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Hatfeild Hall

Hatfeild Hall 

Hatfeild Hall was built between 1598 and 1608 for Gervase Hatfeild and his wife Grace (formerly Grace Savile of Stanley Hall). There had been a house, then called Woodhall, on the site of Hatfeild Hall long before the Hatfeilds came to Stanley.Woodhall was owned by Robert Fleming in the 14th century, whose estates passed via his daughter, Cicely, the wife of Robert Waterton, to her son, also called Robert, who was Master of the Horse to Henry the Fourth. Woodhall came into Savile hands in the early 16th century when one of the Saviles married Catherine Chaloner, daughter of its then owner, John Chaloner. This couple’s great-grandaughter, Grace Savile, married Gervase Hatfeild, from whom the present hall takes its name. The Hatfeilds, with whom the hall was to remain associated for almost 300 years claimed to derive their descent from Beda, lord of Hatfeild in Holderness, before the Norman Conquest.

One of the earliest entries in the Wakefield Parish Church register is of the baptism of Francis, son of Gervase Hatfeild, on July 29th, 1613. Gervase himself, the founder of the Stanley branch of the family, was buried in Parish Church on June 4, 1654. Hatfeild Hall passed from the Hatfeild family in the early 19th century, to the stepson of John Hatfeild-Kaye’s brother, Francis, who had married a widow, a Mrs Harter, of Manchester. Later, John Hatfeild-Kaye’s two surviving sisters, Dorothy and Catherine adopted Mrs Harter’s elder son, John, and he succeeded Dorothy to the estate in 1816.The Harter’s, it seems, never lived at Hatfeild Hall, instead they chose to let it to a succession of tenants until it was finally sold to a Wakefield Solicitor, Herbert Beaumont, on 3 November 1897.

After Herbert Beaumont’s death on January 2nd, 1917, his daughter and son negotiated the sale of the Hatfeild Hall property to the West Riding Asylums Board.The sale was completed in October, 1920, and the Hall became a hospital for 50 mentally- handicapped women.The Hall remained hospital property for the next 65 years until it was sold to a local wine bar owner in 1985. The Hall was destroyed by fire in the early hours of new years day, 1987. Only part of the shell of the building was saved, but in recent years it has been returned to its former glory and is now owned by Normanton Golf Club. The building is now used for private functions with a club house to the rear of the building.

Hatfeild Hall through the ages

Pictures & photos spanning 250 years

Origins of Hatfeild Hall

According to a pedigree made by John Hatfeild Kaye in the late 19th century, his family was descended from Beda, Lord of Hatfeild in Holderness before the Norman Conquest, but the story of Hatfeild Hall begins with the marriage of Gervase Hatfeild to Grace Savile some five centuries after the Conquest.

Grave was the only surviving daughter of Edward Savile of Stanley (also known as Midgley) Hall, which she claimed upon his death in 1590. Shortly afterwards she married Gervase, eldest son of Henry Hatfeild of Wilford, Notts. The newly-weds soon found their claim to Stanley Hall threatened by Grace’s great-uncle, George Savile of Haselden Hall, who produced a document which showed that the estate was entailed only the male heirs of the Savile line. The dispute was referred to Sir John Savile of Howley and Gervase Nevile of Chevet, who decided in favour of George Savile.

Forced to leave Stanley Hall, Gervase and Grace were left with the unentailed Horsecroft, which seems to have formed part of the estate left to Grace by her father. A medieval manor house, Woodhall, already stood on the Horsecroft, but they found it unsuitable, and in 1598 the old hall was demolished to make way for a new one. Supplied with oak from Sir John Savile’s woods at Howley, they built a grand mansion with fourteen rooms on each floor. Work on the newly named Hatfeild Hall was finally completed in 1608.

Notes on the Hatfeild family until 1772

Gervase gave 10s a year towards the foundation of Wakefield Grammar School, and lived into old age. He made his will on May 28th 1654 and seven days later was buried next to Grace in the parish church of Wakefield. His arms – ermine on a chevron sable three cinquefolds argent impaling the arms of Savile – were placed on a raised tombstone near the altar.

In 1762 George, 3rd Earl of Aberdeen, came to visit John and Esther Hatfeild. A story is told that having reached Wakefield late in the evening, he stayed at the Strafford Arms for the night and partook of some mutton chops for supper. They were cooked so much to his liking that he asked to see the person who had cooked them, and went into the kitchen for that purpose. He was so greatly struck with the fine appearance of the cook, Catherine Hanson (the daughter of Oswald Hanson, a blacksmith from Sandall) that he at once began to make love to her. After his visit to Hatfeild Hall was over he went again to the Strafford Arms, where Catherine followed him into his bedroom at night with a loaded pistol and threatened to shoot him if he did not marry her. He consented and she became Countess of Aberdeen.

John Hatfeild Kaye and Augusta-Ann Wentworth

John was born in 1731, eldest son of John and Esther Hatfeild. Esther was the daughter of Jonas Kaye of Millshaw Hall in Kirkburton. When her brother John Kaye came into possession of his lands in 1728 he abandoned Millshaw Hall, disliking its bleak and inaccessible situation, and the building fell into decay while he took up residence in the newly built Butterley Hall in Fulstone. He died without issue in 1745 and left the estate to his wife for the remainder of his life, and then afterwards to his nephew, on condition that he take the surname Kaye. John Kaye’s wife remarried and her second husband got the coal from the Butterley estate, cut down its timber and otherwise impaired its value, causing a legal dispute on the grounds of waste to erupt between the two families, which went on for many years at great cost to both parties.

John Hatfeild Kaye grew up at Hatfeild Hall with his sisters. On 30th May 1772 he married Augusta-Ann Wentworth, who had previously been engaged to William Knollys, the 6th Earl of Banbury, but the engagement had been called off. Augusta’s subsequent marriage to John Hatfeild Kaye enraged the Earl to the extent that he sent a letter to Hatfield Hall on 2nd June 1772 informing him that he intended “to come and call you out with pistols and sword.” It is not known whether the duel ever took place, but shortly afterwards William Knollys was involved in a hunting accident near Stocksbridge, where he fell from his horse and afterwards suffered a paralytic stroke, losing the use of his limbs as well as his senses. He died a lunatic in 1776.

By this time the hall had undergone substantial alterations, with a large portion being torn down by Oswald Hatfeild in 1715. John Hatfeild Kaye repaired the house and introduced heraldic glass at the windows, painted by himself and his sisters. The entrance hall and gallery were decorated with shields of arms and in addition to this there were many figures of knights on horseback or on foot, in armour and always bearing the Hatfeild arms to depict their alliances, the earliest ancestor being shown being a figure in Saxon costume with the following inscription: “Ethwelwold, a noble Saxon, ancestor of the family of Hatfeild in the time of King Edward the Confessor.” Also appearing was Thomas Hatfeild, Bishop of Durham 1345-1381, the King’s secretary who was present at the siege of Calais, his retinue their being 3 bannerets, 48 knights, 136 squires and 80 archers. A portrait of the Bishop in full Episcopal robes appeared in one of the windows. Around the staircase were about 30 wooden tablets on which were painted arms and inscriptions relating to the family, one of which recorded that Wyllyam Haitfeild of Wilford, Notts, in 1554 bequeathed to his son Henry a flagon chain of fine angel gold, containing 223 links, in weight 36 ounces, and all his plate, rings, jewels, gold and all his estates in Wilford in Balne.

A keen historian, in addition to engaging the Herald’s College to trace out his pedigree, John Hatfeild Kaye also formed large collections for a history of Yorkshire which were bound up in 60 folio volumes. On the death of his nephew, John Hatfeild Harter, these came into the possession of Richard Nicholls, bookseller of Wakefield, who bought the whole library for £100. It is said that Whitaker the historian of Craven, and Hunter the author of Hallamshire, borrowed some of these volumes, which were never returned. One volume bound in scarlet morocco contained the manuscript for a history of Wakefield. In 1870 this volume was in the possession of a Mr Simpson of Manchester but by 1934 its whereabouts were unknown.

John Hatfeild Kate became heavily involved in money matters in about the year 1783, when his Hatfeild estate £6000, property in the West at £16,000, and two houses in Northgate, Wakefield, at £1050. By 1791 the Kayes were living in ‘an obscure situation in Edinburgh’ where they were in constant fear of John’s creditors, a fear only relieved on the death of Augusta Kaye’s brother, the 3 Earl of Strafford, who settled his estates at Wentworth – including Wentworth Castle – upon his sister when he died in 1799.

The Hatfeild Kaye’s did not have much time to enjoy their newfound wealth. Augusta died on August 25 1802 and John Hatfeild Kaye died on May 6 1804. They were interred in St John’s Church, Wakefield, where a monument was erected in their memory. Their only son, Wentworth Kaye, had died aged 2 months in 1777, so the Hatfeild estate passed to John’s brother, Francis Hatfeild.

