Castle Carr

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This is a backup of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's "Off the Record" wiki from 2015. The live went offline in 2016 and remains unavailable.

The following source list was originally available only on paper in one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service offices. It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date. It was designed to act as a signpost to records of interest on a particular historical subject, but may relate only to one West Yorkshire district, or be an incomplete list of sources available. Please feel free to add or update with any additional information.

Castle Carr, Midgley

Deed evidence shows that there was a Midgley farm property known as Castle Carr in existence from at least the 17th century, situated near the head of the Luddenden Valley. This formed the core of the later Castle Carr Estate and was added to in two main stages. Under George Bischoff, merchant of Leeds, several purchases of nearby farms were made in the period 1802-1840. In 1852, Captain Joseph Priestley Edwards (1818-1868) of Fixby Hall, brother of Sir Henry Edwards of Pye Nest, Skircoat, bought an estate of 1500 acres from the Warley Inclosure Commissioners with rights for hunting, shooting and fishing and he continued to add to his lands. A suitable house was necessary for such a large estate and Edwards spared no expense in commissioning the architect, Thomas Risling, to design a castle of magnificent proportions. Before it could be completed, Edwards and one of his sons was tragically killed in 1868 in a railway disaster at Abergele, North Wales. Another son, Lea Priestley Edwards, employed a local architect, John Hogg, to complete the mansion, but he only occupied it for a few years from 1872-1876. It was sold in 1876 to Joseph Laycock of Nottingham. In 1892 the estate was sold to William E Leppington but he soon tired of it. In 1895, John Murgatroyd of Midgley, whose estate bordered Castle Carr land, bought it. It remained in the family until 1961 when the new owners J E Gillings and Company Limited of East Ardsley decided to pull it down because of dry rot and its isolated position. Everything that could be sold was auctioned and by 1962 the castle had been almost totally demolished. The "lake" in front of the house was actually a reservoir in the Halifax Waterworks system. In 1859 construction of a reservoir opposite the house began, but it became apparent that it was an unsafe site. In Oct 1862, overtures were made to Joseph Priestley Edwards. The final agreement was that £4000 was paid to him, that the Corporation abandoned the former site at Castle Carr and that in return Edwards was to give a slightly smaller area of additional land. There was now to be two reservoirs at Dean Head (Upper and Lower), the destruction of the old mill owners' reservoirs, the small reservoir at Castle Carr (with fountains and cascades) and the enlargement of Warley Moor Reservoir.