The History of Baguley Hall

Standing in the middle of Wythenshawe, Baguley Hall is a spectacular early 14th century hall on a site lived in since Anglo-Saxon times which was still a working farm until the 1930s.

One of the most important timber framed houses in Europe, it was saved by public petition fifty years ago, when Wythenshawe’s MP Alf Morris urged Parliament to save “one of the finest timber buildings in Europe, and of outstanding historical and architectural importance, whose demolition would be emphatically contrary to the best interests of Manchester and Great Britain as a whole.” 

But the hall remains closed, though there are still hopes it can be turned into a resource for the community and an education centre for schools. 

TV historian Michael Wood presented the story of the site before William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book in 1086, to an audience at Forum Library.

He brought it to life with medieval farming documents and 17th Century wills, which tell us about people’s lives before Wythenshawe became part of Manchester. The story led on to Wythenshawe’s social history, and the development of the estate in the 1950s. 

Michael Wood grew up in Wythenshawe and went to Benchill Primary School. He is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester and is the author of many books and over a hundred TV documentaries, the most recent being last year’s Story of China on BBC2.

The event was arranged in partnership with Wythenshawe Local History Group, Manchester Libraries and Manchester Museum.




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