BaR News Round-up June 2022

Yore Mill, Aysgarth, Leyburn, Richmondshire

Since it appeared on the cover of our 2015 Buildings at Risk Catalogue "Falling in Love" , the story of the grade II listed Yore Mill has been followed by many. Built in 1854 on the site of an earlier eighteenth century mill, it sits close to the river crossing of Yore Bridge. 

Work to find a new use which would support comprehensive restoration was sought with the council supporting these efforts and closely involved in helping to find a solution.  A feasibility study in 2017 recommended that the mill buildings could be used for a mix of uses: a restaurant and farm shop, an interpretation centre, holiday lets, and/or hostel accommodation. 

A purchaser willing to take the project on was found and a new scheme for conversion of the mill into 2 apartments, 6 holiday let apartments, a visitor centre, some business/ light industrial use and retail was approved in 2019 and work was expected to take four years.

We now understand that the roof is fully repaired and is watertight and it is hoped that the building can be classed as no longer at risk next year.  This would really be a welcome and significant milestone to celebrate.

Carnegie Library, 152 Leeds Road, Shipley, Bradford BD18 1BX

An unlisted but much-loved and important local landmark, the Carnegie Library, opened in 1905 on a corner site on the main route into Shipley. Making the most of the rather awkward, sloping site, its decorative entrance at the apex of the corner with double doors flanked by pilaster with a balustraded balcony above.

The library has been closed for over ten years and various schemes including conversion to flats, then brick by brick relocation to make way for a supermarket and housing development were put forward.  The condition of the building deteriorated and there were concerns for its survival.

In late 2021, the Carlton Care Group, which provides services for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs, submitted a planning application to turn the building into residential accommodation, which was approved. The submitted proposals suggest a sympathetic restoration of the exterior of the building and are welcomed. There are limited surviving internal features so it is pleasing to see that the original ornate staircase will be retained and restored.

Cliff House School, Fawcett Lane, Kirkstall Ward, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 4PF

This fine grade II listed Leeds building was built in 1846 in a restrained classical style. It stands in large grounds in the northwestern suburb of Kirkstall. The house was built by Joseph Cliff who was a prominent businessman and public servant. Joseph Cliff & Sons (of which he had 14) were brick manufacturers and along with Burmantofts Pottery Company, they formed Leeds Fireclay Company. Cliff House was gifted to Leeds City Council in 1929 by one of Cliff’s sons. The house accommodated a community special school between 1966 and 1998 when it closed.

The house had been on the Council’s at-risk register for several years when we added it to ours in 2019. Planning permission to build seven town houses with car parking and landscaping next to Cliff House had been granted in March 2017 but then building did not move forward and there were concerns about whether the house would deteriorate or become a focus of vandalism.

Now we understand the project has not only started, but is nearing completion.  The project has seen Cliff House being refurbished into eight luxury apartments including a four-bedroom penthouse, and the stables converted into three houses.   Visit the main contractor’s website for updates on how the building work is progressing.

Adel Reformatory School, Leeds

Adel Reformatory School has been empty and decaying for years.  It has been on the SAVE register since 2010.  The building is currently boarded up and in an extremely poor and dangerous condition. But during our update process in 2021, we heard that there was a comprehensive new scheme being worked on.  

Adel Reformatory School was built in 1857 for the Leeds Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders in a local vernacular style.  The school buildings occupy a large site on the outskirts of Leeds, chosen so offenders were away from the 'temptations' of the city. A four-sided block of varying heights encloses a large open tarmac quadrangle. There is also a master's house, workshops, dormitories and kitchens. A covered swimming pool, boiler room, and changing rooms are linked to the main block and there is a detached chapel to the north. The swimming pool is regarded as a particularly unusual survival.

This proposed development is for housing, with the derelict school building restored and converted into 28 houses and a further 44 houses built alongside it. An 80-bed nursing home will also be built on the site. The developers have carried out a local consultation and state that they plan to submit a full planning application soon. Artists’ impressions can be viewed on their website.The development would also involve the restoration of the chapel on site.


If you would like to read more about these entries, there is more information on the online register which is free to access for Friends and Saviours.  If you would like to become a Friend or Saviour and support our work, please click here to join.