Start the Virtual Tour: Great Hall

Begin the Tour

virtual tour of Oakwell HallLook around this wonderfully authentic 16th Century Manor House. Go straight to your favourite room, or take the whole tour, starting in the Great Hall and moving around the house from room to room.

You can enjoy the images as they appear on the page, or click on them and scroll through the full-sized versions.

Some images are used by kind permission of Fairfax Battalia


The Great Hall

The focal point of the house and used as a reception area for entertaining and dining. Manorial courts presided over by the steward and dealing with estate grievances and discipline, would take place here.

Things to look out for in the Great Hall

 


Great Parlour

This would have been the most important room in the house and furnished with the best pieces. By the late 17th century, parlours and dining rooms were the preferred rooms for entertaining guests and dining in private. 

Things to look out for in the Great Parlour

Great Parlour Chamber

This room is displayed as the master's bedchamber.

Bedchambers served dual functions and were often used as day rooms or to entertain guests.   The bed dates from 1590 and was known as a tester bed. A very grand piece made of oak with marquetry headboard and elaborate carvings and probably a prized heirloom as beds like this were handed down from one generation to the next. On loan from V & A Museum.

The hangings are reproductions made by Christopher Pratts of Bradford.

Things to look out for in the Great Parlour Chamber


Little Parlour Chamber

This room is displayed as a bedchamber. Original timber studding can be seen. Tree-ring dating indicates some timbers date largely from 1586. The bed is known as the Westmoreland bed, from where it originated, this is a fine example and dates from around 1525.

The initials HF still survive on the headboard, together with three curious J's on the footrail. The low bed on wheels underneath is known as a truckle bed and could be wheeled out at night for servants or children. On loan from V & A Museum.

Things to look out for in the Little Parlour Chamber


Painted Chamber

Displayed as a lady's bedchamber - the mistress might use the room for entertaining or spend time here herself during the day. Most of the furniture in this room is reproduction and shows what oak looked like when new. The original items are the panelling and portrait.

The bed is made by Stuart Reproductions, Somerset and based on a 16th-century original. The hangings are made of cotton/linen with crewelwork embroidery in wool.

Things to look out for in the Painted Chamber


Minstrel's Gallery, Study & Staircase

The Minstrel Gallery overlooks the Great Hall and gives you a wonderful view of the large window which is such a feature of the Hall.

The window probably dates from mid 17th century and still contains the original glass which was hand made and has scratched signatures. The colour is due to the varying mineral content of raw materials, e.g. yellow and green indicate arsenic content. A large window was an indication of wealth. 

The small study, sited off the Gallery, is probably where John Batt contemplated the estate's accounts and family affairs.  The 1611 inventory of Robert Batt of Oakwell Hall shows him to have over 60 books at a time when books were very expensive and few people could read. 

Peeping down the Grand Staircase (sadly no longer in use)  gives you a sense of the opulence of life here at Oakwell in its heyday.


Kitchen Chamber

This was probably the servant's bedroom and main storeroom for food. It's un-panelled and open to the roof.

Things to look out for in the Kitchen Chamber


New Parlour Chamber

Displayed as a second-best chamber. May have been occupied by the nursemaid and could have been used as a guestroom. The rooms retain some early features.

There is an oak and marquetry tester bed with lavish carving on the headboard, tester and posts. Each post is supported by massive square plinths featuring the lozenge-shaped carving typical of Yorkshire craftsmanship. Thought to date from the early 17th century and was the original property of the Fairfax family from Gilling Castle in North Yorkshire. Notice the rams head, the horned devil and the serpent decoration on the headboard.

Things to look out for in the New Parlour Chamber


Kitchen

Would have been one of the busiest rooms. Furnished throughout with reproduction items. The fire and stove can be lit and the room is regularly used by visiting school children.

Things to look out for in the Kitchen


New Parlour

Displayed as a private dining room for the family in the 1690s. Inventories of this period show that parlours often contained bedsteads and bedding - it was not unusual to find rooms downstairs being used as bedchambers.

Things to look out for in the New Parlour

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