Later Years

According to the abstract will of John Hatfeild Kaye, the Holmfirth estates were to be sold and a portion of the proceeds given to his youngest surviving brother, Thomas Hatfeild. His surviving sisters, Dorothy, Katherine and Susannah remained at Hatfeild Hall with an annuity of 50 pounds each, with the rest of the estate going to the eldest surviving brother, Francis Hatfeild (the Wentworth estates being entailed to his wife’s relatives.)

It is unclear whether or not Francis ever took up residence at Hatfeild Hall. He married a widow, Mrs Elizabeth Harter, at Manchester Cathedral on October 6 1802, but she died in 1803** leaving two young sons – John and James Harter – from her first marriage. Francis himself died shortly after his brother in 1804, and John Harter was adopted by the surviving Hatfeild sisters, taking their name and residing at Hatfeild Hall during his early years. On the death of the final sister in 1816 he succeeded to their estate, and took the name of Hatfeild, but preferred to live in Wakefield and let the hall to tenants. He was succeeded in 1850 by his brother, James Collier Harter of Broughton Hall, Manchester, and the entailed estate next passed to his son, George Gardener Harter of Cranfield Court, Bedfordshire, who died in February 1872; his son, James Francis Hatfeild Harter sold Hatfeild Hall on November 3 1897 to Mr Herbert Beaumont, a Wakefield solicitor.

** According to a descendant of James Collier Harter, Elizabeth Harter drowned in the fishpond at Hatfeild Hall in 1803, exactly one year after the death of her first husband, prompting speculation that her death might have been a suicide. At the time of writing the story cannot be confirmed, and seems to be a confusion of the Annabel story (which is also undocumented in print before the 1974 magazine article) – although their mother’s tragic death might explain her sons reluctance to take up residence at Hatfeild Hall, ending almost three hundred years of continued habitation by the same family...

Partial Genealogy 

1st Generation at Hatfeild Hall

Gervase Hatfeild (d. 1654) m. Grace Savile


  1. John
  2. Henry
  3. Thomas
  4. Francis
  5. Elizabeth
  6. William
  7. Anne
  8. Grace

2nd Generation at Hatfeild Hall

John Hatfeild m. Mary Francke of Alwoodsley on May 3, 1625.


  1. Gervase
  2. John
  3. Jane

3rd Generation at Hatfeild Hall

Gervase Hatfeild (d. 1701, Hatfeild Hall) m. (1) Catherine Duckworth of Padiam in Lancaster.


  1. Gervase (chr. 8 September 1655, All Saints)
  2. Oswald (chr. 26 September 1656, All Saints)
  3. Katharine (chr. 24 November 1657, All Saints)
  4. Elizabeth (chr. 28 May 1664, All Saints)
  5. Mary (chr. 11 September 1665, All Saints)
  6. Esther (chr. 27 April 1668, buried 5 October 1678, All Saints)
  7. John
  8. Savile
  9. Duckworth
  10. Thomas (a captain in the British army, killed in battle at Flanders)
  11. William
  12. Joseph

Six others – 18 in total

4th Generation at Hatfeild Hall

Oswald Hatfield m. (1) Sarah Challow, no issue. (2) Mary Hall of Leventhorpe


  1. John (born at Hatfeild Hall, April 16 1698)
  2. Frances chr 15 January 1701(married Joseph Moore of Leeds)

5th Generation at Hatfeild Hall

John Hatfield (b. 1698) m. (17 September 1729) Esther Kaye of Milshaw Hall.


  1. Mary, chr. 15 August 1730, died 20 April 1751
  2. John (later Hatfeild Kaye), chr. 30 July 1731
  3. Esther, chr. 19 December 1732
  4. Anne, chr. 18 April 1734, died 4 April 1751
  5. Sarah, chr. 22 June 1736
  6. Dorothy, chr. 19 November 1737
  7. George, chr. 3 January 1740
  8. Francis, chr. 23 February 1740
  9. Jonas, chr. 16 February 1742(a lieutenant in Colonel Monson’s regiment, and died in the East Indies
  10. Susannah Hatfield, chr. 21 January 1744
  11. Charles, chr. 3 July 1749 (also an officer in the East Indies, and died there.)
  12. Oswald / Oswell, chr. 22 January 1751, died 15 November 1762
  13. Katherine (unable to find records)
  14. Thomas (unable to find records)

The Pater And Hatfeild Hall

Courtesy of Nigel Beaumont, son of Stephen Beaumont (1910 - 1997) who grew up as a boy at Hatfeild Hall. Stephen was a Wakefield solicitor, and in his reminiscences wrote extensively about his life at Hatfeild. The following is from his private reminiscences.

Herbert Beaumont was a most capable man, aptly described in the Wakefield Express on his death in 1917 as “the architect of his own fortunes”. Born in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition, he saw, and played a significant part in the blossoming of the Victorian age. His descendants can well be grateful for the example which he set and for raising the family from a position where public school and university education was unknown to that where it is normal. Almost unheard of in his family and indeed amongst his friends, professional and otherwise, he sent my father to Oxford and his daughter Florence to Cambridge. My father, who revered him enormously, copied his example and my brothers and I also went to Oxford.

The Pater, as Herbert Beaumont was always known in the family, was born at Bellamy House on the Heath at Wakefield. The census of 1851 shows him as an infant and his parents as George and Sarah Ann, the latter being the daughter of Benjamin Fawcett. George and his father in law were in partnership in Wakefield as builders. Ben Fawcett seems to have been a good business man and George Beaumont not so, though kindly and unambitious. We have good oil paintings of both made on George’s marriage to Sarah Anne. They had other children including William Henry, who was an auctioneer (at which George also tried his hand), who died young, and Charles Arthur, father of the beautiful Elsie.

The Pater attended Wakefield Grammar School and apparently Riponden College which I can not identify, unless Rishworth School is meant, and was articled to the Solicitor W H Gill of a leading firm in Wakefield, Fernandes & Gill. As a bachelor he lived in Southgate. In the Solicitor’s Final Examinations in 1873 he obtained the Law Societies prize. My father told me that he practiced on his own for a year and earned the considerable sum of £800 - it would be 1875 - and then joined Samuel Fozard Harrison and Alfred Smith in partnership in Chancery lane, Wakefield. Harrison was a well established Solicitor in a good practice. There seems to have been some difficulty with Smith, but nevertheless , The Pater married his daughter Jesse Ellen Elizabeth in 1876, shortly after which Smith died. Their first home was the semi detached Westfield Villa on the flagged path by Stanley Royd Hospital, where my Aunt Flo was born in the same year. They then moved to 38 Bond Street where my father was born two years later and then to Hatfeild House in Margaret Street. The moves reflect The Paters growing success in the law. Jesse Ellen Elizabeth died in 1895, aged only 45. The Pater never remarried. His professional success continued to grow and in 1898 he bought Hatfeild Hall, which merits description in some detail.

The Pater bought Hatfeild Hall and the state of about 80 acres for £3750 from the Hatfeild Harter family who had not lived there for many years. It was bought by auction, the money being borrowed from Leatham Tew and Co, the local bankers soon to be absorbed by Barclays, and in a somewhat loose association with the master tailor Pickles of Kirkgate in 1898. The house was then tenanted by Stephen West, a barrister whose lease was shortly to expire. The Pater and Pickles are thought to have had the vague idea (although vague ideas were unlike the Pater) of developing it , presumably for housing, but the former soon realised its potential if restored and bought out Pickles interest. When West’s tenancy expired in 1899, the Wakefield architect, William Watson (Grandfather of Eustace Watson) was employed to renovate the house and this included a central heating system, electric light with its own generator and storage cells and a telephone - all of which were by no mean unusual in houses in 1900. Mistakes were made , an ugly green tiled fireplace - not in keeping with the Georgian character of the house - was installed at the end of the hall and the staircase lost its original ironwork. However, the end result was extremely comfortable. The alteration included the “bachelors wing”, upstairs at the north east corner and self contained, to which the Pater brought his 80 year old parents. Eustace Watson’s father, then a young man, helped in the work and in fact lived in the house to supervise it. The Pater, my father (then at Oxford) and my Aunt Flo moved in in 1900. As I lived in the house from the age of four to twelve (1914 - 1920 I have distinct recollections of it.

The front drive from the Wakefield/Aberford Road at Stanley, was then as much now, but with an entrance lodge, which has been demolished. That stood on the left of the stone pillars and iron gates which would be opened on telephone instruction from the house, by Meggitt the chauffeur or his wife who was the laundress. The drive, through, what was then the grassland of the park, is much the same, though the lamp posts were introduced when the house was used as a Hospital after my father sold it. The belt of trees, half way up the drive on either side of it and the bridge are now as then. The bridge was the scene of a slight accident to me. I was driving my Aunt Florence (I was about eight) in the pony trap up the drive and presumably did not leave sufficient clearance between the wheel and the parapet. I was pitched out on my head and slightly cut over the right eye. The mistake was notified to the house by the arrival of the pony in the stable yard, without the trap - it must have broken the traces. There was a temporary consternation, but all was well o the arrival of Dr Thomas. I do not recollect that my Aunt Flo was hurt. To the left the stream was dammed for a cattle trough and sticklebacks abounded, a magnet for small boys.

