The Gazebo, Clumpcliffe Farm

The Gazebo at Clumpcliffe Farm

Here the building shows deterioration and neglect. Corrugated iron sheets cover the windows and there is general decay.
The gazebo, or observatory,was approximately 100 metres north of Clumpcliffe Farm House. Dated 1708 on rainwater spout heads, it was made for the Savile family of Methley Hall perhaps by Theophilus Shilton.
It was built of hand-made red brick laid in stretcher bond with sand-stone dressings, stone slate and lead roofs. Rectangular plan. One and two storeys, 4 bays, symmetrical, facing north with flatroofed 2-storey, two-bay centre rising between hipped roof, single storey outer bays; sandstone pilaster-strips to the outer corners, rusticated long and short quoins to the upper story. On the east side of the upper storey, there was the upper part of a lead downspout decorated with swags, the rainwater heads also decorated and with raised lettering "J.S."(left) and "1708" (right, with 08 below 17).

The walls were 14 ins thick. The upper floor had a modillioned cornice, remains of wooden balustrade, octagonal lantern with ogee cap and ball ferial and two turrets at the rear. The rear has four windows and a central door with cornice, all with raised stone surrounds.
First elevation faces north. The wo-storey central core had a single-storey wing on the east and west sides, approx. with slated hipped roofs. The siingle storey building ran along the full width on the south (front), which had a double pitched, hipped, slated roof.
The Leeds City Council Planning Dept. carried out, with support from English Heritage, a survey of Listed Buildings at Risk in 1992. Thirty-three buildings were found to be at risk out of 648 surveyed, including the Gazebo, which was found in very bad condition. ( Also in poor condition were the Dovecote at Dunford House and the Stable Block at Hazel House.)
After years of neglect and general decay, the state of the gazebo became worse. The hot summer of 1994 probably did not help survival. There were slight collapses during July and the central core finally collapsed on mid-day 18th July, 1994. The old landmark with cupola, finials and turrets was no more.

Gazebo, close-up. Decay and deterioration are now more evident. This summerhouse with a view was built in 1708 by John Savile, Lord of the Manor; the date and his initials are on one of the rainwater pipes. Built on top of the hill to gives a fine view - overlooks Oulton, Woodlesford, to Temple Newsam and the Lower Aire Valley. It was a two storey brick building with a wooden balustrade round the top. On the top can be seen two turrets and pinnacles and a cupola (half-circle). For a time the lower part was used as a dwelling, the upper part at one time for the illegal sport of cock-fighting. Access to the top storey was by a staircase and there was, in the centre, a sand pit where cocks fought surrounded by spectators on benches. The roof provided a fine look-out post for warning of intruders.
Later the roof was used as a vantage point for relaying by the tic-tac system the results of other cock-fighting bouts in the surrounding area, and many wagers were made and lost by punters at Clumpcliffe.

 

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