Words: Mark Stevenson
The Varley family once owned all the land from Screwfix, down to the Thornhill Arms (they also employed hundreds in their Mills) just off of Bradford Road in Stanningley.
Back in the 1840s, when the Varleys were an important family in the area, the land they owned was mainly pasture or meadow.
Their house was between what is now Screwfix and Stanhall Mews. The footprint of the house in the 1860s was very different from the footprint of the house in the 1840s, so I’m assuming they demolished the old house and built what was to become known as Stanningley Hall (hence Stanhall Mews).
In 1861 William Varley was living at Stanningley Hall with his wife Apolina, who may have been from Holbeck and who lived at Bowling Green House. It was near where Bowling Green Terrace is today.
Some 20 years later Edwin Woodhouse, a cloth manufacturer, was living at Stanningley Hall with his wife Charlotte and three daughters Emmeline, Clorinda, and Florrie. They also had two servants, Harriet and Jane.
In 1891 an Arthur Gaunt, a worsted spinner master, was living at the Hall.
In 1901 Arthur was still at Stanningley Hall but the census also has a Neriah Roberts with his family living at the Hall. Not sure if the house has been divided up, or if the census (or me) is wrong.
A name that most people in the area may be familiar with is Dawson, as in Dawsons Corner (although the two may not be connected).
The Dawson family were living at the Hall in 1911 but in 1901 they were living in Bradford at 3 North Park Terrace (just over the road is Cartwright Hall, well worth a visit) and had lived everywhere but Leeds up until then.
John Dawson was a worsted spinning manager.
The reason for this post is because Terry got in touch with me as she lived at the Hall from 1944 to 1970. She mentions that Ian Lodge owned it at the time and she ran a wedding, funeral car and taxi service. Does anyone know when Stanningley Hall was demolished?