In the belt of trees on the left were two fish ponds, with a diving platform erected for my father (he was a very good swimmer). You can still see where these were. They were the scene of a drowning suicide in about 1919 - and no doubt my Uncle Charles Haworth would hold the inquest. The gardener, Simpson, was reluctant to assist in getting the body from the water - one should wait for the Police, he said.

Between the belt of trees and the house, the drive was flanked by trees, some old, some newly planted. An unusual feature of the park along the stream on the left of the bridge was the remains of an old horse drawn coal railway of he Fenton’s, coal masters and one time tenants, which formally ran across the park from old colliery workings to the Stanley Road and thence to the canal. We knew this as the Ladies Mile and it provided an excellent canter for us on the ponies.

One proceeded up the drive to the gates - which remain much as they were 80 years ago, dividing the park from the garden in front of the house. The park and gardens were separated by a ha - ha, though we always knew it as the sunk fence. Through the gates one came to the gravel sweep in front of the house - on its east side was, as now the front door. On the lawns to the right and left were two mulberry trees supported by chains (one of which still exists). Immediately in front of the house on the left of the front door were some half dozen curious stone balls on pillars about 18 inches high - known to us as Humpty - Dumpties. Only latterly have I understood that they were the Jacobean finials of the posts to the original gates, presumably preserved when the gates were removed on the house being “Gothicised” by John Hatfeild Kaye and his wife in the 1770s. One or more went to the antiquarian Haldane at near by Clarke Hall and no doubt can be seen in the garden there today.

We will now enter the house. The front door with its heavy brass bolts, door knob and knocker opened into the inner hall, with the Oak Room on the left and the empty Drawing Room on the right. Between the front and Oak Room doors in the hall was a fine oak corn bin, now in the possession of my brother Christopher. On it used to lie the visitors book which I have. Entering the Oak Room, the dominating feature was the portrait in oils of the builder of the original house, Gervase Hatfeild of about 1610. The upper lights of the Gothicised windows contained the glass painted by Dorothy Hatfeild about 1800, as did the upper lights of the hall, empty Drawing Room and the cupola above the inner hall. These paintings on glass depict the largely fanciful ancestors of the Hatfeild family and its connections. There was a secret recess in the panelling on the right of the fire place in the Oak Room, the latter containing a dog grate in which we burnt large logs. My Grandfathers chair was to the left of the fireplace. This was the principle living room in the house. The cornice moulding above the Jacobean panelling was interesting, the design of Neptune and mermaids being the same as at Woodsoms Hall near Huddersfield, built by John Kaye about the same period. The Jacobean ceiling had perished and been replaced. One of the family’s seven Grandfather clocks stood in this room, and a kindly old watch maker came out weekly to wind them. This was the room to which we - my two brothers and I - would be brought from the nursery to have tea with the Pater on his return from the office. We would clamber all over him, he giving us tit - bits from the tea tray and all roaring with laughter.

Opposite the Oak Room door across the hall was the door to the empty Drawing Room - so called because the Pater never furnished it - so it was used for dances and theatricals by Aunt Flo. The carved woodwork around the door was interesting. This room was made by John Hatfeild Kaye in the mid Georgian period and the ceiling had plaster scenes after, I think, the style of Angelica Kaufmann. There were domed alcoves either side of the marble fireplace and a carved wood mirror above it. The windows were from floor to ceiling, the upper lights having Dorothy Hatfeilds paintings.

Back into the outer hall and turning right to the inner hall which contained the staircase, one passed between graceful columns on either side (between two columns on the left was the telephone - Number: Wakefield 48, on a direct line to the office in Chancery Lane and the lodge) and came on the left to the door to the dining room, a handsome room with marble fireplace. Here at the opposite end, glass doors gave onto the library and on the left of the fireplace was the servants hatch to the kitchen quarters. There was a fine heavy Victorian mahogany table - which could seat, I think, 16 people when extended, and chairs to match. A very good idea of this room and the oak room can be obtained from the photograph album of the house arranged by the Pater in 1904.

The library beyond the dining room had heavy leather armchairs and glass fronted cases. I remember hearing in this room, aged eight, the church bells ringing for the Armistice in November 1918. Beyond the library was the conservatory where the gardener Simpson grew fine chrysanthemums and beyond that the hothouse for the more exotic plants. Both had large water tanks of great interest for small boys for the sailing of boats. We kept rabbits and white mice there.

Returning to the inner hall, at the foot of the staircase was the door to the billiards room. The billiards table (my father was a good player) and marker boards and cue racks I vividly remember. At the opposite end of the billiards room was, to a small boy, a fascinating lavatory with skates, walking sticks (including my Grandfathers alpenstocks for his Easter lake District holidays), croquet mallets and balls and a gun or two - though neither my Father or Grandfather shot - in racks, sporting prints by Ackerman and a number of cartoons, mostly legal, by Spy. Leading from the billiards room was a door to the kitchen quarters of which I remember the large high kitchen with its gleaming steel and black leaded range, a scullery and servants hall. It is now time to go upstairs.

As I have said, the stairs led from the inner hall. Underneath, steps descended to the cellar in which I remember some oak panelling. The staircase was lit from above by Georgian roof lights in a cupola. The first flight took one past a large oil by de Lazio of my Aunt Flo in court dress and after 1914 a large map of the Western Front with pins to indicate the position of the fighting troops. The second flight brought one to the landing from which the main bedrooms opened and around which hung the portraits of the Paters father George and his mothers father, Benjamin Fawcett and their wives.

The principle bedroom looked over the park to the south and had a bathroom attached. This was the Paters room but, characteristically, when my Mother arrived with her three sons in 1914, the Pater made this over to her and used himself a smaller room over the front door. The main guest room was to the right of this, with a dressing room and a large cupboard known as the powder closet. At the end of the landing was a further guest room and the bachelors suite over the empty drawing room consisting of a small sitting room, bedroom and bathroom in which the paters Father and Mother ended their days. My Aunt Flo’s room was over the library and the maids rooms over the kitchen quarters. These latter were somewhat gloomy and frightening to a small boy, particularly - did my Mother tell me or did I dream it? - as a skeleton was said to be painted on the plaster behind one of the wardrobes.

Returning to the landing immediately below the cupola of the roof lights, were painted shields of the Coats of Arms of the Hatfeild connections.

Outside the house they were to small boys, interesting outbuildings. First, at the end of the conservatories at the head of the Rose Walk and by the font there was the Apple House - originally Dorothy Hatfeilds studio. This on the ground floor contained the gardening implements and a small joiners shop; above, storage racks for fruit. There were examples of Miss Hatfeild’s painted glass in the windows. One went straight through the Apple House to the walled kitchen garden, the path edged with box, There were greenhouses and cold frames on the further (north) side. Leaving the kitchen garden by the door on the right, one came to the gardeners cottage (now demolished) and the back yard leading to the kitchens and containing the engine house for the electric light, and buildings in which knives were sharpened and shoes and boots cleaned.

Behind the gardeners cottage was a range of buildings consisting of loose boxes and the laundry where Mrs Meggitt presided - now demolished - and the coach house, later used as a garage. There was a large gate here leading to the rear paddock. Going through this and turning left behind the coach house another large gate brought one to the farmyard with mistals and poultry houses over them, a farmhands cottage and a very fine barn which dates from the 1770s. The Pater suggested on my parents marriage, that it be converted into a house for them, but my mother decline the suggestion. Behind the barn was a range of open fronted cart sheds with a grindstone and a small aviary, in which I remember an owl. From here the back drive ran to the back lodge in the Coach Road, near the house Rooks nest, occupied by my mothers Uncle, Philip Taylor.

The gardens and grounds were fine for small boys to roam in and explore. Behind the house on its north side was a lawn where the dog kennels were, in front another lawn where Aunt Flo marked out a putting green and on the south was the tennis court which could also be used for croquet. The tennis court area was bounded on the west by ancient yew trees where favourite dogs were buried beneath small headstones and behind that was what we called the wood, with paths which led to the Georgian icehouse, a fry pond with a stone statue of a female figure with a dog by her side but without its head, (we know her as “the broken lady”.) and the rose garden which displayed the paters passion for orderliness - each rose having a lead plaque giving its name. Beyond the rose garden was the fruit garden. It was indeed a privileged existence to enjoy all this.

The history of the house and its previous owners may be of interest. It stands in what was once the old manor at Woodhall in Stanley. A house was built there in 1600 by Gervase Hatfeild and sketched by Samuel Buck about 1720. It was then substantial with 12 rooms on two floors. The sketch seems to have been from the south showing a front door opening into what we knew as the oak room because of its Jacobean panelling and to the left the windows of the dining room. Our G P Dr Johnnie Walker - the historian - said it was extended by the Hatfeild in the mid 18 century, probably by building on the left to match the gable above to oak room.

