Hopwood Hall P.Phill Longley
The hall was built in 1426. Credit: Phill Longley

Funding boost for Hopwood Hall 

Dan Whelan

Historic England has signed off a grant of £368,000 to kick off the restoration of the grade two star-listed Rochdale building, a project being led by a descendant of the Hopwood family, which owned the hall for 500 years until the early 20th century. 

“This is really fantastic news and will ensure that we can move forward getting ever closer to the dream of restoring this beautiful building as an accessible venue for the community and beyond,” said Hopwood DePree. 

Hopwood DePree XIV, an actor-turned-producer from LA and chair of the Hopwood Foundation charity, is leading the campaign to restore the hall, which is owned by Rochdale Council. 

The council, which is to provide £92,000 towards the repairs, has entered into an exclusivity agreement with DePree. This means he has the option of acquiring the hall at a future date once he develops a detailed strategy for its long-term preservation and protection. 

Historic England’s contribution comes from the government’s £1.5bn Culture Recovery Fund. Hopwood Hall, listed on Historic England’s at-risk register, is one of 142 sites across the country to be awarded recovery cash. 

The total funds available for this stage of the project is £460,000.  

DePree added: “The repairs will include further critical work to the roof and structure including brick repairs, mortar works and a continuation of the leaded window repair programme that has been supported by helping hands from volunteers. 

“It has been a massive effort from the entire community to rally around to save this historically important building.”  

In 2018, Historic England and Rochdale Council provided a combined £270,000 towards early repairs. The project is expected to cost around £10m in total. 

The Hopwood Hall Estate will  be the subject of DePree’s forthcoming memoir. The book will document his relocation from Los Angeles to northern England to help rescue his ancestral home. The book will be published in spring 2022 by HarperCollins/William Morrow.

“The upcoming book is an exciting opportunity that can provide an additional way to generate funds to help with the Hall’s rescue,” DePree said.

“I also aim for it to be an international platform to showcase the inspiring stories of local residents, the historical importance and beauty of the Rochdale borough, as well as bringing an economic boost to the community.”

Originally built in 1426, the Hopwood family resided at the hall for more than 500 years. However during the First World War, both male Hopwood heirs were killed in action.

The hall was later used as a base of operations for a cotton company producing soldier’s uniforms during the Second World War, before being passed on to an order of De La Salle Monks.

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Beautiful lovely place. I’ve been around the outside of this lovely building and we need to restore it back to its best.

By Born Bred Darren

That would be the Hopwood Hall Estate that is in Middleton, Not Rochdale. They just have the misfortune of being run by Rochdale Council.

By Paulinho

I also am a Hopwood/Hall from my Greatgrandfather, Joseph Hopwood a decendent of William De Hoppwode. I would love to see Hopwood Hall restored to it’s fullest glory. Good luck to Hopwood De Pree.

By Leon Hall