Lytham Hall 1764 ale from Lytham Brewery
l-r: Marianne Blaauboer; James Booker, Lytham Brewery; Amy Hannan, John Norcross
Bluebells at Lytham Hall in Spring
Claire Grierson, Lytham St Annes High Technology and Performing Arts College
Joe Curran, Blackpool 6th Form College
Photos from local students who entered the Lytham Hall Photography Competition.
I just thought I’d write and let you know about something I found out this weekend.
My friends and I were passing the gates of Lytham Hall on Ballam Road in Lytham and we noticed that there was a sign up saying the Hall and tea room were open – so we went to have a look.
We were a bit pushed for time, so we didn’t manage to go round the Hall. But we did go in the tea room, which I have to say was very nice. There’s a proper chef and plenty of helpers in the tea room, so we decided to stop for a bite to eat. The chef told us that the tea room is open every day except Saturday – I didn’t know that!
We had a very nice hot lunch, though from the menu I could see there was a choice of sandwiches, soup and ‘specials’ too. The cakes were too delicious to resist, so we didn’t – but that didn’t matter, because we were able to have a walk round the grounds afterwards to walk it off!
It was a tough choice, but we decided not to go back in the tea room after our walk for a cuppa, in case we had to have another cake.
What was really nice was that there wasn’t all the noise and being squashed up together that you find in other town centre cafes. We could hear ourselves talk instead of having to try to hear over everyone else’s chatter, which made a nice change.
I’ll admit that the walk up the drive is a bit long, but cars and taxis can go right up to the Hall or if need be round the back to where the tea room is. My friends and I are going to go during the week now we know it’s open. I think it’s open from 10:30 until about 3:00pm – something like that.
The toast was to 1764!
For that’s the year that Lytham Hall’s Georgian façade was built – and it was also the name of the highly successful hand-pulled ale – brewed to celebrate the mansion’s 250th birthday.
The beer proved to be a best seller across the Fylde, Lancashire and beyond last summer – with some 7,000 pints of Lytham Hall 1764 sunk at pubs, clubs and beer festivals.
And as the big-hearted brewery generously pledged to donate £5 for every one of the barrels sold, that meant that director James Booker was recently able to hand over a bumper £500 cheque for Hall renovation funds.
The micro-brewery, based in Lord Street, St Annes, also donated firkins of the beer to the Hall’s popular café – meaning that the full price of a pint sold on the premises could go to hall repairs – amounting to a further £1,000.
James said: “ The beer proved very popular Hall’s official birthday celebrations and CAMRA also featured it at their Beer Festival at Lowther Pavilion, Lytham. We were only too happy to help such a worthy cause.”
Hall Activity Plan Officer Marianne Blaauboer who accepted the brewery cheque, added : “When we approached Lytham Brewery with the idea of an ale to celebrate 250 years since finishing the Georgian hall, we didn’t think it would be such a success. The beer was absolutely delicious and we felt very proud to see it on sale in regional pubs.”
The special ale undoubtedly increased Lytham Hall ’s profile – with work set to start in earnest on the interior and exterior of the hall as part of a £5.9m restoration project later this year. Visitors have already seen a huge difference in the historic parkland with extensive work on the woodlands, gardens and Mount.
John Miller, Chief Executive of Heritage Trust for the North West, the charity managing Lytham Hall, concluded: “With local businesses such as Lytham Brewery taking an interest in the preservation and restoration of Lytham Hall, we know the future of the Hall is looking bright. We welcome any other business who has an idea of supporting the Hall in the coming years and thank Lytham Brewery for their fantastic gesture.”
Why not take the dog or plan a family bike ride along the impressive hall drive to the former seat of the Squires of Lytham, the Clifton family.
The extensive grounds of historic Lytham Hall are open - free of charge – during the week, so you can explore the parkland, which is a registered biological heritage site comprising of semi-natural woodland, two ponds and grassland.
There is a small charge on Sundays, when the Georgian hall is also open for guided tours at 12pm and 2pm. The highly popular tea room, with many volunteer helpers, is also open during the week and on Sunday. The hall, grounds and tea room are closed on Saturdays for Private Functions.
Everyone knows about Blackpool Tower - fewer know about Lytham Hall - they're the two Grade I listed buildings here on the Fylde Coast.
It's the only 'stately home' on the Fylde coast and it is owned by local charity Lytham Town Trust. It is managed by regional charity Heritage Trust for the North West.
It is also the only wooded community resource left on the Fylde coast. And for good measure, it also has a number of grade II listed buildings on the estate.
The Lytham Hall year starts in January with Snowdrop Sundays - more here.
There is plenty to enjoy walking around the grounds from a wonderful abundance of Blue Bells, Forget-me-not’s and blossom as well as plenty of wildlife, including birds nesting, hares ‘boxing’ and lambs playing in the fields.
Blossom at Lytham Hall in Spring
Lytham Hall grounds are open to the public every Monday to Friday (free of charge) and Sunday (Charges Apply).
