Aerial view provided by Google Earth
History Of The Building/Site
Archaeological evidence over the years seems to suggest that this building has been in existence from around the 12th century.
It is thought that on the site of the old hall as it stands now was a rectangular shaped building of wattle and daub with a turf roof.
This was used as a seminary for priests that worked for the local minster (this is now St Mary’s Church).
The first known manor house was built by the Sandboche family sometime in the 13th century.
This elizabethan manor house is probably one of the last of the black and white buildings to be built in England.
Not much is known after this time until after a number of fires when the house was rebuilt after the marriage of Matilda De leigh to John Radcliffe who was the son of Sir John Radcliffe of Ordsall.
The manor was built to resemble Sir Johns other property in Ordsall called Ordsall Hall situated in Salford.
In the 17th century after yet another fire the hall was refurbished by a builder whos initials are carved into a beam in the staircase, this reads “TB 1656”.
Two gables which made up part of the old hall are still in existence today and a major part of the structure of the building.
An extension was then added in the 18th century by a decendant of the Radcliffe family and the hall became known as “The Three Tuns Inn”.
History Of The Building/Site – Continued
In the 19th century the hall fell into the hands of Lord Crewe and another extension was added and became a coaching inn with stables at the rear of the inn.
This was the first time the building was known as a hotel.
During the second world war the hall was used as accomodation for american officers.
General Patton who was based in Knutsford used to visit the officers on a few occasions.
The stables were eventually sold due to a planning dispute in the middle of the 20th century.
The old hall as its now known is a grade 1 listed building.
The last use of the hall was a hotel establishment and had 13 en-suite bedrooms of which were 3 situated on the ground floor for ease of access for guests.
The hotel recently has been left to fall into a derelict state of disrepair by negligence of the recent owners.
Rot has started to set in from a deteriorating roof causing water to leak in.
Features Of The Building
The building has some lovely features inside. The timber for the frame of the building is said to come from the saxe-mondron forest near Nantwich in Cheshire. There are 2 jacobean fireplaces and the building also has a left handed spiral staircase.
More interestingly is the “priest hole” where Roman Catholic clergy would have hidden from fear of persecution. In the cellar is a tunnel that leads under the main road to St Mary’s Church altar opposite. The tunnel is believed to have been used by priests and was also used to smuggle girls into the coaching inn. A further tunnel is said to exist linking the old hall with the house on front street but it has not been found.
The old hall has lots of history that has managed to soak into the building over the years and the Hall has its fair share of resident ghosts.
Room 11 is reputed to be the most haunted room in the building.
A 90 year old lady sits in a rocking chair by the bed.
The lady is said to of died from a heart attack around 200 years ago in room 11.
People have sensed a presence in the room and objects are said to be moved around in here.
A number of guests have jumped out of the room 11 bed at 3 am, they report they felt that the bed was on fire and that they just had to get out of the room, this could be due to the history of the fires in the building.
The spirits of two young girls who died at the age of 12-13 and believed to be young prostitutes brought into the hotel for gentlemen’s pleasure when the building was a coaching inn in the 19th century and have been seen throughout the hotel.
They are said to have scared a chef from the building by arranging his knives in the kitchen area.
Some of the wood paneling for the hotel was taken from the nearby Haslington Hall.
When it was removed, the skeleton of a baby was found behind the paneling.
It is believed a grey lady walks the building looking for her baby.
Sir John Radcliffe who was the original owner of the old hall rattles door latches and moves things around in the bar area.
The Bee Keeper lady is one of the more regular ghostly visitors.
She walks from the front door towards the stairs.
The attic was once the servants quarters and spirits have been sensed in here.
The spirits that are in the attic are said to come from both the existing building and the mansion that burnt down before.
Many of these spirits are believed to be those who died in the fire.