The Hatfeild family still owned it when John Hatfeild Kaye was married to Augusta Ann Wentworth at Saint James’ Piccadilly in 1771. Augusta being sister of the Earl of Strafford, brought money into the family. John was an antiquarian and artistic, but the money left him when Augusta predeceased him. He favoured the Gothic style of architecture, altered the windows to the south and made the east front the main entrance there and the Hatfeild arms above it. After the disastrous fire, by arson in the 1980s, only the east front is recognisable.

John Hatfeild Kaye had no children and died in 1804. The house descended without much money to maintain it, to his brothers family, who lived in Manchester. One member of it, satirically known as John de Hatfeild, was an officer in the Yeomanry which suppressed the reform riots in Manchester in 1822 - this being known as the Peterloo Massacre. After 1816, the house was let to, amongst others, Fenton the coal master who probably built the colliery on the south western boundary, the spoil heaps of which still exist, and the tramway through the park which we knew as the Ladies Mile. The house, once restored had great charm and its gardens and grounds were largely the Paters creation.

The years from 1900 to 1914 at Hatfeild were very happy ones. The Paters reputation in the law and the life the town continued to grow. He became a magistrate on the Wakefield bench in 1905 and one of the country’s leading experts on the Poor Law. He became Vice Chairman of the local Conservative Party and Wakefield’s member of Parliament. He was proud of his children. Aunt Flo, though she disliked house keeping, was an excellent hostess and good dinner parties were held. There was claret, champagne and of course, port in the cellars. Dances were held in the empty drawing room and as well as parties each year for the Doncaster and York races.

So, from going to Hatfeild the family was happy, that did not alter when my father left on his marriage in 1906. And then came 1914, when, like so many other families, the Paters life, my fathers and mothers and my Aunt Flo’s became very different indeed.

When war broke out my father enlisted at once and the Pater invited my mother to bring her three children and run Hatfeild. The latter proved an admirable housekeeper for her father in law. It could have been a daunting challenge as there were three outdoor servants and four or five indoor ones and she brought a maid, nanny and three children. Germany overran much of Belgium in 1914 and in response to a national appeal to those in large houses with rooms to spare, the Pater - very patriotic - took in a family of Belgian refugees. Monsieur and Madame Petere and their sixteen year old son, Georges. Madame was often in tears and neither she nor Georges spoke any English so my mothers French came in useful. After the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in 1916, invalid solders who must have got back to England on one of the ships organised by Betty’s grandfather, Vice Admiral Sir James Porter, came for convalescence. There were Canadian remount horses in the stables, which Aunt Flo and her cousin Elsie would ride. All this kept my mother busy and no doubt whatever her anxieties were about my father - made her feel, to use the then war time phrase, that she was “doing her bit”. In due course the Petere’s left, Monsieur to get back to occupied Belgium as a secret agent and Georges to join the Belgium Army at eighteen and be killed. Whenever after the war, and after the second war also, Monsieur came to England he went to see my mother - the last time when both were well into their 70s.

If 1914 changed things for the family - 1917 altered it even more. The Pater died after a short illness on 2nd January and one of the causes of his death on his death certificate is “overwork” - a unique entry which as a Deputy Coroner for some 35 years I have never seen elsewhere. As well as running the office and his public appointments without my fathers assistance, he shouldered a vast amount of social work in connection with the war. He was Commandant of the local defence force, the equivalent of the Home Guard in World War II. Tributes poured in from many quarters, the City Council, the Magistrates Bench and the local Authorities with which he had been associated.

Gerald & Gwendoline Beaumont

By Stephen Beaumont 1910 - 1997

Gerald Beaumont, my father had an entirely different personality to that of my grandfather Herbert. The latter was outgoing and ebullient, the former reserved and austere. They were physically different too, my grandfather short and stocky, my father tall. After my grandfathers death in 1917, my father told me that he was the finest man he had ever known, and at six and a half years and young as I was, I know that my grandfather was very proud of his son, then in uniform as a captain in the Yorkshire Light Infantry, with two honours from Oxford.

After Oxford and at Hatfeild the years to 1914 were happy ones, with hard work at the office but plenty of dinner parties, dances, theatricals (organised by my Aunt Flo) tennis, bowls, hunting with the Badsworth Pack mounted by Harry Lyon, and friends locally from Oxford days. My parents married on 27 June 1906, it was a very happy marriage of 27 years, ending with my fathers death in 1933 aged 54. They had met through my mothers brothers, Percy, Ernest and Stanley Haworth both athletic, who were pleased to find someone with my fathers ability at tennis. He was asked to play at Stanley Grange, the Haworth home, where he met my mother for the first time. It was love at first sight, he was 27 she was 23.

However there were difficulties, George Frederick Haworth, my mothers father, known as Fred, did not approve of my father as a suitor for his daughter. The Beaumont’s were very new in the social scene of Wakefield, whilst the Haworth’s had been established for over 100 years. However, love will find a way and fortunately there is a footpath from Wakefield to Hatfeild, which runs past the plantations at the foot of Stanley Grange, which my father used on returning from the office. They used to meet there. Fred’s objections were not shared by his wife or children, and in the event there was a fine wedding reception in the grounds of Stanley Grange. Fred never visited the young couple in their married home.

I was born in May 1910, nearly 4 years after my parents marriage. In 1914 my grandfather Herbert Beaumont, then a widower, suggested that as my father had joined the army (of which my grandfather was very proud), my mother and her three children should come and live at Hatfeild and see to the housekeeping.

I was 4 years old when in September 1914 my grandfathers chauffer driven Benz car fetched us from Crofton to Hatfeild. Hatfeild was a marvellous place for three small boys and we were there from 1914 to 1922 when my father sold it to pay for our education and to provide some capital for Aunt Flo to live on.

My mother with her undoubted charm, managed affairs at Hatfeild admirably. Until January 1917 things went on much as before. My father for the first months of the war in 1914, when he was recruited in nearby Normanton C Company of 2/4 Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, could see a lot of the family and when the battalion was formed and moved into its various camps to get home now and then was quite possible. The Hatfeild visitors book, begun by Aunt Flo when the family moved there in 1900, still exists with its embroyded cover on which is a quotation from Omar Khayam. Friends and relations continued to stay, rationing had not been introduced. My fathers comrades in the Yorkshire Light Infantry came when on leave - Captain Charlie Gout, a cousin of the Wilson’s of Crofton, Major Percy Walker from Dewsbury, young Lt A R Mosley, who was killed at Cambrai in November 1917.

There were newcomers also. The Pater was very patriotic and when Brussels was overrun by the Germans and an appeal went out for householders with rooms to spare to take Belgian refugees, The Pater offered Hatfeild. Canadian remount horses were stabled in the barn in the farmyard and Aunt Flo and her cousin Elsie rode them, side saddle of course. My mother took all these incursions in her stride. The Pater was fit through working hard for the war effort and very appreciative of what she was doing. For the first two years and three months of the war things went very smoothly at Hatfeild.

It was too good to last. In November 1916, The Paters health began to decline. He died in the first week of January. At the same time, my fathers battalion was told that it was going to France. My mothers feelings can be imagined, with The Pater, the pivot of the family now no more and my father, then only Lieutenant, though an acting Captain, bound for the bloody battlefield of the Somme where the lives of junior officers were estimated in weeks only. This she well knew. Her brother Stanley had been killed on his first day in the line. She rose magnificently to the occasion, running Hatfeild at the end of the war and always, whatever her inner feeling, showing a cheerful countenance to the world. My father said he could always trust his wife for that.

Do dogs howl on the death of a beloved master? I have a distinct recollection of seeing and hearing, only once, the Hatfeild dogs with their muzzles pointing to the sky, howling loudly, as wolves howl. I do not recollect associating this at the time with The Paters death in January 1917, when I was six, but now think it more than likely that the Hatfeild dogs were mourning The Pater. Many others too, not of the family mourned him.

When my father was demobilised in March 1919 and returned to Hatfeild, he had to make the hard decision to sell it. He always remembered it, and Christopher.

Hatfeild Hall wedding photo, courtesy of Geof & Margaret Adams


This wedding took place on the 30th August 1913 at St Mary Magdalene, Outwood. The bride and groom are Florrie Simpson and John Jowitt, from the marriage certificate, Florrie is aged 24, spinster, no occupation, residence at the time of the wedding at Hatfield Hall Lodge, Outwood, father William Simpson, gardener. John is also 24, Bachelor, Electrical Engineer, Wesley Street, Belle Vue, Wakefield, father John Jowitt, signal fitter.If the group is in the conventional wedding grouping, then we presume that William Simpson, the gardener is next to the bride. The certificate is signed by a John Thomas Simpson (we think Florrie brother) and another Simpson, first name beginning with E, so presumably these will be on the photo.On the grooms side his mother, Elizabeth is sitting with the little girl in front of her.

Hatfeild Hall Memories

By Gwendolene Beaumont (1882-1970)

Described as a gabled mansion of stone which has had many alterations. From 1598 to 1608 the house was rebuilt by Gervase and Grace Hatfeild and had 12 rooms on each floor. A portrait of the two Hatfeild’s still hangs at Hatfeild over the fire place in the Oak Room.

