Clough House, including associated barn and garden wall


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
236 Leeds Road, Howden Clough, Birstall, West Yorkshire, WF17 0HW


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Statutory Address:
236 Leeds Road, Howden Clough, Birstall, West Yorkshire, WF17 0HW

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

Kirklees (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SE2337926697, SE2338026678, SE2343126689


House and barn of around 1799 and an associated garden wall. The barn was converted for office use in the mid-C20, and the house altered in the mid-late C20 and early C21.

Reasons for Designation

Clough House, including an associated barn and garden wall, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* it is a distinguished example of a late-C18 gentleman's residence mixing polite and vernacular architecture;

* the barn and garden wall are treated architecturally, with the barn in particular echoing the stylistic features of the house;

* despite some later alteration the buildings' historic character and legibility remain clearly evident in their physical fabric, and a number of original and early features survive;

* the buildings form an important collective group that share a strong visual, historical and contextual relationship with one another and unite the story of the site.


Clough House is believed to have been constructed in 1799 for the Gott family: the house is known to have been standing pre-1840 and above one of the gable windows is a datestone inscribed with the date 1799. By the 1830s it was owned and lived in by John Gott Esq (1764-1840) and his family, a gentleman landowner who owned much of Howden Clough. The Gott family are recorded in local birth, marriage and death registers as living in Howden Clough in the mid-C18, and it is possible that the house replaced an earlier building, or is an earlier building that was re-fronted and re-fashioned to be more 'polite'.

Following John Gott's death in 1840 the house and estate passed to his daughter Sarah, and subsequently to his granddaughter Eliza, who lived in Sheffield and tenanted the house. Known tenants include Joshua Taylor, a Batley mill owner, in the 1850s, and a Mr Bywater, a draper in Birstall, in the early 1880s.

The 1:10560 OS map published in 1854 depicts two ranges of outbuildings to the rear of the house connected to each other with a short narrow link and arranged in an L-shape, but by the time of the 1:2500 OS map published in 1894 the western range and link had been demolished, leaving a detached barn.

In the mid-C20 a large-scale piggery was established at the rear of the site, and the detached barn, believed to be contemporary with the house, was converted for office use. Most of the buildings associated with the piggery use were removed by the 1990s. The original entrance gate piers on Leeds Road have been removed and replaced by modern versions with curved wing walls.


House and barn of around 1799 and an associated garden wall. The barn was converted for office use in the mid-C20, and the house altered in the mid-late C20 and early C21.

MATERIALS: both the house and barn are constructed of coursed millstone grit with ashlar dressings, and the house also has an ashlar front elevation. The original stone-slate roof coverings to both buildings have been replaced with artificial-stone slates. The garden wall is constructed of mellow red brick and coursed millstone grit.

PLAN: the house and barn occupy a large plot on the north-west side of Leeds Road. Originally surrounded by agricultural land, the site is now enclosed by modern residential development. The house is approached by an oval-shaped driveway set around a central lawn and the principal front elevation faces south-east towards Leeds Road. A detached barn to the rear faces south with mid-C20 extensions on the north side. A garden wall runs from west to east from the house in a concave arc, with a very short curved kick-back at the eastern end. Internally the house has a central staircase plan, and the barn has modern subdivisions.


HOUSE: the main house is of two storeys plus attic and basement, and has quoining to the corners (that to the front corners is raised) and a pitched roof with end stacks with plain cornices.

The three-bay front elevation faces south east and is completely of ashlar. It consists of a central doorway with a classical doorcase incorporating a scrolled pediment and a partly-glazed panelled door. To the first floor above is a single window with plate-glass sashes. Full-height canted bays exist to the two outer bays, but the windows to each floor have lost their glazing. All the windows and the entrance doorway have painted-ashlar surrounds and most are boarded over. The roof is hidden from view on this side by a parapet with blind panelling set above an eaves cornice; behind the parapet are two small dormer windows.

