Woodfield House, Lockwood

Woodfield House is a property situated on the former Woodfield Estate near Lockwood, and was the home of brewery owner Bentley Shaw.


The house was most likely built by William Shaw, son-in-law of founder of Lockwood Brewery, Timothy Bentley, with the earliest newspaper reference found being in 1838 when William's wife Ann died in September 1838, aged 44.[1] According to Timothy Bentley: Master Brewer of Yorkshire, the house was built for William circa 1815.

In early July 1859, Bentley Shaw offered Woodfield House and the estate as a venue for the upcoming Lockwood Mechanics' Institution gala, which was held on 31 July.[2]

Shaw held an annual tea party at the house for some of the widows in the Lockwood area, after which he presented them with half a sovereign.[3]

In April 1864, the first sod of the Meltham Branch Line was cut in Meltham. As the planned route passed close to the house, 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".[4] 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.[5]

On Friday 14 August 1868, Police Constable Ramsden was returning from Crosland Hill when he spotted smoke rising from near Woodfield House. He soon discovered that the part of Dungeon Wood behind the house was ablaze and raised the alarm. Workmen from Dungeon Mill and the fire engine from Bentley Shaw's brewery were summoned and the fire was brought under control. It was speculated that a spark from a passing train had started the fire.[6]

In November 1869, the Bishop of Bathurst, Australia, visited Huddersfield and preached at Emmanuel Church, Lockwood, on 7 November. During his visit to the area, the Bishop was the guest of Bentley Shaw and stayed at Woodfield House.[7]

Bentley Shaw suffered an apoplectic fit in late February 1878 and was confined to his bed by Dr. Scott. He passed away peacefully, aged 62, at Woodfield House on the morning of Wednesday 20 March at around 11:30am and was buried at Emmanuel Church on 23 March.[8]

Edward Stanhope Shaw, the fourth son of Bentley Shaw, died at Woodfield House on Tuesday 8 August 1893. His mother, Jane Elizabeth Shaw, died in November 1893.

On 7 May 1894, the house and contents was auctioned:

Eddison and Taylor have received instructions from the Executors to sell by auction, at the above Mansion, on Monday, May 7th, 1894, and the following days, the important household appointments, pictures, library of books, valuable greenhouse and hothouse plants and effects, including the contents of the drawing-room, dining-room, morning-room, library, billiard-room (including full-sized billiard table by Orme and Sons).

By 1898, the Woodfield Estate had been purchased for £4,750 with the intention of using around 23 acres of the land for a new cemetery for the Lockwood area.[9]

Woodfield House was advertised for rent in May 1899.[10]

By 1928, C. A. Lynn Williams was residing at the house.[11]

The building was granted a Grade II Listing in September 1978 and was described as:[12]

Early C19. Ashlar. Hipped slate roof. 2 storeys. Moulded eaves cornice. Continuous sill band to 1st floor. 5 ranges of sashes. Double doors with semi-circular fanlight, moulded imposts, in Tuscan porch with pediment.

Census Returns

1841 Bentley Shaw (25) [brewer], William Shaw (20), Eliza Shaw (15), Mary Shaw (15), Robert Shaw (15) [banking clerk], Ellen Shaw (4), and their four servants.
1851 Bentley Shaw (35) [common brewer employing 45 men], his wife Jane E. Shaw (33), their children Robert B. Shaw (8), John L. Shaw (6), William H, Shaw (5), Edward S. Shaw (4), Ada L. Shaw (infant), his siblings Robert Shaw (26) [civil engineer & surveyor] and Lucy Shaw (22), and their four servants.
1861 Bentley Shaw (45) [J.P. West Riding of Yorkshire, brewer and wine merchant employing 62 men], his wife Jane E. Shaw (43), their children Robert B. Shaw (18), Ada L. Shaw (10), Constance H. Shaw (7), Frederick A. Shaw (6), Gertrude A. Shaw (5), and his five servants.
1871 Bentley Shaw (55) [J.P. West Yorkshire, brewer, wine merchant and land owner], his wife Jane E. Shaw (53), their children Constance H, Shaw (17) and Herbert L. Shaw (7), and their six children.
1881 Jane E. Shaw (63) [widow], her children John S. Shaw (36) [brewer and wine & spirit merchant], Frederick A. Shaw (26) and Gertrude A. Shaw (25), her granddaughter Gwendoline L. Carrington, her sister-in-law Eliza Shaw (59), and her six servants.
1891 Jane E. Shaw (73) [widow], her son Edward S. Shaw (44) [brewer], her sister-in-law Eliza Shaw (69), and their seven children.


