Houses of Interest: West Yorkshire

For more Yorkshire 'related stuff' you can find North Yorkshire hereSouth Yorkshire here, you'll have to wait a bit for East Riding though...

See also the Rupert Travelogue entry for Yorkshire, and the entry for Adwalton Moor

Oakwell Hall  was the inspiration for Charlotte BrontĂ«'s Fieldhead in "Shirley". More recently it has been used a number of times as a film set, including "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell".

Located close to the M62 and the Leeds branch of purgatory on Earth (aka Ikea), this Tudor manor house is beautifully maintained by Kirklees Borough Council.

The hall is presented as a seventeenth century home. I really like this approach, as so often historic houses have different rooms decorated for different eras, so it is really nice to see a house presented from one era in it's entirety.

Oakwell was in the ownership of the Batt family, who supported the King; John Batt was a captain and most probably fought at Adwalton Moor. The retreating Parliamentarian troops passed along Warren Lane (adjacent to the house) after the battle.

After the Royalist defeat at Marston Moor, John Batt surrendered the house to Black Tom in order to keep his family safe. John paid a fine of £364 to reclaim the estate in 1649.

What's there today?
As I have already mentioned, the whole house is presented as a seventeenth century residence.

One room documents the whole history of the house and has some cannon balls and musket shot from Adwalton Moor on display.

Another room, has a number of period costumes for you to try on; it also shows the construction of the building off nicely.

A fine portrait of Newcastle hangs in one of the rooms.

There is a beautifully maintained  walled garden, and the remainder of the estate is laid out as a nature reserve with a number of trails.

Of course there is a tea room (this is Yorkshire, it's a tea room not a café!) and gift shop.

The ECWS have assisted the Council with the Hall, and there are some Civil War themed gates into the shop and function room courtyard: resplendent with helmets, swords and breastplates.

Leeds Central Library has a number of Civil War Tracts in their collection. They produce a downloadable leaflet  which lists the manuscripts, and how to access them. 

Leeds University has a number of tracts, manuscripts and artefacts from the wars in its Brotherton Collection - the latest acquisition is an anthology of plays. A 1647 edition of Beaumont and Fletcher 'Comedies and Tragedies', that belonged to Charles II. The University plans to put the volume on display in their gallery at a future date.

Astronomer William Gascoigne's home in Leeds is commemorated with a blue plaque on the side of a corner shop. He was commissioned as an officer in the King's Army, falling in battle at Marston Moor. Gascoigne invented a micrometer, which allowed accurate astronomical measurement until recent times.

12 Ivegate in Bradford was the site of a house that served as Fairfax's headquarters during the siege of Bradford.

Whilst in Bradford, take a visit to St Peter's Cathedral on Stott Hill where there is a plaque commemorating the sieges of Bradford.

Postcodes for SatNavs
Oakwell Hall WF17 9LG
Leeds Central Library, Calverley Street LS1 3AB
Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, University of Leeds LS2 9JT
(site of) Gascoigne's Home 10 Town St, Belle Isle LS10 3PN
12 Ivegate, Bradford BD1 1RJ
St Peter's Cathedral, Bradford BD1 4EH

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