Think you know Spenfield House in Weetwood? Think again.
The house is Grade II-listed and designed by George Corson, architect of the Grand Theatre and the Tiled Hall in the library. It is considered one of the finest Victoria villas in Leeds.
It was built in 1875 by banker James Walter Oxley in local gritstone. The owner’s initials appear on monograms throughout the gothic revival-style house.
Spenfield caught the eye of writer Sir John Betjeman when he visited Leeds in 1968, and he filmed his visit to the villa, where he was particularly impressed with the Peacock Room.
The Oxley family seat was Oxley Hall on Weetwood Lane, which is now a university hall of residence. James’s father Henry was the first Lord Mayor of Leeds.
The building’s future is uncertain after a developer applied to convert it into apartments and build new homes in the grounds. Local residents objected, saying the plans were unsuitable.