A Lord Mayor, An Eminent Town Planner, Three Lost Dogs, Two Cooks and a Wedding
Using our deeds, old newspaper archives and the UK census we are able to build up an understanding of Penraevon, who lived here, what they did, and what happened to them.
The history of the house is a history of Leeds. It is developed by Woollen Manufacturers, bought by a coal mine owner, lived in by a wool merchant, bought by a fine wool manufacturer, lived in by a ready to wear suit exporter, bought by a civil Engineer before being sold as an office for 60 yrs.
It was originally built as Redbank by Architects Chorley and Connon in 1882, a three bedroom house with two servants rooms and groom quarters. It was part of the Newton Park Estate developed by the Lupton family. One of the residents quickly changed the name of the house to Penraevon and carved the name into doorway with the date 1882. Later the house had its name changed yet again, this to time Bushbury House.
1870 Arthur Lupton (owner of Newton Hall) gives his two brothers Francis and Darnton Lupton a plot of land on the grounds of Newton Hall (family residence) to build homes for their heirs.
1871 George Corson the architect is appointed to design a layout for the Newton Park Estate including a street plan and plots.
1873 Darnton Lupton dies. His Will states that his sons William Walter and Sydney Lupton may dispose of all his real estate by public auction or private contract. William Walter, Sydney and Francis proceed with the plan to develop the Newton Park Estate on the grounds of Newton Hall. . They do not however proceed with the original George Corson plan but instead establish the Newton Park Building Club.
1874 John Franks (who worked closely with the architect Corson as a master Plasterer) pays a fee for the plot of land our house is built on for £267.1.9. Half paid to William Walter and Sydney the other half paid to their Uncle Francis.
1879 Newton Park Building Club employ Chorley and Connon to produce an over-all plan and design the houses Rocklands, Eltonhurst, Oakfield and Redbank. Francis Martineau Lupton (son of Francis and Frances Lupton) is to live at Rocklands.
1882 4th May Mr John Franks raises a mortgage of £896 to buy Redbank. Presume he can only raise a mortgage on a built property, so presume the house was built by this date. Unfortunately, we do not have the Abstract of the Title.
1883 John Franks sells a dwellinghouse to Arthur Currer Briggs aged 27 Colliery Proprietor , for £1530, where he lives with his wife Helen. Arthur was your stereotypical Victorian – he ran a successful mining business, but then helped found the Yorkshire College of mining – now part of Leeds University. He was Lord Mayor of Leeds in 1904. Later he rents the house to James Cecil Sykes.
1884 Francis Lupton dies leaving his wife Frances as Executor a position she refuses to take up and passes to her sons.
1886 30th Nov Arthur Currer Briggs buys the second plot of land adjacent to the house (now our garden) from Francis Martineau Lupton (owner of Rocklands) , Arthur Greenhow Lupton, Chas Lupton and Hugh Lupton.
1890 James Cecil Sykes, who is renting the house, loses his red Dachshund and advertises a reward ,4th October in the Yorkshire Post.
1891 Census details James Cecil Sykes (aged 35) living of his own means with his wife, the cook and their maidservant. The house is called Red Bank. James Cecil Sykes’s father was a woolen merchant.
1891 James Cecil Sykes loses his dachshund for the second year running.
1895 The house is advertised For sale (click on the link to read a clear transcript) in the Leeds Mercury. It states that Mr James Cecil Sykes lives in the house and will be remaining there until Oct 1896. It is described as Redbank.
1898 Mr AC Briggs sells the house to Mr Hubert Kitchin a worsted manufacturer. The house is known as Penraevon in the deeds and is described as being part of the Newton Hall Estate. It is bought for £1500.
1901 Census details Samuel McClean May (aged 37) living in the house with his wife Isabella, their son Joseph, a cook and their maidservant. The house is called Penraevon. Samuel McClean May was son of Joseph May who had a woollen warehouse, his sons Sam and James changed this to a ready to wear suits manufacturer exporting across the world.
