This beautiful and impressive Jacobean country house today lies hidden amongst wild, tree-filled grounds. It was built in 1608 by the Bankes on land owned by the family since 1593. It would later pass through several families until coming under the ownership of Lord Lilford II. The family moved out just before the turn of the century but to this day the house remains in the Lord Lilford estates.
Bank Hall, though leased out, continued to be a major local employer boasting a small army of staff. It also remained at the centre of county and village life, a venue for local social events, as well as for hosting grand entertainments for VIP visitors which included the Aga Khan. During the Second World War the house was requisitioned for use by the army.
The Grade II* listed house was vacated in 1962 and has remained empty ever since, Despite the attentions of thieves who have stripped away many of the original features, this exceptional house retains its air of magnificence and has huge potential for development. The hall has attracted a growing number of visitors to the site recently and a grant application is ongoing.
VICTORIA BATHS - Manchester
Date of building: 1902
In June 1902, City Architect Henry Price took on the responsibility for managing the construction of one of the most splendid municipal bathing institutions in the country. No expense was spared, with lavish use of stained glass and ornate tiling around the three pools, 64 wash baths, and Turkish and Russian baths.
At the time of construction very few of the houses in the area had bathrooms, so the slipper baths or wash-baths were a vital amenity, providing the locals with the rare opportunity for a real bath. Victoria Baths even boasts an Aerotone, a precursor of the Jacuzzi, which was fitted in 1952.
When the Lord Mayor opened the building in September 1906 he described it as a "water palace" of which "every citizen of Manchester was proud". However, in 1993 the Grade II* Listed baths were closed amidst much local protest.
Listing: Grade 2*
Date of building: 1580
The Graham clan were notorious mercenaries who didn't mind which side of the law they made their money on. When they were banished from Scotland around 1516 they settled in the border area becoming "border reivers" - outlaws operating on the outskirts of land patrolled by the monarch's men. It is likely that Fergus Graham of Mote purchased Brackenhill from Sir Thomas Dacre sometime after 1561 passing the property on to his third son, Richard (Ritchie) around the 1580s.
The tower is of Scottish vernacular design yet set in England illustrating the dual personality of the land at this period in history. Following the union of the Scottish and English crowns under James I the influence of the reivers began to fade, but it still took ten years for the area to be brought fully under the control of Great Britain.
Today this Grade II* listed the building, which is currently in private ownership awaiting planning consent, is in a very perilous condition. Dry rot has collapsed the floors and only a part of the roof remains. The tower's new owner was inspired to purchase the property after its appearance on Restoration.
Some of the other rather spiffing shows available now and always if you signup free @ www.TheBox.bz:
Comedy: The Office, Peep Show, Coupling, Chef, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, Nathan Barley, Young Ones, Monty Python, Blackadder, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Coupling, Little Britain, Mr Bean, Extras, Green Wing, Mighty Boosh
Drama: Casualty, Holby City, The Bill, Hustle, Skins, Shameless, Ashes To Ashes
Game/Quiz Shows: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Have I Got News For You, Deal Or No Deal (UK), Q.I.
Education/Documentary: Planet Earth, Horizon, Panorama, Mark Thomas (Comedy) Product
Food: Hell's Kitchen, Jamie Oliver, The F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, Great British Menu, Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong
Home/Property/Garden: Property Ladder, How Clean Is Your House?, Changing Rooms, Grand Designs, Homes Under The Hammer, To Buy Or Not To Buy
Motoring: Top Gear, Fifth Gear
Music: Top Of The Pops, Jools Holland, Glastonbury
Reality: Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here!, Any Dream Will Do, Grease, Pop Idol, Wife Swap, X Factor, Badger Or Bust, Apprentice UK, Dragons' Den, Britain's Got Talent
Sci-Fi: Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Torchwood, Primeval
Sport: Football (Soccer), Cricket, Rugby, Snooker, Darts, Formula One (F1GP)