Panaramic view

Winsleyhurst  | OS Grid Ref: 422800,461450  | Site classified as: GARDEN  | HPG Ref: 60183

Map Evidence

OS First Series
House and grounds not depicted but 'Dippers Well' (see below) shown in woodlands
OS Second Series
Garden complex consisting of extensive grounds, driveways, fishpond, walled garden, greenhouses and lodge gate.
A chalybeate spring is shown in the woodlands
Plot nos. 249 (acreage 40.727), 257 (acreage 1.009)
OS Third series SE 26 SW
As above

Extract from Site Visit report

Site Description: Garden
Site Access: No public access. Lodge can be seen from B6165
Micro climate: Sheltered
Buildings: House built late 1800s. Family Trust have pics of glasshouses and garden. House no longer owned by Trust
Walkways / Gateways / Paths etc: Gateway to House existing; several paths; cobbled drive to N of House
Planting: Sequoia avenue leading to House; old rhododendrons; mixed woodland
General Condition: Good
Recommendations: NFA
Other comments: Garden viewed when carrying out SINC Survey. Walled Garden remaining but now the garden of another property and several old buildings being restored – walls looked to be in good condition; tank used as swimming pool to SW of house; gardens at back of house largely remodelled.
Dippers Well (Record no 60077) in grounds but not viewed.
Recorder: DC
Date: 1/9/09

Site Overview

'Winsley Hurst' built in about 1877/8, by Mr Charles Frederic Taylor, a wealthy Worsted Manufacturer from Baildon. Mr Taylor built a Mansion befitting his wealth, sitting in seclusion amidst deciduous Woodland. His newly purchased Estate included High Farm and Well House. Obviously a man who valued his staff, building them 3 terraced Cottages known as Northgate Cottages (a fourth added on by a subsequent owner Robert Clay).

In the 1881 Census, Mr Taylor is listed as a 'Widower', living with his son and daughter. Also six Servants (all living in), namely George Midgley (Man Servant Domestic) of Collingham, Fanny Greaves (Housekeeper) of Harewood, Housemaids Louisa Lamont of Largs in Ayrshire, and Elizabeth Robinson of Bradford, and lastly Kitchen Maids Florence King of Eden Bridge, Kent and Sarah Hebden of Leeds.

This Census also lists 3 dwellings at 'Home Farm', or 'High Farm House' as it is known today.
They housed more staff, such as Thomas Watson of Myton on Swale his Farm Bailiff, his Coachman Thomas Wilson of Adel and his Cowman John Iveson of Clint. To house even more staff, he built Northgate Cottages, for Thomas Wilkinson of North Newbald, Beverley, Richard Hodgson of Linton in Craven, both Farm Labourers. His Groom Frederick Barker of Ferrensby.

Mr Taylor was concerned for the welfare of not only his staff but also residents of Burnt Yates. He put his wealth to good use by providing more up to date housing for the villagers, namely 'Springfield Terrace'. Plus he was one of the main contributors to the building of the Church. A Plaque in the Church testifies to this: -

'In memory of Charles Frederic Taylor / Born 1827 Died 1899 / He built Winsley Hurst which was his home / from 1877-1890 during which time he partly / re-constructed the village of Burnt Yates / and contributed largely toward the / erection of this Church'.

Subsequent Owners/Occupiers

It is thought Mr Taylor financially over-stretched himself, as from Estate Deeds and several Mortgage Agreements, he started to sell off pieces of his Estate around about 1886.
The estate was then offered for sale in 1889.

Plan of the grounds and gardens of Winsley Hurst – from sale of 1889.
The hand-drawn and tinted plan shows 40 acres of park, traversed by two drives. The pleasure grounds extend to 4.5 acres. Surrounding the house to the north is a rhododendron bank, to the west, a shrubbery and 'rosary'. A circular feature and small building are depicted below, identified as a lawn/tennis court and pavilion. To the south of the mansion house itself, there is an area of lawns and a fish pond. To the east there is another shrubbery bordering the drive.
To the east of the house itself lie the stables, dog kennels and walled kitchen garden with glasshouses, boiler room, coke shed, and other offices.
The 1891 Census lists the new owner/occupier as Mr William Sheepshanks, a Magistrate and 'Living off his own means'. Mr Sheepshanks was a member of a very notable family, who owned a considerable amount of property in Harrogate. He held joint ownership of the Estate with his brother Rev Thomas Sheepshanks. By 1902 William had died, and his half share appears to transfer to his son William (Jnr).

