Stonegate Road Manor House Moortown

Houses, churches, monuments, graves, etc.
Diamondeyes
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JoinedCOLON Thu 29 Mar, 2007 5:36 pm

Postby Diamondeyes » Thu 29 Mar, 2007 11:55 pm

For some time now I have been researching the history of Stonegate Road Manor House previously known as "Bacchus Hill" and on an 1851 map as "Bakehouse Hill". It was one of several large estates in the area each having it's own working farm, formal gardens and stables. There were 2 working wells and at least 2 air raid shelters on the site which I have approximate locations for. It was finally demolished in the early 60's to make way for the Highwood estate, other estate land had previously been released to make way for the Queenshill's and the firestation and firestation houses. In it's final years the triangular plot of land owned by the Manor House stretched from King Lane to St Johns church running along the line of the Ring Road and along Stonegate Road back back to King Lane. I have found census records going back to 1861 where it was owned by 'Barker Crowther' a wealthy woollen merchant and have contacted the last person to live in the servants bungalow, however I have not been able to locate any photographs of the house! I have photos of the land, aerial photos of the estate and detailed maps showing the location of the main house farm and out-buildings but no actual pictures of the house. I understand the last person to own the house was Alfred Booth? chairman of Henry Booth (who previously lived there) a wealthy mill owner, but sadly there my investigations come to an end. I tried to contact Wimpey who demolished the house to see if they held any photo's or records but unfortunately they have all been disposed of. Can anyone help? Any information would be most welcome including any memories people may have of the old site.
craig24601
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JoinedCOLON Wed 13 Feb, 2008 11:05 am

Postby craig24601 » Wed 13 Feb, 2008 5:19 pm

looking for more info regarding this - diamondeyes please get in touch with your contact details
Diamondeyes
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JoinedCOLON Thu 29 Mar, 2007 5:36 pm

Postby Diamondeyes » Sat 31 May, 2008 10:19 pm

Hi Craig, I'm sorry I hadn't seen your post. I've not been on this site for ages and I didn't get informed that a new post had been made in this thread?
You can e-mail me at diamondeyes33@hotmail.co.uk
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Cheers,
Mandy
Leodian
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JoinedCOLON Thu 10 Jun, 2010 8:03 am

Postby Leodian » Wed 24 Jul, 2013 7:22 pm

While looking at maps in the Old-Maps UK website I spotted a 'Bacchus Hill' on an 1893 1:2500 map at a location that looked as if it would be around what is now Highwood Avenue/Highwood Crescent area between Stonegate Road and the Outer Ring Road (ORR), Moortown.

The name intrigued me as Bacchus (its Greek name is Dionysus) is the Greek and Roman god of wine and revelry. As the site seemed to have some buildings and grounds I wondered if there may have once been a vineyard there. Or was it once a site of Bacchanalian orgies that (so I'm led to believe) would have included unrestrained drunkenness among other things! Tongue.

The site is named on an 1851 1:10560 map but it is hard to make out its name as it could be Bakehouse Hill or Bakchouse Hill, so Bacchus Hill may just be a corruption of the older name. In a 1908 map the site is called Manor House but the ORR is still to be built and it was the same in a 1921 map. Manor House was there in a 1933 map but the previously isolated site now had some close-by housing development and at least part of the ORR had been built (the easterly bit from what would be the Harrogate Road roundabout seems to be missing). The site (with more close-by houses) was still there but not named in a 1954/55 map and the ORR was as it is now. The site is not there in a 1964/69 1:2500 map and the area has houses over.

I thought I would do a thread about Bacchus Hill but on searching SL I found this thread with lots of information from Diamondeyes. I thought (hope!) my input may however still be of interest. I have added part of the 1893 map that shows the location of Bacchus Hill.

Edit. You may need to click on the map to enlarge it.
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A rainbow is a ribbon that Nature puts on when she washes her hair.

