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Yorkshire Estate Valuations and History

Yorkshire Estate Valuations and History by HOLLIS & WEBB (1893)
Title: Yorkshire Estate Valuations and History
Year: 1893
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: Leeds
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £2950
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Around a million and a half words, diagrams, maps and auction reports compiled by the Leeds firm of auctioneers, estate agents and surveyors between 1875-1960 by Arthur Hollis and colleagues. As well as the properties of the great and the good such as Bramham Park and Temple Newsam, Hollis and Webb valued Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds Synagogue (Merrion Street), Beckett Park as it was being brought into educational use and several thousand businesses and private homes. In their role as surveyors and estate agents Hollis and Webb acted over several generations for interconnected Yorkshire families, notably the Meynell Ingrams at Temple Newsam and their successor the Earl of Halifax but some of the most fascinating documents in the collections involve the most humble of properties, those due for nationalisation, or to be condemned for being insanitary. This collection fills four large boxes.

1. ESTATE VALUATIONS, 69 volumes May 1893-May 1963. Volumes 21-99, a few numbers missing but largely consecutive. Written in various legible hands and well cross-referenced, with index. The early volumes are very detailed and include tipped-in maps and plans; from the 1920s onwards the entries are shorter. Geographically the estates cover Leeds, Bradford and surrounding areas, but also York and the North Riding (Ripon, Scarborough, Whitby, Pickering). Many of the early entries are valuations of large houses and estates, farms, industrial properties especially mills, eg Prospect Mills for Listers, large lots of rental housing and sculleries. There are entries throughout for commercial property, especially in Leeds city centre, hotels, churches and sales of land for development. The entries from the 1930s onwards concern many more middle-class houses and villas. Some of the more unusual valuations were of a synagogue, hydropathic establishments such as Craiglands in Ilkley and playing fields, financial instruments. Several valuations were made for Leeds University. Hollis and Webb undertook valuation work for Leeds and Bradford Councils concerning pub-licencing, compulsory purchase and insanitary conditions, especially around 1905. Three books cover the period of the Second World War (volumes 56-58) when business slowed down considerably. Entries for 1940 concern requisitions for war work with post-war entries include valuations of coal mining properties, eg in Doncaster, for nationalisation, and of garages because of the Transport Act of 1947. The majority of the entries from the 1950s and 60s were valuations of private housing for mortgage or probate purposes. Properties assessed include The Bradford Woolcombers Club, Bryant and May Match Factory, Beckett's Park Estate (1907) assessed with a 'Site of Proposed Colleges... Library [of grange] with bay windows: and having four recesses, two fitted with book cases elaborate ceiling and sculptures, marble mantelpiece.' Also Kirkstall Grange, Prospect Mills, Cambrian Vinegar Works, Holbeck; Leeds Art Pottery; Jewish Synagogue, Merrion Street of New Briggate, Leeds 'The Ground Floor is very lofty being the Synagoge proper, the Gallery on three sides is carved over the Centre...', Bentley's Yorkshire Breweries, Hotel Metropole (1900), Woodhouse Grove Estate and Sunday School Premises, 1896 with map; Leeds University Lawnswood Playing Fields (1934), Headingley Orphanage, Leeds Maternity Hospital, Temple Newsam, 1922, 'An approximate estimate... of the property suggested to be transferred to the Ainsty Trust i.e. the main body of Lord Halifax's Temple Newsam Estates' - a valuation undertaken at the time that Temple Newsam was acquired by Leeds Corporation. 'The Wetherby Steeplechase Course', October 1959.

2 VALUATION OF CONTENTS, nos 705-755 (not all numbers present), 1952-1966. Numbers 724 onwards have an index. Handwritten lists of contents, notes taken on site visits to houses, businesses, factories, great and small with coded valuations for insurance, probate or sale purposes. The later books contain more small entries for private houses. Properties include The Grand Theatre Leeds, 10pp 'walk round valuation of the Furnishings, fixtures, fittings... 11 January 1965'; Bramham Park, April 1962 following the death of Lady Bingley on behalf of Col. F Lane Fox, pp 22, very detailed probate valuation of country house contents including Hepplewhite furniture, Dresden porcelain etc. Constable Burton Hall, 1954, pp100, includes paintings by Poussin, Chippendale furniture and Jane Austen and early books in the library (709) Additional valuation of silver and plate for estate of Lord Halifax, 1960.

3 ESTATE AUCTION REPORTS, 30 volumes, 1878-1909, filled with entries recording via pasted down newspaper cutting of the property to be sold plus a hand-written report of the outcome of the auction, some very detailed, including bidding and purchasers. The properties are business premises, farming estates, many large houses, industrial properties and large blocks of housing for rental. The geographical area is as above but the earliest entries are mostly from Leeds.

4 INDEX AND PRIVATE TO ARTHUR HOLLIS: Index A-Z of properties/owners cross-referenced to the Valuation of Contents volumes. Not all of the valuations are in the index/ two volumes marked 'private' to Arthur Hollis including a a n Alphabetical Index of selected property valuations 1898-1945. 6 volumes of Site Inspection notebooks, flip up covers with pencil holder. Not consecutive numbers, dated approx. 1963-73. Contain very rough notes on condition, room sizes etc for valuation purposes and interesting sketches probably made on site. 4 of the books have only a few entries, volume 435 is mostly ordinary houses, 453 more varied properties.
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