Gervase claimed that he was a descendent from Beda, Lord of Hatfeild in Holderness, before the conquest. The last of the family was Dorothy, who painted the Heraldic glass picturing the history of the family, which is still (as far as I know) in the Oak Room. After the death of Dorothy, for years the house was empty, and then it changed hands several times until it was sold to Herbert Beaumont, my father-in-law. When the 1914-18 war broke out I went with my 3 sons to live at Hatfeild, and we remained there until we sold it in 1921. As a very small girl, Stanley and I, with Nurse, used to go for a daily walk, and our favourite was across the fields to the stone wall which separated us at Stanley Grange from the Hatfeild plantations.

There was all sorts of stories about the house and the lady who haunted it and over the stone wall we could see a broken statue. We longed to climb over the wall and look at the two ponds. I little thought one day it would be our home. During the war, which started in 1914, the house was full - wounded solders, Belgian refugees, etc. When my father-in-law died in 1917 I was left to carry on as well as I could, with only an old deaf cook, my own housemaid, the children’s Governess and old Simpson the Gardener. There was only one thing I could do, and that was to shut up a part of the house. So Lily the housemaid and the Cook came to live in the main part of the house, and I shut up the Servants Wing which was the oldest part of the house - the floor was made of stone and one wall was panelled, there were 3 or 4 bedrooms and a bathroom.

When we had settled down Simpson’s eldest daughter came back home, her husband had been killed. I heard she was at home and I knew that the cottage in the yard of Hatfeild Hall was too small for the family. I found out that a sheet had been hung up in one of the bedrooms to make a room for the daughter, so I suggested she should come sleep in the house and I made a bed sitting room for her as comfortable as I could in the Servants Wing. She was delighted. She was working in munitions and I asked her if she was kept out late at night would she tell the cook. At the end of a week I asked the cook if our visitor was comfortable and happy in her room, and to my surprise the cook said, “She is not sleeping here now.” I could not understand and cook told me that she had slept only 3 nights. When I asked cook why she had not told me she replied that it was not her work to do so. I went to see Mrs Simpson and asked why her daughter was not using her room, which she seemed so delighted to have. “I know nothing about it”, was all Mrs Simpson would say. I went to find Simpson and asked him what was the matter. He was not willing to answer me but I would not be put off, and I insisted upon an explanation. This is the story he unwillingly told me.

His daughter was delighted with her comfortable room but during the first night she was awakened by someone walking in the room. She was too afraid to get up and light the gas, but in the end she did and found no one in the room. She left the light on all night. The next night she was so tired she forgot all about her fright on the previous night and fell asleep at once. She was awakened, and this time she thought someone was feeling the bed. She plucked up the courage and lit the gas, but again saw no one. She was so upset she decided she could not spend another night in the room, so she went back to the overcrowded cottage. Simpson then told me his story.

When my father-in-law bought the house it was in very bad condition and alterations had to be made which meant a lot of men working in it. My father-in-law was afraid that a careless man might leave lighted candles, etc, so it was arranged that Simpson and his wife should sleep in a room in the old wing. Neither of them could sleep for a terrible noise that went on in the next room. It was the room our cook had slept in but she was stone deaf! Simpson did not complain to the master for fear he might lose his job.

We left Hatfeild in 1921 and we never saw the lovely old house again.

Hatfeild Coach House 2011 

Built in the 1770s during the period when the hall was re fronted and extended, the coach house was built in keeping with the new gothic design of the hall. It was built in the first instance to house the horse drawn carriages, complete with paddock to the rear. Access was via the front gate of Hatefield from Aberford Road, and via a second driveway from Outwood, hence Coach Road (The Lodge at the Outwood entrance has long gone, but stood in the field next to the turkey farm on Rooks Nest Road). The Coach house was later altered to house the motor cars of the then owners, the Beaumont family. Incidentally, the Beaumont family were the first in the Stanley area to own a motor car. When the West Riding Asylum Board bought the hall in the 1920s the outbuildings were neglected to the point of dereliction and after the 1987 fire at the hall, the summer house, outbuildings and coach house were all but destroyed, the stone stolen.  


Hatfeild estate 1969 ariel photo

View of Hatfeild and surrounding outbuildings 1969. This photos shows just how large the hall complex was, only the coach house (in part) survives today, all the other buildings were demolished during the 1980s.  


Hatfeild Hall and the Hatfeilds

Article from 1899

Hatfeild Hall, the former home of the Hatfeilds, is situated in the Vale of the Calder, in the township of Stanley, about two miles north-east of Wakefield. It is well shielded by old forest trees on the west side, but the south and east sides are open. The view from the windows embraces the easterly windings of the Calder, and various little woodland pictures towards Newland Hall and Normanton. The home park of about 80 acres is encompassed by plantations, which enclose a fertile expanse of meadow land. The adjacent collieries and wagon-ways, with an increasing population, have, however, somewhat impaired the beauty of the scenery, and interfered with the privacy of the estate. Many of the fruit trees in the gardens and near the Hall are of great age, but still vigorous and productive.

Some fine yew trees stand on the west side of the lawn, and on east there are two mulberry trees which are worthy of particular mention. They appear to be very old; the limbs have for a long time have been held up by chains, props and stays. The largest is four feet thick, but is hollow, and is growing in two separate parts. Some years ago a gooseberry bush had taken root in the rugged of one of the mulberry trees. The gooseberry was growing in the bark, about four feet from the ground, and flourished as a parasite in the manner of the mistletoe. The singular gooseberry bush was in leaf on April 7th, 1892 and promised a fair crop of fruit. The mulberries may have been planted by Gervase Hatfeild, who first acquired the Hatfeild property.

Stowe says that the mulberry was first planted in England 1609; Shakespeare planted a mulberry tree in his garden at Strafford. A phial which contains some of the juice of the fruit of Shakespeare’s tree is still preserved in the Strafford Museum. A gentleman named Gastrell, who had purchased Shakespeare’s house, cut this historic tree down in 1738, but a silversmith purchased it, and it was converted into memorials. A cup carved from Shakespeare’s mulberry tree was given to Garrick in 1769; it was sold afterwards by auction for 121 guineas. James 1st tried to introduce mulberry and silkworm culture, but failed owing to the coldness of our springs, and the lateness of the leafing of the tree. There is a proverb which says; “After the leafing of the mulberry there is no more frost” that is to say about the 20th of May.


The front windows inside the Hall contain painted glass, with arms and portraits of members of the Hatfeild family. Round the principle staircase are tablets of wood affixed to the wall, about 30 in number, containing painted arms and inscriptions, but not in genealogical sequence. The pedigree of the Holderness Hatfeilds began in the time of Edward the 2nd, but in the windows are mentioned several of the Hatfeilds before that reign. The first is on a pane in what is called the Oak room. There is a figure in Saxon costume, and below it an inscription thus translated: - “Ethelwolf, a noble Saxon father of Bede, Thane, ancestor of the family of Hatfeild in the time of King Edward the Confessor” On a on the stairs is an early Hatfeild, but no date: - “Gwen de Haytefeld, Kt, Lord of Haytefeld in Holderness.” On one of the coloured pains below: - “Waulter, Seigneur, living in the time of William the 2nd, giving orders to his standard bearer” Portrait above of Waulter and a standard bearer in mail, with sword and bow, a shield on the standard.

On another pain beautifully tinctured, in one of the bay windows: - “Stevani de Hatfeild. He was summoned 29 of Edward 1st (1301), and also by Edward 3rd to attend them in their wars with horse and arms. He married the daughter of Henry de Hastings, and had issue Walter Harl MSS No 1088. There is his seal annexed to several of his characters.” Portrait above a knight on horseback, in yellow, with Hatfeild shield, a sword and curious helmet. On another pain, with a slightly different inscription, Stevani is called “Esteven de Hatfeild, Chevelier.” A square in the drawing room contains: - “Walter de Hatfeld, Seigneur de Hatfeld. He was living in the reign of Richard 1st.” Picture of a knight in amour on horse back, with bow and arrows and a shield of Hatfeild. Next pain to Esteven:- “Waulter de Hatfeld, Cheveher, Seigneur de Hatfeld. He married the daughter of Consatble of Holderness, and was living in the time of King Edward 1st, had issue Stephen, Thomas and others.” Knight above in amour, bearing a standard with shield and sword; cloak, ermine. All the above members of the Hatfeild family are depicted in the windows or on the tablets before the Holderness pedigree begins. The next in order is one on of the tablets: - “Walter de Haytefeld, time of Edward 2nd; had issue Stephen, first son, Thomas, second son and Simon third son. Abbott of Waldon who died 1336.” Hatfeld arms: - Ermine on a chevron sable, three einquefuila argent. Stephen gave to the Abbey of St. Mary, York, all his fisheries in the manors of Waseand, Seaton, Hornsea, and Agnes Burton in Holderness, and was also a benefactor to the Abbey of Meaux.

