Saturday, 20 August 2011

Werneth Park Music Rooms Inspection

On Friday I finally gained access inside the Music Rooms building. The cluster of rooms form a fantastic space but unfortunately they have seen better days. The original Beaux-Arts conservatory roof structure was replaced by a simpler C20 timber roof supported on steel beams although the original geometric floor tiles remain intact.

Fern collecting or pteridomania was a favourite past-time in the Victorian era and wealthy collectors liked to show off their ferns in a fernery:

The auditorium/ball room with it's timber sprung floor and ornate trusses is fire damaged and has seen better days:

Likewise the crush hall and octagonal entrance hall with their parquet floors and Art-Nouveau stained glass and decoration are in need of some attention:

Even though the building is in need of some serious restoration, £4M pounds worth of restoration, its grandness is evident in every room and it is impossible not to reflect on how these spaces might once have been used and how they can be used again one day. Oldham Council are hoping to secure Heritage Lottery Funding in the future to restore the park and its buildings to bring them back to use so that they can once again be enjoyed by the public.


  1. Astounded! I and my colleagues used to look after the plants in the conservatory and fernery. I remember going in the conservatory and the scent from Hyacinths met you as you opened the door and completely filled the place. How sad it is to see it in such a state.

  2. Indeed Ian, it's a real shame. I don't think anything has changed since I last visited but hopefully they will do something with it one day. Lee.

  3. As a child my father was a member of the Oldham Photographic society and they used to hold their annual exhibition in the Ball room. Later in life I was foreman at Chadderton Hall Park nursery (when the glasshouses were there - now demolished and replaced by polytunnels). When the staff went from Werneth, we were asked to look after the conservatory and fernery from Chadderton. I am so shocked it is in this condition - it was given to the people of Oldham by Marjory Lees.