Visitors to Astley Park will soon start to see major work taking place to renovate Astley Hall after planning permission was granted for major renovations.
We will be transforming the Grade I listed building to preserve it for future generations
The planning application includes proposals for vital renovations to the exterior and interior of the iconic hall, plus work to enhance the visitor experience, and was granted consent in early October.
Councillor Peter Wilson, Deputy Leader of Chorley Council said "We're thrilled that consent has been granted as we are keen to get this much needed restoration work started.
"It will not only preserve the hall for future generations, it will improve the visitor journey and experience, so that even more people can learn about the history of the hall and those that lived there over the years."
Over the last few months, specialist contractors have been carrying out the necessary surveys and discussions on materials to be used ahead of the work expected to start in the New Year. Over the next few months, the hall will be prepared by derigging its collections and implementing measures to protect its unique features.
This exciting renovation work will include removal of the hall's iconic external render to expose the original brick work, replacement of the ground floor windows and repair of the upper floor leaded windows to the front of the hall, reinforcement of the main wooden staircase inside as well as some work to remap the visitor journey around the hall.
Councillor Wilson continued "It's necessary to remove the render as it's not in a good state, however the hall wasn't built with this and we can't wait to see what it looks like when we reveal the original brick work.
"At the moment we don't know whether the brick work will be OK or whether we'll need to render."
"The hall has over 400 years of fascinating history therefore there are bound to be some exciting discoveries along the way, which we can't wait to share with everyone."
In addition, a new gift shop, which is being created in the ground floor of the Coach House building is expected to open over winter, and will complement the hall by stocking locally sourced gifts associated with the hall's history.
Throughout the renovation work, the existing businesses in the Coach House and Farmhouse (Café Ambio and Barrica in the Park) will remain open as usual. Visitors to the park can also enjoy the British Wildlife Photography Awards Exhibition, which is a unique outdoor exhibition on display now until March 2021.