Cliffe Castle located in Keighley, West Yorkshire is a fascinating place to visit; not only for their interesting exhibitions and collections, but for the Victorian Neo-Gothic home that they are housed in. The building and interiors are stunning, and have been through several transformations since it was first built. It is considered a Grade II listed building- particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
Cliffe Castle originated as Clffe Hall, and was built between 1828 and 1833 in the then popular gothic revival style, by George Webster of Kendal. Then in 1848, the Butterfields who were a wealthy textile manufacturing family, purchased the hall and transformed it with many upgrades. Henry Butterflied added towers, a ballroom, conservatories, and decorated the building with the griffin motif. He renamed the hall to Cliffe Castle in 1878.
The Butterfield family had many great family connections, most notably with the American Roosevelt’s and Napoleon III’s court members. With these many connections, the house had become a location for many elegant social affaris, and Cliffe Castle had become a showcase of fine French interior and international art.
One of my favorite castle features was the stained glass window above the staircase. It was s a true example of the Neo-Gothic style, when the older Gothic style from centuries past had made a comeback in art and architecture. The window was designed by Powells of Leeds (1875 – 1880), and features portraits of the Butterfield family in 16th-centuruy clothing, as well as a copy of Raphael’s’ Madonna and child in the top roundel.
The castle became a museum and public park in the 1950s when it was purchased by Sir Bracewell Smith, who remodeled the castle to be a free museum. Today, visitors to Cliffe Castle can view the glorious rooms with Victorian furniture, decorative art, and paintings. There are also wonderful galleries filled with exhibitions of archaeology, natural history, minerals and social history.
For more information on exhibits and vising, please check their website- Cliffe Castle
The Hen Peck’d Husubands Wife Taming Cradle
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list…
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