17 January 2021
Reward Offered For Return Of Historic Flagstones
Greater Manchester Police have appealed to the public for information on the theft of thousands of pounds worth of rare York flagstones. Taken from Hopwood Hall in Rochdale on 1st December 2020. The Grade II-listed building is built on a site dating back to 1426. It is currently in the process of being restored by an ancestral owner, Hopwood DePree who had previously been living in Hollywood.
The Hopwood Hall footpath in Middleton was laid with centuries-old original York flagstones. Whilst they are worth thousands of pounds and would cost a significant amount to replace. Police warn that thieves would barely make a fraction of this. Noting in their appeal that the historical meaning of the particular stones is what gives them their value.
York stone, a buff, grey-blue sandstone quarried from the Pennines, has a history spanning centuries. Some of the particular stones in question were laid by the great-grandparents of people still living in Middleton. It remains a highly valuable and lucrative stone. Owing to its traditional look and regional ties, being almost ubiquitous in the North of England. Typically, Yorkstone is either new stone that has been artificially aged to look like traditional york flagstone, with more versatility. Or it has been sustainably reclaimed, often from demolition sites and large city projects.
History of Hopwood Hall
Image Credits: Hopwood Manor House Facebook page