History

A venue steeped in history

Victoria Hall was originally known as Eastwood House and was built in 1819 by William Sugden (died 1834), worsted manufacturer of Fleece Mill and Damem’s Mill.

Ha Ha (not to be confused with laughter!)

The house was in extensive parkland with a Ha Ha (a feature used in landscape design) and a plantation, all consisting of 30 acres and extending half a mile east of the town, hence the name probably. Some land was used for horse races in the early 18thC. Part of the estate was given over to housing development, the rest was bought by public subscription in 1891 and opened as Victoria Park in 1893, named by Mr H. I. Butterfield to mark the royal marriage. It was also called Butterfield House for a while during 1893) Eastwood House became Keighley Corporation’s official museum, and became known as the Mansion House from 1899 to 1959. Its courtyard was covered over to form a large hall ready for the four month Science and Art Exhibition for the Park’s official opening in 1893. There are various photographs of the hall in books by Ian Dewhirst, including one of the original building before the exhibition hall was built in the courtyard to the rear of the house and one at the time of the opening of the park and museum on 6 July 1893 when the building and grounds were lit by 11,000 fairy lamps.