South Leeds Life reader Suzy Grace recently alerted us to an online petition to save the historic ‘at risk’ Stanks Hall Barn. It’s an important reminder that one of South Leeds’ most important and historic buildings faces an uncertain future.
The Grade II* Listed building was last year featured as a ‘lost opportunity’ in the Alex In Leeds blog. It’s a medieval barn at Stank Hall Farm off Dewsbury Road which some say was built with timber left over from the construction of ships used by explorer Christopher Columbus.
The scheduled Ancient Monument, now owned by the city council, dates back to the 15th century.
The report said:
“The city council-owned Buildings at Risk are a diverse range of buildings which can be divided into two groups: those within the ‘civic estate’ which the Council will retain and those which it may dispose of. With the latter group, which includes Adel Reformatory and the important group of buildings at Stank Hall, disposal would secure much needed investment by tying their repair to the sensitive development of the wider setting.”
The online petition, which has 42 signatures, says it ‘intends to save this barn from the fate of developers’.
Matthew Shellton recently posted on the petition:
“I walked past the barn today. I was shocked and dismayed at the condition of this beautiful building. We ought to be ashamed.
“If it was situated in Chipping Norton or Westminster rather than Beeston it would be a nationally-celebrated example of a late medieval manorial barn.
“As it is, it is a ruin: a shocking indictment of central government’s indifference to the needs of the regions and our Council’s inability to prioritise and launch an energetic campaign to intervene effectively. I am extremely sad.”
And Suzanne Grace added:
“Leeds City Council had a grant from English Heritage in the early 1990s and repaired it but then failed to do anything with it after this. Couldn’t it be used as some sort of museum resource for the people of South Leeds?”
What do you think? Should the council step up its efforts to sell it and get it ‘sympathetically developed’ or should it step in and invest in it itself? Perhaps a South Leeds museum resource as Suzanne suggests? Perhaps it’s time to crank up pressure on local councillors? Have your say in the comments below.