By Anne Akers
The Landmark Trust, which owns the Grade 1 listed building Calverley Old Hall today announced its £1,600,000 bid to The National Lottery Heritage Fund has been successful.
This means the charity, which rescues historic buildings and makes them available for holiday lets can take forward its ambitious restoration plans and that the hall will be removed from the Heritage At Risk Register, safeguarding it for future generations.
The manor house of Calverley Old Hall is currently considered among the most at-risk buildings in England. Gradually developed by the Calverley family from the 12th century onwards, the building may appear unassuming from the roadside yet it is awe-inspiring in scale, complex in archaeology and largely near derelict in internal condition.
Landmark’s restoration will bring the whole site into new use with self-catering holiday accommodation for 10 alongside dedicated space for local communities.
At the heart of the restoration will be a series of activities and training opportunities, including the sharing of traditional craft skills with volunteers, trainees and apprentices.
The project will provide stepping-stones for a new generation of heritage specialists including accredited training and meaningful work experience placements. There will also be a programme of open days and creative activities enabling people from all backgrounds to get involved.
David Renwick, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“We are thrilled to be supporting The Landmark Trust to transform Calverley Old Hall and ensure that it is safeguarded for future generations.
“Through this exciting Heritage Enterprise project we will be helping to remove the building from the Heritage at Risk register thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.
“Not only will this project revamp this architectural hidden gem of Yorkshire, but it will also play a significant role in boosting the local economy and aiding the wider regeneration of the area by reinventing the Old Hall to become home to striking holiday accommodation and valuable community space.
“It is also fantastic news this project will also provide the chance to not only enjoy visiting the Old Hall, but to get truly hands-on through apprenticeships and training opportunities to acquire declining heritage skills and pass these on to the next generation. We know that giving people that chance to have a closer understanding and relationship to their heritage reaps many benefits, and is something we are proud to fund.”
Today’s £1,600,000 Heritage Enterprise Grant from the Heritage Fund builds on their earlier development funding grant of £150,000, which enabled the stunning discovery of sophisticated Tudor wall paintings in 2021.
Taken together with the many other donations from supporters who have generously provided partnership funding, this grant means work can start onsite in the coming weeks while Landmark seek the remaining £77,000 needed to secure the total project cost.
Alan Leibowitz, Chairman of the Landmark Trust said:
“The transformation of Calverley Old Hall will be one of Landmark’s most precious and costly projects.
“Forty years in development yet now in the last knockings of our fundraising appeal, thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players together with other wonderful supporters, we can reveal and share the special place. We are incredibly grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and all who have contributed so far.”
Calverley’s restoration has recently received both listed building consent and planning permission, with the imaginative and environmentally sustainable scheme by Cowper Griffith Architects fusing the conservation of medieval fabric with contemporary design.
To donate and for more information about Calverley Old Hall including the Tudor wall paintings, history of the building and Calverley family, together with further details about Landmark’s plans, progress and to join events, visit: www.landmarktrust.org.uk/calverley
The Landmark Trust is one of Britain’s leading building conservation charities. Founded in 1965, with the help of its supporters Landmark rescues at-risk historic structures and restores them into self-catering holiday accommodation available to all, now with 200 extraordinary buildings across Britain, the Channel Islands and Italy.
Calverley Old Hall is on Woodhall Road. The complex site includes a two-storey, largely 14th-century Solar Block, a late 15th-century Great Hall and Chapel, plus early 16th-century Parlour Block and 17th-century Lodging Block.
Calverley Old Hall was acquired by the Landmark Trust’s founder in 1981 with several long-term tenants still in occupation, meaning Landmark could only restore a small portion of the site and weatherproof the rest.
Forty years later, with the whole site finally vacant yet increasingly vulnerable, the imminent restoration will safeguard the entire site, sensitively knitting together different historic periods.