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Home » Members Blog

Suma Walking Group – Castle Carr Walk

Submitted by on July 20, 2010 – 12:06 pm19 Comments

Suma Castle Carr  Walk 040710 006Latest Outing, Castle Carr, Sat 4th July

Last Sunday was a different event to the norm for the Suma group in that the 11 of us joined many other people, maybe 150 or more in an organised walk.

The destination was Castle Carr in Wainstalls near Halifax.

History of Castle Carr

Castle Carr was built in 1859 and was designed as a pseudo-Norman castle. The original owner was Captain Joseph Edwards from Huddersfield who died before the castle was completed.

In 1962 the castle was demolished after an auction so now many of its unique features are elsewhere in the UK (and probably in America). It was famous for its gardens and pressure fed fountain which at 150 feet was as tall as the one at Versailles.

The castle is unfortunately now a ruin and what is left (including the entrance and portcullis) gives the landscape a surreal feel.

The land is now owned by the Water Board and access is restricted to one day a year when the fountain is also switched on.

The Walk

The start point was the Cat-i-th‘Well pub (great Yorkshire name) in a steep sided verdant valley with excellent beer, welcoming country pub atmosphere and some wood paneling from Castle Carr itself.

The event is part organised by the pub landlord and also the Rotary Club which sells tickets at £3 for charity.

Showing little willpower to resist some of us had a quick pint then set off enthusiastically under a mainly blue but slightly threatening sky on a country lane along the valley side. We passed by the superbly renovated large houses along the way including the Old Nunnery which no doubt has its own interesting history.

After a mile or so we left the tarmaced lanes onto a wooded track eventually getting our first view of the mansion ruins, which because of their style looked very out of place amongst the trees and fields.

Suma Castle Carr  Walk 040710 013The track eventually led us to a steep path down to a reservoir and below that to a lake complete with a large dormant fountain nozzle – a sign of what is to come as we realised how close we were now situated and that many people were standing a distance away!!

We did not have long to wait, the water board bloke released the pressure to the fountain and it slowly began to build, eventually reaching an impressive 150 foot height of frothing brackish looking water. In true Suma spirit, with other hardy souls, we stood our ground hoping that the wind direction did not change but our fears were well founded as with a background of shouts, screams and eventually much laughter and a little gurgling the water plume descended onto our patch.

We escaped the worst (I hid behind Ally) but couldn’t help noticing that the reporter for the local Halifax Courier newspaper (who later came to interview us) took the full brunt of the deluge – Aah well, she took it on the chin (literally), kept smiling, and was presumably getting paid for her discomfort.

After a while the fountain subsided as the pressure dropped and we set off on our route back to the pub via a different route to allow a closer inspection of the castle ruins. In its day it must have been very impressive with its castellated ramparts and portcullis entrance.

We completed our two mile return to the now busy pub in fine and strangely warm drizzle to a great pint or three of cracking Yorkshire bitter (might as well get wet inside too) and a great live band playing out of an open sided 18T truck in the car-park. Then as if on cue the rain stopped and the sun came out.

What a great afternoon !

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  • John Warren says:

    Having injured my foot the week before, I was FORCED to stay at the pub for the afternoon! I managed to pass the time well enough though.



  • David says:

    I would be interested in visiting the ruins on your next walk to them, please contact me if one is to be arranged.

  • Rob S says:

    Hi David
    Thanks for your comment – you would be welcome to join us next time we go to Castle Carr but I believe it is not open to visitors very often. We may go again next year on the charity fund raising day organised by Cat-i-th‘Well pub as it makes for a great day out.
    Rob S
    p.s. Maybe John will make it out of the pub next time too ??

  • Simon Webster says:

    Hi, i noticed you mentioned The Nunnery. My Grandparents owned the Nunnery, The Lowe, Low Farm, Low Barn and Low Cottage, they bought all this and about 13 acres of land from the Murgatroyds in 1949. As far we know Nunnery Farm to give its correct name was never a Nunnery but a true working farm. My Grandad demolished the original derelict buildings in the early 50’s and built a pig sty on the site. Part of this 100 footlong structure is now a granny flat, nearer to the road. The present building was built in the mid 80’s further from the road than the original.

  • Rob S says:

    Hi Simon
    Thanks for the info about the Nunnery.
    It’s always good to have more background info about where we have walked. What a coincidence that you have read my article about our walk.?
    I still wonder why it was called ‘Nunnery’ Farm. Any ideas?

  • carolyn mills says:

    Hi, myself & my husband have been wanting to join a walk to the elusive castle carr for the last few years, but as you say, its not often open to the public & the open days/charity walks are not very well publicised. We would love to join your next charity walk in 2011 if youre running one, please let us know,
    yours sincerely,

  • Rob S says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    Thanks for your message. Would be great to have you with us and anyone else who is interested too.
    Should we go to Castle Carr again I will post a comment in this space on our website with the details of how to book and how we can all meet up on the day.

  • Simon Webster says:

    Hi Rob
    Sorry we dont have any further infomation on the history of Nunnery Farm. We have some photos from the 60’s of the piggory as we called it and a photo of my grandad with the old building behind him but thats about it im afraid. I found the article by googling Castle Carr, i went to the fountains that day too, i took my daughter and the Mrs, neither had been before and it was the first time i had seen the fountains. I had been there many times before as a kid when we used to visit.

  • Joe Midgley says:

    Hello there. I have been trying to find out an open day date for 2011. Myself and a few members of our walking group would love to visit. This is one of the few areas of Calderdale i have not seen in around 50 years of walking in the area, (I am from Colne in Lancashire The lady at HB tourist inf office tells me that they are never informed of the date. She advised me to contact the landlord at ‘The Cat i’ the Well’ pub at Wainstalls. I have spoken to hiom on two occasions but he hasnot known the date. When attempting to contact him more recently the phone eihter goes dead or is left unanswered. I would be obliged if you could let me have sufficient information about the open day in ordrertv that I can arrange a visit. As you will no doubt know there are some most tantalising posts of Castle Carr on the internet Regards, Joe Midgley

  • julian bennett says:

    Hi. can you please tell me the date for this years walk to castle carr, regards julian

  • Danny says:

    Hi Julian, we don’t know what date the Castle Carr open day is this year, but last year we booked it with a local pub called Catithwell, i have attached a link to the pubs website. Hope this helps.

  • Christine & David Garbutt says:

    This sounds like a fantastic place.

    We would love to do the Walk and see the fountain in action ,next year – 2012

    Please could you let us know the date for 2012.

    Many thanks

  • Rob says:

    Hi Christine and David
    To check the dates for 2012 I suggest you contact the pub called Catithwell which is how we obtained tickets when we went in 2010.
    Hope this helps.

  • Danny says:

    This years Castle Carr open day will be on the 1st of July.

    Thanks for the info Christine..

  • jason says:

    I went yesterday. It was awesome. Is it open again on the 1st of july ?

  • Sherri says:

    2014 date for Castle Carr is 13th July

  • Claire says:

    Would live to know when the 2015 date is please?

  • Rob says:

    Sorry – I don’t know the 2015 date or even if the fountain still works.
    When wmy Suma buddies and I went in 2010 we got the tickets (in aid of a charity) from the Cat-i-th‘Well pub.
    Might be worth giving them a ring.

  • Sherri Highley-Hammond says:

    Castle carr will be open Sunday 5th July 2015 from 12 noon, tickets are available from Harvey’s Dept store, Halifax. The cat i’th well inn and the Crossroads Inn Wainstalls

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