In the 1901 Census, the occupier changes again to Mr Charles Andrew, also 'living off his own means'. But the ownership still remained with the Sheepshank family. Mr Andrews is also known be a landowner within the Parish.

A 1909 Deed indicates Rev Thomas Sheepshanks sold the whole Estate to a David William Wybrants. This gentleman is listed at Winsley Hurst, as having a voting right in 1912.

By 1912 the Estate was again sold, this time to Mr Robert Clay.

The Sale catalogue for Winsley Hurst – 26 April 1912, describes the estate in the following words.
A Residential and Agricultural Estate of 420 acres, including a solidly constructed and well-designed family Mansion, built in 1878, with model stabling, garage and coach house, magnificent pleasure grounds extending to about 40 acres, excellent kitchen gardens and glasshouses.

The Mansion is partly clad with climbing roses, flowering creepers and evergreens and the views from the grounds are of an exceptionally Romantic character.

About 200 yards south from the Residence in the centre of the ornamental woodlands is the renowned Winsley Chalybeate Spring which is protected by an ornamental stone building, roofed with thatch and which possesses medicinal properties of great repute.

The pleasure grounds are of the greatest natural beauty and have been developed with excellent taste and skill. Descending from the south front are a series of undulating lawns and shrubberies, having at their lower end an ornamental lake. A portion of the lawns has been levelled for tennis and croquet.

A walled-in kitchen and fruit garden, over 1 acre in extent, well-stocked with fruit trees. It contains early and late vineries, nectarine and peach houses, tool houses and potting sheds.


It is thought that Robert Clay built the fourth Cottage (No.1) at Northgate. There is however very little known about Mr Clay, other than that he built a number of wooden Pigeon Lofts in the second garden, at one time the footings could be still seen.
When on 9th November 1914 Robert Clay died suddenly, the Estate was again put up for Sale.
According to a local resident Mr Clay was thought to be a 'spy'; he had disappeared rather than died as is said that when he was buried the coffin was empty.
The Sale details included Winsley Hurst, Winsley Grange, High Farm, Well House Farm, Lawns Farm and a Terrace of 4 Cottages (rather than the original 3), total 420 acres.

The sale catalogue (undated) by order of the executors of Robert Clay (died 1914).
This is (unsurprisingly) similar to the 1912 document and contains photographs, some of which are reproduced later in this entry.
All the documents mentioned are held by the Nidderdale Museum, Pateley Bridge.

Mr Thomas Fox Brewster (Gentleman), and his wife Katharine May (nee Harrison) originating from Nottingham and Lincolnshire, purchased the Estate at Auction in December 1915, completing the transaction by 8th February 1916.

The Brewster years

From Deeds held at the County Records Office at Northallerton (Ref: Z1100), it is known that Mr Brewster added to his Estate. He purchased cottages at High Stripe, one known as 'Elsworth Nook' or 'Little New House' was purchased in 1926 from Mrs Margaret Alderton by Mr Brewster, another Cottage at High Stripe purchased in 1938 from George Barker. Then Low Stripe Farm, Cow Close, Prospect House, Brimham Hall, Spring House Farm etc. He even had the opportunity to buy 'Brimham Rocks' for about £4000, but declined. He also purchased the Wath Estate at Pateley Bridge.

Compiled by: Jane Simpson – Hartwith Heritage Group with some additions from later research done by Marie-Anne Hintze of The Historic Parks and Gardens Group

Sites related to this one

Dippers Well is shown on the OS first series before the Winsleyhurst Estate was developed.

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Extract from OS 25 inch (revised 1907) map showing the extent of the Winsleyhurst estate
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Extract from 1907 OS 6 inch map showing a Chalybeate Spring (assumed to be what was known as Dippers Well before the 20thC)
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Extract from OS Landranger map map centred on Site
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The cover of the 1889 sale catalogue
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The plan from the 1889 sale catalogue
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House front - from the 1914 sale catalogue
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Kitchen Garden Winsleyhurst - from the 1914 sale catalogue
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Pool Winsleyhurst - from the 1914 sale catalogue
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Tennis lawn Winsleyhurst - from the 1914 sale catalogue
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The House Winsleyhurst - from the 1914 sale catalogue
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