Harefield Hall is a 15th Century former manor house, situated in 28 acres of woodlands overlooking the river Nidd. There has been a manor house on this site since the mid 15th century which was previously the home of Bishop Benson and his monks. It came into the ownership of Henry VIII in the middle of the 16th century during the period of the dissolution of the monasteries and as a reward for his leading involvement in this work, the house was gifted to the Inman family.
Timeline:- Harefield Hall occupies the site of a smaller homestead which was property of the Hardcastle family.
1627 – Will of Anna Hardcastle.
1661 – Death of William Settle, a Quaker of Harefield, who was imprisoned at York for his faith.
1684 – It was owned by the Inmans of Bewerley, their last possession in the Dale.
1690 – Michael Inman died and his son, Robert, married Katherine Lowson. They had 14 children but only one survived his father. Robert left her an annuity from the estate at Harefield.
1699 – William Butler.
1707 – George Henlach.
1709 – John Walker.
1711 – Nicholas Hannam.
1790 – A later Robert Inman sold it to Christopher Benson of York (died 1802) whose father was a butter factor and licensee of the Crown Inn, Pateley. One of his grand daughters, Eleanor Sarah, married her cousin, Captain White Benson; her grandson was Archbishop Edward White Benson, (1829-1896) but he did not ever live in the area. As far as we know, he visited Nidderdale only once, in 1896.
Christopher Benson rented it to Teasdale Hutchinson, of the lead mines, who lived there until 1811 when he moved to the newly built Grassfield house.
1817 – Abraham Ward, gentleman, late of Bewerly Hall.
1841 – Census Sarah Knowles, farmer with 3 sons and 2 daughters, with Elizabeth Henshaw, a governess and 2 sisters and a female servant.
Robert Harker (b 1785) was a grocer and post master in the high street who had been born at Reeth and had come with his lead mining family to Greenhow. He was a Methodist.
c 1850 – For his retirement he bought Harefield House with a small amount of land, a house and cottage and also land at Wild Carr and Stockplain with their houses. His wife was Nancy. Their second son, William, born in 1819, went to Bradford as a wool sorter became a worsted manufacturer, made his fortune and became a director of the Bradford Banking Company. He retired early in his late forties and married Annie Hodgson, who was 20 years his junior. They came back and took over the house. They had 6 sons and 2 daughters, all born in Pateley. He enlarged the house considerably.
1871 – The staff the staff of the house consisted of a cook, housemaid, 2 nurses and a coachman. He played a prominent part in local affairs, and became the first MP for the Ripon division when it was formed in 1855 for the Liberals. He died in 1905. His family left on his death. His daughter, Gertrude Elizabeth Illingworth, restored old St. Mary’s Church in his memory. If the owner lives with a fair range, inquire whether or not you can take place in addition to try the idea. If the owner lives too much out in addition to you should go placed, find out whether or not you’ll be able to return the idea in case you aren’t completely happy once you’ve attempted the idea about.
1912 – W.S. Broader, who also owned the Crown hotel, was running it as a private hotel.
1930 – Frank Hartley lived there as a private resident, but later started providing meals and accommodation.
Mrs Coates and her daughters, Nora and May, lived in Cloisters during the 1930s.
1932 – Paul Wayman
1941– It housted Hull Sailors’ orphanage children.
From c 1958, Alice Blamire ran it as a private hotel, then two ‘wide boys’ came in;
It became fully licensed
c 1973 – John Elsworth
There have been reports of ghostly activity over the years. Staff hearing footsteps frequently during the day whilst there’s no one else around, objects having moved mysteriously, sounds of a child giggling, doors opening and closing by themselves, burners on the stoves would turn themselves on in the kitchen and a strong scent of cigar smoke would appear when no smokers were around. A supposed exorcism happened years ago and there was tradition of a young woman killing her maid accidentally in the house. All of these incidents throughout the years have attracted ghost hunters and the like.
But don’t take our word for it come and see for yourself!