Explore the house and collections at Rufford

The Drawing Room at Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire

Our story starts around 1530, when 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. Since that time, the house has been shaped by five centuries' worth of residents and the fascinating objects they owned and collected.

Four objects to look out for

1. A significant and interesting collection of armour is on display and conservation cleaning of the armour takes place throughout the year.

2. A beautiful grand piano is a recent addition to the collection at Rufford Old Hall. In a walnut case, it dates from 1875-1885 and is on display in the Drawing Room. Come and have a tinkle of the ivories yourself.

3. Some key figures in Rufford's history have their portraits in the Drawing Room. Discover how the Hesketh family grew in wealth and property.

4. An early 17th-century tapestry showing the fall of Troy, in which the Trojans flee from the Greeks, who have entered the city in a wooden horse.

Rufford's carved oak screen... thought to be the only one of its kind still intact
Screen inside Rufford's Great Hall
Rufford's carved oak screen... thought to be the only one of its kind still intact

Don't miss our daily talks in the Great Hall about the history and various uses of the building. Join us as our knowledgeable volunteers take you on a journey through five centuries of Rufford's history and meet some fascinating characters who have made the house what it is today.