The most eminent person of the family was Thomas, second son of Walter. He was elected Bishop of Durham, the 8th of May, 1345. A portrait of him as Bishop in full robea, with shield of Hatfeild, appears on a pane in the middle compartment of one of the windows, with this inscription: - Dr Thomas de Hatfeld, Bishop of Durham, Secretary of State, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, Chief General at the Battle of Durham, and Siege of Calais, the 20 King Edward 3rd. His retinue in the field was three bannerettes, 48 knights, 136 squires and 80 archers on horseback. He held the see 36 years till his death. Living an exemplary life of goodness and beneficence equalled by few, and though he expended large sums in public buildings, in aims to the poor and in hospitality and good house keeping, yet he died very rich and gave more gifts to the Church of Durham than any of his predecessors.”

Poulson’s “History of Holderness” (1840) gives a short sketch of him. It says :- “The Bishop, besides other ecclesiastical preferment’s, was tutor to Edward, Prince of Wales, and his spirit, sense, and loyalty recommended him to his Sovereign as a fit depository of the extraordinary powers which encircled the Northern mitre. Chamber describes him as a tall and unbending under the load of years, grey headed, of venerable, lofty, and commanding aspect. He headed a body of troops in conjunction with the Lord Percy, in order to repel the inroads of David King of Scotland, who was defeated with great slaughter. The banners taken upon this occasion were placed upon the shrine of St Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral. On his own banner were displayed the paternal arms of his family- Ermine, a chevron sable, impaled with the see of Durham.” Hutchinson, in the “History of Durham” (1785), gives a longer account of the Bishop. In that work it is stated that he restored many parts of the Castle of Durham, which from their antiquity and neglect were in want of repair.

The throne in the Cathedral was erected by Hatfeild, under the arch of which he prepared his own tomb, and gave lands near Auckland called Enknoll for the maintenance of a priest to say Mass there. He built a tower to the Castle of Durham, and rebuilt the Bishops Hall and the Constables Hall, with offices and other necessary apartments thereto. He erected a sumptuous palace in the Strand, London, for the residence of himself and successors whilst attending Parliament, or in their services at Court, which he devised by will accordingly. He was founder of a Friary at Northallerton for Carmelites, and was a great benefactor thereto. In 1354 the king issued his mandate to his Admiral in the North Seas to grant the Bishop three ships from ports of Tyne or Hartlepool, properly equipped and manned to convey him to Parliament. In 1377 the King granted an inhibition against the Archbishop of York’s visitations and extortions within the See of Durham; and in the same year the Bishop granted a toll on certain merchandise brought to Durham to defray the charges of paving and repairing the walls of the city.

In 1378 by letters patent he appointed William D, Elmeden gaoler and porter of the Castle of Durham, with certain profits annexed to that office among which are fees for sealing the measures to be used in the city. In this year the Bishop granted to Ralph, Lord Neville, a market and fair at Staindrop. In 1366 John de Carow having through ignorance seized a Royal fish cast upon his land, and being questioned for it by his character or deed acknowledged his trespass and as the fish belonged to the Bishop in right of his church of Durham, he agreed to pay 100 marks damage. At his death the Bishop gave to the convent the stock which he had in Weardale, estimated at 400 marks and upwards; his jewels and insignia together with 300 marks in silver, a red vestment embroided with figures of gold besides many silver vessels and valuable ornaments. One article among the things given to the convent was a thorn Christ wore during his passion, which the Bishop had received as a precious relic by the gift of Edward 3rd. After a tedious illness he died at his manor of Aleford, near London, 7th of May 1381, and was buried with great funeral pomp in the tomb he had prepared for himself in the Cathedral Church of Durham, whereon is his effigy and many coats of arms, but no inscription. In the Heralds Offices, among the Dugdale MSS, there is a beautiful drawing of the tomb, and also an engraving of it in Grose’s Antiquarian Repertory.

On one of the tablets in the staircase there is the following curious inscription: - “Wyllyam Haitfeild, of Wilford, Notts, Esq. His will was proved 18th of March 1554, by which he gave his son Henry his flagot cheyne of fine Angel gold, containing 223 links, in weight 36 ounces and all his plate, rings, jewels, and gold, and all his estates at Wilford and in Balne. And gave legacies to Sir John Thorpe, his priest, and others, and willed that when his son Henry arrived at the age of 16 years that he should take to wife daughter of Robert Eyre, Esq.” Grose says that Henry Haitfeild afterwards according to his fathers will, married the Said Anne Eyre, and resided at Wilford, near unto his father and hard by his stall, leaving issue Gervase and William, second son, to whom he gave 100 marks and his lands at Wilford and Tollerton.

The Holderness Hatfeild’s ended in Maud, daughter and heir of John, marrying William, third son of Sir Marmaduke Constable of Flamborough, Knight. Maud died in 1560. One of the Hatfeild’s founded the chapel of St Helen at Hatfeild. “Robert Hatfeld, Esq, will was proved at York in 1451, by which he ordered his body to be buried in the chapel of St. Helen at Hatfeild. “Robert Hatfeild, Esq., was escheator for Yorkshire. His will was proved at York in 1451, by which he ordered his body to be buried in the chapel of St. Elen at Hatfeld, and thereby also gave maintenance for a priest to celebrate daily for his soul after his death, and that of Maud de Boynton, his wife. This chapel he built and founded.” This appears on one of the painted squares. The chapel was accidentally destroyed by fire many years ago. It was the burial place of the Hatfeild’s.

Gervase Hatfeild, son of Henry of Wilford mentioned earlier appears to have been the first who came to Hatfeild Hall at Stanley. On one of the tablets he is described thus :- “Gervase Hatfeild, of Stanley, son and heir of Henry, married Grace, daughter and sole heir of Edward Savile, of Midgley, alias Stanley Hall, Esq., descended from Sir John Saville, of Thornholl, Kt. Built this house, Anno 1608.” Arms of Saville, and Hatfeild above. On one of the coloured squares Gervase is again mentioned with a slightly different inscription:- “Gervase Hatfeld, Esq., son of Henry, Married Grace, sole daughter and at length heir of Edward Saville, of Midgley, Esq. By her he had John and others. Built Hatfeild Hall on the site of Woodhall in Stanley. Anno Dom 1598.” It is difficult to say which of the two dates is correct, but Gervase Hatfeild is entered in the earliest Wakefield Church registers. John, as son of “Jarvis” Hatefeild, was baptised September 1602. John Savile resided at Midgley, alias Stanley Hall. His son Edward married Catherine, daughter of Alverey Copley, Esq., of Batley, on 22nd November 1574, and by her had Grace, only daughter.

It was through the marriage of Grace Saville with Gervase Hatfeild that the first Hatfeild became possessed of the Stanley property. The grandfather of Edward Savile married Catharine, daughter of John Chaloner, owner of Midgley in Stanley. The Woodhall estate, called a manor, had previously belonged to Watertons. “Robert Waterton, Knight, holding the manor of Woodhall in Stanley of the Lord King in chief, alienated the said manor to Lionel Lord Welles. Escheats 21 of Henry 6th.” William Warterton, of Warterton, in Lincolnshire, married the daughter and heir of Thomas Methley, of Methley, and had Robert Waterton, Kt., and five daughters, which Sir Robert married Cicerly, daughter and heir of Robert Fleming, of Woodhall in Stanley, Esq., by whom he had issue Sir Robert Waterton of Methley, Master of the Horse to Henry 4th, who at the time of his death was seised of the manors of Methley. Woodhall in Stanley, and other great possessions. (Grose.) Gervase had by Grace, his wife, John, son and heir; Henry, second son; Thomas third son, to whom his father gave Iveridge Hall, in the parish of Rothwell; Francis, fourth son, who lived at Stanley Grange, and left Anne his daughter and heir, married to William Harrison; Elizabeth; William, fifth son; and Grace married to Mr Edmund Dancer, merchant of York.

The above Anne left £50 towards erection of alms houses in Ouchthorpe Lane, Stanley. In 1602 Gervase compounded for his copyhold estate in Stanley, and sold his estate at Tollerton, Notts, to John Pondack, of Gumerston. In his will, proved June 28th 1654, he ordered his body to be buried in the parish church at Wakefield near unto his deceased wife Grace. He left his estates to his eldest son John, his saddle gelding to his brother William, and made his son Francis executor of all his goods and chattels except heirlooms in the capitol house at Stanley. He was buried June 4th 1654 in Wakefield Church near the alter, and his arms – Ermine, on a chevron sable, three cinquefoils argent, impaling the arms of Saville, along with an inscription, were carved upon a raised tombstone, which was noted by Dodsworth among others, but which has long since disappeared. He signed his name Gervas Hatfeild. John the son and heir of Gervase, married Mary Francle, daughter of Brian Frankle, of Alwoodley, near Harewood. Their marriage settlement is dated 3rd of May, 1 of Charles 1st. They left issue Gervase, John and Jane. John Hatfeild is commemorated on one of the tablets in the hall. Gervase the second, the son of John married two wives. The first was Catherine, daughter of Thomas Duckworth, of Padiham, Lancashire, who had 18 children. The father died at Hatfeild Hall in 1701, and was buried in Wakefield Church. His name appears on one of the tablets in the hall. The baptisms of the children are entered in the Wakefield registers. The second wife of Gervase was a daughter of Mr Playce, of York, who also died at Hatfeild Hall in 1701, and there lay in state, and was buried in Wakefield Church.


