Bruntwood Hall

Stained Glass false ceiling in the Main Hall
This was a completely new experience for me- a pre-arranged guided tour around a building with the security guard, who turns out to be one of my friends that shall not be named. We rocked up late at night, expecting Bruntwood to be in darkness but the place was awash wish workers trying to hit their deadline for this new boutique hotel.

Bruntwood Hall was built in 1861 as a private mansion for John Douglas, a merchant from Bradford. It was used as Cheadle and Gatley Town Hall from 1944 to 1959. It was then sold a number of times, at points being one of the most successful racehorse stud farms in the North of England, and also home to a film production company and offices. The Hall has been empty for the last few years before being sold to the Oddfellows hotel group for about £1million. They have spent around £3.5million converting the hall into a 22 bedroom boutique hotel. Set in nearly 100 acres of public parkland, Bruntwood Park is a well used and valuable asset to the local community, and there was a fair amount of opposition to the building being used as a hotel.

Roof Turret
Tim Groom architects of Manchester have retained some of the original features, but unfortunately as is the case with the majority of these projects, many have been lost. It was nice to see 3 original ceilings, two fully restored, and the glass ceiling in the process of being cleaned. I would like to see this the ceiling again once this has been done, it will let so much more light into the hallway and staircase area. Speaking of the carved wooden staircase, which has done so well to survice nearly 160 years... sadly it has been completely wrecked with the addition of glass and steel banisters attached to the outside of the original wood. I guess this has to do with health and safety regulations, but there really is no need for it and looks awful!

We had a good couple of hours mooching around the place, stepping over workers sanding floors, painting ceilings and installing things, while trying not to get in the way. The basement seemed cavernous, with very little left to distinguish the old building's cellar. We were also lucky enough to be taken up to the roof turret which was still accessible from the new unfinished wedding suite via ladders up from the bathroom. I'm guessing they are not turning this into a feature, a massive trick missed there in my opinion.