East Riddlesden Hall is a picturesque 17th century mansion built on the foundations of an earlier medieval hall house. The main part of the medieval house was rebuilt around 1630, with further remodelling in 1648 and again in 1692 when a new range, now ruined, was added to the earlier structure. It is the 1648 rebuilding which forms the larger part of the house we can see today.
The main 17th century rebuilding at East Riddlesden was probably by James Murgatroyd of Warley, and is considered one of the best surviving examples of 17th century vernacular Yorkshire architecture.
The first Hall at East Riddlesden was built in Saxon times by Cos Patric, Lord of Bingly. From 1125-1400 the Hall was owned by the de Maude family. In the early 14th century they built a simple hall house on the site of the present Starkie Wing. Then in the 15th century a farmhouse was built for the Paslew family just west of the hall. The property passed to the Rishworth family of Halifax when Robert Rishworth married Ellen Paslew.
In 1638 James Murgatroyd purchased the East Riddlesden estate from John Rishworth. Curiously, the sale agreement allowed Rishworth to keep using rooms in the Hall until his death. James Murgatroyd built the Great Hall as a temporary structure, but it is still in use today. When James died in 1653 his sons James and John both claimed ownership of the Hall. John Murgatroyd leased the Hall to the Starkie family without his brother's knowledge. The Starkies moved into the Hall in 1672 and took over ownership in 1708. They added the Starkie Wing and lived here until the family line died out in 1797.
During the 19th century the Hall was rented out by absentee landlords and occupied by a succession of tenant farmers. The last family to live at East Riddlesden were the Bailey family.
The Starkie Wing was torn down in 1905, leaving only one wall. In 1933 the estate was saved from being destroyed by the Brigg family from Keighley and donated to the National Trust. The Briggs brothers also re-purchased many interior furnishings that had been sold.
The hall is two storeys high and built of ashlar. The interior features large stone fireplaces and oak panels, with excellent plasterwork ceilings, and there are displays of pewter, oak furniture, and historic embroidery. The exterior features a grass maze and duck pond, set in a lovely country garden. The garden features colourful floral displays, including daffodils in Spring, clematis, flowering borders, and pink cherry trees.
One of the interior highlights is a secret hiding place for Catholic priests, created when Catholicism was outlawed during the Elizabethan period. There is a fascinating exhibit of 19th century samplers, and fabulous 17th century carved furniture.(LINK)
In all the rooms in the hall there was someone who could tell you about it's history, this room had a stunning plastered ceiling. The story goes, they used Ale to make the plaster often drinking quite a lot, so that's were the phrase "Getting Plastered" comes from. Here we can see what should be a Thistle head but they have made it into a man's face, there are three to be found.
1800c decorated room
This was one of the nicest rooms, much brighter in the green rather than the dark wood.
The Falcon and Hunting Dog Mews
When I have looked for similar buildings on the internet I have found nothing, even from people visiting the hall, not many showing this building not to mention the graffiti on the wall. I had hoped to discover more about it.
In the gift shop you just got a map of the hall and gardens, later I found they to a book but there were none there today.
Ruined Starkie wing
Dye Border, Gardener's shedWhen I was at St Oswald's Church in Guiseley, the Church warden explained to me about the colours of the church robes, the ladies who dyed the cloth back then were very skilled. A lady who could dye Purple would be very well off as it was a hard colour to make, hence purple is used for the highest people in the church.
In the formal gardens between the showers there were plenty of Butterflies to watch, a Dragonfly and the Ivy was buzzing.
Nice place for coffee and cake, the buildings lovely too
The Great Barn
The Grade I listed Great Barn at East Riddlesden Hall is a 400 year old testament to the craftsmen who worked incredibly hard to build the magnificent structure.
I had come especially to look at the barn, but they were re-doing the roof so it was closed. The barn would have housed up to 42 animals and the muck would have been used on the fields.
Roman numerals or marks can be seen on the large Oak beams, helping them to assemble the building.
National Trust-East Riddlesden Hall
During and before I managed to see and visit some more churches.