AN amateur historian is launching a campaign to help the owners of Oldham’s oldest building to mend its leaking roof.

Carl Gannon, aged 54, has spent a year researching the history of Hathershaw Hall in Hollins Road, and has unearthed its links to the family which gave Oldham its name.

The grade II-listed property is owned by retired pawnbroker and antique dealer Bernard and Sandy Marks, who are both in their 70s, but say they cannot afford the £40,000 cost of the roof repairs.

They saved the hall from demolition in the 1960s, and Mr Gannon – a close friend of the couple – says it is too important to the history of the town to be allowed to fall into disrepair.

“Local history books say it dates back to the late 15th century and that it was part of a much bigger manor house,” said Mr Gannon, who has gone back through the entire records of ownership of the hall, and is the author of a 2010 book about the history of Oldham, The Chronicles of Alda.

“But I have found evidence of it dating it back to 1427, when the original Oldham family gifted the land here to a man called William de Aspenhalgh on his marriage their daughter Alice.

“So we’ve now got a 600-year—old building with a proven definitive link to the founders of Oldham.”

Mr Gannon said Hathershaw also has connections to Werneth Hall and the now-demolished Chamber Hall.

Mr Gannon will present a talk “Hathershaw Hall – A Journey Back In Time” at Oldham Local Studies and Archives in Union Street, on Wednesday, December 19, starting at 7pm.