This Image is the end result of an artist’s labour of love to resurrect one of Halifax’s most extravagant buildings, which had been lost since its demolition in 1958.
Manor Heath Mansion, built in 1852, was the jewel in the crown of its namesake park and home to the town’s Crossley family of carpet manufacturers before it fell into disrepair.
While the site in Manor Heath Park remains home to a sunken garden, artist Jamie Murphy, originally from Pellon, has spent 70 hours recreating the mansion as a 3D image using photographs and descriptions from the period alongside modern computer software.
He said: “I was shocked at just how few people knew that Manor Heath once had a mansion and it saddened me to know such a great piece of local history had almost been lost.
“By combining my passion for architecture and local history with my skills as a 3D artist, I embarked on the project to recreate the mansion. With very few available pictures to use as reference I had to carry out my own research and use other buildings from the same era as references points.
“I am passionate about the Crossley family and the three brothers in the story. The parks in Halifax and so many of the names of streets are linked to that family.”
The process used by Mr Murphy, who now lives in Sowerby Bridge, involved researching the materials the house was built from, analysing a floorplan and using a photograph as a “backplate” for the new image.
John Crossley Junior (1812-79), who commissioned the mansion, was the third son of the founders of the Dean Clough carpet empire.
In December, 1929, the estate was sold to Halifax Corporation for £18,500.
Although the grounds were adapted for use as a public park no practical use could be found for the house itself, which was under expensive public ownership.
Finally, in June 1958, the Courier reported: “Manor Heath Mansion’s 70ft octagonal main tower with the last remaining floors of the century-old building, crashed in a mound of stone and rubble this afternoon, after more than five hours’ work by men using gelignite.”
Mr Murphy, 28, has received requests to recreate other lost Calderdale buildings and is looking into Castle Carr, previously in Wainstalls.