Oswald, second son of Gervase succeeded to the estate, and married two wives. The first was Sarah, daughter and heir of John Challowe, Esq., of Grantham, and relict of Mr Buller, but by her he had no issue. To his second wife, Mary, daughter of Matthew Hall, he had issue John, born in 1698, and Frances, who was married to Mr Joseph Moon, of Leeds, and had only one daughter, Eleanor, married to Mr Dana. Oswald is commemorated on a tablet thus :- “Oswald Haitfeild, of Stanley, gentleman, born there 26th of September 1656; married Mary, daughter of Matthew Hall, of Leavanthorpe in Swillingon, Esq., which family was possessed of that place ever since the time of King Edward ye Third.”

John, the son of Oswald, married in 1729 Esther, the only daughter of Jonas Kaye, of Milshaw Hall in Kirkburton, Esq., and heir to her brother, John Kaye, and by her had issue John, born at Hatfeild Hall; Francis; Jonas, a lieutenant in the army, who died in the East Indies; Charles also an officer in the East Indies, who died there; Oswald who died young; Esther, Sarah; Dorothy; Susan; and Catherine.

John, son and heir of John, F S A., deputy lieutenant and justice of the peace, added the name of Kaye to his own by Royal authority, according to an order in the will of his uncle, John Kaye Esq. He married, at St James’s Church in London, May 30th 1772, Augusta Anne, only surviving daughter of William Wentworth, of Henbury, Dorset, Esq., who was born in 1700 and was Gentleman Usher to Frederick Prince of Wale, and adopted heir to his uncle John, the last Lord Arundel. He was the oldest son and heir of Peter Wentworth, next brother to Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, on whom the said Earl, his brother, and his issues male entailed by will his estate sat Wentworth Castle, Wakefield, and elsewhere in Yorkshire. The titles of Barm Rabey, Newmarch, and Oversley were vested in him by descent after the death of William, the present Earl without issue. (Burrells MSS)

John Hatfeild Kaye had issue by Augusta Anne, his wife, a son named Wentworth, born at Hatfeild Hall, August 25th 1777, whose sponsors were the Earl of Strafford, Lord Viscount Gage, and Lady Bankes, and on whom his grandfather, William Wentworth, by his will entailed the late Lord Arundels estate his own. The said Wentworth Kaye died in his infancy, and this branch of Hatfeilds came to an end. (Burrels MSS.) Wenworth Kaye was baptised 28th of August and buried at Wakefield 9th of October 1777.

Mr John Kaye, of Butterly, left all his estates by will dated 1745, to his nephew in law John Hatfeild Kaye, exept £500 to his sisters and £50 a year to the brother of John Hatfeild. His estates consisted of 20 messuages, 20 cottages, 20 lofts, 5 mills, 20 barns, 10 dove houses, 6 kilns, 20 gardens, 300 acres of meadow, 350 acres of pasture, 200 acres of wood, 700 acres of turf and heath, and 500 acres of moor and common pasture, all of which seems to have been left to John Hatfeild Kaye and his heirs. Lord Strafford and Mr Wentworth were admitted to the greater part of the estate of Mr Kaye, to hold it in trust as a marriage settlement of Mr Kaye and Augusta Anne Wentworth at the Court Baron at Wakefield in 1772. In 1783 the Hatfeild Estate was valued at £6000, two houses in Northgate, Wakefield at £1050, and his reversionary estate in the west at £1600. Augusta Anne Wentworth was sister to the 5th and last Earl of Strafford, and succeeded to his estates including the ancient Heseldon Hall at Wakefield, the residence of her great grandfather. In 1802 she left her Wentworth Castle estate to F W T Vernon, Esq.

Francis Hatfeild, the brother of John Hatfeild Kaye, married Mrs Harter 6th October 1802 at the Collegiate Church at Manchester. Before this second marriage Mrs Harter had two sons, John and James Collier, the former of whom was adopted by the surviving sister of Francis Hatfeild, and took the name Hatfeild. In his early years he resided with his aunts in law and succeded at their death to the Hatfeild Hall Estate, which was then encumbered, but by dint of great care he paid off the mortgages and added to the estate. He resided at Wakefield when not abroad, and let Hatfeild to tenants. He was good to the poor of Stanley, and yearly gave a bale of cotton, which cost £20. The dole was continued by his brother, James Collier Harter, Esq., of Broughton Hall Manchester, his successor, Mr John Hatfeild (Harter) died at Wakefield in 1850. The mansion with the park and various other property, were sold on 3rd of November 1897, by Mr Harter, of Cranford Court, the last of the owners in the Hatfeild and Harter line.

John Hatfeild Kaye was an antiquary, and is said to have formed collections towards a history of Yorkshire. He and his sister Dorothy painted the miniature picture sand coats of arms (about 190) which are in the windows and on the staircase tablets. There is a view of Hatfeild Hall, rather faded, on one of the pains; and also a view of Kirkstall Abbey, and various allegorical and Scriptural pictures. On the south side of the park there are some cottages which were built by Gervase, grandson of the first Gervase. On a stone over one of the doors there are the initials “G. H.,” and date 1661. In one of the cottages lives an old man named Herrington, whose fore elders were servants under the Hatfeilds. In 1892 Herrington had in his possession some pictures painted by Dorothy Hatfeild. One is “Lucrecia” and is signed Dorothy Hatfeild and dated 1787. Another is entitled “Artemera, wife of Mosoleum,” dated 1788. Another entitled “Jahel, wife of Heber the Kenite,” dated October 16th 1784. Another, “Rubens and his two wives.” Another is the “Achievement of Mr Jos. Moore,” who married Francis, daughter OF Mr Oswald Hatfeild of Stanley. Arms of Moore impaling Hatfeild; crest, a Negro boy; a small picture framed. There are some others in the possession of Mr Ryecroft, of Wakefield, but they’re mostly coats of arms and portraits of the Hatfeild family, without date, all doubtless painted by Dorothy Hafeild. The work room of Miss Hatfeild in the hall is an apartment about 12 feet square, the walls of which are adorned with floral festoons in fresco, and with coloured shields. Like many other old Yorkshire mansions, Hatfeild Hall is said to be haunted. Long ago a young daughter of one of the Hatfeilds was drowned in a fishpond, and a stone statue was setup in the pond to her memory. This little lady, attired in white, walks the gloomy passages in the dead of night.

A monument was put up in St Johns Church, Wakefield in 1818, by Mr John Hatfeild (Harter) to the memory of the following:-

Augusta Anne Hafeild Kaye, died August 25th 1802, aged 65

John Hatfeild Kaye, FSA. Died May 6th 1804, aged 72

Francis Hatfeild, brother to John Hatfeild Kaye, died intestate July 1st 1804, aged 63

Esther Hatfeild, died April 2nd 1785, aged 53.

Sarah Hatfeild, died October 26th 1803 aged 67.

Susan Hatfeild, wife of Ralph Hanson, Esq., died July 3rd 1812 aged 65.

Dorothy Hatfeild (will dated 19th September, 1815), died January 31st 1816, aged 79.

Dorothy the artist and Catherine were the last of the family to inhabit the home of their ancestors. I am informed that the two first mentioned and the two last only are interred in the vaults beneath St. Johns Church

Hatfeild photos from 1897

Taken from the Hatfeild Estate sales brochure


Hatfeild Lodge 1900

This building was at the entrance to the Hatfeild Estate, opposite The Graziers


The Tragic Story Of Annabel Hatfeild

Annabel Hatfeild is said to have drowned in the fish pond at the hall, it is said her pet dog summoned aid but with vain attempts to save her she died. In the now Annabel suite in the hall was a ornamental plaster ceiling made up of five oval framed scenes that told the sad story of Annabel, the outer four depicted the the girl who drowned and her dog going for help. The final scene was in the middle of the room showing the parents attempts to save the girl. The ceiling survived the fire but was destroyed by workmen. Today the room that the ceiling was in is now called the Annabel Suite. A new ceiling has been added depicting Annabel's death that is similar to the original. During the time the Hall was used by the West Riding Asylums Board, many nurses who worked at night told of an apparition of Annabel Hatfeild, a young girl clothed in a misty white shroud, who drowned in the garden pond.

The Mulberry Bush

Throughout the Hall’s history, a Mulberry tree has continued to thrive in the garden and still bears fruit today. Legend has it that a cutting from the Hatfeild Hall Mulberry Tree was taken and planted in the grounds of Wakefield prison. As it began to grow, the prisoners would exercise around it and to keep their spirits up, composed what later became the nursery rhyme, “ Here we go round the mulberry bush”. In the rebuilt hall today there is a suite named after the legend. 


