View Full Version : Old Park Farm, Wakefield - Feb 2011

08-02-2011, 11:02 PM
Although exact date isn't available there is a mention of the farm in an 1839 Journal of sorts, also the local historian has dated it as very early Victorian era which is the late 1830s. I assume the farm was kept in the family as was usually the case.

We used to play down here as kids, chased off the land regularly by the farmer we knew only as 'Elliot', we would catch toads and skim slate on the canal. Rumours about Elliot were rife when I was younger, they said the gunshots you could here from the farm was him firing his shotgun at trespassing kids.....a story our parents told us to deter us from playing there due to it's canal-side location.
I believe the son of Elliot then continued to live at the farm for some time. It seemed to switch hands quite frequently too, slowly becoming more and more decayed, crumbling away as the years ticked by.

In 2005 Kenneth Lea bought the farm and opened a falconry centre backed by fudning from Wakefield Council who previously owned the site. Also in 2005 nine Eagle Owls kept at the farm, and trained by Lea were signed up by Warner Brothers and used in the film "Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire". But it wasn't all peaches and cream for Lea, Wakefield Council pulled out from their funding and in June of 2008 an eviction notice was served on Lea and it was noticed some of the birds looked in a poor state, the RSPCA was called in and as a result all the birds were removed and an investigation into Mr Lea and his care of the birds began.
In May 2009 Lea pleaded guilty to 17 charges of neglect involving 51 specialist birds and was jailed for 12 weeks.

It has since been sold at auction for 162,000 but it is unclear what plans are for the site. As it is in a green belt area there are many conditions of the sale the buyer will have to meet before anything will be done. I'd love to see it renovated, and used as a family residence. It's huge and there is a lot of land with it.

Back in happier times, early 80s I reckon:

This is today:



Grea checking out some of the many old aviaries:

This is the former kitchen from the original part of the building, stairs to the left lead down into the food storage area, and stone stairs lead up to an attic space which appears to be used as a bedroom, doorway to the right is a rear room with another set of stairs leading up to a bedroom:


The same stairs back in the 80s:

Every room in this place has a decorative fireplace, this one has sadly had it's best days:

Same fireplace back in more toastier times, interestingly, the bare wall looks no different today as it did then:

Here is the kitchen in the newer part of the house, with an Aga style stove and retro decor:

Sadly today, the Aga has gone but the cupboards still remain:

Looking into the porch area, into the yellow kitchen:


This is the same window intact, the one in the middle

Thanks for reading!

08-02-2011, 11:10 PM
Before and after report! Good effort Mr CanOfShite :D

08-02-2011, 11:17 PM
Loving the before and after shots - and do I spy Mr Grea?

08-02-2011, 11:20 PM
I do like a nice farmhouse - nice one

09-02-2011, 09:29 PM
I remember reading about this farm in the express. I can't what it was about, maybe kids trashing the place. Great before and after :thumb It's looking very sorry for itself!

09-02-2011, 09:39 PM
Probably the falconer who got jailed

06-07-2011, 07:19 PM
excelent before and after shots make it a cool report afraid its much worse now tho

Wakey Lad
26-02-2012, 07:16 PM
Those before shots must have come off my website, i was given them a couple of years ago :shocked

mr beardy
26-02-2012, 07:19 PM
oooo nice before and afters :thumb

Wakey Lad
26-02-2012, 07:31 PM
Not that i mind of course, nicely done, copyright bill is in the post ;) i went down myself today, chav's all over the place smashing it up.

26-02-2012, 11:32 PM
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6056/6430199997_cb5b637baa.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpasta/6430199997/) Char Grilled Jackson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpasta/6430199997/) by PastaCore (http://www.flickr.com/people/gpasta/), on Flickr

26-02-2012, 11:32 PM
One I took at Park Farm about 2 months ago

26-02-2012, 11:34 PM
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7002/6430231167_2989b02544.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpasta/6430231167/) Char Grilled Jackson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpasta/6430231167/) by PastaCore (http://www.flickr.com/people/gpasta/), on Flickr