Woodfield Estate, Lockwood

Woodfield Estate is a former estate situated near Lockwood, between Dungeon Wood and the modern-day Meltham Road.

Much of the estate now compromises Lockwood Cemetery, but also includes Woodfield House.


In 1859, the Huddersfield Chronicle described the estate:[1]

The park is a piece of beautifully undulating ground of considerable extent, with fine woodland scenery on one side and an extensive view to the south, embracing that truly noble outline of hills running from Castle Hill to Cheesegate Nab, and is, perhaps, the most romantic and picturesque spot in the neighbourhood.

In April 1864, the first sod of the Meltham Branch Line was cut in Meltham. As the planned route passed close to the estate, Bentley Shaw objected strongly to the construction of the line.

On Monday 1 October 1866, the railway cutting above Woodfield House collapsed during construction and caused a sizeable landslide. The exterior wall of the estate was demolished "for about forty yards in length".[2] A further major landslip occurred in April 1868, which resulted in large boulders — some estimated at weighing 25 tons — coming to rest close to the house. The railway company's only option was to dynamite the boulders to break them up and Bentley Shaw's family was temporarily rehoused in Harrogate at the company's expense.[3]

By January 1898, the bulk of the estate had been purchased for £5,140 with the intention of using around 23 acres of land for a new cemetery for the Lockwood area. A further estimated £9,000 was needed for "laying out grounds, erection of buildings, sewers, etc".[4]

Woodfield Villa

In the early 1860s, Bentley Shaw commissioned local architect William Henry Crossland to design a new gatehouse at Dungeon Grove, replacing an earlier building. Local historian Edward Law regarded it as the "most interesting of any of Crossland's domestic works":[5]

...it is a multi-gabled structure. Three gables to the road frontage all at different depths, a small circular tower and spire to the rear and decorative chimnies. There are a wealth of window styles and a good deal of decorative work, particularly around the front door.

By 1878, woollen manufacturer Joseph Wrigley (c.1839-1926) was residing at the villa. The 1881 Census listed him as a widower with four daughters and five servants living with him.


The shaded area shows the likely extent of the estate.

Notes and References

  1. "Lockwood Mechanics' Institution" in Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Aug/1859).
  2. "Landslip on the Meltham Railway" in Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Oct/1866).
  3. "The Meltham Branch Railway" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Apr/1868).
  4. "Huddersfield County Borough Council" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (20/Jan/1898) and Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (16/Jun/1898).
  5. http://homepage.eircom.net/~lawedd/WHCBLDG1856-63.htm