History of Westwood Lodge Ilkley Moor
Westwood Lodge, Ilkley Moor is a grand Victorian country house with adjacent courtyard cottages built between 1872 and 1875, with some additions in 1890/1 and 1918. Squire William Middleton sold lots of plots on this side of England to form a gated community intended to become “The Belgravia of the North”. Westwood Lodge was designed by prominent local architect, George Smith, who also designed Cliffe Castle in Keighley. It was to be a prestigious private villa residence and originally owned by Leonard Horner, a lead manufacturer from Skipton. He was followed by Edward Briggs, a major mill owner (Briggella Mills) from Bradford. Other occupants over the years include Herbert Ponting, a photographer on Scott’s ill-fated trip to the antarctic. Great War hero Lieutenant Colonel Charles Fox retired here with his family.
The early part of the Second World War saw refugees living here and from 1943, Westwood was a place of recuperation, owned by the Leeds & District Workpeople’s Hospital Fund. Members would stay at Westwood to enjoy good food, fresh air and coach trips out following illness or accidents at work.
In 1956 Westwood Lodge became a key part of the West Riding College of Housecraft – known locally as The Pud School. Students learned their domestic science and homebuilding skills. This became part of Ilkley College of Further Education in the 1960’s and boys were admitted from around 1966. In 1989 Westwood was transferred to Bradford Council ownership, renamed The Glenmoor Centre and used as a training and conference centre. It was during this era that Tim came, stayed on several occasions with management groups and got to know the place well.