Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society News     

Celebrating Claremont

On Friday the 9th July an event was held at the YAS’s headquarters at Claremont to highlight the importance of this former residence in the history of Leeds and the local area, raise the profile of the YAS among local groups and institutions and promote the Claremont Windows Appeal. Guests were drawn from our affiliated societies, the local community, local businesses and local historical societies and institutions. Hilary Benn, MP was also in attendance.

“Celebrating Claremont” began with three short talks which highlighted just a few of Claremont’s connections to the history of Leeds. Oliver Pickering spoke on the Quakers in later eighteenth-century Leeds, providing background to the world of John Elam, for whom Claremont was probably built. Elam was a supporter of the General Infirmary at Leeds, and later owners such as Thomas Chorley, the Atkinson family and Dr J D Heaton all link Claremont to the medical history of Leeds, which was the subject of Professor Monty Losowsky's talk. The third lecture, by David Thornton, was on Edward Baines, founder of the Leeds Mercury and a Leeds MP. Claremont’s Victorian, Dr Heaton and his wife Fanny, were closely associated with Baines through family and social ties.

After the talks visitors were given conducted tours of the house by the Society’s new president Sylvia Thomas, and had a chance to see Dr Heaton’s diaries, together with an exhibition on the history of Claremont and the Little Woodhouse area. The afternoon was drawn to a close with tea on the lawn.