Castle Carr

Castle Carr stood above Luddenden Dean – beyond Booth, above the Calder Valley. It was built for Captain Joseph Priestly Edwards. Construction began on the mock Tudor / Norman castle in 1859, though it took 8 years to compete. The architect was Thomas Risley.

castle carr banner

Descriptions of the houses make it sound vast; faintly ‘Hollywood Gothic’ in style. It had an oak panelled banqueting hall that was 62 feet long, with a sprung floor for dancing. It was adorned with animal trophies, and huge stone Talbot hounds feature throughout the house; standing either side of the vast stone fire place, and on a huge fountain outside. The fountain, rescued after the house was demolished from a reclamation yard, now stands in a square in Leeds’ business quarter.

The most remarkable thing about the house were the water gardens, designed by John Hogg, of Halifax. As well as lakes, fountains and parapets it boasted a 130 ft high water jet.


The original owner, Joseph Priestly Edwards, and one of his sons were killed in a railroad accident before the castle was completed. Work was continued by his son. He only lived in it for four years before selling it on. It was considered to be an un lovely place, despite it’s grandeur. It was cold, plagued with midges, and there were (and still are) conflicts over blocked rights of way. When it went to auction in 1962 bidding only reached £9250, so it was withdrawn, and demolished. Workman are said to have abandoned the demolition because it was haunted.

The gate house remains today. A small section of the castle remains, along with some stone work that was never sold. The water gardens remain, though on private land. The gardens are opened annually for the letting off (and the drenching by!) the water jet.

There are three posts about Castle Carr on this blog:

Castle Carr Fountain

More Castle Carr

Pennine Heritage Archive

And here are the paintings it inspired…

CC2smallCastle Carr

Media: Inks, gouache, acrylics, watercolour, pencils, gold leaf and gold thread

Framed Size:149 x 89cm

the water gardensThe Water Gardens – Castle Carr

Media: Inks, gouache, acrylics, watercolour, pencils, gold leaf and gold thread

Framed Size:106 x 106cm

Prints are available on my website. They are limited giclee prints, printed on heavy watercolour paper. My prints are all hand-finished with gold leaf and gold thread.

9 Responses to “Castle Carr

  • Wow…fascinating stuff, Kate. I look forward to reading your future findings.

  • Just discovered your website etc,i love local history and visiting old ruins that are scattered all over calderdale and trying to find out their origins and stories.keep up the good work Kate, its amazing .

  • Walked to the Gate house yesterday after leaving my car at Jerusalem Farm. It was a sentimental journey for me as I remember walking to Castle Carr from Wainstalls one Whitsuntide to see the fountains playing. The house was still in tact. I must have been about 10 years old so it’s 65 years ago.
    When was it demolished?

  • Hi Kate
    Love both these.
    I used to cycle up to the gate house, as a friend lived two doors away.
    We would play in the derelict water gardens, it was like something out of Indiana Jones.
    Did come accross a strange man once up at the ruins of the castle!!

  • We’ve just been and had a lovely time looking about the estate. Sad that it’s so inaccessible to the public. Thank you for your lovely pictures and the history.

  • My great grandfather was a “Miller” at Castle Carr in 1901.

  • My best friend I used to take our dogs to Castle Carr from Hebden Bridge in the early 70’s, never knew the history of the place. Obviously we were trespassing , but we wandered all over in those days.

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