Harry, the last of the Cliftons to own the Hall died in 1975 but the estate had already passed to his chief creditors, Guardian Royal Exchange, in 1963. It was put up for sale by them in 1996.
The original Friends of Lytham Hall were a group of people in the forefront of attempts to raise money to buy it (and 78 acres of park and woodland) for the community, to save it from commercial or domestic development.
At the eleventh hour, British Aerospace stepped in with a donation to cover the near £1 million asking price and the Hall passed to Lytham Town Trust amid great jubilation.
It is now operated by the Heritage Trust for the North West (HTNW). The Friends are still the only group solely dedicated to the welfare of the Hall.
The contents of the Hall are still in the ownership of the successor insurance company, Axa, and money has yet to be raised to secure them.