The house’s south-west gable end is blank apart from a tall keyed, round-headed window at attic level, which has been partially blocked up with a small square glazed window inserted at its base.

The north-east gable end has an identical attic window to that on the south-west elevation, but on this side the keystone at the head of the window is also inscribed with the date '1799'. To the centre of the ground floor is what appears to have been a doorway into the garden (a small now-removed porch is depicted on historic OS maps), but which has since been converted into a window and its access steps removed. The doorway/window has lost its glazing and has been boarded over. Projecting out eastwards from the right side of the gable end is an early-C21 conservatory (glazing removed). The north-west wall of the conservatory (latterly an internal wall) is formed by part of the garden wall, which here is of coursed sandstone and incorporates the quoined south-east wall of a small former outbuilding with a possible arched beebole opening (now glazed). The outbuilding's north-east return, which turns to meet the main part of the garden wall, has a blocked-up doorway and the upper half has been converted into a window. The outbuilding has been altered in size and now shares a pent roof with the conservatory and modern copings and a ball finial have been added.

The house’s rear (north-west) elevation has a tall keyed, round-arched stair window to the centre, which is divided into two halves by a transom and has multipaned glazing. Immediately below it, and using the stair window's sill as a lintel, is a later inserted doorway. The two flanking outer bays are lit by three-light mullioned windows to each floor and those to the ground floor are slightly taller; the mullions to the ground-floor left window have been replaced and one of the mullions to the first-floor right window has been removed. To the right of the central doorway is a blocked-up doorway, and to the left at each floor level are later inserted windows. Projecting outwards at the left end is the small altered outbuilding that latterly formed part of the conservatory, which has been shortened in depth and rebuilt on this north-west side, and extended south-westwards, with a modern two-light mullioned window and doorway. The altered outbuilding now has a shared outshut roof with the conservatory with modern skylights and kneelers believed to have possibly been reused from the original roof. The outbuilding's south-west wall has been re-positioned and incorporates another possible beebole opening and a small square window.

BARN: a detached two-storey barn to the rear of the house has a hipped roof and also has substantial quoining to the corners like the main house. The front (south) elevation has a large segmental-arched cart opening to the centre with a quoined surround and prominent keystone. Above is a keyed lunette window. To the outer bays on the ground floor are three C20 inserted windows with ashlar surrounds; that to the far left occupies the position of an original blocked-up doorway and makes use of the doorway's jamb, and part of the original lintel survives below a later inserted lintel. At the far right of the elevation is another corresponding blocked-up doorway with an original substantial ashlar lintel and ashlar jamb. To the first floor are large original pitching-eyes/oculi with squared-off bottoms and sills that would have originally served a hayloft. The west elevation has two keyed, round-arched windows to the ground floor (that to the centre appears to be original, but that to the left is a mid-C20 insertion) and a pitching-eye/oculus to the first floor in the same style as those to the front. The east elevation has two wide, mid-C20 inserted windows to the ground floor and an original pitching eye/oculus to the first floor. The north elevation is largely concealed at ground-floor level by two mid-C20 red and buff-brick extensions that are both single-storey but vary in height. The barn's first floor has three wide, inserted mid-C20 windows.

GARDEN WALL: the garden wall continues eastwards in an arc from the altered outbuilding adjacent to the house for approximately 47 metres, but here the wall is constructed of mellow-red brick on the southern face and coursed millstone grit on the north face and topped by ashlar copings. The north face also incorporates low buttresses. The wall varies in height and is at its highest point at the western end close to the house, where it also incorporates a doorway with an ashlar surround and plank and batten door that originally led into a tiny outbuilding on the north side of the wall depicted on historic OS maps. Located roughly at the wall's centre-point is a small mellow-red brick bothy/garden shelter (also depicted on historic OS maps) with a curved rear wall and a shallow pent roof with Welsh slate roof coverings hidden from view at the front by the bothy's front wall that rises to form a parapet. The bothy's open entrance is a rebuilt arch of millstone grit and it has a sandstone-flag floor and a replaced roof. A short section of the wall (approximately 2 metres) immediately to the east of the bothy has been rebuilt with later engineered brick and re-used stone, whilst an upper section of the wall towards the western end has been rebuilt in the original brick.


