Kirklees Hall, Brighouse

Kirklees Hall stands between Clifton and Brighouse in a fertile, south-facing valley.

There is evidence of early settlement on the site.

The name uses the elements kirk and lees, and means church clearings

The Cistercian Nunnery was built here around 1155.

When the Priory was disbanded after the Dissolution of the Monasteries on 24th November 1539, the property passed to the King.

In 1540, the property was leased to John Rokeby.

In 1543, a grant was issued for Richard Andrews and William Ramsden to purchase the lands.

In 1544, a grant was issued to John Tasburgh and Nicholas Savile who bought the land from the Crown for £987 plus a further 13/4d for the King.

They conveyed the property to William Ramsden and James More.

In 1548, they transferred the property to Robert Pilkington.

In 1564, John Armytage bought the land from Pilkington, and this became the home of the Armytage family.

The present Hall was built by Edward Armytage in 1610, using stone from Kirklees Priory. The front was north-facing because Armytage did not want to

turn his back on the Church [at Hartshead]

Between 1759 and 1770, Sir George Armytage made changes to the hall with John Carr, changing the style from Tudor to Jacobean.

After the death of Sir John Armytage in 1983, his widow put the Hall up for sale.

In 1988, Craig Dent bought the hall for £400,000 with plans to convert it to a hotel and restaurant. This was turned down and he sold it in 1998 for £1,000,000.

In 1999, the Hall was refurbished for conversion to 12 private apartments. The Hall, sundial, stables and outbuildings are listed.

This is discussed in the book The Old Halls & Manor Houses of Yorkshire.

Until her death, Lady Armytage lived in a new house which had been built on the site of the garden of the Nunnery.

In 1848-49, Charlotte Brontë stayed at Kirklees Hall and used the Hall as a model for Nunwood in Shirley, and the name Nunnely was used for Hartshead.

An old rhyme runs

Clifton stands on Calder banke,
    And Hartshead on a hill,
Kirkeleys stands within the dale,
    And many comes ther till.

See Brighouse Corn Mill, Kirklees Park, Brighouse and Henry Wickham Wickham

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 5923

Page Ref: MMK20

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