Carr Hall Castle is a Grade II folly that was built to appear like a Norman castle. It started life in the early 19th Century as a farmhouse with an adjacent barn that was used for breeding shire horses. In the 1860s, the Shaw family, who were very wealthy mill owners and possessed the biggest woollen mill in Yorkshire, converted the building into a castle boasting battlements, towers with arrow slit windows and arch-headed windows.
Interestingly, however, the Shaw family never lived there and instead preferred to view it from their large manor house they occupied across the valley. Inspired by the castles they had seen on their excursions of Europe that many other wealthy Victorians would have undertaken, they simply wanted to indulge in a flight of fancy to create the idyllic view complete with a romantic castle - it was merely built to enhance their view.
a modern fairytale
The cottage next to the castle was used by the farm manager, however, over the years, the properties gradually fell into disrepair. It was largely uninhabited until the buildings were brought and partially modernised in 1964. Then it was sold in 2002 to the current owners, Terry George and Michael Rothwell, who have spent almost £1 million restoring the original facade of the castle and have transformed the castle into a contemporary folly with an opulent yet not ostentatious look with deep colours, dark wood and striking soft furnishings. The owners have given the opportunity for ordinary people to indulge in the pleasure of being able to run their own grand castle and live out their own modern fairytale in royal luxury.