HOUSE: internally the house has a central entrance hall with a staircase set to the rear and two rooms off to each side on both floors, and a dressing room to the centre front on the first floor. Two six-panel doors survive, but others have been removed, along with floorboards and skirting boards on the ground floor and the majority of window and door architraves. Lath and plaster ceilings have also collapsed in places.

The entrance hall has a panelled dado, moulded cornicing and an arch in front of the stair. The front-left ground-floor room has plain moulded cornicing, a decorative frieze, and classical ceiling decoration. The chimneybreast has an alcove to the right and a large white-marble fire surround is believed to have been brought in from elsewhere in the mid-late C20. To the right of the fireplace is a servant's bell push. Much of the wall plaster has been removed in the front ground-floor right room, but plain moulded cornicing survives, along with part of a decorative frieze. The chimneybreast is damaged to one side and the original fireplace has been removed and replaced by a mid-C20 brick surround and hearth laid on top of the original stone hearth. An arched opening through to the rear room has been boarded over. The rear-left ground-floor room has a chimneybreast with flanking alcoves and a modern, damaged fire surround. The rear-right ground-floor room has been knocked through into the conservatory and garden outbuilding, and a modern tiled floor laid to all three areas, and a toilet has been inserted in the west corner with access off the stair hallway. In the outbuilding quoins are visible internally that denote the original line of the outbuilding's moved south-west wall.

The painted-stone, part-cantilevered, dog-leg stair continues the dado of the entrance hall and has a curtail step and wreathed mahogany handrail, and alternate stick and wavy iron balusters, with a short section of balustrading in front of the tall stair window on the half-landing. The stair is cantilevered on the upper flight and leads up to a wide first-floor landing with plain moulded cornicing.

The rear-right first-floor room has been modernised and converted into a large bathroom (fittings now largely removed) and a suspended ceiling inserted, but retains its chimneybreast and flanking alcoves. The front rooms all have plain moulded cornicing and the larger outer rooms have lost their fire surrounds and some of their wall plaster. The dressing room to the centre front retains its door and window architraves and skirting boards. The rear left first-floor room contains a cast-iron hob grate and a later timber stair accessing the attic - the lower half of an earlier, narrower attic winder stair survives underneath. The attic has an exposed roof structure of queen-post roof trusses, side purlins and rafters with a mixture of early and modern timbers.

A stone stair flight underneath the main stair leads down to a basement underneath the north-west corner of the building, which consists of two barrel-vaulted rooms with stone-flag floors, brick and stone preparation slabs, stone shelving, and ceiling hooks.

BARN: the barn interior has been altered and largely modernised. Modern partition walls have been inserted and the floor timbers on the first floor have been replaced at each end of the building. The barn’s originally open central section now has an inserted floor and a mid- to late-C20 open-tread stair flight has also been inserted. A steel RSJ has been inserted into the rear wall to create a large opening into the rear-right mid-C20 extension. The rear-left extension, which contains the encased wall and roof of an earlier mellow-red brick rear lean-to extension depicted on historic OS maps, is only accessible externally now as an inserted doorway in the barn's rear wall has been blocked up. A further steel RSJ has been inserted on the inside face of the barn’s main entrance opening to support a modern internal skin. The barn's roof structure consists of both modern and some earlier timbers, including king-post trusses and modern timbers for a now-removed ceiling.


Books and journals
Clegg, M, A History of Birstall, (1994), 32-33
'Chapters in Local History. Howden Clough, Upper Batley, Howley Beck' by Jas. Willans, in The Reporter, 7 October 1882


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

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