Market leading national lifting company, Ainscough Crane Hire, working in partnership with the special projects team of Select Plant Hire, has provided a major boost to the restoration of a Tudor hall in Manchester which was partially destroyed by fire.
In the early hours of March 15, 2016, arsonists set the 16th Century Wythenshawe Hall alight causing severe damage to the building which was in danger of collapsing at one point.
With fire-fighters controlling the blaze, thoughts turned to the building’s restoration which started late last week with the removal of the building’s bell tower.
With a framework of scaffolding in place around the building, Ainscough’s team from the Stockport depot used a Liebherr LTM 1100/2, fitted with a specially designed cradle, to lift the hall’s bell tower off the building.
It was a delicate procedure which was captured by the hall’s staff and shared via social media.
Manchester depot manager, Garry Burke, said: “Wythenshawe Hall is such an iconic building locally and it was a huge shame it was damaged in this way. The lift was a challenge as the building has suffered so badly from the fire.
“It’s amazing to think that the bell tower has been in situ for almost 500 years before we carefully lifted it off. It is obviously very sad circumstances for all those who care about the hall but now that work has started, perhaps they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Paul Selby from The Friends of Wythenshawe Hall added: “It was quite a sight to see the bell tower removed from the hall and rather emotional for us. It was something which needed to happen in order for the next phases of the restoration to be undertaken.
“We can’t praise Ainscough’s staff highly enough for the dedication, professionalism and precision with which they completed the lift.”
Cllr Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “A huge amount of work has already gone into helping protect Wythenshawe Hall, most visibly the scaffold cocoon that is helping to stabilise the damaged areas of the property and will support the new temporary roofing.
“Inside, countless hours have been spent making sure anything that can be saved is saved. Everything from the largest pieces of furniture that were on display in the building, to the smallest artefacts being unearthed by highly-trained archaeologists.
“It will be a long road to recovery for the building, but working with our partners and the friends’ group, we will see Wythenshawe Hall back to its best.”