The Mullberry Bush in 2010

Photo taken by Shaun Parkin

Hatfeild Hall Outbuildings

Photos taken by Shaun Parkin

In the last 30 years the outbuildings have all been destroyed, all that remains is part of the old coach house.


Coach House


Coach House at Centre, Summer house to right, Hatfield Hall can be seen between coach house and summer house. Building to left of photo appears to be a lodge


Coach House around 1987

During this period much of the stone and timber from this building was stolen


Coach House remains in 2010

Photos From Around The Estate In 1979

Taken by Shaun Parkin


Photos from 1986

Photos taken around September that year, just months before the fire.

Photos by Shaun Parkin


As far as we know the above photos were the last to be taken before the fire. The car in the photo dates the picture to within a few months

Wakefield Express story about the arson attack on Hatfeild Hall

Looters have gone back to Hatfeild Hall since the historic building was damaged in a £750,000 arson attack and “cleaned it out” of fixtures and fittings, the distraught owner revealed this week.

Mr Jayme Fernandes who took over the building with partner Sean McMaster about two years ago and turned it into a leisure centre, branded the thieves as “heartless”. “The people who have done this are just hooligans” he said. “They must be sick to go around in this way”. “They’ve taken all sorts of items including two valuable fireplaces, fridges, freezers, microwaves, barbecue sets, all the light fittings, decorations and wicker chairs from the restaurant”. “They’ve cleaned the whole place out; they must have come in a wagon or something and taken everything they could lay their hands on”.


Mr Fernandes said he had been devastated by the fire at the Hall on Aberford Road, Stanley in the early hours of New Year’s Day but had been upset still further by the mean actions of the raiders. “It’s really been a case of adding insult to injury. I never thought anyone could be so mean as to steal from the Hall after what happened”. Mr Fernendes tried to get the building boarded up after the firemen finally put out the blaze but his insurance company told him to leave things exactly as they were. As a result thieves were able to get in and plunder thousands of pounds worth of goods from the building, now converted into a restaurant and bar complex. Vandals have also got into the Hall and caused damage. A council spokesman said the Hall was listed because of its architectural quality and historical interest.


Officials were "very saddened” by the blaze and subsequent looting spree. “We are very concerned about two fireplaces that were stolen” said the spokesmen. “Both are very unusual, one is made of marble, the other of oak” Experts reckon that one of the fireplaces could fetch as much as £1000 if sold in one of the top London auction rooms. “It is of high standard and in keeping with the rest of the building. It was ripped from the best room in the Hall which escaped more or less unscathed by the fire” he added. “Raiders seem to have taken an awful lot of stuff. They must have moved quickly, getting in and out in no time at all”. A spokesman for Wakefield CID said yesterday “We are aware of the problem, it has been reported and we are investigating it along with the arson attack. It is unfortunate this happened but there we are”. Youths have been seen on the premises but have been chased of by passers by and members of the public. “They seem to have been helping themselves. If anyone sees anything suspicious or has noticed anything untoward in the past I would be grateful if they contacted the police. As of yet we have been unable to identify those responsible”.


Pledge to reopen arson hit hall

Owners of Hatfeild Hall, which was destroyed in a New Years Day arson attack, which caused damage worth £750,000, hope to reopen the historic building by the summer. Co-owner Mr Jayme Fernandes this week described the fire which ripped through the first floor and roof of the Hall as “a big blow” but pledged “we will carry on” And he hit out at opportunist thieves who have looted the premises since the blaze. He had been forced to make it more secure because of them.


Mr Fernandes took over the disused Hall; formerly the Wakefield Authorities Western Headquarters about two years ago and soon gained permission to reopen it as a family leisure centre, complete with children’s play area. “We opened only last year and were aiming to expand the venture” he told the Express. “Now all our expansion hopes have been delt a blow by the fire”. “We had a lot of plans for the place, especially the upstairs rooms. The whole thing is very upsetting, but we will carry on”.  


Mr Fernandes said business had been “steady” since the Hall had reopened as a restaurant and it was beginning to make a name for itself. “1987 was going to be a year of consolidation for us, but now we will be concerned with getting the place open again. We are aiming to be open by the summer which is our busiest time” Mr Fenandes said it was impossible to estimate how much financial damage had been caused, but Wakefield police have put it at £750,000. “One thing we have to be thankful of is that although the interior was badly affected the building itself is ok. The stone work is irreplaceable so that is a blessing” he said. Investigations are still being carried out by Wakefield CID, but a spokesman this week confirmed that the blaze was being treated as arson. More than 50 firemen from stations throughout the county battled for more than one and a half hours to bring the blaze under control. The fire broke out early on New Year’s Day and at its height 13 tenders and special appliances had to be used. Fire experts have pin pointed the start of the blaze to an upstairs room.  


A spokesman for Wakefield fire brigade said there had been “extensive” damage to the roof and first floor rooms. “There was also some water damage, but we were able to keep this to a very minimum by shifting furniture” he said. Detectives hunting the arsonists appealed for the public to come forward. Hatfeild Hall was built between 1598 and 1608 for Gervase Hatfeild and his wife Grace, but lost most of its Jacobean features when it was converted to the gothic style about 1775 and gained arched windows and battlements. After a variety of owners it became the property of the area health authority, but became empty again in 1982. Mr Fernandes and his partner then took it over.



The two firemen injured tackling the Hatfeild Hall blaze were both on the mend this week. Fireman David Whitfield, aged 24 who is based at Wakefield sustained a badly bruised left instep and ankle when falling debris struck him as he was ascending a flight of stairs in the burning building. Fireman Glynn Booth, based at Rothwell, received a badly gashed hand. Both men were taken to Pinderfields Hospital for treatment and later released.


The failed three million pound hotel plan

In August 1987 the arson hit property and surrounding estate was bought by Whingate Properties of Leeds who chose architects David Ward Associates of Roundhay to turn the boarded up wreck into a luxury hotel. The plan was given the go ahead by Wakefield Council Planners, who to start with deferred the plan as the proposed extension to the Hall was out of keeping with the original building. The plans when passed included restoring the old hall and providing 12 five star bedrooms together with meeting rooms and lounge bar, also adding an 73 bedroom extension to the Hall, that would be three star accommodation, including conference facilities, restaurant, and a conservatory overlooking an ornamental pool. The design of the extension was to be in keeping with the original hall and would have been built from stone and welsh slate. There would have also been extensive leisure facilities in the halls seven and a half acres of land including a swimming pool, golf course, tennis courts and a gym. Building work started in 1990 on the conversion but soon ran into financial difficulty after only a limited amount of work had been done to the roof and in clearing out the inside of the Hall. Receivers were appointed to handle the affairs of Whingate Contractors.


Architects plans for how the hotel would have looked

Hatfeild Hall 1991


Photos of the rebuilt hall in 2010

Photos by Shaun Parkin


Hatfeild Hall Painting

In the 1980s the painting below of Hatfeild Hall sold for £7000, it appears to have been painted from where the road bridge is on driveway today.


The Hatfeild Chapel

This Chapel is said to have existed on the Estate up to it being destroyed by fire at some point in the 19th Century. The most likely site for the Chapel would be behind the Coach House at the back of the Hall. An 1842 map of the Estate shows the Coach House complex, but behind this is shown another building complex. It is therefore possible that this was the missing Chapel

Tram Road

The 1842 map also shows a tram road crossing the Estate from Ouchthorpe to where Aberford Road meets Lime Pit Lane. At this point it appears to follow the 19th century tram route down to the Basin at the Calder, this would have been part of the local railroad. Many branches joined this route from the local pits to the basin at Stanley Ferry in those days, carts were pulled by horse on these early lines.


1842 map of Hatfeild Estate

Spa on The Hatfeild Estate

In 1827 a Mr W.H. Gileby M.D reported that during boring operations to find coal seams on the estate they hit on water at a depth of 80 yards, the report said the water was "simmering with bubbles of air that were pepetually rising". Many local people visited the spring to drink its water, they claimed it was benaficial to their health. The water cointained as much soda in one pint as other waters contained in several gallons. The spa was in use for many years until the spa dried up.

1980s Building Work On The Hall

Before closing in the early 1980s the Hall was used as offices for the West Riding Asylums Board for several years. A year or so before it closed local authorities are rumoured to have spent almost £250 000 rebuilding the right hand bay on the Halls front elevation to lift the window cill height, and to remove the halls gothic style wall capping.


The Hall in the late 1970s when in use as offices


The Hall After closing as local as West Riding Asylums Board offices early 1980s, note the new stone work on the right hand bay and the removal of the wall cappings.

On the trail of spook Annabel

Mrs Elizabeth Peacock claims to have seen the ghost of Annabel Hatfeild in the early 1960s when she was a nurse at the then hospital for mentally handicapped women. She saw the ghost whilst doing her night round and describes the incident as seeing a young girl, with flowing hair drift towards her then disappear. She commented that the ghost “seemed to be quite a friendly spirit”


Documents From A 1970s Hospital Magazine

By G Hyde


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