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An urban explorer has discovered an eerie abandoned millionaire’s mansion dating back to the 16th century.
Ben, from Lost Adventures on YouTube, said that the abandoned mansion in north west England was difficult to explore.
Believed to be Winstanley Hall in Wigan, the site is packed full of hidden history about deaths and suicides of people who had previously lived on the estate.
The Winstanley family were lords of the manor from the 13th century, and built the current property in the 1560s. The entrance was later remodelled in the 19th century.
It was sold to James Bankes a London goldsmith and banker in 1596, and bought along with 10 acres of land by property developer Dorbcrest in 2000. It is believed to be the current owner, although land surrounding the hall is thought to still be owned by the Banks family.
The mansion in north west England dates back to the 16th century and was last inhabited in the 1980s
Ben, from Lost Adventures on YouTube, said that the abandoned mansion in north west England was difficult to explore
There is a Poseidon statue in the middle of the courtyard, which is missing its trident in his right hand
Ben said that in the 1880s a woman’s body was found floating in the well.
The woman is thought to be Susannah Shortrede, wife of Thomas Shortrede, estate agent for the Bankes family.
Mrs Shortrede’s death was reported in the press as accidental but was thought to be suicide. It is said that she discovered her husband was having an affair with Elizabeth Atherton, the wife of a stone mason who also lived on the estate.
It is understood that Mrs Atherton then hanged herself from the guilt, and Mr Shortrede shot himself.
‘I risked my life going into the building to get some footage but I think it was definitely worth it,’ Ben added.
‘The manor was last inhabited in the 1980s and since then has become more weather damaged over the years.’
The property is on the National Heritage List for England. In 2003, Dorbcrest applied to convert the hall into 38 flats, but this was later withdrawn.
The building has a host of supporters, with more than 1,500 people in a Save Winstanley Hall social media group.
Save Britain’s Heritage and Dorbcrest previously applied for a £200,000 grant from English Heritage to fund repairs to courtyard buildings adjacent to the hall.
It is understood that Wigan Council has previously been in discussions with Dorbcrest over the future of the estate.
The mansion is packed full of hidden history about tragic deaths and suicides of previous residents of the estate
The property has become increasingly damaged by weather as it continues to sit empty
‘In 1880 a woman’s body was found floating in the well,’ said Ben. The woman is thought to be Susannah Shortrede, wife of Thomas Shortrede, estate agent for the Bankes family
The ivy-clad walls create an eerie feeling in the abandoned mansion which has a long history
While the site dates back to the Tudor times, parts of it have been redeveloped and remodelled throughout the years
Ben said that entering some of the rooms could have cost him his life, and that they were in very poor condition
Ben said that while the site’s history dates back to the Tudor times, it has been been redeveloped and remodelled throughout the years.
This included the interior being redesigned by 19th century architect, Lewis Wyatt. He moved the entrance to the south west and designed the stable block.
‘There are plaques on the walls that also date back to the 18th century,’ Ben said.
‘Some of my favourite parts of the exploration were the Poseidon statue in the middle of the courtyard which is missing its trident in his right hand.
‘It’s either been removed due to protection of value or thieves have already taken it.
‘Getting inside the old manor’s main parts was another highlight for me because, as you can see towards the end of the video, it was a surprise that some parts are in great condition and that other parts could cost you your life entering the room.’
Winstanley Hall was built in the 1560s by the Winstanley family, and is on the National Heritage List for England
Parts of the property have been reinforced with steel uprights and ledgers, to keep it from falling apart further
Some of the wooden boards have rotted away, creating large, dangerous holes in the corridors
Urban explorer Ben walked through as much of the mansion as he could, filming as he went, to show viewers at home
The split wood of broken boards is illuminated by torchlight as Ben moves through the abandoned property
The double-height space is filled with rubble and abandoned materials. Windows and a hole in the roof illuminate the room with help from Ben’s torch