The Rookery-Bishopdale

  • Under development – if anyone has information and would like to share it please contact me.

Beside West New House (the oldest house in the dale 1635) in Bishopdale used to stand a magnificent gothic style Victorian mansion called the Rookery built by the Lodge family in the mid 1800s.

Around 1900, maps show that the house was approached by an avenue of trees through parkland called The Flatts. The parkland was also planted with ornamental clumps of trees. Some of the plantation was planted out to spell the name Lodge.

The Rookery

The house was sited on a raised platform with gardens terraced down to the parkland below. There was a conservatory on the east end of the house and to the south west of the house was a walled garden containing four glasshouses. Next to the walled garden was an orchard. The whole garden was surrounded by a wall with possibly a ha-ha to the south east so that views of the park were not restricted.

In 1921 when the Lodge estate was sold, the sale particulars describe the gardens as follows: “The gardens are very sheltered and slope gently to the south being laid out in Lawns and Flower Beds and are protected by a fine selection of specimen exotic trees. There are in addition a beautiful sunken rose garden, two kitchen gardens with fruit walls, two lean-to greenhouses, orchard and small paddock”.

This house was demolished in 1952. It was bought by  John Green timber merchant from Silsden. He removed and sold all the mature woodlands surrounding the Rookery.

He then had the Rookery demolished some of it using dynamite as the building was so well built it was taking too long to take down.

A Mr. Lumb (builder?) bought a lot of the Rookery including the magnificent staircase which he had built into a new house in Skipton.
Rookery Staircase

The stable block and outbuildings still exist today and are available to let by Countryhideaways.

It was the family home of the Lodge family for over 80 years.They were large landowners in Bishopdale, and in 1922 sold off the estate, mostly to the tenants.

The Rookery later became a farmhouse and then during the war it was converted to a private school and was finally used as a youth hostel.

Today only the entrance gates and drive survive.

Front door of the Rookery

The front door of the Rookery can be seen at Thoralby village hall where it was purchased at the sale and reused.

Census Results


  • No house name!

LODGE Ralph/50/ind/Y
LODGE William/40/ind/Y
LODGE Elizabeth/55/ind/Y
LODGE Alice/45/Y
LODGE Alice/15/Y
LODGE Robert/20/Y
LODGE John/20/Y
JOHNSON John/25/m.s/Y


  • Rookery

LODGE Ralph/Head/U/65/freehold farmer of 68ac, emp 2/Yks/Newbiggin
LODGE Elizabeth/sister/U/69/annuitant/Yks/Newbiggin
LODGE Alice/sister/U/61/annuitant/Yks/Newbiggin
TURNBULL James/serv/U/40/farm srv/Yks/Busk
HEMSLEY Rose/serv/U/19/gen serv/Yks/Hawes


  • New House

LODGE Ralph/Head/U/75/landowner/Yks/Bishopdale
LODGE Alice/sister/U/71/companion, dom serv/Yks/Bishopdale
DRUMMOND James/serv/W/55/carter/Yks/Thoralby
DURHAM Jane/serv/U/17/house serv/Yks/Aysgarth


  • New Houses

LODGE Ralph/Head/U/85/landowner/Yks/Bishopdale – blind from natural cause
RUSHFORTH Hannah/serv/U/39/housekeeper/Yks/Brompton on Swale
METCALFE John/serv/W/53/gen serv/Yks/Bainbridge
JOHNSON Mary/serv/U/20/gen serv dom/Yks/Carlton


  • No name

LODGE Robert/Head/W/64/Landowner/Gentleman/Halifax/Yorks
LODGE Alice/Dau/U/27/Whalley Range/Lancs.
Jessie M Kimber/Visitor/U/15/Wansworth
Harriet A Croker/serv/U30/cook/Corfe Castle/Dorset
Mary E Loving/serv/U/23/Waitress/Brenchley/Kent
serv/U/17/Kitchen maid/Bishopthorpe/Yorks.
George MCKeon/Head/27/Coachman/Ireland


  • Rookery

ROBERTSON George/Head/M/30/coachman, serv/Scotland
ROBERTSON Lillias/wife/M/29/Essex

LODGE Alice/sister/U/29/land/Lancs/Manchester
LODGE Isabella/sister/U/land/Lancs/Manchester
LIDDON Alice/niece/13/Surrey/Aldershot
LIDDON Isabel Bevan/niece/12/Glos
LIDDON Florence P/niece/11/Glos
LIDDON Margaret M/niece/5/Glos
LIDDON Gladys Ruth/niece/2/Glos
TIPLADY George/serv/U/21/footman, som/Yks/Askrigg
CARROL Mary/serv/U/45/cook, dom/Ireland
DERRIMAN Mary E/serv/U/26/housemaid, dom/Scotland
METCALFE Annie/serv/U/23/housemaid, dom/Yks/Thoralby
FOSTER Emily/serv/U/17/kitchenmaid, dom/Staffs
CARPENTER Mabel A/serv/U/26/waitress, dom/London


  • The Rookery

LAMBERT John/Head/M/43/caretaker (household)/worker/Yks/Newbiggin
LAMBERT Maud/wife/M/27/Yks/Nosterfield
BURTON Mary Ann/serv/M/56/charwoman/worker/Yks/East Witton
MAGINIS Andrew/serv/S/50/gardener/worker/Ireland/Hillsbrough

1909 Kelly’s Directory

  • Lieutenant Colonel John William Lodge. MA JP The Rookery Bishopdale.

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The Dales