Reddish Vale Country Park
Reddish Vale Country Park
Wood Hall Farm, west range from the north-west, 1966
(Stockport Local Heritage
Wood Hall on Johnson’s map of the parish of Manchester, surveyed 1818-19,
Wood Hall surveyed 1845 (Lancashire sheet 112, published
Wood Hall surveyed 1892-3 (Lancashire sheets CXXII.5 & 9, published 1893 & 1895).
South-west corner of Wood Hall Farm, 1965 (Stockport Local Heritage Library).
Nickie's Pond, named after Aaron Nixon?
Research text, photographs and maps courtesy of
The Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit.
Wood Hall was the centre of an ancient freehold estate in Reddish, situated on high ground on the western edge of the Tame valley. ‘Wode Hall’ is documented in 1501/2, at which date it was owned by the Wood family. They owned land in Reddish in 1314 when there is mention of Henry del Wood, implying that there was a hall here by that date. It is likely that the Wood family took their name from the place which was itself named after an area of woodland. 19th-century maps show the hall set within a roughly oval area, which is suggestive of a small medieval assart or enclosure, reclaimed from woodland or waste.
By 1593 Wood Hall seems to have passed into the ownership of Richard Holland of Denton Hall, who leased it to a William Nicholson. In the 17th century Wood Hall was the home of the Stanley family, two members of whom took opposite sides in the Civil War. Edward Stanley took part in the Parliamentarian defence of Manchester in 1642 and died from wounds he received there. Henry Stanley of Wood Hall later had to pay to recover his estate which had been confiscated after he had taken up arms for the Royalist cause. In 1666 Wood Hall was possibly the residence of Robert Walker. In the Hearth Tax returns of that year he was assessed for seven hearths or fireplaces, a figure consistent with a moderate size hall. In the 1820s Samuel Jowett, gent, lived at Wood Hall.
Mapping of the early to mid-19th century shows two main building complexes at the site. On the west was an L-shaped block which is shown on the Reddish tithe map of 1846 as an outbuilding of the hall but is named on later mapping as Wood Hall Farm. The hall itself stood to the east of this and comprised a squarish block with
extensions to the north. There was also a small detached building to the north-east of the farm range.
Between 1845 and 1892/3 these buildings were all enlarged. The hall was extended by additions on both the west and east sides of the main block, to create a new southern façade. During the same period, a wing was added on the east side of the farm buildings and the smaller outbuilding was also extended, so as almost to enclose the farmyard.
There are no known illustrations or photographs of the hall. Photographs of the farm show that its north-west wing contained a two-storey farmhouse with a central gabled porch on its west elevation. The west end of the south wing comprised a two-storey brick building which may have been stables with a hayloft above.
In the 1840s and early 1850s James Sheppard or Shepherd, a corn dealer, lived at Wood Hall as the tenant of the heirs of the Reverend William Fox. Later censuses show Thomas Hill, a land surveyor, here in 1861 and 1871. James Ashworth, a farmer of 28 acres, was also living here in 1861, by which date Wood Hall Farm must have been established as a separate entity to the hall. Later in the 19th century the hall was the residence of John Walthew, a Stockport cotton manufacturer. By 1891 Wood Hall Farm was home to Aaron Nixon, farmer.
In 1938 the property was sold by Robert Marsden to Stockport Corporation. Wood Hall was demolished prior to 1960. The farm buildings were demolished in about 1974