The History of Lockwood and North Crosland (1980) by Brian Clarke:

Mentioned as being typical of the smaller "mansions" of the area, this house stands off Meltham Road to the north east side of the cemetery.

Woodfield House was the centre of an estate of over 27 acres of grounds, including not only the "big" house but also two lodge houses, thirteen cottages and a variety of outbuildings. The house was built for Mr. William Shaw, father of Mr. Bentley Shaw, part owner of Lockwood brewery and in general a fairly rich man. His son, Bentley Shaw, who also lived in the house, increased the family fortunes further and in partnership with his brother and others finished up owning most of the land in Lockwood.

Built about 1836 the style is similar to the older family house at the brewery, having a central porch with stone columns built on a pedestal of steps, with two windows to either side of the porch and five windows on the upper floor. The accommodation comprised of, on the ground floor, Entrance Hall, Dining Room, Drawing Room, Breakfast Room and Library for the family and Butlers Pantry, Housekeepers Room, Kitchen, Scullery, etc. for the servants. On the first floor were seven bedrooms, a Dressing Room, Billiard Room and a Toilet (but no bathroom). The attic was divided into rooms for the servants. In the basement there were two Wine, two Keeping and one Meat Cellar, a Laundry, Coal Store and servants' W.C. An outside "loo" was also provided. There were extensive outhouses grouped to the rear of the house, comprising of: Coachman’s House, Stables for three horses, Coach House with a Hayloft over. Saddle Room, Harness Room with the Groom's bedroom over. Two looseboxes, another Coach House, Cow House, Store House, Mushroom House, Stoke House with a heating boiler for the Vinery and Greenhouse and with a Granary on the first floor. In addition there were Piggeries, Fowlhouses, Greenhouses and a Vinery. All this was fronted by extensive gardens reaching down to Meltham Road, including tennis lawns, swimming pool and an ornamental lake complete with island and rustic bridge. A total of three private roads led to the house, one from Dog Hall where the cottages were built, one from a small lodge house, which today is the entrance to the cemetery, and one from Woodfield Lodge. This latter building is itself a very large house, having on the ground floor: Hall, Morning, Drawing and Dining Rooms, a Library, Kitchen and Scullery and on the floor above a Nursery, five Bedrooms, Dressing Room, Bathroom and W.C. In addition there are both cellars and attics The "home" estate covered an area from Woodfield Lodge to Dog Hall in one direction and from the Meltham railway line to Dungeon Mills in the other.

Mr. Bentley Shaw died in 1878 but his widow continued to live at the house until her death in 1893, following which the estate was purchased by Huddersfield Corporation. The house is still in use, now divided into two residences. The outbuildings have also survived but are now in a derelict condition.


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Notes and References

  1. "Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries" in Leeds Mercury (15/Sep/1838).
  2. "Lockwood Mechanics' Institution" in Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Jul/1859) and Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Aug/1859).
  3. See, for example, "Lockwood: Widow's Tea Party" in Huddersfield Chronicle (11/Mar/1865).
  4. "Landslip on the Meltham Railway" in Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Oct/1866).
  5. "The Meltham Branch Railway" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Apr/1868).
  6. "Fire in Dungeon Wood" in Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Aug/1868).
  7. "The Bishop of Bathurst in Huddersfield" in Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Nov/1869).
  8. "Death of Beutley Shaw, Esq." in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (21/Mar/1878).
  9. "Huddersfield County Borough Council" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (20/Jan/1898).
  10. "To Be Let" in Huddersfield Chronicle (13/May/1899).
  11. Address given in a letter printed in the Yorkshire Post (14/Jul/1928).
  12. Historic England: Woodfield House.