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.




Wythenshawe Woodland Futures

The City of Trees project is working in Wythenshawe. Woodlands are a part of every neighbourhood and in fact the name Wythenshawe comes from Anglo-Saxon Withigensceaga meaning a small wood of withy (willow) trees - so woodland and trees are an important part of Wythenshawe’s history.

The three woodlands at the heart of the Woodland Futures project are Sandilands Wood, The Brundrit and Ash Wood. The project is seeking the help of local communities to preserve these areas that are vital for the wellbeing of both wildlife and the people living nearby.  We also want to make sure that the beautiful trees of Wythenshawe are around for the benefit of future generations. 

If you are interested in helping out, City of Trees would like to hear about what you think is important about your local woodland.  Hot drinks, tools and gloves all provided and no experience is necessary.

The next community morning is on:

Wednesday 13 December from 10 – 12noon

Meet at The Brundrit (corner of Rodger’s Park) Firbank road, M23 2YP

Contact Miranda on 0161 8721660 or or just turn up!



Northenden Hive is busy

The Northenden Hive, a pop-up retail project on the ground floor of 1 Church Road, has found favour with the local community. With an eclectic mix of stalls selling produce and handmade goods, the space has a slightly bohemian feel, and is providing a great atmosphere for both traders and customers.

The venture is managed by Northenden Neighbourhood Forum and backed by some start-up funding from Manchester City Council. This has enabled rates and insurance to be paid and start-up costs to be covered, but the project has to become viable through income from stall rental.

Traders can ‘pop-up’ on flexible terms from as little as one day. The project aims to encourage new or small traders to test their business ideas before hopefully moving into permanent high street retail premises.

Northenden Hive is open Wednesday to Friday from 11am to 6pm, and Saturday from 10am to 5pm. The space will also be used for demonstrations, workshops and special events.

Project manager Chelsea Campbell said: “Northenden has been crying out for this exciting project. The support and feedback so far has been overwhelming. We had an amazing opening week and we hope to continue to grow Northenden Hive into something positive for the community.

“We want to give local traders a great space in which to sell their products, while also creating a relaxing and inviting hub for people to browse and buy unique handmade products, to relax, meet with their friends and enjoy some food and drink.”


Success for open water swimmer from Wythenshawe

Alana Hedges from Wythenshawe, was one of few women to finish the challenging 1.8km Yangtze River race this year. Her team mate from the City of Manchester Swim Team, Ashley Hogg, finished an incredible 6th in the men’s race.

Alana went to Newall Green High School and is now at Edge Hill University studying nursing.  After learning to swim at the Forum, she moved to the Aquatics Centre in Manchester where she has been a member of the City of Manchester Swim Team.  

A specialist open water swimmer, Alana, whose inspiration was Rebecca Adlington, won silver in the 5km open water event at the 2016 British Championships.

Alana told Your Local Voice: “I do a lot of distance swimming, sometimes in rough conditions, so a river swim was ideal for me. We swam across the Yangtze River at Wuhan with other swimmers from around the world; it was a competitive swim. I found it really hard because the current was so strong but I managed to complete the crossing.”

On completion of her degree, Alana says she would like to return to the area and work at Wythenshawe Hospital or Central Manchester Hospital.


Bricklaying ceremony at UHSM's new A&E department

In a special ceremony, Wythenshawe and Sale East MP, Mike Kane, helped lay a commemorative stone to celebrate the £15m extension, which will improve patient care, alongside representatives from the Trust, developers, Interserve Construction and project managers Rider Hunt.

The new development will double the size of the existing emergency department to ensure Wythenshawe Hospital can continue to provide first class emergency treatment and care to patients, in bigger and better surroundings that meet increasing demands.

Improvements to the new facility at the hospital, part of University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), will include larger cubicles and treatment rooms. The two-storey building will also house two additional resuscitation bays, two new X-ray rooms, and the children’s emergency department will be significantly improved and expanded.

Silas Nicholls, chief executive at UHSM, said: “This is a major investment for the Trust and recognises the very specialist emergency care which we can offer to patients across south Manchester and Trafford. Once completed, this will be one of the most modern emergency departments in the UK, with the very latest facilities.

Wythenshawe and Sale East MP, Mike Kane, said; “I was delighted to visit Wythenshawe Hospital to see building work on this important extension to the emergency department really taking shape. 

The project will be delivered in three stages, with the first phase involving the construction of a new-build 2,000 square metre extension to the front of the existing department to provide major and minor injury areas, a waiting area and reception.

The second stage is an internal refurbishment to the existing department to provide a  resuscitation area, children’s emergency department and X-ray facilities, while the third phase concentrates on improvements to provide facilities for relatives, offices and seminar rooms. There are more than 200 rooms within the new development, including 46 treatment rooms and eight resuscitation rooms.


Real Lives

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