Diamondeyes
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JoinedCOLON Thu 29 Mar, 2007 5:36 pm

Postby Diamondeyes » Sat 07 Sep, 2013 12:43 pm

Hi Leodian, I haven't been on this site for ages and my old email address no longer exists so I had not been notified of your comments.
Since my last post, I have found out lots more information, including the family tree of the Crowther's and I also have a picture of the house!
Bacchus Hill had a long frontage set well back from the road, it was accessed through large gates on Stonegate Road and approached via a long sweeping driveway.
Thought to have been built some time before 1822 during the Georgian period and probably around the same time as Moorfield House (Grade II listed and still standing on the opposite side of Stonegate Road).
The original kerb stones forming the entrance to the Manor House estate can still be seen today outside 581 Stonegate Road, they curve off the main road, continuing across the pavement, right up to the wall by the drive. You will notice that all the other houses along that stretch of Stonegate Road just have lowered kerb stones.
Not much is known about the house or occupants during the early years. In the 1851 census, the house was occupied by the Crowther family, Barker Crowther a wool merchant, was listed as head of the household and the family had 5 servants working for them.
The first reference to the house I have found is in 1881, following the death of Barker Crowther and probably due to probate duties, the house was listed in a proposed sale and described as "A commodious and excellent residence, with large conservatory, carriage houses, stables, farm buildings, pleasure grounds, vineries (which could explain your previous comments), walled vegetable garden, various yards, cottages and various closes of grass and arable land, set in 54 acres". The house boasted it's own Epsom salt well which was located by the stable block (somewhere in the current woodland), this was thought by the Georgians/Victorians to have health benefits for those who drank from it. Various small pockets of estate land were sold off to private buyers for building on at this point.
One of the first properties built on newly acquired land was Stonegate House (now demolished), this was situated on Stonegate Road roughly where the new Jewish flats now stand.
Around this time, I believe a road was created to link King lane to Moortown village (later to become a stretch of the outer Ring Road), this cut right through the middle of arable land belonging to the estate.
In the 1891 census, Barker's son Edward Crowther was listed as head of the household and continued to live there until the 1920's when the estate was sold and split up into a few small lots plus the main house which still retained a considerable amount of land.
This is the time that the older properties on Stonegate Road, heading towards the roundabout with Scott Hall Road/Harrogate Road were built. It also includes the shops where Holdsworths Removals etc are and the land where the current BP garage is.
The main house was bought by Alfred Booth, chairman of Henry Booth and Sons LTD, cloth manufacturers in Gildersome.
Things remained the same until the post war period, which saw the most rapid sell off of land, as was the case with many large estates throughout the country. In the early 50's the building of Moortown Baptist Church, the fire station and the Queenshill estate began, leaving only 13 acres of the original 54 belonging to the house. At this point there were still farm buildings, stables and a workers cottage.
Sadly, in 1960, the manor house and remaining land/buildings was put up for auction for the last time through Bartle and Son auctioneers. Having become too much for it's 81 year old owner Mr Booth and his wife, it was bought by George Wimpy for £59,000, narrowly outbidding the Mormon's who wanted to build a church on the site!
Soon after the sale, the manor house was demolished to make way for the Highwood Estate, fortunately the adjoining woodland was left intact with an agreement in place that it would never be built on. There are tree preservation orders on some of the ancient trees. It is understood that Wimpey later handed the woodland over to Leeds Parks Department (as it was known at the time).
In the 60's, the area was completely private and fenced in from the Queenshill estate, most properties in the Highwoods which backed onto the woodland had a gate giving them access. The only official entrance into the woods was via a small stile at the side of the last house on Highwood Avenue just before you go down the hill to Queenshill Avenue with a sign saying Private, Parks Department, Keep Out!
In 2004 after many years of neglect and vandalism, a small group of volunteers took on responsibility for cleaning up and improving the woodland. 'Friends of High Wood' continue to maintain the woodland so that local people can enjoy this quiet haven with it's abundance of flora and fauna.

