On a very autumnal Sunday afternoon I visited East Riddlesden Hall in West Yorkshire. Cared for by The National Trust the house and gardens are described as “a hidden oasis on the edge of a West Yorkshire town”. I’ve been to East Riddlesden Hall before for a wedding, but had never been to the historic house and gardens and decided it was time that changed.
The Hall’s origins go as far back as the 7th century, but the property as we see it today is mainly from the 17th century. Upon entering the Hall, it is a one-way route around which is helpful for ensuring you get to see everything. I was given a ’10 Things Trail’ leaflet from a steward which highlighted key objects from the collection on display across the Hall. This really enhanced my visit as it encouraged me to look out for these brilliant objects, which I may have otherwise overlooked amongst all the different furnishings and textiles on display. Only one original piece of furniture remains in the Hall, a grain ark, with the rest of the furnishings dating from the 17th century but bought or loaned to The National Trust who have curated them to showcase how the Hall could have looked in its heyday.
Some key highlights from my visit include:
Throughout the hall there is plenty of ornate oak furniture which has been hand carved. The craftsmanship is incredibly impressive, and it was great to see so much of it in display – although it did make it a bit dark in some rooms!
Agnes Grange lived at East Riddlesden Hall in the 19th century when it was occupied by numerous tenants, her father Areton was a bookkeeper on the estate. Agnes was 13 when she created this piece (which you can see below) in 1841. It was lovely to see something created from someone who had actually lived at East Riddlesden Hall.
In the corner of the Great Hall is a Saxon Cross which is over 1000 years old. It’s always quite something to be that close to an object with such a long history. You can see a cut in the middle, with the halves found 30 years apart across the site. It’s believed to be a preacher’s cross.
East Riddlesden is well worth a visit. The volunteer stewards were friendly and knowledgeable and the Hall has great facilities including a gorgeous tea room, with wooden beams and fairy lights, where I had a very tasty cream scone.
I want to end this post thanking William and John Brigg who bought the Hall and gardens in 1933, saving it from demolition, and donating it to The National Trust in 1934. Without them, we would never have this beautiful “hidden oasis” in the heart of West Yorkshire to visit today.
East Riddlesden Hall is located on Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD20 5EL.
If you are planning a visit all the up-to-date information you need to know such as opening times, prices and access is available on The National Trust website here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/east-riddlesden-hall
10 Things Trail Leaflet
The National Trust Website -East Riddlesden Hall, The House:
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