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  Tonge Hall - Rambles Around Manchester : Extract from Rimmer's Rambles Around Manchester, pg. 198-199

In the Cheetham Library there is a good drawing of the building as it stood in 1845, since which time, for reasons best known to the owners of the venerable pile, the ancient hall has been reduced to the fragments shown.  The sketch shows a down spout on the left-hand side of the facade, that discharges into a very curious receptacle of large proportions which stands on a tripod, but I could make nothing whatever of it, as the whole apparatus is different to anything I have met with.  The peculiarity of the hall is the continuous repetition of  quatrefoils in the walls, without a break in the form of "strutts" or "standards".  A facsimile of the drawing at the Chetham Library  is given, and if we connect it with the illustration given, which is of course accurate, we shall see that it must have been a very imposing building.

Many modern architects in their designs of black-and-white seem to study irregularity as though that were the same thing as picturesqueness.  But this is the reverse of what the old Tudor architects did,  They made their picturesque features by grouping the masses of the buildings, and kept the details in harmony with each other.  But in Tonge Hall uniformity is almost too pronounced.  If there are many competent judges who do not feel this, there may be others who would almost have preferred a variation in the lower storey, consisting, perhaps, of a succession of uprights and diagonal braces.  Still, if there is an error, it is in the right direction.  Some of the leadwork in the windows of the ancient fabric has not been disturbed, and these windows are very beautiful.  The drawing shows that hall as it now stands, a farm house of very unpretending dimensions, but one very well worth a visit.  It would be absurd to say that the repetition of quatrefoils showed any lack of design in the builder; he saw the surroundings and he knew how they fitted themselves to these.  He did not, as is so commonly the case now, make his designs on a sheet of paper and let them come out how they would, but he saw them in progress and fitted his outlines accordingly.

Richard Tonge was the last but one of the owners of Tonge Hall.  He was buried at Middleton, April 22, 1713.  His burial is mentioned in the diary of Edmund Harrold, a Manchester tradesman, and is preserved in the Chetham Society's records.  By his first wife he had one daughter, and by his second wife two sons, Jonathan and Thomas.  To Jonathan the states devolved, and he would seem to embarked in some commercial ventures and lost much of his money.  Between 1718 and 1724 he mortgages his lands several times, till the total amounted to 2,937, the principal leader being John Starky.  In 1725 he made his will, directing his estates be sold, and Mr. Starky purchased them from the surviving brother for 4,350.  In 1846 Mr. James Starky left the property to his relatives, Mrs. Hornby and Mr. Joseph Langton, Liverpool.  Mr. Langton belonged to the very old firm of Earles and Langton, and it may be interesting to notice that the General Earle who fell in Egypt was a son of Sir Hardman Earle, Bart., the head at one time of the firm.  There is one old panelled room in the hall which is very interesting.  The work is of Charles I.'s time, and over the chimneypiece is an old painting of a man who has fallen apparently in a duel, and a lady riding up discovering the body.  I could not find any record of the event.