Graded locations

Listed buildings are graded in each location in this blog. Eg. Grade I, II* II of grade I is of most importance. Grade A relates to Scotland. See BLB

Tuesday, 29 May 2007


Jules outside East Riddlesden Hall

Name: East Riddlesden Hall
Locality: 37 Westlea Avenue, Queensbury, Keighley, Bradford BD20 5EL
Built: 1640
Owner: National Trust
Grade I
Website: NT

History: East Riddlesden Hall is one of West Yorkshire’s many historical sites. East Riddlesden Hall itself was built in the 1640s by the local Murgatroyd family. The family had made their fortune through milling and weaving and the building was designed and built as a symbol of the power of the family. Unfortunately the family's star was short-lived and the house passed into the hands of the Starkie family through intermarriages later that same century. The Hall was extended during the 1690s but has changed very little since that time and still contains many items originating for the century it was built including furniture and embroideries. The Hall has been a gentleman's residence and also a tenanted farm. It came under threat of demolition in 1934 but was purchased by the Keighley brothers who presented the house to the National Trust who now have the care and running of the property.

Ghostly manifestations: The grey lady, the white lady, phantom coach man.

Ghostly anomalies: Ghostly footsteps, wooden cradle rocks by itself.

Report by Matt who is an employee at the hall.

The most well-known spirit is of that of the "Grey Lady". Legend has it that the Lady was the wife to a lord of the manor. One day he returned home to find his wife in bed with another man. Fit with rage, he through her into a small room (believed to be the "Red Bedroom" where she starved to death, whilst he locked her lover in another room and bricked up both the doors and windows. In the Grey Lady's Chamber, apparitions of a lady have been seen both by the window and in the rocking chair. The chair also rocks on its own with no breeze in the room.

East Riddlesden Hall 02

Another legend is that of the "White Lady". It is said that she was hunting one day where she fell from her horse into the duck pond and drowned. Her body was never discovered. An apparition believed to be her has been seen both in and out of the pond, presumably looking for her body.

In the "Old Barn", resides the spirit of a female known as "Alice" and the spirit of her cat. She was believed to be a witch and one day, two men dragged her to the pond, and drowned her until the verge of death, dragged her back to the barn, molested her, then burnt her and the cat. A strange feeling occupies this barn.

East Riddlesden Hall Barn1
Photo by Jules

 *** I have heard something that sounds like a scream twice; once as I walked past the Old Barn and the second time when I was cleaning in the Airedale Barn (used for functions).***

In both the Shop and Tearooms, there is an appresive atmosphere. This is due to the so-called "Assassin-Dishwasher" spirit. Believed to be a man who worked as a Dishwasher at one time in the Hall, who then led a second life as an Assassin by night. Usually he is kept at bay, but if there is a depressing atmosphere (in the mood of a person) then he strikes. If fresh flowers are left on Table 3 one evening, sometimes the next morning they have completely wilted where the rest are fine. *** I can actually vouch for this. I have seen the fresh flowers one evening, then the wilted ones the next...***. Also, chairs have been reported to move.

Staying in the tearooms, There are also the friendlier spirits of a Mother and two young boys. Legend says that one of the boys drowned in the pond. Some mornings, books and toys (usually stuffed toys) have moved from the toy-box to places in the Tearooms where its impossible for them to land if they simply fall out. ***I went up to the Tearooms one morning before the Catering staff got in and a large grey stuffed bear from the toy-box had moved from his usual place (sat proud on top of the toy-box) and he was sat on the table opposite and the catering staff swear that he was on the toy-box when they left the night before.***

There is sometimes a strange feeling in the shop. A few visitors have felt to be being watched from someone or something.

I was in the shop on the morning that the Most Haunted team were in filming, and I was dusting a clock original to the house which has been broken and not working for about 7 years started chiming. Also, at the beginning of this season (March 2006), the same clock one morning started up and continued all the way through until the end of the day when it suddenly stopped.

Also on the property are two spirit dogs. One is said to be the spirit of the Gardeners dog who sadly passed away just before Christmas 2005. The other is rumoured to be a "Devil-Hound", a large balck dog with red eyes. Legend says if you see these dogs, it means that someone will die soon. ***I was getting the hoover out one morning and felt a dog jumping up at me on my right side. I jumped back and surprised to see no dog. I was later told that the Gardener (who now has a puppy who comes on site) hadn't been on the property for about three days.***

Its talked about that there are several ghosts that haunt the seventeenth century manor house, the ghost of the 'Grey Lady'. The Grey lady is allegedly is thought to be the wife of a subsequent Lord of the Manor. She has been seen wandering along the corridors of the hall, going from room to room , searching for something or someone.

The story goes that the lady's husband came home one day to find her cradled in the arms of another man. It was said that he locked his wife in a room and walled up her lover also. They starved to death and it is thought that when the Grey Lady appears she seems to be looking for her lost lover. The unfortunate young man is said to appear as a ghostly apparition at the window of the bricked-up room where he died.

Another ghost, known as the 'White Lady', has been seen walking around the lake in the grounds of the house. She too once lived at the Hall and supposedly was thrown from her horse whilst hunting. Her body was never found and it is believed that she drowned in the lake where she is now frequently seen.

Another ghost is a phantom coachman who was believed to have been dragged into the lake by his horses. He has been seen wandering around the water, presumably looking for his lost coach and horses.

There is a 300 year-old wooden cradle in one of the bedrooms of East Riddleston Hall that is said to rock of its own accord each New Year's Eve. It is rumored that the 'Gray Lady' herself is rocking the cradle.

The Starkie Wing, East Riddlesden Hall, Morton - - 94030


It was a great privilege to walk through this fantastic building. The place was so old you could eat the atmosphere. As expected, the dark oak floorboards creaked under my light frame; the fine paneled walls were in abundance. I wandered from room to room each had an exciting selection of 17th century furniture. Fine but faded embroideries hung from the high walls. The rooms were interspersed with dark corridors, Richard the II stared at me with his linseed oiled eyes as I wandered through in excitement. In one of the rooms in the first floor is a cupboard, it looks to be leaning, the lady volunteer explained that it was built like this for another house and is famous, it gets an mention in one of the Bronte sisters books.
As the lady volunteer walked away so I could get a better view of this room I noticed a slight cold spot right where she had been stood, so I did my rounds in the room, all the other parts felt quite warm except for that particular spot that felt completely different. I asked the volunteer Is there a cellar or something below this room just here? because it feels completely different here to the rest of the room She said, Oh yes there is, right there’. I really felt there was a cold room beneath, call it psychic, call it me just been sensitive to a slight temperature change, whatever it was I thought it was a good guess, as I have never been here.

I eventually reach the famous Grey Ladys room four poster bed, spinning wheels and cradle which has been seen to move. Anyway, nothing did. As we made our way out to the Tea Room I thought what a wonderful place….wonder if they allow an inquisitive ghost hunter to stay the night.

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