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Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Photographer 'privileged' to shoot Ordsall restoration
The roof of Ordsall Hall being built
One of the highlights for the photographer was capturing the new roof being built

The photographer tasked with documenting Ordsall Hall's £6.5m restoration has described his involvement as a "great privilege".

Nick Harrison, who was given "unrestricted access", captured the two years of work for an exhibition.

He said he "first encountered Ordsall Hall in the 1960's as a young child" and has been involved in the project himself as a landscape architect.

The exhibition is at Salford Museum and Art Gallery until March.

Mr Harrison admitted he has been fascinated with the Hall ever since that first encounter and is proud to have been part of the team working on the restoration.

Working on the Privy Chamber at Ordsall Hall
The project has seen new rooms being opened to the public

"I first encountered Ordsall Hall in the 1960's as a young child; at the time, the demolished terraced houses surrounding the Hall were home to an informal Gypsy encampment.

"What a contrast - major industry, such as the Colgate Palmolive factory, a gypsy settlement and the Tudor half-timbered Ordsall Hall all in the same view.

"Over the years since, I have photographed the Hall during its various stages of development, the greatest of which has been the current project.

"I have been especially pleased to have been able to document the whole process from a photographic point of view, right from the pre-restoration survey stage through to the new life the Hall will take on when it is reopened to visitors."

Exciting developments

Mr Harrison said that while he has enjoyed all aspects of the documentation, with "gaining access to photograph the unique beams in the roof spaces has been one highlight", it is the new aspects of the completed building that excite him most.

A worker restores a window at Ordsall Hall
Specialist skills have been used to restore some areas of the building

"I am pleased to see some of the more significant rooms made available for public access for the first time ever, rooms such as the ornate Italian plaster ceiling room - the First Floor Privy Chamber - and the newly restored artworks on the Great Chamber beams.

"Of course, the landscape scheme, which is underway at the moment, is special to me as I had a major input into the design.

"It promises to reintroduce the formal gardens, which should be evocative of the Tudor period.

"The presentation of the moat is also an exciting development."

And while the work on the building is almost complete, Mr Harrison said that his involvement with it won't end when the building opens its doors to the public once more.

"Personally, I don't see the photographic documentation coming to an end with the conclusion of the photography commission and the re-opening of the Hall this summer.

"The life of Ordsall Hall is taking on a new mantle and I hope a lot more people, from the local, national and international community, enjoy the new experience Ordsall Hall will have to offer."

'Ordsall Hall Revealed: photographs by Nick Harrison' is at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday 15 January to Sunday 6 March

Ordsall Hall is due to reopen to the public in spring 2011

In pictures: Ordsall restoration
11 Jan 11 |  People & Places
Historic hall faces 6.5m revamp
20 Feb 09 |  Manchester


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