Bay Hall, Huddersfield
- appears on maps: 1851 [#154], 1890 [#73], 1892 [#5]
- location: off St. John's Road, Birkby
- status: still exists
- category: hall
- notes: historic property
Discovering Old Huddersfield
Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:
Bay Hall is one of only three timber framed buildings in Huddersfield that are recognisable as such — in other words with the timbering still exposed externally. The black and white gabled section is obviously the oldest portion of the building and it would be this that was referred to as Bay Hall in the sixteenth century.
The first reference to Bay Hall is found, according to Dr. George Redmonds, in 1565 when John Brook, who was a tanner, lived either in the hall or near to it. It is mentioned again in 1599, when Queen Elizabeth I sold the manor of Huddersfield to William Ramsden, as "all our (The Queen's) capital messuage or tenement called Bay Hall ... now or lately in the tenure of occupation of John Brook." The fact that Bay Hall is the only building mentioned by name in the deed of sale adds weight to the suggestion made by some local historians that it was built as an estate office for the use of the agent of the lord of the manor and, as such, in its earliest days it served as an official building rather than a private residence.
Philip Ahier, the local historian writing in the 1930s, puts forward another interesting suggestion about Bay Hall. He says that it might have been used as the Chantry Chapel of our Lady which was connected with the Parish Church of Huddersfield but which was described in 1534 as distant from it. It is not known with any certainty where this Chantry was situated but Ahier backs up his argument by pointing out that in the early part of the nineteenth century there were some old confessional boxes to be seen at Bay Hall and, about the same time, a font was unearthed in the garden. These, he points out, could be relics of pre-Reformation times and therefore, contemporary with the Chantry.
The name Bay Hall is an unusual one and there are several theories as to its origin. We believe that the name comes from the design of the building. When a timber framed building was erected the space between the frames was termed a bay. Buildings with as many as eight bays survive in some parts of the country but here there are just two timber frames, one at the front and one at the back of the house. Thus this is a one bay building, hence the name Bay Hall.
The name of course spread to define the area around the Hall. For example, Bay Hall Common would be so named soon after the Hall was built This is largely the area bounded today by Birkby Hall Road, Birkby Lodge Road, Blacker Road and Crescent Road. Similarly, the stream flowing near to the Hall would soon become Bay Hall Dike. In the 1850s there was a Bay Hall Fields Chymical Works situated about a third of a mile south of the Hall and by the 1890s Bay Hall Works and Bay Hall Mills had been built at the side of Bay Hall Common Road.
Historic England Listing
- Grade II
- first listed 29 September 1978
- listing entry number 1220288
BAY HALL (South Side) No 7. C18. Roughcast. Pitched stone slate roof. Coped gables on cut kneelers. Two storeys. One range of 4-light stone mullioned windows. One tripartite sash on first floor. One tripartite sash on ground floor. Door with fanlight and glazing bars in moulded stucco surround. Continuous staircase window with glazing bars to rear.