    
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Diamondeyes
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Postby Diamondeyes » Sat 07 Sep, 2013 12:52 pm

Entrance from Stonegate Road as it was in the 20's
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Diamondeyes
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JoinedCOLON Thu 29 Mar, 2007 5:36 pm

Postby Diamondeyes » Sat 07 Sep, 2013 12:55 pm

Kerb stones still mark the original entrance to the estate off Stonegate Road (as it is today)
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Diamondeyes
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Postby Diamondeyes » Sat 07 Sep, 2013 1:01 pm

1850 Map showing it as "Bakehouse Hill"
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Leodian
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Postby Leodian » Sat 07 Sep, 2013 7:32 pm

Thanks Diamondeyes for that well researched in-depth information.

The 1850 map shows the nearby Moorfield House, on Stonegate Road. That building is still there and is now a care home. I pass it often and have wondered about it, as it looks like it could be old. On a quick search I've found that it is a converted grade II listed building but there seemed to be no readily available information about its history. I shall have to do more searching.

PS. I wonder what went on at the Sportsman's Hall, on Street Lane, on the 1850 map?
A rainbow is a ribbon that Nature puts on when she washes her hair.
Diamondeyes
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JoinedCOLON Thu 29 Mar, 2007 5:36 pm

Postby Diamondeyes » Sat 07 Sep, 2013 9:22 pm

In 1842 Moorfield House was owned by John Purchon. Purchon was an 'army and police clothier and woollen merchant' (Directory 1842) who was born in Rothwell in 1782. He set up as a
book-keeper at No.28 Kirkgate (qv) and became a cloth merchant by 1834. It is probable that he established his business by supplying the Leeds Police Force which began operations in
1836 and from which the Fire Brigade was formed in 1842; Purchon's Yard, Kirkgate, was named from his workshops there. Moorfield was occupied by Isabella Purchon, John's daughter,
in 1857, the Revd William Richmond in 1861 and William Cooke, a manufacturer of paper hangings, in 1881; Mrs Mellor was the occupier in 1905.
You may find the following information interesting from when the house was listed in 1991. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-465406-moorfield-house-and-attached-outbuilding
I worked there briefly in 1986 when it was a council run nursing home for men. It was a very sorry place to be, care standards left a lot to be desired shall we say, the smell was something I will never forget.
It was pretty much in it's original condition at that point and none of the outbuildings had been developed. The laundry was on the left hand side of the courtyard as you looked at the house, I think it was originally the coach house, the stables were to the side and rear. The dining room was to the far left of the front door where the bay window is. It had ornate plaster cornices and a lantern roof window. It had cast iron heating pipes running round the perimeter of the room with ornate cast iron grates covering them (these were full of cockroaches!).
Through the main doors was a lovely grand reception hall, it had large pillars and a beautiful staircase to the left which went to a half landing and was flooded with light from a huge ornate stained glass window, it then branched off to the left and right, sweeping upwards and back on itself.
All of the downstairs rooms still had their original fireplaces, doors, architraves and skirting boards.
I can't remember whether the bedrooms still had fireplaces, I spent as little time in there as possible as the smell was overwhelming ;0)
Towards the end of the 1980's early 90's the home was closed. Unfortunately before it was boarded up it got broken into, I understand that many of the fireplaces, and part of the staircase was stolen (local rumours), I'm not sure if the window survived either? It was finally boarded up and remained empty for years, I longed to be able to buy it! It fell into a terrible state of disrepair, floorboards missing, leaking roof etc. We were worried that sooner or later it would either be torched or demolished. Finally its fate was decided when a company bought it, they restored the house and gardens and turned it into a nursing home.
I have some pictures from the early 90's when it was boarded up. I'll try and scan them and add them to this thread.
As for the sportsman's hall, it was probably a gentleman's club it had disappeared on a 1984 map. A parade of shops and synagogue now stands on that site.    

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