Cliffe Castle Museum & Park

  • Cliffe Castle Park, Spring Gardens, Keighley, BD20 6LH
  • Open 24 hours a day all year round
  • Aviary
  • Bandstand
  • Café
  • Car parking
  • Children's play area
  • Glass house
  • Museum
  • Picnic area
  • Pond
  • Toilet
  • Walking routes
  • Wildflower area

Cliffe Castle Park, Spring Gardens, Keighley, BD20 6LH

Shows the pond and fountain

Cliffe Castle Pond and Fountain

Cliffe Castle Museum & Park, the former home of the Butterfield family presented to the district by Sir Bracewell Smith in 1950. In 2017 the grounds were restored to their Victorian Splendor with support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Restoration Project – Evaluation Report

HLF EVALUATION REPORT – v 1 0 (3)

HLF EVALUATION REPORT – APPENDICES 1 0 (3)

 

What’s on

There are a wide variety of activities and events in the Museum and Park for all ages throughout the year.  Please check our What’s on page for more information on what’s coming up next.

What’s there

Cliffe Caste House and Victorian Gardens.  The house is now a fascinating museum and gallery of local history and art.  Formal and ornamental gardens surround the house.  There is a small woodland, play area, aviary, small animal house, glass house, water features and bandstand.

The Pavilion Cafe housed in part of the rebuilt glass house offers a range of quality hot and cold food and refreshments. 

The original Cliff Hall was built1828-33 by prominent Keighley Lawyer and Industrialist Christopher Netherwood.  The hall was let to the bothers William and Henry Issac Butterfield in 1840 and purchased by the family in 1848.  Following a gas explosion in 1878 the hall was extensively remodeled and renamed Cliffe Castle.  It served as a family home until the 1940s when it was acquired by Sir Bracewell Smith who gifted the house and grounds to the people of Keighely as a public Museum in the 1950s.

The original grounds were much more extensive with estate extending up to Jubilee Tower above Steeton.  The areas adjacent to the house were laid out  and remodeled as gardens between 1875-85.  They remained largely unchanged until the house and gardens were opened to the public in the 1950s.  In 2017 the park received a Heritage Lottery funding to restore key features such as the glass houses, water features, rock work, tunnel and terraced gardens.

 

Gardens and Glasshouses

The 1870s and 80s saw transformation of the area behind the Castle from kitchen garden to flower garden, giving colour  and variety  to views from the house. Geometric beds of annuals and herbaceous plants were described in 1887 as “gay and brilliant”. The garden was boarded by a glasshouse range designed by local architect George Smith and constructed by Messenger & Co of Loughborough.  Made from cast iron and wood they were finished in the estate colours of green, cream and gold.  The centrepiece of the range was the Dome House containing a well-grown Norfolk Island pine.  Each section of the range was devoted to a different plant collection and included exotics such as bananas.  The houses stepped upwards towards the vineries where grapes were grown.  The original glasshouses were demolished in the 1920s and later replaced in the 1960s with a modern aluminium green house.  The Dome House and range were recreated with HLF funding in 2017 on the original floorplan.

Access

The site include many slopes and steps though there are accessible routes around most parts of the park. There is a car park with some disabled parking, also the museum provides additional disabled parking bays right at the main entrance. To access these turn immediately right into the park from the main car park entrance.

Directions

The site is well signposted from the Airedale trunk road and town center with brown finger posts. The Airedale Greenway, Sustrans Cycle route will also direct you from Stockbridge to Beechcliffe on a safe route into the park. The route provides further links to the Leeds & Liverpool canal and beyond. There are also pedestrian and cycle routes well signposted from Keighley Town Center. Keighley has its own bus and railway stations operated by Metro Travel.