Restoration for Yorkshire medieval manor house and its Tudor treasures

Restoration for Yorkshire medieval manor house and its Tudor treasures

Calverley Old Hall in Leeds
Calverley Old Hall in Leeds, the site of once-hidden wall paintings, will undergo ambitious restoration thanks to £1.6million of National Lottery funding.

The two-year project will save the historic Calverley Old Hall for future generations. It is currently on the Heritage At Risk Register.

Led by the Landmark Trust, the restoration of the site will help reinvent the Old Hall as both stylish holiday accommodation and valuable community space. The intention is to boost the local economy and aid the wider regeneration of the area. 

At the moment, the historic building is near-derelict inside but is also home to extraordinary hidden treasures.

Fantastic heritage discoveries

In 2021, sophisticated Tudor wall paintings were discovered during work in the earlier stages of the Heritage Enterprise project, made possible by a National Lottery grant of £150,000.

The 16th-century paintings depict laughing birds and roaring griffins that are based on decorations Emperor Nero had in his Golden Villa.

Colour was spotted beneath a piece of plaster removed from a small room. Further investigation revealed three walls covered with painting that were the Tudor equivalent of wallpaper.

Paintings of this kind are often destroyed by being painted over, but these examples were preserved under plaster. The 16th-century paintings depict laughing birds and roaring griffins that are based on decorations Emperor Nero had in his Golden Villa.

Close up of Tudor wall paintings uncovered at Calverley Old Hall. This section depicts roaring griffins in a grotesque style.
Close up of roaring griffins shown in the Tudor wall paintings discovered at Calverley Old Hall. Credit: The Landmark Trust

A new generation of heritage craftspeople

As well as restoration work, the project will include a series of activities and training opportunities. Volunteers, trainees and apprentices will have the chance to learn traditional craft skills, crucial to developing the next generation of heritage specialists.

Two people watch on as a person applies plaster to a wooden structure at Calverley Old Hall
Heritage skills will be passed on to a new generation through the project. Credit: The Landmark Trust

There will also be a programme of open days and creative activities to allow the local community and visitors from further afield to discover the fascinating heritage of the Old Hall throughout the project.

Find out more

Discover other inspiring projects we have funded in the North of England.

If you have a project idea that will boost economic growth by investing in heritage, read more about applying for funding through our Heritage Enterprise programme.

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