Hopwood Hard Hat

A Hollywood director has travelled thousands of miles on a mission to take on the ultimate renovation project – and save his crumbling ancestral home from ruin.

Hopwood DePree has swapped Los Angeles for Rochdale to undertake the work on one of Greater Manchester’s most important surviving halls, Grade II* Hopwood Hall in┬áRochdale.

The American actor, writer and film director only became aware of the Hall – of which he shares his name – after researching his ancestry online.

He soon discovered family tales about an ‘English castle’ were not from the pages of a Hollywood script, but in fact, his ancestors had built and lived at Hopwood Hall for generations.

But the building fell into disrepair in the 1980s, and is currently on Historic England’s At Risk register.

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