Cliff Castle and its Lodge in Keighley were designed by a locally born architect, George Smith, for the Butterfields, one of Keighley’s principal textile families. In 1875, with its original 300 acres, Cliffe Castle cost £120,000 to create. Designed as a Tudor-style castle it had all the comforts available to a rich Victorian family. After the Second World War Sir Bracewell Smith, a former Lord Mayor of London bought the castle and donated it to Keighley Borough Council who opened in 1959 as the town’s museum, art gallery and park. In the 1970’s with the loss of the park keeper, the Lodge’s function ceased and over 20 years a slow process of decline (and latterly, vandalism) meant that the Lodge became a building at risk and the Trust became involved.

Architects Webb, Seager, Moorhouse designed the scheme to transform the derelict building into a new, accessible workplace. Bradford Council, Bradford Environmental Action Trust and money from the Heritage Lottery Fund provided the necessary financial support. The project was completed in May 2001 on schedule and on budget and in July 2001 the Trust and the new owner of the Lodge invited members to see the restored property. We hope that there will be further opportunities to view the Lodge and discuss the project during the Heritage Open days.

Last updated 24/10/2012