Once part of the estate of the Earls of Wilton, the house dates from the late 17th century but was remodelled in the neo-classical style by the famous architect James Wyatt in the 1770s.
The splendid plasterwork was executed by James Rose II of York.
In the 1820s Lewis Wyatt, another member of the family, was employed to remodel the Library and add several more rooms including the Orangery.
During this period the house was at the centre of a lively social scene, and from 1827 the famous Heaton Park Races were held in the park. However, in 1839, when the crowds became too drunken and riotous, the races were transferred to Aintree, near Liverpool.
From the second half of the 19th century the family spent less time at Heaton Hall and in 1902 Manchester Corporation purchased the house and its estate to provide more recreational facilities for the north of the city.
The grounds were turned into the largest municipal park in Europe and a boating lake was dug on the site of the race course.
In 1906 part of the house became a branch of the Manchester City Galleries to provide space for its rapidly growing collections.
Today the house is Grade I listed in recognition of its importance as one of the finest neo-classical houses in the country.
Over the past 15 years the principal rooms have been carefully restored to reflect late-18th and early-19th life at Heaton Hall.
The 'Cupola' has mirrored walls and a domed ceiling, designed in the 1770s 'Pompeiian style'. In the Music Room an 18th century chamber organ by Samuel Green fills one of the walls.
The Library has paintings depicting meetings at Heaton Park Races.
Heaton Hall Opening Times
2009: PARK: daily at 08:00 closing times change with daylight hours. HALL: 11Apr-30Aug 11:00-17:30 Thur-Sun & Bank Hol Mons. ANIMAL CENTRE: Good Fri-September School Hols 10:30-19:00, Term Time:10:30-17:00. Sept-Mar: 10:30-15:30