Thursday, 26 May 2011

Article - Mansion had to be demolished in late ’60s after arson attacks left it badly damaged (Crookhill Hall)

Crookhill Hall was situated between Edlington and Clifton.
It stood in the middle of 90 acres of parkland, overlooking an extensive sweep of the countryside.

The Doncaster Gazette of June 12, 1925 claimed that it was not a mansion around which a wealth of historic and romantic associations clung. ‘Yet, it was of interest because it had been the home of one family, [the Woodyeares] for a good many years... [So], there is not much doubt that it was a Woodyeare who built the present mansion.’

Nickolaus Pevsner in his Yorkshire The West Riding (1967) gives the following description of the hall: “Plain Georgian house of seven bays and two storeys with three bay pediment, quoins of even length, and a doorway with a Gibbs surround.”

Colin Walton in the Doncaster Free Press of January 3, 1985 states: “[Crookhill Hall] consisted of a handsome entrance hall, a dining room, a breakfast room and library, and a Green Room. On the first floor were six handsome lodging rooms, with a dressing room to each, together with a water closet.”

From the deeds and documents relating to the Crookhill Estate held in the Doncaster MBC Legal & Admin Department, details may be gleaned of how it left the Woodyeares’ ownership. John Fountain Woodyeare (a retired clergyman) died in July 1880 leaving his wife Emily, the tenancy for life of the Hall.

Their marriage was childless and following her death in February 1919, the estate passed to Lawrence Woodyeare Blomfield.

In 1924 the Crookhill Estate was offered for sale, but was withdrawn at £3,750. A year later, Lawrence Blomfield jointly owned the estate in partnership with his son John.

For a time, during the 1920s, Joseph Humble was a tenant at the hall. On March 22, 1926, Lawrence and John sold the property to the West Riding County Council for £6,500, including the mansion, workshops, cottages and just over 90 aces of land. On January 7, 1927, the Don Gaz gave news of developments at the Hall: “The latest and most modern home for consumptives in the West Riding came into existence on Monday when Crookhill Hall opened its hospitable doors for the reception of early and serious consumptive cases...

“A wonderful transformation has taken place in the building. At the beginning of the year it was empty and in disrepair. The alterations include modern drainage and sewerage, central heating with radiators in every room, electric lighting, the letting in of about 30 additional windows, reflooring and rewalling.”

In 1948, on the introduction of the NHS, the hall was inherited by the Doncaster Hospital Management Committee, continuing to run the premises as TB hospital until 1963, when it was closed due to fewer cases of the disease.

Sadly, some time afterwards, the building became a target for vandals and was severely damaged by two fires in September 1968, resulting in it subsequent demolition.

Later, during 1973, the grounds were converted for use as a golf course, a club house being erected on the old hall’s site.

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