12 September 2023

In her latest blog Venture Arts artist Louise Hewitt leaves behind the galleries of Manchester and visits an historic house in Salford…

Louise is passionate about art and culture, visiting Manchester’s wealth of museums and galleries to gain inspiration for her own art and to write her bi-monthly Venture Arts blog. 

A woman stood in front of the old wooden door of a historic house.

Louise Hewitt outside Ordsall Hall.

Ordsall Hall is a Tudor period historic hall and museum located in Salford. This beautiful, hidden little gem brings history back to life. Ordsall Hall dates all the way back to 1177 and has been many things in its lifetime: a family home, working mens club and a church hall.

I chose to visit Ordsall Hall as I volunteer at Old Trafford Wellbeing Centre as a Creative Writing Workshop Facilitator, and was taking my group there as our current themed project is based on Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors.

What I found interesting was the way you walk around the Hall and get a glimpse into Tudor life. It gave me ideas for my creative writing project and inspired my writing. I especially enjoyed looking at the beautiful Tudor wall tapestry hanging in the Great Hall. What I liked about it was the pattern design and bright colours they used. To see bright colours was rather surprising as I thought most Tudor architecture and furniture of the time was plain, large, dark and very dull.

The other thing I really enjoyed was the way they use voice recordings so that ghostly voices come from the kitchen. That sent quivers down my spine!

This visit didn’t result in me creating any new visual artwork, however, it did inspire me to write a short story called, A Haunted Tudor Hall.


A mock up of an old Tudor kitchen.

Ordsall Hall was a perfect setting for my spooky tale, with its eerie Tudor kitchen and spooky voices. You can read the tale at the end of this blog (if you're feeling brave enough!).

Accessibility inside the museum was very good, they had good signs and a disabled lift. The grounds around the Hall are lovely and well kept with plenty of flat safe surfaces to walk around.

Public transport to the venue is good, however there is about a twenty minute walk from the nearest tram station to the venue. If you have a car there is a car park you can use.

The cafe experience at Ordsall Hall was a delight, very peaceful and very calming. I had some spiced pumpkin cake, with a cup of tea and my friend had the St Clements orange cake and said it was delicious. Fairly priced as well and the customer service from the staff was excellent.

My overall thoughts of the museum are that it is a great place for anyone to come and visit and experience a fun and interesting way to learn about Tudor life. I liked the recorded sounds around the kitchen and pantry, making it feel scary and spooky, with a bit of mystery and suspense about the place.

Visit the Ordsall Hall website to find out what’s on at the moment.


A table laid with some cups and saucers and plates with two slices of cake.

Ordshall Hall is open Monday – Thursday 10am – 4pm
Friday and Saturday – Closed, Sunday 11am – 4pm.

Entrance to the house is free.

A Haunted Tudor Hall
By Louise Hewitt

My Spooky tale begins on the day I decided to visit Ordsall Hall and it looks quaint and peaceful to the outside and very welcoming to visitors, but as I began walking about this quirky maze of a house, I felt an unease and unusual presence about the hall. As though there is a section of this old Tudor house that is haunted by ghosts. Rumour has it that in this old Tudor house there is a ghost of a white lady that roams around the hall.

Everything in the home appears normal and happy as though you get to see different periods of the house. When you move to older parts of the house, which goes as far back as the 13th century, you feel as though something is not right and feels incredibly spooky, chilling, thrilling and scary at the same time.

It is as though I am walking to the next room in this house, it feels as though I am hearing the sounds of a loud, busy and well staffed kitchen, then as I enter the kitchen part of the Tudor house, all seems quiet. Was I dreaming and imagining those sounds I heard just before I entered this room? As I begin to look around and take a picture of this room and walk about this very large open kitchen everything appears normal, as if it was laid out ready to be served in the great hall. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere you hear the sounds of invisible servants giving out orders in the kitchen as though they are getting ready to serve a huge dinner party in the hall and sound of strange weird dishes such as Peacock Pie and Deer Crust pastry.

As I stand still as though I am frozen in time, listening to these sounds in the kitchen I feel a rather chilling sensation down my spine, as though I hear voices of the past still living and doing their day to day chores in the kitchen, as though to them it is still 1700, when it is in fact the 21st century. How weird and creepy.

The scary and unusual sensation soon wears off when I realise that these ghostly voices of people of the past haven’t hurt me or even sensed I am here.  When I am walking around it is now  rowdy and busy. The kitchen sounded as though they don’t have a care in the world as though two worlds are passing by, them in the spirit world and me living my everyday life in the living world. I thought this is one very spooky Tudor kitchen and decided I need to take a look around and see how far this spooky atmosphere goes.

That’s when I came to what looked like a normal pantry with birds, fish, meat and cheeses hanging in the racks, ready to serve. Then suddenly as I was thinking this might make a good picture to draw all of a sudden noises starting coming flying out of the pantry as if there were even more ghostly voices than before, as though suddenly parts of the kitchen where stuck in different parts of the day and that made this place feel even more creepy. The voices now start to feel a little overwhelming, it was time to move on. Time to work out which time frame for each kitchen. The spooky pantry of the kitchen sounds like the early hours of morning and the sounds in the main spooky kitchen sound like during the late evening of some giant gala festival.

That has got to be one of the most chilling experiences of my life, definitely worth the spooky visit. I always assumed the Tudor period was rather spooky and creepy and not the most safe time to be alive in either.

Well these cheeky ghosts certainly know how to keep visitors on their toes and I say having some rather friendly ghosts is a unique attraction. I say friendly as they don’t seem to bother either the staff or the volunteers. Thank goodness. That’s one creative and spooky way of bringing Tudor history back to life. Best, spookiest experience I have had when it comes to bringing history back to life and that was really fun.

The End

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