Lytham Hall is a staple of the history and culture of Lytham. The Georgian house was once the ancestral home of the Clifton Family, spanning over four centuries ago. The Grade 1 listed building dates back to the 12th century, however, previously home to a priory of Benedictine monks.
The Hall is well known amongst locals and tourists, bringing visitors from all over the country for tours and events, with many of the historic rooms open to the public, some with original furniture and paintings.
However, last week a ‘new’ room has opened to the public, after being closed for repairs and refurbishment. The Billiard room was added as an extension to part of the older Jacobean buildings. If you look at the room from the courtyard, you will see the extension is elevated and supported by iron stilts. The room is an early example of the Arts & Crafts movement where cleaner lines and simplicity were becoming very fashionable.
John Talbot Clifton died at the age of 59 in 1928 and his son, Harry Clifton, inherited Lytham Hall and the Kildalton Castle estates. Harry spent much of his time globe-trotting after receiving his inheritance.
When Harry started spending more time at the Hall between his trips, he made a point of refurbishing the billiard room as he had terrible memories of it growing up. Harry hated billiards because his father used to make him play it against his will….and thrashed him every time!
In 1933 he offered the billiard table to the Lytham Conservative Club, saying if they didn’t come and get it, then it would be confined to the bonfire. Thankfully the club made arrangements for it to be transferred to their premises on Hastings Place. The billiard table returned to Lytham Hall in 2005 after the closure of the club.
Lytham Hall’s billiard room was always part of the tour until about three years ago. Sadly the overhead lantern was failing badly, which meant the room had to be closed until enough money was raised to fund the work.
Peter Anthony, General Manager at Lytham Hall stated “We made temporary repairs because we knew the lantern was an expensive job to fix. The repairs and refurbishment of the lantern were finished last autumn. Once watertight we could then move onto the internal repairs and redecoration which were carried out by local company Finelines during January of this year. We are glad to say the billiard room reopened once again last Saturday and is now back on our tour agenda. I doubt if the table will ever be used again whilst it is in our museum environment, however, if Steve Davies or Stephen Hendry call in one day I’m sure we will make an exception!”
Nice to see some good news about a local treasure being brought back to life and well managed.