History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The Hall passed through several hands, and at one point served as a boarding school for girls, until in 1862 it was purchased by Joseph Harrison. Harrison was a friend of author Charles Dickens, and Dickens is known to have stayed at Samlesbury on at least one occasion. Harrison fell deeply into debt due to his lavish lifestyle, and rather than face the social ignominy of bankruptcy and financial ruin, he shot himself in 1878.
The White Lady
You might think that Harrison's ghost would haunt the Hall, but actually the resident ghost is said to be the spectre of 'Lady Dorothy', probably Lady Dorothy Southworth, born sometime around 1525-30. Lady Dorothy is sometimes known as the White Lady of Samlesbury. The story behind the haunting follows a familiar pattern; Lady Dorothy's family was staunchly Catholic. She met and fell in love with a young man whose family was fiercely Protestant.
Could there be a morsel of truth in this rather Gothic tale? Apparently a pair of skeletons were found some years later during renovations near the chapel. Were these the unfortunate Lady Dorothy's lover and his friend? We shall never know, but many visitors have reported seeing the White Lady of Samlesbury over the years.
As for the Hall, it is one of the finest examples of a timber framed manor house in Britain. The timber framing is decorated with striking quatrefoils, and the walls are made with wattle and daub infill. The main rooms include a long gallery, minstrels gallery, and chapel. The house consists of a 15th century hall and south range added roughly 1545. In the chapel is a small Roman altar, which may have been found on Mellor Moor.
The Hall was in danger of being torn down in the 1920s when it was rescued by a local group who set up a charitable trust to administer the hestate and keep the house open to visitors. Today the Hall is a museum and gallery area, and a multi-purpose function venue. The hall is generally open daily except Saturdays, but please check current details before visiting.
About Samlesbury Hall
Address: A677, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Lancashire, England, PR5 0UP
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: On the A677 2 miles east of Samlesbury, midway between Preston and Blackburn
Website: Samlesbury Hall
Historic Houses Association
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Historic Time Periods:
Find other attractions tagged with:
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Hoghton Tower - 2.6 miles (Historic House)
Ribchester Roman Museum and Fort - 3.1 miles (Roman Site)
Ribchester, St Wilfrid's Church - 3.3 miles (Historic Church)
Blackburn, Holy Trinity Church - 4.2 miles (Historic Church)
Old Langho Church - 5.8 miles (Historic Church)
Penwortham, St Mary's Church - 6.3 miles (Historic Church)
Stonyhurst College - 6.7 miles (Historic House)
Whalley Abbey Gatehouse - 7.5 miles (Abbey)
Nearest Accommodation to Samlesbury Hall:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts