy weather when darkness has fallen.

Wycoller Country Park has terrific reviews on TripAdvisor, a recent visitor said: “This is a beautiful park, with some stunning views and lovely Lancashire countryside.

Wycoller Hall

”The Atom monument is super arty, and is a really cool contrast against the countryside.”

Wycoller is a lovely place to explore – the village itself dates back to before the 10th century BC.

The Bronte way passes through here, leading to the Bronte sisters’ home in nearby Haworth, which is also well worth a visit.

 

The village is a conservation area, and is closed to outside traffic.

There is a car park on Trawden Road and another on the east side of the village opposite Height Laithe Farm on the road towards Haworth, and a public footpath takes you into the village.

Wycoller

Various ancient bridges cross Wycoller beck, which in summer is ideal for children to paddle in, including ‘Pack-Horse Bridge’, a twin arched bridge in the centre of the village, ‘Clapper Bridge’ and ‘Clam Bridge’.

The last is believed to be of Neolithic origin (at least, over 1,000 years old) and is listed as an ancient monument.

There are also two old converted barns in the village which are now information centres, a lovely cafe overlooking the beck serving delicious homemade food and selling local crafts and artwork.

A large duckpond is next to Wycoller hall and there is even a willow trail which meanders along the river.

If you would like to visit these ruins, and find the old worn-out steps, the address is: Wycoller Hall, Colne BB8 8SY.

Wycoller

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