Share your memories of Haigh Hall
Haigh Vestibule conversation
Residents are invited to share their memories of Haigh Hall and dreams for the future during a month-long conversation.
As part of this year’s local Heritage Opens Days activity the conversation will take place in the Vestibule of Haigh Hall every weekend, including Fridays, from Friday 17 September until Sunday 10 October between 11am – 3pm.
Visitors will be able to bring old memorabilia with them including photographs to help capture a new archive of the Hall’s past and present. They will also be asked what their hopes and dreams are for the future of the Grade II listed building.
The Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: "Most Wiganers will have a tale or two to tell about the hall or the plantations and we’re looking forward to hearing them. Their stories and ideas will not only help us on our journey to restoring the hall to its former glory but will capture and put on record a very important moment in time for future generations.”
Working with various experts and utilising the borough’s own archive collection, Al and Al, Creative Directors for the Haigh Hall project, have been busy researching 900 years of heritage at the hall to help inform its restoration.
As part of the conversation, a new film - The A to Z of Haigh Hall, has been produced to showcase the ongoing research which will inspire conversation as visitors sit around the table in the former families dining room.
Al and Al said: “The 9th Century at Haigh will be remembered as a glorious new century by future generations. We have a unique opportunity at Haigh Hall to create a wonderful environment of magical experiences and make a sustainable future together.
"Haigh has extraordinary stories to tell us about our past, from the Legend of Lady Mabel and her Knight in shining armour, to the Prince and Princess of Wales opulent stay at the Hall during their visit to formally open the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.
"You might have photographs or videos no-one has ever seen of your day at the legendary Verve gig in 1998, or you remember riding the Land train from the plantation gates up to the hall to visit the animals at Haigh Zoo.
"You may have even had relatives who worked deep in the earth as miners or forged a new future in the fires of the iron Foundry. Whatever it is, we want to hear from you as we create the next chapter in Haigh Hall’s extraordinary heritage story."
Al and Al have been conducting important research into the hall over the summer.
They added: “Studying old photographs captured inside the hall we have been able to do some detective work and identify some of the unbelievable cultural treasures and collections which were once here in Haigh Hall now in major museum collections, libraries and cathedrals around the world.
"From the Intercession of Christ which once hung over the fireplace in the vestibule at Haigh which is now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, to the majestic Madonna and Child oil painting by Bicci Di Lorenzo in the library which is now in Westminster Abbey.
"The family had Rembrandts and Botticellis, the largest private library in Europe equal to the Medici family. During war in the 20th Century the family converted rooms into hospital wards where wounded soldiers convalesced surrounded by wonderful Renaissance masterpieces! Haigh Hall is a unique place with a magnificent heritage which we want every visitor to experience and be enriched by. Help us to create a new plan by sharing your own personal history and ideas and be part of the future of Haigh Hall.”
A scanner will be available to record any items visitors are happy to contribute to the new collection and video and audio facilities will be used to capture any stories of the past, and ideas for the future.
Posted on Wednesday 8th September 2021