Victorian-era Greater Manchester hall targeted by vandals after council pledge repairs

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The hall dates back to 1814 and has fallen into a state of disrepair

A historic hall was targeted by vandals following a council’s pledge to make repairs. A member of Stockport Heritage Trust claimed they saw a group of people causing damage to Grade II-listed Woodbank Hall on Sunday, June 2 between 7.45pm and 8pm.

They said they heard ‘a loud banging noise’ and saw ‘debris strewn around the front’, as well as smashed windows. They claimed they saw youths running away.

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The incident was reported to Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Woodbank Hall, which dates back to 1814, had fallen into a state of disrepair when the council offered a £250,000 funding package last year to try to save the abandoned building.

Woodbank Hall in Stockport. Picture taken by Stockport Heritage TrustWoodbank Hall in Stockport. Picture taken by Stockport Heritage Trust
Woodbank Hall in Stockport. Picture taken by Stockport Heritage Trust | LDRS

John Fidler, a former conservation director, questioned why the repairs haven’t yet been completed. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “The weatherproofing and security works still have not been expedited.

“Stockport Heritage Trust and other local groups are pressing the council to act quickly to secure the premises, install burglar alarms and instigate fast park security responses.”

Stockport council, which declined to comment, is understood to have taken steps to protect the building after the recent incident. That includes a constant security presence; boarded lower level windows; and blocked entry and exit points.

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Repairs to the roof are due to take place this summer, if listed-building consent is granted. The Stockport Heritage Trust member added: “I witnessed a police van, sirens sounding, hurtling towards the park as I left.

“A lady we talked to near the duck pond called council security, who informed her they were aware of the vandalism, but they had already been out to it.”

GMP was contacted for comment.

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