Grounds Open/Timings: 10.00am to 4.30pm
Guided tours of the Hall available on Sunday at 12pm and 2pm (charges apply) and free flow on Thursday and Friday between 1-4pm, from 9 April until the end of October
Sunday parkland Admission: £1 per Adult / 50p per Child (please note charges may vary dependent on Event)
Hall Admission: £5 per Adult / £2.50 per Child
Lytham Hall Tea Room is open serving Hot and Cold Food on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Fridays & Sunday
I'm Linda, and I'm a volunteer with Lytham Hall and I'd like to take you on a little guided tour. Not wishing to over-emphasise its importance our local heritage (that being the Fylde coast's heritage) it is in the top 2.5% of national listed buildings and considered 'at risk' by the likes of English Heritage - it needs our help and support.
The grounds of the Hall (80 acres of mature parkland) are open throughout the year - please check times and availability with the Hall before travelling.
The grounds are open to the public every Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 4.30pm.
The Tea Room is open serving Hot and Cold Food from Monday to Friday, and Sundays.
The Hall is on Thursday and Friday between 1pm and 4pm for free flow – this starts 9 April and will continue until the end of October.
Admission: parkland free of charge mid week, admission to Hall £5 per adult and £2.50 per child.
Enjoy a stroll around the wonderful grounds of Lytham Hall and enjoy the spring flowers that are starting to appear. The Tea Room is open serving Hot and Cold Food
Grounds Open: 10.00am to 4.30pm
Hall Open: by guided tour only at 12pm and 2pm
Admission to parkland: £1 per Adult / 50p per Child (please note charges may vary dependent on Event)
Admission to Hall: £5 per Adult / £2.50 per Child
The main gates are on Ballam Road, Lytham or weekdays there is pedestrian only access via Forest Drive Lytham (cunningly hidden in the undergrowth near the 'Hole in One' public house).
The Hall, parkland and tea room are closed to the public on Saturdays for private functions - anyone can hire the grounds and/or Hall for their wedding/ civil ceremony/posh dinner do/whatever (contact the Hall estate office for information, costs and catering options on 01253 736652).
Opening the Hall to the public helps it to 'earn its keep' .... which is not inconsiderable, with annual heating costs and insurance alone exceeding in the region of £20k - let's not go anywhere near what it costs to run and maintain the place!
Lytham Hall is a registered Charity, owned by Lytham Town Trust - LTT (another Charity), managed by Heritage Trust for the North West - HTNW (yet another Charity) and supported by... guess what.... Friends of Lytham Hall... you'll never believe this... another Charity!
Not only did the Squire(s) of Lytham own the remaining estate, but much of the surrounding area. All along the coast there are 'Talbot' and 'Clifton' references - pubs, road names and many more - such was the influence of the family.
A quick bit of history about the Hall (though this is best gained by a visit on a Sunday when the volunteer-led tours take place during the afternoon - charges apply) - the site dates back to 12th Century, when the naughty monks of Durham were exiled to Lytham - there are still bits of the Monastery on the estate. With the Dissolution of the monasteries some 400 years later, the estate reverted to the Crown, before being passed through several pairs of hands and then being bought by the 'Colourful Clifton's' (a right rum bunch they were too!) who held it - along with several other estates in this country and Ireland - until the mid-1960's. When the family hit dire-straits it was sold and Guardian Royal Exchange, the Insurance people, owned it until 1996.
When GRE decided to off-load it, Lytham Town Trust was formed to buy the remaining bit of the estate (much having previously been sold off to repay the Clifton's gambling debts!) for the community and protect it from the developers. A generous donation of about £1 million was made by BAe to secure the property, but this did not include any income to maintain it.... not a comfortable position to be in!
HTNW joined forces with LTT, the outcome of which was the submission of a bid in March 2011 to the Lottery Heritage Fund for money to do essential maintenance work and begin the process of developing the Hall into a tourist attraction to encourage more people to visit Lytham and the surrounding areas.
The main gates on Ballam road are a stone throw from Lytham Station served by the Blackpool South-Preston line and buses 68/11/7 stop about 5 minutes walk away. There are trails through the woodland, ponds and an abundance of flora and fauna - all unspoilt, 'au naturel' and largely as nature intended - except where we have put in paths for buggies and where car parks have been allocated including designated spaces for mobility users.
Lytham Hall welcomes school parties for tours of the Hall and play in the park during the week, subject to prior arrangement with the estate office - very reasonable charges apply. The prior arrangement bit is as much about 'Safeguarding children' issues as anything, as there are also conferences on from time to time in the West Wing conference facilities (these being available for anyone to hire during the working week).
Finally, Lytham Hall also welcomes groups for tours of the Hall (with or without catered options - charges apply) during the week. Age is no barrier (for baby and toddler groups to grannies and granddads), and the Hall is 'disability-friendly’ (well, in so far as it is possible to be with an ancient building, when such issues were not given paramount consideration!)
So, all in all, if you'd like to see history coming to life, then a trip to Lytham Hall is well worth it!
You can find out more about Lytham Hall from their own website at www.lythamhall.co.uk
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