• mountainposture

Keeping it local. Again.

We've been riding past the ruins of Howley Hall for years. They are about a mile and a half away from the house. Sometimes we've ridden up to the most prominent of the ruins and had a nosy at what's left. Howley Hall was a huge Elizabethan country house overlooking Batley, built on a prominent skyline so everyone could tell how important it really was. It featured a little bit in the Civil War, serving as a base for both sides at various points, and the Battle of Adwalton Moor was not far away. But by the eighteenth century it wasn't much used and it was costly to keep so the Brudenell family sold off bits and pieces of furniture and then blew the house up with gunpowder. As you do.

This is the most prominent chunk of the building left standing and what most locals call Howley ruins. Still popular to light fires in the fireplace - there's usually recent debris in there.

I knew what was now part of the golf club had been a lodge or entrance way and that the road from there round to the main hall was still visible in part. It's still a PROW as well as the road to the golf club. There's clearly older bits of the golf club building which haven't necessarily been treated all that sympathetically. By the time the big house was demolished this was the Chief Baliff's House.

A couple of blocked off doorways and a really attractive vent of some sort on the side of the clubhouse building

Front of the clubhouse with a modern extension. That blurry blob of snow top centre is a coat of arms. The black blob to the right of it is an air con unit. The smooth grass is the 18th green.

This is the coat of arms above what would, I presume, have been the main entrance into the lodge or whatever it was. It is possibly a bird of prey - looks a bit howley to me.

Much more beyond noting the road lines I hadn't looked at. I was intrigued by this statement:

Howley Hall and its gardens, despite its part destruction in the early 19th century is a fine example of an Elizabethan country house. The upstanding remains and surviving earthworks clearly show the layout and many structural details of the building itself.

Where was all of this? Clearly show the layout? I'd better go and have a better look. Snowing and lockdown meant the golfists weren't out so poking around the back of the fairway wouldn't be an issue for once. In short I found more than I had previously but it's a messy overgrown site. There's a couple of what I presume a garden features.

There's a couple of banks running across from the ruins away over the fairway. In the foreground of the right hand shot there's a wall as well. They don't seem to have been made for the golf course as they run into the scrub near the hall.

There's plenty of other ruins but they are now so overgrown that it's hard to tell what they are.

There are some seriously large pieces of masonry in here. Occasionally you get a glimpse of how they once fit together, but most of the site is lumps of overgrown debris. It's hard enough to get to in winter when the vegetation is all died back - this is barely visible in summer.

This bit at least gives an idea of the scale of the building. That's a fair old wall. Imagine I've put a pound coin somewhere to act as a scale for size. It would look timy in comparison to those blocks.

There's some arches from what I presume was some sort of undercroft/cellar, some in better condition that others.

The local sandstone erodes quite spectacularly where it's fully exposed.

So yes, there's more to the site than I'd realised but I only got to some of this by virtue of it being mid-winter. The layout if the site still isn't clear to me despite trying to follow the description by Historic England cited earlier but it seems to have been a good number of years since it was surveyed from what I can work out. And it was a way of exploring more locally in a little bit more detail as well.

And if only I'd taken a photographer along with me, you'd have had decent pictures. In my defense the light was a bit shit, much like my skills with my phone.

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