Rufford Old Hall
Lancashire, L40 1SG
One of the country's finest Tudor buildings, with a great hall as spectacular today as it was in the days of Shakespeare, who performed here for Sir Thomas Hesketh.
Around 1530 a handsome timber-framed manor house was built at Rufford, in the low-lying mosslands of south-west Lancashire. Its owner was Sir Robert Hesketh, whose family had been lords of the manor for at least seven generations. Sir Robert decorated his new home with the coats of arms of his ancestors and their patrons, the powerful Earls of Derby.
A significant and interesting collection of armour is on display at Rufford Old Hall, while key figures in the Hesketh family's history have their portraits in the drawing room.