Breathing new life into historic Leeds house

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An historic house in west Leeds is to benefit from urgent improvements after plans were approved.

Gotts Park Mansion, formerly called Armley House, is due to install blocked-up windows with louvre vents to deal with damp in the basement.

The basement areas of wings of the house which were previously demolished in the 1950s are still intact.

But without the buildings above, water has caused “significant internal damage”.

A statement included with the plans reads: “The basement of the previously demolish wings has significant damage issues and requires urgent works to improve the natural ventilation of the basement area.

“Works were undertaken in 2017 to resolve this issue, however further works are required to include additional areas of the basement which are still damp due to poor airflow and ingress of water.”

The house was built on the site of an earlier 1781 mansion between 1810 and 1820 by Robert Smirke, the celebrated architect of the British Museum, for Benjamin Gott, a local industrialist who owned the nearby Armley Mills.

The mansion is constructed in a Greek revival style from ashlar stone, with a grand Ionic temple portico to the main eastern front and originally had flanking two-storey wings, which due to their poor condition were removed in the 1950s.

The house was occupied by the Gotts family until the early 1900s, when it was put into use as a hospital.

In 1928 it was taken over by what is now Leeds City Council and the grounds were turned into a public park and golf course.

The house is now used as a café, golf shop, clubhouse and storage space.