1901 The May’s advertise for a cook maybe the one named in the Census.
1902 Mrs May advertises for a cook urgently, they must have not been very good at keeping staff. Mrs May also says they have a nurse as well as a housemaid. To have a housemaid, nursemaid and cook was a sign of an upper middle class family at the time.
1911 Census We know Samuel McClean May was no longer living at Penraevon as he had built a very grand house in Adel called Athill Court which is built in 1911 and he is living there (it is a very large magnificent building which was converted to flats in the 1950’s now flats) and he appears in the census at that address.
Census is a bit unclear for Penraevon. It maybe a Tom Hyde Naylor, his wife Grace, a daughter, a son and a servant but they list the address as Laurel Mount, there is no Penraevon or Red Bank listed on the census. Perhaps nobody was in and so a census wasn’t filled in? or maybe nobody lived there at the time.
1914 July 28th World War 1 breaks out.
1917 All three of Francis Martineau Luptons sons are killed in the war, he moves out of Rocklands, and turns the house into a home for Orphans of soldiers and sailors.
1918 Roll of honour at University of Leeds OTC William Allen 1st West Riding Royal Field Artillery killed 14/3/18 aged 20 at the battle of Ypres. Educated at St Peter’s York only son of Mr and Mrs H.S. Allen Penraevon Newton Park. Announced in the Yorkshire Post 27th March.
1918 November 11th First World War ends.
1925 Hubert Kitchin sells the house to Emily Acfield for £1800. Mr Acfield is the Leeds City Engineer and writes several books on urban regeneration, he is responsible for the Inner ring road. You can see his 1938 plan for the City of Leeds on Leodis.
1935 Mr and Mrs Acfield hold the wedding for their daughter.
1938 Mr Acfield is made President of the Royal Town Planning Institute and introduces the Green Belt planning restrictions.
1939 1st September World War 2 breaks out.
1939 Government conducts an emergency Register which is fortunate as the 1931 Census was destroyed in a fire in 1942. It shows Mr and Mrs Acfield living in the house with their servant Phyllis Wearmouth. The house opposite us was by this time a Boarding House.
1939 2nd September Mr Acfield advises people on the correct way to put up their bomb shelters. We presume our coal bunker was extended and had a concrete roof added at this stage to form a bomb shelter.
1939 10th November Mr Acfield loses his Irish Terrier.
1943 Emily Acfield sells the house to Mr and Mrs Foreman (he is a motor driver) for £1600. The Acfield’s moved to the countryside just near Grassington, probably to enjoy retirement and escape the war.
1944 November Mr and Mrs Foreman sell to Mr Benito Sevilla a woollen Merchant for £1944 (nice profit for a year maybe they did it up?)
1945 March, just four months after buying the house, Mr Benito Sevilla sells to National Benzole Company (later to become National and then B.P) for £2500 after getting Leeds City Council to agree that the house could be used as offices. Benzole was set up by the company who Became British Gas.
1945 2nd September World War 2 ends.
1958 National Benzole Company (after becoming part of Shell and BP the year before) sell to Electric Construction Company for £2750 and change the name to Bushbury House (they are based at Bushbury in Wolverhampton).
1968 Electric Construction Company is bought by another company. Presume they close the office as a planning consent was sought to change the house to 2 storey residential flats, this was thankfully refused.
1972 Electric Construction Company sell to Nova Properties for £6500.
2002 Nova Properties is dissolved and the property is sold to one of the Directors David Ian Newitt for £105,000. The property is rented to the NHS. The NHS also rent Rocklands another large house on the Newton Park Estate which they now call St Mary’s House.
2003 David Ian Newitt sells to Prospector Properties for £250,000. Prospector Properties are a commercial premises landlord. They continue to rent the property to the NHS until the NHS move out in 2012. Plans are put in to convert the house into flats, a nursery and also two five bedroom homes. All plans and provisionally given the go ahead. Prospector properties rent out the house to a family until a year later deciding to sell the property.
2014 Prospector Properties sell to us, but my oh my it needs a lot of work, here is the listing on Rightmove – hope it still works