Astley Hall was built in 1580 by the Charnock family and remained in their care for many generations. It passed through several other families over the centuries, until the Tattons presented it to Chorley for the purpose of using it as a Museum. It is said that Cromwell slept here in 1648 and the bedroom which was his resting place is named for him. The Hall exhibits a pair of riding boots which Cromwell purportedly left behind and, as you would expect, his ghost has sometimes been seen.
As well as Old Ironsides’ ghost, many other strange events are reported at Astley Hall. Members of staff talk of unexplained aromas of baked apples or roasting meat, furniture being moved, taps running, alarms going off and ethereal piano music. A ghostly serving maid has been seen in the kitchen and once a display of stuffed birds was completely dismantled. Possibly the most common shade is that of a country gent, in 1920s tweeds, who walks in at the main door and proceeds up the stairs. A young girl is often seen with him. It is believed that this may be Reginald Tatton himself, the very man who gave Astley Hall to the town of Chorley.
One of the best-attested tales is that told by a group of old soldiers from Liverpool. They were actually on a return trip to Astley and make a point of asking about the guide they had met on their first visit; a lady in Elizabeth costume. Costumes have never been employed at the Hall… The Astley employee responsible for Visitor Services also once saw an Elizabethan lady walking across the courtyard. She has also heard children’s laughter, when no children have been present in the Hall. Several times she has heard someone playing a Mozart piano piece which stopped the moment she entered the drawing-room, where the piano is situated.