Calverley Old Hall

Calverley, West Yorkshire - Sleeps 5

About this Landmark

Calverley Old Hall is a solidly romantic place to stay, fascinating to all interested in how life has evolved through the centuries, and how an ancient building changes to accommodate these changing patterns and preoccupations.

Dog Beds 1 Single, 1 Twin, 1 Double

  • Sleeps5
  • 4 nights from £258
  • equivalent to £12.90 per person per night

Medieval in Origin

Calverley Old Hall dates to medieval times and is of great historical importance. Landmark came on the scene in 1981, when it was in danger of being sold in three separate lots. Even the great hall had long been divided into cottages. Then funded by our founder Sir John Smith’s Manifold Trust, Landmark bought this important medieval house so that it could remain in single ownership. As Calverley Old Hall is such a large grouping in several units, its restoration had to be carried out in several phases. We have recovered the gracious proportions of 17th-century rooms, with fine moulded beams and flagstone floors, and enjoyed by visitors since 1983. The Chapel has also been repaired, as has the fine hammerbeam roof of the Great Hall. The Solar and the Great Hall still contain the remains of eighteenth-century dwellings.

Calverley

Calverley Old Hall, in the small town of Calverley, has the cosmopolitan city of Leeds close by and sits on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. Calverley itself retains a village feel. The close-knit friendly life of the neighbouring streets, of corner shop and pub, soon warms all those who come to Calverley.  There are many wonderful places in the area to visit, including the Saltaire World Heritage Site, the Royal Armouries in Leeds and Kirskstall Abbey, before returning to relax and ponder under the moulded beams.

Floor Plan

‘It was heavenly to soak up the character of an ancient building, a peaceful village and countryside to delight.’

‘The hall and it's atmosphere is beyond belief.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Calverley Old Hall, in the small town of Calverley, has the cosmopolitan city of Leeds close by and sits on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors.

Calverley Old Hall
Calverley, West Yorkshire - Sleeps 5
Clear directions

Places to visit nearby

Saltaire World Heritage Site

Royal Armouries

Bradford Industrial Museum

Kirskstall Abbey

‘It was heavenly to soak up the character of an ancient building, a peaceful village and countryside to delight.’

‘The hall and it's atmosphere is beyond belief.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Directly from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Shipley – 3 miles
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    Yes there are two car parking spaces adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is a gas fired combi boiler and a smokeless fuel stove.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of fuel, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath. (There is an additional wc).
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    No.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a garden (not enclosed).

    Booking and Payment

  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will advise you as to whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to carry out the changeover then we consider that it is open and available. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, which may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Is it true there are no televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

Traces of an early stone hall survive

A family called Scot was living in Calverley in the 1160s and was later to take the name of the place as its own. At an early date they began to put all their family and estate papers into a large chest. For 500 years both the family and the papers remained here in Calverley, in a house that naturally grew and changed over the centuries. So, before 1300, they had already built a small stone hall house for themselves, of which traces survive.

Onto one end of this stone hall a timber-framed solar wing was added soon after. This was to be remodelled and enlarged about a hundred years later, around 1400.

Papers and house together tell a story of a steady climb in wealth and status. The Calverleys added to their estates bit by bit and married into the leading families in the area. Many were knighted or served as magistrates and later as county sheriff. But never higher than that: they were county magnates, not national ones. Some stand out as individuals: Sir Walter, in the 1300s, was a vigorous improver, a pioneer of the iron industry, who sometimes clashed with the law. His son, also Walter, was more prudent, drawing up careful marriage settlements for his teenage children. In the 1480s, a pious William added the chapel and rebuilt the hall; about 1550, a prolific William, with 17 children, added extra chambers.

Then there is the tragic Walter Calverley, who in 1605 ran amok and murdered his two small sons, William and Walter, and died himself under torture. The surviving son, Henry, is a poignant figure, dogged by ill luck in youth and later burdened by a huge fine imposed by Parliament for being a Royalist. It was he who added the North wing, probably before the Civil War began.

The story of the Calverleys ends on a happier note with the 1st Baronet, Sir Walter Calverley, a possible source for Sir Roger de Coverley, Addison's country squire of The Spectator. A busy, contented and prosperous man, he was the last of his family to have much to do with Calverley, though he lived not here but at neighbouring Esholt. His son, 2nd and last Baronet, moved further away, to Northumberland, where he inherited his mother's estate at Wallington.

The ancient link between Calverley and the Calverleys was coming to an end. In 1754 the Calverley estate was sold to the Thornhills and the Old Hall was divided into cottages. The barns and stables which we know to have stood around it disappeared and its gardens and orchards were replaced by streets and houses. But the cottage tenants had no reason to make major alterations, so the medieval house remained intact, a rare and complete survival. The Calverley papers survived too, and are now in the British Library.

For sale in three separate lots

The Landmark Trust has owned Calverley Old Hall since 1981, when it was for sale in three separate lots. It had long been divided into cottages, but under a single landlord, the Thornhill Estate. Then funded by Sir John Smith’s Manifold Trust, Landmark bought this important medieval house so that it could remain in single ownership.

