THIS week we look back to when Orford Hall was one of the most important buildings in Warrington.

The residence of John Blackburne, present-day Battersby Lane provided a grand southern approach to the hall, which was home to the Blackburnes.

The story of the hall and surrounding parkland is told in a book The A-Z of Warrington penned by Warrington historian Janice Hayes.

The hall itself was largely rebuilt around 1716 while John Blackburne (1693 to 1786) created its magnificent park lands.

Janice said: “The Blackburne family had prospered by their indirect involvement in the notorious slave trade.”

It saw Orford Park famously grow pineapples.

The family sold up and leased the hall and by 1871, one William Beamont, the first mayor of Warrington, had moved in.

However in the post-war austerity, the hall decayed and was eventually demolished in the mid-1930s, although the park survived.