25th February 2022
Hall road, Bramall, Stockport, SK7 3NX
Today I went to Bramall Hall. I initially thought it would be a quick and easy location to access because I’m not too far from Stockport. However, while the journey wasn’t horrendous, the transport links weren’t great. I caught the 192 bus to Stockport, and then the 379 to Bramall. There are three buses you can get from Stockport, but all of them only run once an hour so I had to wait a while for the first one to arrive. The good thing was I didn’t have to pay any extra for travel, because many Stockport buses are run by Stagecoach, so I just used my weekly bus pass.
Once I arrived, I just had to cross the large roundabout to get to the park. I decided to have a good gander around the woodland paths first before I went up to the hall. I followed the riverside trail that led through the woods and alongside a small lake. There was plenty of life, both wild and domesticated. Children were feeding ducks and geese on the edge of the lake, and it was a popular dog walking spot so there were lots of canines running around.
I made my way up to the hall to view the landscape below. After all that walking I was getting a bit peckish, so I headed to the café. I was given the option of sitting inside and having a traditional, restaurant-style meal, or sitting outside and ordering a quick lunch as a take away. I choose outside, I had to wait a bit, but finally I was able to tuck in to my soup and bread, brownie, and boozy hot chocolate.
After eating, I headed to the visitor centre. There, I bought a £5 ticket for a self-guided tour of Bramall Hall. At the entrance, I was given a floor plan to follow and began on the one way system tour. It was incredibly captivating, most of the hall was set up to imitate how the Victorian occupants had lived their everyday lives. Because the site dates back to the early medieval period, some of the rooms were in the original or Tudor style. Each room had an information plaque explaining their main uses, including notable people and relevant events. I watched two videos which went into detail on some of the more intriguing architectural articles of the hall. Unusually, they also placed pine cones on many of the chairs and beds. These were a novel replacement for ‘do not sit’ signs, as a lot of the furniture was old and fragile. I’m not sure how well it worked though!
I was lucky enough to have my Bramall Hall tour all to myself, and when I was done I decided to go home. I did manage to record this route on OS maps, and called it ‘Bramall Hall’. I marked it as moderate, and even though I stopped for a break, I feel like I walked for more than 45 minutes. I did walk 2.49km (1.5 miles).
Bramall Hall has a very interesting history. Over a thousand years ago it was two separate estates, owned by Anglo Saxons. After William the Conquerors’ invasion, it changed hands to Hamon de Massey (or ‘Masci). Two hundred years later, Matthew de Bromale took up the estate. One of his descendants married a Davenport, and the hall remained in the family for a whopping 500 years. The estate was finally sold in the 1800s to the Nevills, and by 1935 the Hazel Grove and Bramhall Urban district Council had taken possession of the mansion.
From the outside, Bramall Hall appears very Tudor in style, however, the Nevills made lots of renovations in their time to bring it up to Victorian standards. The park was their doing, and it’s still in the Victorian romantic style today. Many rooms inside were refurbished according to Victorian fashions of the time.
One room which managed to avoid a complete makeover was the solar room. This was a medieval family room for earlier inhabitants of the hall, and boarded up plastered walls had preserved their interior decorating. When the plaster walls were removed in modern times, fascinating Tudor murals were revealed underneath. These murals told many stories and painted many pictures, from moral messages encouraging observers to be good Christians, and nursery rhymes.
Links to the website used are listed below.