The hall is a wonderfully preserved example of the timber halls found in the north west of England, and is comparable in size with Ordsall Hall, Salford, and Rufford Hall, Lancashire. The magnificent open timber roof once accommodated a louvre opening to allow the evacuation of smoke from a hearth in the centre of the room. Some time in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries this was replaced with a simple fireplace with a shallow lintel, which was in turn replaced in the nineteenth century by the large inglenook fireplace still seen today.
The current stone flagged floor was laid in the mid-seventeenth century as part of the alterations to the Hospital and Library, and in the days of the College would have been swept earth laid with straw or rushes. The hall retains the beautiful oak screen of three equal sections, of which the central part was originally moveable, but is now fixed. The purpose of the screen was to keep out draughts and to conceal the entrances to the buttery and pantry situated at the back of the hall. At the top of the hall an impressive oak canopy projects over a raised dais, where the warden and visiting dignitaries would have dined at high table.
The Baronial Hall showing the screens passage