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Howley Hall (site of)
County: West Yorks
District: Leeds
Parish: Morley CP
Monument Number: ( 3455 )
Site of Howley Hall, with surrounding gardens, bowling green and orchards. Constructed between 1585 and 1590 by Sir John Savile, with additions in the mid-17th century. The hall was demolished in 1730 at the behest of the 3rd Earl of Cardigan. Precise location and form of Hall is known. Detailed earthwork survey has been carried out in the area surrounding the Hall by S. Ainsworth in 1989, revealing features which correspond with the elements of the 17th-century garden, a factor which substantially increases the archaeological interest of the site. Located c.175 m to the SE of the probable site of the medieval hall (PRN 3793). See also PRN 3992 - area of former park within which Hall stood. ---------------------------------------- Site visit (by B.Y., J.M., guided by S.Ainsworth) demonstrated just how important this site is; the garden remains are extensive and detailed and because of their short life (and their demise prior to the major landscaping changes of the 18th century), constitute a set of 16th-17th garden earthworks which is probably on a par with the best anywhere elsewhere in the country. The site was scheduled in 1997; area around the scheduled boundary (to a distance of approx. 200m) now marked as as a Class II site (i.e. potentially archaeologically sensitive) to cover for the possibility of finds associated both with the siege of Howley Hall in 1643 and the use of the Hall as the base for Newcastle's army of approx. 10,000 men immediately prior to the battle of Adwalton Moor. (see Cooke). ----------------------------------------- The remains of Howley Hall are protected as a scheduled monument. Below is English Heritage’s scheduling description for the site: Ruins and below ground remains of 16th-century Howley Hall and the earthwork remains of its associated gardens. The earthworks which represent the site of the house today stand to a height of about 2.5m and indicate that the house was approximately 56m square based around a central courtyard 25m square. Projecting corners are also evident. Entrances in the west and north ranges (about 7m wide) would have provided access into the central courtyard. The principal entrance in the west range projects from the facade and aligns exactly on the remains of the gatehouse situated approximately 75m to the west. There is no evidence from the visible earthworks of any ground level access to the courtyard from the other ranges. The most immediately obvious remnant of the house is the standing fabric at the east of the south range, although numerous wall lines and cellars do survive elsewhere, particularly along the east range. Along the west range a cant in the wall line of the exterior facade, exaggerated by a bulge in the earthworks centrally between the passageway and the north west corner, marks the probable site of a projecting window bay. The remains of the gatehouse to the west are visible as a rectangular mound. The gatehouse was rectangular in plan, measuring approximately 9m north to south by 6.5m, with a central passageway. To the west of the gatehouse, a flat compartment measuring 55m north to south by 30m forms a forecourt. Centrally placed along the west side of the forecourt is a sloping break which marks the site of steps which lead up from the forecourt to a well defined, raised rectangular level area measuring 52m north to south by 64m. This is the site of a bowling green which is marked on a plan dated to 1735 and indicated on the Tithe Award of 1843. Sections of a slightly raised terrace 5m in width are evident around the periphery. The bowling green is raised 1.5m above the level of the forecourt. At the north west corner of the forecourt a break about 3.5m wide with banks on either side curves away to the north at the same ground level as the forecourt. This is the remains of the original carriage approach to the forecourt and can be traced away to the west for some 100m on an alignment parallel to the main axis of the site. Between the gatehouse and the western facade of the hall are the remains of a farm buildings depicted on the 1894 Ordnance Survey. The farm buildings survive as an earthwork measuring 56m square. Fronting the west facade of the house are three stepped terraces each approximately 0.3m high, fronted at the south by a raised rectangular area. These have been degraded by turf cutting, but are possibly the remains of formal flowerbeds outside the main entrance to the hall. Adjoined to the east range of the house are the well