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Haigh Hall

Haigh Hall

Excerpt from Whitehouse's History (Manuscript) 1820.

"ON an eminence two miles from Wigan stands Haigh Hall, the seat of the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, an ancient edifice built at several times and inhabited through a long succession of ages by a family of Saxon origin. The Chapel is supposed to be of the age of Edward II., 1305, and in front are the Stanley Arms with those of the Bradshaighs. The Hall stands beautifully and is considered one of the best situations in Lancashire. From a large mount and summer house in the park are seen on a clear day, thirteen counties of England and Wales, together with the Isle of Man, and yet so well are the gardens and grounds sheltered that vegetation here puts on her richest and most luxuriant garb. From here and from the Hall, the town of Wigan is seen below, as standing upon a hill in the midst of a fine valley."

THE present great mansion dates from the early 19th century and preserves in its interior a small portion of the ancient fabric mentioned above. This mansion is famous for its collection of pictures and its great Library. This collection was started in 1552 by John Lindsay, the second son of the ninth Earl of Crawford, and from this period until the time of the twenty-fifth Earl, the Library suffered many vicissitudes and at one time books were actually allowed to be torn up and thrown away to be used by Grocers for packing. In the Library is a copy of the 2nd folio of Shakespeare's works, which was added at the time of its publication. The present collection covers a very large field from early printed books, books of great note in literature to special collections on subjects like shorthand, and is considered one of the best (if not actually the best) private collection in the United Kingdom.


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