Durker Roods is a large residential property in Meltham that was built in the 1870s and is now a hotel.
The name "Roods" was historically a measure of land area equal to a quarter of an acre.
In October 1765, land in Meltham was sold at auction in Huddersfield:
To Be SOLD,
On Friday the Eleventh Day of October next, at the Houſe of of Mrs. Murgatroyd, the Sign of the George in Huddersfield, in the County of York, betwixt the Hours of Two and Six in the Afternoon.All thoſe ſeveral MESSUAGES, DWELLING-HOUSES, or TENEMENTS, called Headbouſe, in Meltham aforeſaid ; and the ſeveral Cloſes of Land thereto belonging, called the Sun Garden, the Croft, the three Roods, the Cowm Lands, and the Roods, now or late in the Occupation of James Redfearn, and George Taylor, their Aſſigns or Undertenants.
In December 1876, two plots of land at Durker Roods were auctioned as part of a sizeable auction of land in Meltham by George Tinker and Son and it seems likely the purchaser was Captain Arthur C. Armitage (1847-1931). The Durker Roods property was built by John Kirk & Sons to a joint design with Edward Birchall of Leeds and completed in 1878:
RESIDENCE AT MELTHAM.
John Kirk & Sons, Huddersfield, and Ed. Birchall, Leeds, Architects.This residence was erected for A.C. Armitage, Esq. It is situated about five miles from Huddersfield, and surrounded by pleasant scenery. It is built of local stone, the walls being pitch-faced, and the dressing chiselled. The roofs are covered with Westmoreland green slates.
The Armitage's placed the hall up for sale at auction on 24 June 1890, although the Huddersfield Chronicle reported that no bids were submitted:
DURKER ROODS ESTATE, MELTHAM. All that very beautiful situate RESIDENCE known as Durker Roods, Meltham, together with the stabling, lodge, pleasure grounds, and gardens, as now occupied by the owner A.C. Armitage, Esq., J.P., who is leaving the neighbourhood.
The hall was advertised for sale again in 1892 and appears to have been purchased at that point by Charles Brook, the son of Edward Brook, who allowed the Meltham Cattle Show to use a field adjoining Durker Roods in July 1893. Brook would continue to allow the field to be used for fêtes and other local events.
In 1894, Brook complained to the Meltham Local Board about the low water pressure at Durker Roods, which he felt would mean an accidental fire at the hall would not be able to be extinguished. This partly turned out to be the fault of the local silk mill, which was taking water from a nearby hydrant.
In the autumn of 1914, Brook offered the hall for use "as a hospital for wounded soldiers and sailors" and "to pay all expenses in connection with the hospital for at least six months." Around 30 wounded men were received at the hall in October 1914 and 30 more the following month.
By the Christmas of 1914, there were 31 soldiers recovering in the auxiliary hospital. On Christmas Day, they dined on turkey, ham, and plum pudding, and each man received gifts reportedly from the Royal Family, including a cigarette case from the King, cigarettes from Queen Alexandra, and a "case of toilet requisites" from Princess Mary. Mr. T. J. Hirst of Meltham Hall presented each solider with "a capital service belt, fitted with pouch and knife" and nursing staff received either an umbrella or a wristwatch.
By the late 1920s, Thomas W. Hirst was residing at Durker Roods.
The hall was advertised for sale or let in June 1936 with the following description:
DURKER ROODS, MELTHAM, near HUDDERSFIELD.
A MODERN FREEHOLD HOUSE, standing in its own grounds: entrance hall, four reception, eight bed and dressing-rooms, three bathrooms, servants' hall and good servants' accommodation; electric light (gas, water and electricity from mains at low prices) central heating; garage and stables, lodge and chauffeur's cottage. Large well laid out gardens (grass tennis court), greenhouses; approximately 10 or 15 acres in all to suit purchase.Apply, BROOK, FREEMAN, BOOTH and FISHER.
47 New Street, Huddersfield.
The property was converted into Durker Roods Hotel in the mid-1970s and became a popular venue for weddings and corporate events.
Durker Roods Hotel was placed up for sale in 2009 for £700,000.
|1881||Arthur C. Armitage||33||absent||Together with his wife, he was visiting Edward Brook and his family at Esplanade House in Scarborough. The couple had left their two young daughters back at Durker Roods with their nurse.|
|Elsie B. Armitage||2||daughter|
|Maud H. Armitage||1||daughter|
|Hannah Fairburn||18||servant||Under House Maid.|
|Sarah J. Whawell||22||servant||Kitchen Maid.|
|Alice Annie Stuart||28||servant||House Maid.|
|Sarah Jane Roe||16||servant||Under Nurse.|
|1891||Jane Douglas||31||servant||General Servant.|
|Fanny Osbourne||20||servant||General Servant.|
|Mary Pickering||33||wife||Living at Durker Roods Lodge.|
|1901||Mary Jane Parkin||55||servant||Caretaker in Charge.|
|Mary Elizabeth Edgington||20||servant||House Maid.|
|John David Owen||20||servant||Gardener.|
|?||Durker Roods Lodge: family absent from home.|
|Joseph Turner||58||head||Gardener living at Durker Roods Lodge.|
|Julia Ann Turner||54||wife|
|Edith Turner||23||daughter||Cotton Beamer.|
|Mary Gertrude Jane Turner||16||daughter||Silk Cheerer.|
|Joseph Henry Turner||14||son||Stable Boy.|