Park Hall Manor Pool – Little Hayfield

First there was a house.

A Grade II listed country house, now divided into two dwellings. c1812. Ashlar gritstone. Hipped slate roof with leaded ridges. Various ashlar triple stacks with moulded tops. Moulded cornice and low parapet. Two storeys, central block with recessed long wing to east, orangery to west.

Historic England

Currently trading as a quick getaway country cottage

This Grade II listed manor house is set within 14 acres of natural grounds, together with the occupied adjoining servants’ wing, and has been sympathetically converted, retaining many original features to provide comfortable accommodation for families wishing to meet up for that special family occasion, and wi-fi is available in the living room. 

Then came a pool:

Previously a private pool belonging to a country club in the 1930’s it later opened to members around 1938 who paid a small fee for its use. The pool is fed by a mountain stream and the water is reported to remain cool throughout the year. In the 1940’s/50’s locals recall the pool being open to the public where it cost a ‘shilling for children and half a crown for adults’ entry. During storms in 1947 the pool was badly damaged and reportedly ‘never the same again’ but postcards in circulation in the 1960’s provide evidence that the pool remained open at least until then.

Now it sits abandoned and hidden in the woods.

I went there in my early teens late 60’s the pool was still intact, well used and well cold. I remember chilly changing rooms with duckboards on concrete floors, a small café with pop and crisp if you had the pennies.

Most of all the simple joy of emersion in clear moorland water, on long hot summer days long gone.

Revisiting in April 2014, following a misguided scramble through brambles, it was a poignant reunion. The concrete shells of the pillars and statuary crumbling and moss covered, the waters still and occluded.

It sure it has subsequently been the scene of impromptu fashion shoots and pop promo videos, possibly a little guerrilla swimming. Though sadly it largely sits unused and unloved – let’s take a look around:

13 thoughts on “Park Hall Manor Pool – Little Hayfield

  1. I can remember goin pg swimming here with my mum and dad in the 1950s or 60s I can’t remember details except going a couple of times on lovely hot summer days


  2. Went as a child an exciting day out what a pity it’s been left to go to ruin it was a wonderful place why do the so called authorities deem it ok for history to disappear


  3. Many of the Bredbury Hall crowd Went swimming in the sixties at the fabulous grounds of Park Hall. Brings back many treasured memories.


  4. I recall swimming in the freezing waters of Park Hall many times in summer, the place used to get packed.
    I remember a new tarzan figure bounding down the steps and making a perfect bullet dive straight into the first pool, sadly he did not know it was shallow and was sadly carried out unconscious.
    Happy days.
    Adrian Taylor


  5. Because of the current hot weather I decided to see what open air swimming pools are still in business.I tried the galleon in Didsbury first but it appears to no longer exist then I tried the Blue Lagoon in Stockport same result then I tried what was my favourite the Park Hall Pool at Hayfield and againdissapointingly it seems it closed years ago.I used to live in Gorton Manchester and we would get the train to Hayfield and legit for a couple of miles to the pool.As someone else said it was freezing but in the late 50s and 60s as teenagers we didn’t worry about things like freezing cold water and spend many happy hours and days there. Not sure whether the water was colder there than the reservoirs at Debdale round the “stone wall” but we got great enjoyment from all these facilities.
    Happy days!


    1. We would do the same the now long gone train to Hayfield and a good old splash in that cold Pennine water ideal on a hot sunny day. The nearest pool is Hathersage Clive, happy days indeed.


  6. My grandparents used to run the pool they used to live in the poolside cottage my grandad used to stoke the boiler to heat the water my grandma used to run the cafe with my mother and her sister running up to the big house for sandwiches and cakes to sell in the cafe my grandparents were left the poolside cottage as a gift for working there but was later sold on their death


  7. Just had a look at blogs and have to say in response to Christopher Smith re his grandparents stoking the boiler to heat the water they weren’t very successful as it was the coldest swimming pool I ever used.It didn’t stop us using the pool though as teenagers things like cold water weren’t a barrier to our enjoyment


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