13th November 2019
Human activity in Rawdon dates back to 4000 BC with artefacts having been discovered in what has been a principally agrarian landscape for many centuries – open fields, natural woodland, small farmsteads and cottages. Bronze Age discoveries include a carved stone monument that remains in the garden of one of the Victorian mansions on the estate.
The geology of the area is typical of this part of the country. Sandstone and millstone grit for the base, providing a source of building materials for many of the neo-Gothic properties that were built for the woollen merchants of Victorian Bradford. The houses along Woodland Drive were privately built with gardens that were thoughtfully planted to form secluded retreats with tantalising gated and pillared entrances, forming a somewhat unique ‘estate’ for the High Victorian occupiers.
Although many of the larger properties have been converted into town houses, mews properties or flats offering an elegant standard of living away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby suburban centres, many of the pre-19th century tracks and walkways, and the vistas created for the entertainment of Victorians strolling the grounds have been retained, setting this area apart from many conservations in Leeds and Bradford.