Farnley Hall

Farnley Hall is a stately home in Farnley, west Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is a grade II listed building. It was built in Elizabethan times by the Danbys. The manor is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Fernelei, so it is probable that this house was a replacement for earlier medieval structures.

The Danbys owned part of the manor and the hall until 1799, when it was sold to James Armitage. Thomas Danby was first Mayor of Leeds, and Thomas Danby College in Leeds is named after him. The Hall was acquired by the Leeds City Council in 1945 and its grounds are now the public Farnley Hall Park. The Hall is used as the headquarters of the council's Parks and Countryside Service.

Part of the 16th-century house still exists, including a much-eroded Danby arms. The house was drastically rebuilt in the 18th century, when much of the earlier house was demolished and replaced with an architecturally dull building. A sketch or the Tudor house survives in the British Library. In the early 19th century a classical front was added.

There are fairly intact remains in the parkland at Farnley, although the current layout is from the early 19th century. 16th- and 17th-century maps show a deer park, and the 1985 West Yorkshire Archaeological Survey said that the boundaries of the medieval deer park could be traced on the ground. However, it is unclear where these earthworks or ditches may be.

Farnley Parish Church, built in 1885 and dedicated to St Michael, stands across the park from the hall. It replaced an 18th century building, attributed to Carr of York. The classical belfry from this chapel is extant in the churchyard. A chapel is known on this site from 1240. The chapel at Farnley had a historic dedication to St Helen, and a well dedicated to the saint was extant in the village of Farnley until the 1950s when the site was developed for housing by Leeds city council. Remains of medieval tracery used to be preserved in the interior of the church.

There is a cottage close by, which is several hundred years old and is linked to the park. Archaeological research is currently is progress.


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