Over the last three weeks, I’ve been posting writing prompts inspired by some of the places associated with Clayton Hall. I stared with the hall itself, then went to Crumpsall Park. This week, I moved to Bailey’s Wood.
Bailey’s Wood (in North Manchester) is a remnant of the medieval Blackley Deer Park. In the late Middle Ages, the Byron family were the subinfeudatory lords of Manchester. Their house was at Clayton Hall, and the Blackley park was one of their hunting grounds, stretching from the edge of Harpurhey into Alkrington. When the Byrons lost the last of their money and power in the seventeenth century, Humphrey Chetham bought Clayton Hall, and Humphrey Booth bought a portion of the Blackley park, where he built Booth Hall. In 1894, part of the Booth Hall estate was sold to Manchester Corporation, who turned it into Boggart Hole Clough. The other part, with the hall and Bailey’s Wood, was sold to the Prestwich Guardians, who tore down the hall and built Booth Hall Hospital. The hospital is now gone – there’s a new housing development in its place – but Bailey’s Wood remains as an ancient woodland and former farmland, nestled between the Booth Hall and Crosslee estates.
Each day this week, my park-inspired writing prompts have been shared on the Friends of Bailey’s Wood social media, but here they all are in one place for you.