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DAM HOUSE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  ASTLEY HALL
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House, built in 1650 for Adam and Margaret Mort, with extensive additions to rear in the early and late 19th century. Of rendered brick and brick with stone dressings and slate roof, it is of 5 x 3 bays with 3 storeys. The 19th century ranges which make up the quadrangle are largely of two storeys and continue to use mullioned windows and vernacular motifs. The elevation consists of gabled crosswings which project to either side of the house-part, a three-storey porch within the left angle and an additional bay to the left. The porch bay has a studded, cross-boarded door with Doric columns, an open pediment and a fanlight. Each crosswing has a canted three-storey high bay window with enlarged openings on the ground floor. Otherwise the majority of the double-chamfered stone mullion windows appear to be unaltered (on the front only). The rear is an extension of early 19th century date as is the four-bay wing to rear right which includes a chapel at first floor level. The other two sides of the quadrangle are in stock brick, of late 19th century, and include a coach house. The interior, though altered on the lower storeys, retains many original and Regency features including an inglenook fireplace in the left room, beams and elaborate Gothick door surrounds and doors. After the sale of the Mort estate in 1889 the house stood empty for over three years before it was sold in 1893 to the Leigh Local Board for use as a hospital for infectious diseases. In 1894 four isolation blocks for scarlet and typhoid fevers were built and the house was used as a nurses home and administrative unit. When the hospital closed in 1991, the buildings were adopted by the Morts Astley Heritage Trust and have now been fully renovated for office use.

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