 

 

As Calverley Old Hall is such a large grouping in several units, its restoration was always planned to be carried out in several phases. In 1982-3, as a first step, a Landmark let was formed from two empty cottages at the north end. This has been available for parties of up to 5 people and since 1983 thousands have enjoyed the experience of living in it as if it were their own. The Chapel has also been repaired, as has the fine hammerbeam roof of the Great Hall. The Solar and the Great Hall, which contains the remains of eighteenth-century dwellings within it, have been kept wind- and weathertight by Landmark while their future use was decided, not a simple decision for such a large and important group of buildings.

THE NORTH HOUSE

The last major addition, this is now the Landmark. It dates from the first half of the 17th century, the work of Henry Calverley, the survivor of the Calverley murders. It contained a fine dining room, now the living room, with a kitchen beyond it as now. This was a fashionable arrangement in Stuart Yorkshire. On the first floor there were probably bedchambers, again as now.

The western wall and window of the fine main room had to be rebuilt. A later fireplace in one corner was removed, and the adjacent timbers extended by scarfing new oak timbers into position. The original fireplace was opened up and a new stone floor laid. The walls were lime plastered and lime washed. The stone staircase was re-used but turned round and fully modern facilities provided in the kitchen, cloakroom and bathroom.

Other interesting features during this part of the work included the building in of various old stones, including the two carved heads now in the hall; and providing new windows of a traditional local kind. Old stone slates were reused on the roof and the new porch. Around the outside, the ground level was lowered appreciably, and as part of the same landscaping work, the site was enhanced with a new stone boundary wall where appropriate. A new gravel drive was formed and new stone paths and grass areas laid.

THE SOLAR WING

Leaving the North House, turn to your right, clockwise round the back of the house. The first door you see leads into the Solar wing, the earliest part of the present building. This is now a shell, having been stripped out, for archaeological analysis and to be ready for repair at a future date.

The wing began as a two-storeyed timber-framed structure, dating from around 1300. The lower part of the outside walls was probably cased in stone but the south gable, which lay a few feet back from the present one, may have had ornamental timber braces. There was a wide fireplace in the west wall of the main first floor room, which would have been a private sitting and living room for the Calverley family of the day. Beneath this were probably store-rooms.

This wing was built against the end of a stone hall which was narrower than the present one, although in the same position. The stump of its north wall can be seen below one of the posts in the east wall of the Solar wing, beside which there is also evidence for a door into the hall. About 1400 the Solar wing was remodelled and extended to the south, this time entirely in stone. New tie beams were inserted in the roof, with ornamental braces. The roof was later altered again, but many of the medieval timbers were reused. Doors and windows and floor levels have changed again since then, the most notable introduction being the long mullioned south window on the first floor which was inserted in the 17th century.

THE GREAT HALL

Leaving the Solar wing, continue clockwise to your right until you reach the east end of the building and the door into the Great Hall. Here again, the inserted walls of later cottages were stripped out prior to restoration, leaving just one cottage which was then still lived in at the west end. Meanwhile you can get a good idea of what a very fine room this was. The roof itself was repaired in 1985. The south wall of the hall, which was bulging dangerously, was rebuilt at the same time. Proposals for rebuilding the great north chimney were also considered, but no decision on this has yet been reached.

This great hall that replaced an earlier, narrower one, dates from the 1480s or '90s, built either by a William Calverley who died in 1488 or by his son, another William, who was knighted by Henry VII and married into a wealthy family, the Saviles. It is unusually large, having a span of 30 feet, made possible by the use of projecting hammerbeams, richly carved in the latest fashion. The great fireplace in the north wall was later converted into two small rooms. Fragments of the medieval windows can be seen in both north and south walls. The original entrance was at the west end, where there was a cross passage between two doors, behind a screen. This screen may have been topped by a decorative canopy.

THE CHAPEL

Leaving the hall, turn right and go through the opening in the low wall, to continue clockwise round the front of the house, passing along the south side of the hall and solar. Follow the paved path to the door of the Chapel.

The chapel is a very rare survival, with its private gallery for the family, entered from the solar, its fine altar window (in fact south rather than east facing) and its hammerbeam roof, a smaller version of that in the hall which it resembles in many of its details. An oak panelled ceiling is fitted over the two bays at the altar end; and the finely carved 'brattishing’ covers the top of the walls. The main timbers were dated by dendrochronology to 1485-95, which gives a likely date for both roofs. The William Calverley who died in 1488 is the most likely builder, since we know from his will that he was a more than usually pious man.

None of this could be appreciated in 1981. Before the Chapel could be restored an existing bathroom and kitchen within it had to be removed. Then the whole of the fine oak arch-braced roof was taken to pieces, repaired timber by timber and pegged together again. The one surviving light of the tracery window had to be unblocked and the other two lights remade, where a door had been inserted. Inside, the walls were lime plastered and lime washed; outside the stonework of the walls, the stone tiled roof, the doors and windows were repaired as conservatively as possible. This work was carried out 1982-4.

Bringing the entire grouping back into uses of some kind has been an aspiration for Landmark since the 1980s, but finding uses appropriate to the building’s scale and antiquity has not proved easy. Discussions with various bodies over the years have so far come to nothing, but Landmark continues to seek a partner or partners to bring Calverley Old Hall fully back to life.

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

QuestionWhat's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.