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A Worsley hall being renovated by a local businessman holds fascinating tales of highwaymen, Norman knights and even demonic possession.

History With Flynn


Tony Wallwork acquired the derelict Kempnough Hall which lies tucked away in Roe Green close to Worsley woods, from Peel Holdings in December 2014. 

Once the ancestral home of Norman knight Elias de Workesley (from whom the name Worsley is derived), the hall has been the home of aristocratic families across the centuries and it is even reported that Elizabethan courtier John Dee - the celebrated mathematician, astrologer and occult philosoper - exorcised demons from the seven members of the Starkey family here. 

Tony paid £580,000 for the house and by his reckoning has spent a further £320,000 on renovations to bring it up to the guidelines set out by English Heritage. 

Pottery pulled from a 13th century ditch within the grounds indicates that an estimated 800-year history of Kempnough Hall is correct. 

Tony told SalfordOnline.com:



"We lived at the back of the hall for several years and when it came onto the market, we decided to sell our house and renovate it back to its former glory. 

"When we first looked at the property which had lain empty for four years, it was a complete mess, with plasterwork and wattle and daub hanging off the ceilings, we knew that we had a big job on our hands. 

"We have done a lot of historical research into the house and its previous inhabitants and have uncovered some intriguing stories. 

"Our excavation work unearthed an oak witching post inscribed with a perfect circle and eight pointed stars to ward off evil. 

"We also unearthed a wattle and daub Tudor Rose which dates back to the 16th Century. 

"Research has shown that on this site has stood a pharmacy and an ale house, where legend has it that highwaymen would come to sell their ill gotten gains, sadly I haven't found any yet!" 

"We have been told that Queen Victoria passed the hall when she visited Worsley in 1851, and went for a walk through the woods which meant that she would have had to walk past the house, sadly we have no record of her calling in, which would have been marvellous for us. 

"We have had to completely rip out and restore lots of plasterwork, amazingly many original oak beams are still in the house, which we have cleaned up and protected and they should last another five centuries. 

"We also unearthed a timber frame hall which had lain hidden behind the wattle and daub plasterwork for centuries, these are all really exciting finds. 

"It was on the market as having planning permission for four houses, however with the weight of history behind us we shall lovingly restore it and make it a family home which is what is should be." 


Tony's restoration work has attracted much attention from passers-by and local schoolchildren, so much so that he has installed two large history boards outside the building detailing the history of Kempnough Hall and what the finished project will look like. 

The restoration work should be completed in early March 2015.

This article first appeared on SalfordOnline on the 26th January 2015, it is republished here with the blessings of its author Tony Flynn a man possessed by the spirits and the odd pint. 

Camera work by Young Tom Rodgers

Tony Flynn

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