Durker Roods, Meltham

In December 1876, two sizeable plots of land at Durker Roods were sold at auction. Although the meaning of “Durker” is uncertain, a “rood” was historically a measure of land equal to a quarter of an acre. It seems likely that the buyer was Captain Arthur Calrow Armitage, a Huddersfield manufacturer with links to the firm of Jonas Brook and Brothers.

Captain Armitage married Alice Barbara Morris in October 1877 at Sowerby Bridge and it is believed that they then moved into the newly built Durker Roods. As was the case with Meltham Hall, sadly we have no record of who the architect was.

By 1890, the Armitages were planning to move out of the neighbourhood and the Durker Roods Estate was placed up for auction although reportedly no bids were submitted. However, at a subsequent auction in 1892, it was purchased by Charles Brook (who was the son of Edward Brook). If you remember the start of the walk, it was this Charles Brook who forgot to take the gold key out of the lock when he formally opened the Town Hall.

Charles regularly allowed fetes and cattle shows to take place on the fields adjoining Durker Roods.

In 1914, he offered Durker Roods for use “as a hospital for wounded soldiers and sailors” and “to pay all expenses in connection with the hospital for at least six months.” Around 30 wounded men arrived in October 1914 and another 30 the following month. That Christmas, the men dined on turkey, ham and plum pudding. Thomas J. Hirst of Meltham Hall sent gifts for all the men and the nursing staff were given umbrellas or wristwatches.

Charles Brook died in 1930 and Durker Roods was eventually sold at auction in 1936 to David Brown. He resided here with his family until the early 1950s, after which it became a guest hall for his company.

The property was converted into the current Durker Roods Hotel in the 1970s.

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