Did you know that a Disney Princess once used to live in this house? writes Mark Stevenson.
That is what I used to tell the kids every time we passed it – and they did not believe it either.
West Royd House in Farsley has been many things over the years, but never the residence of a Princess.
The land the house is built on was once owned by Clara Thornhill in the mid-1800s. At the time it was rented by John and George Hainsworth.
In the 1860s the land had been bought by John Butler and he had Andrews & Pepper of Bradford build West Royd House for him on the plot he bought.
Interestingly Andrews & Pepper built Manningham Mills in Bradford for Samuel Cunliffe Lister, First Baron, Masham, who was born in Calverley Old Hall.
John Butler’s Iron Works in Stanningley supplied the cast iron for Leeds Bridge in town.
John died in 1884 and he is buried at St John the Evangelist Churchyard in Farsley.
William C Beverley had lived at the Beeches (the Little People Nursery and Out of School Club) and West View (now Carstar on Stanningley Road).
I think William might have had a thing for big houses and he bought West Royd House where his two sons William and Clifford lived until at least 1911.
Farsley Urban District Council bought West Royd House for £3,000 in 1928 and if some on the council had had their way it might have ended up as a cemetery and not surrounded by the park we have today.
During World War Two it became a fire station and civil defence depot and later, after the war, an ambulance station, museum and was used by Farsley Art Club.
West Royd House is a Grade-II Listed Building.
Read more on West Leeds’ rich past through the Mark’s History column, here.