Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Kirklees (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 21746 27114


SE 2711 2174 BATLEY MB NUTTER LANE BIRSTALL 2/40 29.3.63 Oakwell Hall including boundary wall


Extremely fine hall house, now museum. Probably 1583, built for John Batt, incorporating timber framed house of the mid C.15, with considerable C.17 refurbishment. Ashlar. Stone slate roof with chamfered gable copings. 2 storeys. An H-plan with central hall with 2 storey gabled porch to centre right, and gabled wing to left elevation. Windows are double chamfered and ovolo moulded, mainly with throated hood moulds some of which continue as string courses. 5 projecting chimney breasts, with ashlar stacks, to sides and rear, one to the right side being particularly broad. The central hall window is of 30 lights with king mullion and 2 transoms, and it is thought to be of C.17 date. Arched entrance to open porch to right with recut inscription I.B. 1583. 3-light window to 1st floor. The wings to left and right have 12-light mullioned and transomed windows to ground floor and 12 and 10-light similar windows to 1st floor left and right respectively. The left wing also has inward looking 12-light window with transom to ground floor and 6-light to 1st floor. Rear fenestration includes 12, 14 and 16-light mullioned and transomed windows. Lights are leaded, many with early glazing. Hall window has diamond pattern glazing.

The internal arrangement comprises through screened passage with open hall to left, beyond which is the great parlour or drawing room to front, and buttery, pantry, dairy and servants hall to rear. To right is a smaller parlour or dining room, with kitchen to rear. At 1st floor level the principal bedroom is above the great parlour.

The great hall is galleried on 2 sides with vertically symmetrical turned balusters, and with C.17 plasterwork on underside. Oak panelling to screen with 2 round arched openings with 3 pairs of Tuscan columns, thought to be C.17. Gallery is reached by open-well stairs with flat balusters and openwork dog-gates. The fireplace is thought to be C.17. The window jambs in the great parlour have plaster grotesques, possibly early C.17, in the form of lions' heads, caryatids and female figures the latter representing the Celtic goddess of fecundity. The arched fireplace in this room may be original. The passage ceiling has C.17 plasterwork in patterns of 3, 5, 6 and 8 sided figures. Plasterwork to the porch ceiling thought to be C.16.

The stone boundary wall has roll-top coping and large ball finials to opening in front of entrance, and returns to building to right.

The building was 'Fieldhead' in Charlotte Bronte's "Shirley".

Geoffrey Woledge, Oakwell Hall, 1978. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, 1979.

Listing NGR: SE2174627114


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Radcliffe, E, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The West Riding, (1967)
Woledge, G, Oakwell Hall, (1978)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 22 Aug 2004
Reference: IOE01/13074/29
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Richard W E Turner. Source Historic England Archive
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