HEATH OLD HALL.
There are but few private residences in this part of England which have won such general admiration as that
which forms the principal feature in this landscape. Art has certainly done much, but nature more, in producing
a most pleasing and picturesque combination. Situated a little to the north-east of one of the most beautiful
villages in Yorkshire—built upon a steep ascent on the southern banks of the Calder—embosomed in trees
whose wide-spreading boughs overtop its " ivy-mantled" turrets—gray with age, and not unassociated with
some interesting legend of a former generation,—this structure has not only supplied the painter and architect
with abundant materials, but has even furnished the poet with incidents not unworthy of his muse.*
Within the memory of many persons now living, this ancient mansion was t€ tenanted by a sisterhood of
French nuns of the order of St. Benedict," who, to escape the terrible evils of intestine war, at a time when the
whole continent of Europe was convulsed, left their native land, and sought retirement in this sequestered spot.
Eight individuals of this religious order lie buried in the adjacent village-churchyard of Kirkthorpe. Now, with
all Christian charity toward those who differ, I cannot but regard such entire seclusion from the busy scenes of
life, and the duties they involve, as incompatible with the obvious designs of the Creator, who, having made man
a citizen of the world, requires from him the full exercise of his powers, as well as the due improvement of every
talent committed to his care.f
During the civil war, it would appear that the then occupants of this venerable edifice were favourable to
the cause of royalty, and hostile to that of the usurper; though, most unfortunately, they adopted the very worst
method of exhibiting their attachment to the sovereign. " It has been said, that the day before the capture of
* Wakefield by Fairfax, General Goring and other officers had been spending a very jolly evening at Heath Hall,
amusing themselves with bowls and other sports, and that they drank so freely on the occasion as to be incapable
of properly attending to the defence of the town when the enemy approached early in the morning." J With
respect to the antiquity of this building, I believe it may be authoritatively stated to belong to the Elizabethan
age, though its architectural character differs greatly from the generally prevailing taste of that day, insomuch that
it has been attributed to the succeeding reign. From authentic documents in the possession of its owner, it is
ascertained to have been erected et by John Kaye, usually described of Oakenshaw, a son of the heiress of Dods-
worth. His wife's arms, quartered with those of Kaye, and carved in stone, may still be seen over the principal
entrance. The hall and lands adjacent were purchased of the Kayes by Lady Bolles ; and at her death descended,
by her daughter Ann, who married Sir William Dalston, Bart., to the family of that name, and became their
chief seat for many generations.
" The Dalstons were connected by marriage with the families of Ramsden and Wentworth. Finally, their
heiress, Elizabeth, married Captain Theobald Dillon. At her decease leaving no issue, agreeably with the will
of her father, Sir George Dalston, Bart., the hall came to his nephew, Francis Fauquier, Esq., and his heirs
* See "Emilia Monteiro, a ballad of the Old Hall Heath," by W. H. Leatham, Esq. f John xvii. 15.
X History of Wakefield and its Antiquities, by W. H. Leatham, Esq.