Last Updated on 28/04/2021
Almost 1.5 million international tourists visit Yorkshire every year. And it’s easy to see why! But in our Hidden Yorkshire series, we wanted to share the Yorkshire destinations that you won’t find in a guide book. This installment is an introduction to the Milner Field Ruins in Baildon, West Yorkshire. Plus, instructions on how to find this hidden gem!
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Milner Field Ruins
This once-grand mansion now lies forgotten, lost to nature in dense woodland. Milner Field Ruins are a physical example of the historic wealth and then decline of the textile industry in West Yorkshire. This place a fascinating historic site, and it is also supposedly cursed…
In this guide, we’ll recommend where to park, how to locate the ruins, and the best time for visiting.
What You Need To Know
Location: Baildon, West Yorkshire
Where to park: street parking available at the start of the walk located at the end of Higher Coach Road (BD17 5RH)
Walk time: approximately 30 minutes to the ruins from the suggested parking location.
Terrain: a clear and wide woodland footpath most of the way, but steep to climb in areas. To access the ruins you will need to leave the footpath and head through the woodland. The terrain can be uneven in parts due to the rubble.
When to visit: access is available year-round. However, you should note that the path itself is technically not a public right of way, but is used extensively by the public. We recommend visiting in dry weather, otherwise, the walk is likely to be very muddy!
History Of Milner Field Ruins
What was once a grand mansion, now lies in ruins. It is now reduced to nothing more than two giant piles of rubble. Titus Salt Jr built the mansion was built between 1871 and 1873. He was the son of the Victorian industrialist of Saltaire, Sir Titus Salt. The mansion was so grand, it even attracted royal visitors.
The mansion gained a reputation for being cursed thanks to the string of bad luck experienced by its owners. In 1887, Titus Jr died suddenly of heart failure in the billiard room during a time when his business was declining. Sir James Roberts bought the house next. He was also a victim of the mansion and was plagued by national scandal and death after taking up residency in 1904.
In 1923 Ernest Gates was the next to take up Milner Field. His wife passed away just two weeks after the move, before he himself died after injuring his foot in an accident and developing septicemia. The final owner of the house, Arthur Remington Hollins, saw his wife die of pneumonia less than a year after moving in, and soon passed away himself.
There were no buyers when the house was put up for sale again in 1930. Milner Field was stripped of its valuables and claimed by nature. The house was due to be demolished by dynamite n the 1950s, but even that failed and was ultimately dismantled by hand instead.
To today, the remains of the house lay untouched and forgotten in woodland.
How To Find Milner Field Ruins
To discover the ruins for yourself, drive to the end of Higher Coach Road (BD17 5RH). Park on the left-hand side, just before the unmade road begins. You can set off on the path, crossing over the bridge, and following the road straight ahead.
The unmade road is wide and clear, lined with horse chestnut trees. Walk ahead as far as the metal gates between three huge stone gateposts. Walk through the left gate to follow the former driveway. It is narrow initially but broadens out.
Once the path widens, it is fairly easy to follow. When you come to a section of the path that appears almost like a crossroads, keep to the left on the main track as it rises.
About 200 meters from this crossroads is where things get tricky. As the track starts to swing to the right, you need to head off the path and into the woodland on your left, hopping over the little stream pictured below. You will find the ruins about 100 meters ahead.
Here’s a tip from our experience. If you get as far as the gate pictured below, you’ve gone too far! Simply turn around and retrace your steps about 400 meters. As the path gently starts to turn left, head right into the woods to find the ruins via the method mentioned in the paragraph above.
Continue walking straight ahead to will meet the giant piles of rubble, which are the remains of Milner Field. We didn’t find them straight away and had to circle around a bit to track them down. But they are worth hunting for!
What To Do At Milner Field Ruins
The Milner Field Ruins are fascinating and give a glimpse into the history of the once-grand building. Here are a few ideas of how you could spend your time at Milner Field Ruins.
Appreciate The History
It would be remiss to visit the Milner Field Ruins without pausing to appreciate the history of the house. You can still see the cavernous openings to the cellar, the remnants of the interior walls, and remarkably intact bricks, which have sat untouched for almost 70 years. You can even discover a section of the mosaic pattern on the conservatory floor!
The route to Milner Field Ruins takes you through beautiful English countryside. If you want to spend more time in the area, you can extend the walk. Although a little dated, the information in this guide is still mostly accurate and outlines a wonderful walk in the area, and includes a detour to incorporate Milner Field Ruins.
Keen cyclist? You can enjoy the route on a mountain bike. We saw several riders shooting back down the hill at top speed!
When To Visit
Access to the ruins is available year-round. However, note that the path itself is technically not a public right of way, but is used extensively by the public. We visited on a beautiful summer’s day, but the route would get very muddy in wet weather. The ruins can be tricky to locate, so avoid days with low visibility to reduce your chances of getting lost.
Will You Visit Milner Field Ruins?
So here is our guide to visiting Milner Field Ruins. Would you visit this abandoned mansion? Cursed or not, it makes for an interesting stop on a beautiful walk.
If you want to discover more incredible Hidden Yorkshire locations, click here for the complete series.
Before You Go
So if you’re looking for a peaceful walk in West Yorkshire with a fascinating history, be sure to bookmark this page or pin it so you can find this hidden gem!
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Until our next adventure,