- client / site location:
- Viaduct, Stockport
- Feasibility stage
- value and scheme:
- £1.5M+. Grade II listed conversion into Twelve – 1 & 2 bed apartments
Woodbank Hall is designated Grade II* status in the English Heritage Register of British Listed Buildings. It lies within Woodbank Memorial Park, a public park forming part of the designated Green Belt between Stockport and Lower Bredbury, approximately 1.5 miles east of Stockport town centre. Part of the park forms a recognised site of biological importance and local nature reserve (Woodbank Memorial Park), whilst to the west, the adjoining Vernon Park has been granted Grade II status in the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The Hall is located adjacent to the Etherow Goyt Valley Way, a 15 mile recreation footpath along the River Etherow linking Vernon and Woodbank Memorial Parks with the Longdendale Trail in the Peak District.
Woodbank Hall was designed by Thomas Harrison, a well renowned C19th architect and Greek revivalist and built between 1812 and 1814 for Peter Marsland a local textile manufacturer and industrialist. The Marsland family were instrumental in the development of the textile industry and provision of a public water supply to the people of Stockport in the late C18th and early C19th, a time when Stockport’s mill owners built empires and established homes which signified their emergent wealth and social position. The Marsland family lived in the hall with their managed gardens surrounded by farmland until the estate was bought by Alderman Sir Thomas Rowbotham in 1921, following which the house and land was bequeathed to Stockport Council in memory of the Stockport men who fell in World War 1.
The Hall was restored in 1930 and until the end of World War 2 was used as a museum of Rural Life and Fine Art, following which it was closed to the public and used as offices, a grounds maintenance depot and caretaker’s flat. From the time of it’s closure to the public up to the present day, the house has suffered neglect through lack of maintenance.
On behalf of Stockport Council, we were commissioned by Viaduct Developments to undertake a capacity and feasibility design study for the Hall and the site. Aware of it’s listed status and the need for significant restoration, this was to include 1 and 2 bed affordable apartments for part sale with designated parking within curtilage. This has been achieved through sensitive intervention with minimal and for the most part, no superstructure or existing aperture modification, providing apartments ranging from 48-72 sq.m GIFA. Spaces of exceptional interest, including the Entrance Hall/staircase have been integrated and thus sensitively preserved within the proposals.
We now await the findings of other third party surveys and cost and feasibility appraisals.