From the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, first published
Thursday 26th Sep 1996.
ASTLEY'S ancient manor house saviours have got the planning
go-ahead for their ambitious £1million-plus village hall dream scheme.
Overjoyed members of Morts Astley Heritage Trust this week
heard planners give the go-ahead for their community centre plan at the heart
of Astley Village Conservation Area.
And that official seal of approval should prove a vital
ingredient to securing needed Lottery and Euro cash to fund the Dam House
conversion focusing on medical care.
The Grade Two listed building, once Astley Hospital
administration block and for centuries the village manor house, is now set to
become a medical practice with clinic, pharmacy, nursery school, community room
Visionary villager Christine Jones admitted :"We are so
excited. I think the Morts - who built Dam House (rebuilt in 1650), the parish
church and the old grammar school - would be proud of us. That spirit still
"It's been hard work for the past two years but I think
we have proved the Doubting Thomases wrong.
"The North West Health Executive has told us Dam House
is ours, subject to planning permission and funding - and now we have
permission we should be able to secure Heritage Lottery funding and a Euro
Rechar grant plus Groundwork help.
"We're working in partnership with the authorities and
hope to have a say in what happens on the rest of the hospital site zoned for
"Backing from everyone has been brilliant and our group
now intends to work to preserve other buildings.
"It seems the late Astley Vicar the Rev William King
was right when years ago he wrote 'the spirit of Adam Mort is at work in the
lives and achievements of many who followed after him. There is no escaping the
conviction that in this place something potent was started by Adam Mort which
Morts Trust secretary Armin Pennington added:"We're
delighted, although we do realise our work has just started.
"This scheme will serve two purposes - preserve Dam
House for future generations and also provide much needed facilities for
Astley. We're very excited."
Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images
and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.
From the Lancashire Evening Telegraph
Newsquest Media Group 1996