Calverley Old Hall

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameCalverley Old Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityLeeds
1974 AuthorityWest Yorkshire
Civil ParishPudsey

Early C15 Solar Wing; Chapel before 1488 (mentioned in the will of William Calverley c1488); Great Hall late C15 (dendro dated 1485-95, Hillam, p.x) probably for another William Calverley who married Alice, daughter of Sir John Saville of Thornhill and was knighted in 1497-8; West Chamber Block mid C16 probably for another Sir William Calverley, High Sheriff of Yorkshire (who through 2 marriages had 17 children); it is likely that the western extension dates from his time; timber-framed solar wing encased in stone c1630; North Wing added c1650; roof raised early C18 probably when the open hall was floored and windows were inserted after the Calverley family took up residence at nearby Esholt Hall, Bradford (q.v.). Large C15 dressed stone to hall and chapel, C17 dressed stone to West Chamber Block and northern extension and to early C17 solar encasing, other hammer-dressed stone extensions (now cottages) attached to left-hand return of chapel, stone slate roofs. 2 storeys. Reads from left: gabled Chapel with West Chamber Block to rear to which is attached North Wing; to right of Chapel and set back is gabled Solar Wing the front in line with Great Hall at right angles with tall steeply-pitched roof. Chapel: 4 internal bays deep; fine 3-light chamfered window with trefoil-headed lights to ritual east end; partially restored to original form by Messrs. Ferrey and Mennim (York) c1981; gable probably originally with exposed timber-framing replaced by hammer-dressed stone. Right-hand return wall has another 2-light trefoil-headed lintel with C18 window broken across to left of later doorway with segmental-pointed arch set above. Solar: 4-light double-chamfered mullioned window with 8-light mullioned- and-transomed window above with ovolo-moulded mullions and decorative leaded lights to upper window which has a hoodmould. Great Hall: large and wide (30' span)

Gabled porch at junction with solar (doorway perhaps in original position) with sash window above; 4-light double-chamfered mullioned window with 5-light window above; inserted C18 cottage doorway to left of 2-light flat-faced mullioned window with 4-light window above, both with slightly recessed mullions and breaking into the left jamb of original tall window of cinquefoil-headed lights. Break in masonry above inserted window where gable-end rebuilt perhaps early C18 on original foundation plinth with central basket-arched doorway with depressed Tudor-arched former taking-in door above. Rear of hall range much altered by inserted later windows has main feature of large lateral external stack (capped at eaves level) with remains of tall chamfered window (blocked) to light lower hall end. 2 later ridge stacks and one to front pitch, other stack at junction of hall with solar. Attached range to left-hand return of chapel. U-shaped range: North Wing, 2-bay extension to West Chamber block, 2 bays articulated by offset buttresses. These bays have 3-light flat-faced mullioned window to each floor excepting easternmost ground-floor bay which has 5-light double-chamfered mullioned window with cavetto mullions. Set back is single bay originally timber-framed with C18 stone casing. End stack to left and one to ridge at junction of 2 ranges. Breaking forward under separate ridge with flatter pitch is C19 single-cell cottage of lesser interest. Interior continued: much fine timber-work survives: Great Hall 6-bay hammer-beam roof with moulded arch-braced trusses and purlins with hammer-beams and planks concealing the wall-plate both ornamented with bratishing, possible spere-truss (over site of screens passage has), of unusual form: single 'A' strut king-post truss with a 'V' strut crossing in the form of a St Andrew's cross. Large 'A' strut closing truss. 4-bay chapel roof similarly treated but with plain panels or with oak planks applied to underside of rafters with thin ribbed members; 2 bays open, other 2 bays have floored gallery with full-height railings with moulded balusters and cross members similar in treatment to a mullioned-and- transomed window with, to meeting with truss, Gothic fretted panels. 4-bay solar of post-and-truss construction with moulded tie-beams and richly-carved spandrels principals and roof renewed but containing many medieval re-used timbers. L-shaped dining room of West Chamber block has fine richly-moulded coffered ceiling and Tudor-arched fireplace with moulded surround. The seat of the Calverley family up to c1700. A gentry house with a fine late medieval hall, solar and chapel and as such very rare within the county and of considerable importance. Owned by the Landmark Trust. (Listed Building Report)

J Sugden and D J H Michelmore recording for W Yorkshire County Archaeological Unit report that the site was probably the seat of the Scot family from the early 12th century, but the earliest standing structure is a four-bay timber-framed solar wing of the 15th century. This is of two stories, with cambered tie-beams having carved knee-braces to the wall-posts. It was originally heated by an external stone stack on its W side topped by an octagonal stone chimney. The roof has been rebuilt reusing medieval rafters. The two W bays of the six-bay stone hall were probably rebuilt in the post-medieval period, masking its original relationship with the solar. Its roof, spanning c8.5m, is of arched-braced construction supported on hammer-beams. Two of its original two-light windows survive; it was heated by a massive external stack on its N side. On the oppposite, W side of the solar is a four-bay stone chapel or lesser hall. The roof is constructed in the same way as that of the hall, but has a span of only c4.5m. Two original two-light windows and a piscina survive. This wing is at present divided centrally at first-floor level by an openwork screen, which is probably connected with its use as a chapel in the post-medieval period. The design of the roofs of the hall and chapel indicates that they are contemporary and of the mid 15th century. In the angle between th N end of the chapel and the solar is a single-bay two-storey chamber block of timber-framed construction in the Pennine tradition. (Med. Arch. 1978)

Medieval manor house with C15 Great Hall, solar wing and chapel, also later extensions and alterations. The site was purchased by a charitable trust in 1981 to ensure that it remained in single ownership. Phased repairs have been carried out and part of the site is now in good condition and is used as holiday accommodation. The unoccupied buildings, however, are generally in poor condition and the timber-framed solar wing is of particular concern as a result of ongoing water ingress. (Heritage at Risk Register 2016)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE208368
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  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 321-3
  • RCHME, 1986, Rural Houses of West Yorkshire p. 193-4
  • Ryder, P.F., 1982 (paperback edn 1992), The Medieval Buildings of Yorkshire (Ash Grove Book) p. 131
  • Faull, M.L. and Moorhouse, S.A., 1981, West Yorkshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500 (West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council) Vol. 3 p. 851
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 3 (London) p. 214-21 online copy


  • 1978, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 22 p. 182 online copy
  • Moorhouse, S., 1978, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal p. 12


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk Yorkshire Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 92 (new entry) online copy
  • Hillam, J., 1981, Tree Ring Analysis of Oak Timbers from Calverley Hall West Yorkshire