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Heraldry in 17th Century West Yorkshire Houses as a Sign of Status
29 January 2018 at 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Presentation by Peter Thornborrow. All are welcome to attend. Members of the society attend for free, £2 for non-members.
My interest in heraldry and vernacular buildings began when I purchased the wing of a semi-derelict farmhouse on the moors above Hebden Bridge called Akroyd in 1969, after finishing college and shortly before starting my first job as a Music Teacher. I joined the Local History Section and soon became its Secretary and the Calder Civic Trust. Over the next 5 years I restored the house and became greatly interested in local architecture winning an award from the Civic Trust for the North West in 1975 European Architectural Heritage Year for the best restoration of a house in their region. Akroyd had some ancient heraldic stained-glass in its Hall window that initially sparked my interest to learn more about it. I discovered that such glass is quite rare and after I changed my career from a school’s music teacher to that of an architectural historian; I was involved in the re-survey of West Yorkshire for listed buildings. I gained access to many hundreds of buildings (I listed over 5,000 buildings) noting in particular the use of heraldry that added status to the owner. This talk is the product of many decades of photographing such details carved in stone, wood, plaster – ceilings and friezes and overmantels, and rarest of all in stained glass – an ideal medium as it is in full colour showing the correct heraldic tinctures. Perhaps the most unusual examples are the painted boards from Woodsome Hall that are now at the Tolson Museum that will feature as the climax of my talk.
The Brontë Lecture Theatre (room BLG/05) is located on the ground floor of the building marked “03” on the university campus map (PDF).