preserved remains of a walled privy garden exactly 40m square. To the south of the house further earthwork enclosures appear to have been originally walled, the largest directly south of the house repeats the 56m square layout. To the north of the house are three, large, raised parallel garden earthwork terraces defining two rectangular sunken compartments of equal size 40m wide by 86m long, and were a system of level walking terraces overlooking gardens below. There is a close correlation between the layout of the earthworks and a plan of the garden dating to 1735, suggesting the compartments directly north of the house represent the parlour garden named on the plan. The enclosure to the east can be identified as the orchard. The north edge of these terraces was marked by a wall which ran parallel to the main alignment of the house and forecourt. This is now evident as a shallow trench like depression 1m wide resulting from the later robbing out of the stone. It is suggested that Howley Hall was built in the latter part of the 16th century probably between 1585 and 1590 and became one of the finest country houses of the Elizabethan period in Yorkshire. It was commissioned by Sir John Savile, subsequently first alderman of Leeds and an influential courtier and politician. Later additions to Howley Hall are also suggested between 1646 and 1661. The architectural style employed on Howley Hall has been likened to that exhibited on houses designed by the great Elizabethan architect, Robert Smythson although it is suggested that a local architect Abraham Ackroyd, may have been the designer. At the outbreak of civil war in 1641 the Savile family displayed conflicting allegiance sometimes supporting Charles I and at other times refusing support. In 1643, the Earl of Newcastle, leader of the Royalist troops in the north, laid siege to Howley. The hall was battered for several days and Sir John Savile was forced to surrender, however little damage was done to the fabric of the building during the siege. By 1711 the hall was deteriorating rapidly and local people began taking stonework and furnishings. Houses at Batley, Birstall, Wakefield and Bradford are known to have been built with stone from Howley. Sometime between 1717 and 1730 Christopher Hodgson, an agent for the Earl of Cardigan, suggested the destruction of the house to eliminate the high costs of maintenance. The hall was blown up with gunpowder leaving only a few corner fragments. During the 18th and 19th centuries the gatehouse became a refreshment room and survived into the 1920s. The few drawings of the hall which exist indicate a symmetrical exterior comprising two storeys with a projecting three storey tower at each corner, canted bays and a central pavilion which appears to possess orders of coupled pilasters (rectangular columns) on each storey. The exterior had many windows and was crowned with crenellations and a number of domes on the roof. It was an impressive building set within an outstanding landscape. Selected Sources: * Ainsworth, S. 1989. ‘Howley Hall, West Yorkshire: Field Survey’ from Cornwall to Caithness Some Aspects of British Field Archaeology (Vol. 209) pp.197-209 * RCHME and West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council. 1986.’Rural Houses of West Yorkshire 1400-1830’ * Whittam, J. 1994. ‘A Brief History of Howley Hall Yorkshire’ pp.197-209 (Text edited from English Heritage’s National Heritage List, 1997)

Historic England, 2018. 'Heritage at Risk Register 2018'
Farr, E.B. 1997. 'Notes & Transcripts of Wills relating to Howley Hall & the Savile Family'
English Heritage. 'Howley Hall: a 16th-Century Country House & Gardens' National Heritage List of England (date first scheduled 24/07/1997)
Giles, C. (RCHME/WYMMC). 1992. 'Rural Houses of West Yorkshire: 1400-1830' p.50 &53
English Heritage. 2011. 'Heritage at Risk Register: Yorkshire & Humber' p.128
Atkinson, D.K., 1985. Morley Borough 1886 -1974...
Drawing, elevation
Atkinson, D. K., 1985. Morley Borough 1886 - 1974... no. 92
WYAS to J.M. Collinson, 1 September 1986
Historic England. 'Heritage at Risk Register 2015: Yorkshire' p.106
Cooke, D. n.d. The Forgotten Battle: The Battle of Adwalton Moor, p.18
Drawing, plan
Bowden et al. (eds), 1989. BAR British Series no. 209, p. 205
Ainsworth, S., RCHME, 1993. 'Howley Hall and gardens Management of an Archaeological Landscape'
Bowden, et al. (eds), 1989. BAR British Series no. 209, pp. 197-209
English Heritage. 'Heritage at Risk Register 2013: Yorkshire' p.119
English Heritage. 24/10/2007. NMR refs: 20710_005-011; 20709_006-015.
Miller, I S. 1994. Structural report (partial).