New history project at Calverley Old Hall

Calverley Old Hall in the 1970s. Photo: Landmark Trust

Words: Anne Akers

The Landmark Trust, which owns the Grade 1 listed Calverley Old Hall, is to launch a research project to research the history of the hall, starting with a virtual meeting on February 25.

The aim of this project, announced in the latest newsletter from the Landmark Trust, is to create new material that can be shared with local schools and young people. 

It will begin by looking at census data from 1841 when Calverley Old Hall was home to many families who worked in the local mills. Other subjects and eras will be explored as the project progresses.

The first meeting is on Thursday 25 February at 7pm and is open to anyone. People do not need to live locally or have local knowledge to participate. To take part, please register in advance by clicking on this link. A confirmation email with information about joining the meeting and a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent.

The Trust is also interested to hear from anyone who might have information and ideas to share but cannot access Zoom.

The newsletter reports that the project team has been busy on-site over the last few months, with quite a lot of activity going on in and around the hall.

“We continue to progress with archaeology, engineering and architectural investigations as and when it is safe to do so.  Some emergency works will be starting soon and we thank everyone in advance for their patience with our local contractors.

“If you have any concerns or questions, please do contact us on via email or call our Engagement Manager on 07919 048591,” it says.

Calverley Old Hall was originally owned by the Calverley family, who came from Scotland in 1100. It has existed in some form since the late 12th century, reaching the height of its status and form by the mid-17th century.

It is a highly evolved site: the main elements are a two-storey, largely 14th-century Solar Block; a late 15th-century Great Hall and Chapel; an early 16th-century Parlour Block, and a 17th century Lodging Block.

However, it has fallen into disrepair and in 1966 was put on the Heritage at Risk register. It was bought by the Landmark Trust in 1981, and the attached cottages rented out for short breaks.

The Chapel – picture Anne Akers

In 2017 the Trust launched an international design competition to find an innovative architect to revitalise the whole site. 75 firms from across the world submitted designs to revive Calverley Old Hall.

The English firm Cowper Griffith was chosen. A bid has been submitted to the Lottery Heritage Fund and fundraising was due to start last year, but delayed because of the pandemic.

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  1. It’s great that leeds and Bradford airport has an opportunity to expand and bring to the cities an increase in passengers and trade etc, but I have to say before we think about its expansion, we need to sort access and egress to and from the airport.

    At present you can drive out of the airport and there’s a dual carriageway if heading into Leeds, but 100 yards down the line then its a matter of crawling along a single lane road through a built up area. In fact its not much better whichever route you take from the airport.

    So why can’t the owners, designers, developers along with the council highways department address these problems and look at traffic congestion. We have an international airport with extremely poor access and already congested roads, so what’s the answer ?

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