In 1335 William de Radcliffe acquired the manor of Smithills. During the early years there would only have been the medieval Great Hall on the site, which still exists there today. It is a large rectangular stone building and in here the family and servants would take their meals and sleep.
The Radcliffes were a powerful Lancashire family, with members acting as Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace and ‘Knights of the Shire’ throughout the 1400s. Their ancestral home was in the old centre of Radcliffe near Bury, and can still be seen at the ruins of Radcliffe Tower.