Woolley Hall The history
Woolley Hall is a landscape park largely unchanged since 1800. The park is associated with a Jacobean Hall (dated to around 1635 with later alterations). Features include wooded pleasure grounds, a ha-ha, kitchen garden and ponds. The main house is Grade II listed and the courtyard is Grade II listed as being of Special Architectural and Historic Interest. Michael Wentworth began rebuilding Woolley Hall in 1635. The new Woolley Hall consisted of an 'H'-shaped building of moderate size. An east wing was added to the south front around 1680. The western wing was added during the mid eighteenth century. The eastern wings which form the rest of the present building were added in the early nineteenth century. The house is constructed of hammer-dressed sandstone, with a slate roof. There are four storeys including the attic and basement. Recently Woolley Hall went up for sale (2014) with a guide price of £3m from its owners, Wakefield Council. It was purchased in 2015 by new owners Commercial Development Projects (CDP). Plans were submitted (2016) for a hotel conversion for the Grade II listed building. (CDP) had put forward a proposal to create a 88-bedroom hotel, with function facilities to cater for 300 guests, spa treatment rooms and a gastro restaurant. But (CDP), sent an email to the council (2017) to say they have withdrawn the plans, but gave no explanation. In reaction to the withdrawal, assistant chief executive for resources and governance at Wakefield Council, Michael Clements said: “Wakefield Council agreed to sell Woolley Hall to a local developer last year. “The sale was conditional upon them developing the site into a boutique hotel. “Disappointingly, this deal has now fallen through. It is thought the proceeds would be used to re-invest council capital with a spoke person stating “The proceeds from the sale will be used to support the council’s capital investment plans across the district whilst it will also provide an annual budget saving to help us deal with the funding cuts imposed on us by the Government.” The explore
The hall sits in pleasant surroundings and considering its recent endeavour has a boutique hotel it looks like efforts are been made to keep the hall well maintained. so... during a very windy February morning we moved in for a closer look. It was a little difficult to know where to start with this one as there were quite a few different access routes to the hall... Not knowing if we would be met by a security team we started documenting the building from a far whilst slowly moving in. The hall is quite something and reminded us of one of those old hammer house movies... albeit without Dracula. Moving slowly to the east side of the hall we came across what looked like an old boiler house... although four boilers remained only one was operational... perhaps part of the councils money saving scheme. Making our way though we entered the main hall.. Surprisingly most of the rooms original architecture is preserved with some rather exquisite flooring and panelling. although some of the rooms were accessible most of the doors were bolted and without wrecking what looked like a very well preserved old door we decided to document what we could and move on. Although the main hall was the main attraction we decided to explore some of the stable blocks to the north of the hall... It looks like this was used by council departments including Wakefield social services among others. Largely empty with left overs from its office days with little else on offer. There was some very unusual looking housing quarters although we could not find any entry to these building. On leaving the stable blocks we were met by a very pleasant care taker who gave us a little history whilst politely telling us to f*uck off... The pics
The main hall
The stable block
The boiler house
oh well time for a game of golf...