When Edward Akroyd (1810–1887) bought this building in 1838, on his engagement to Elizabeth Fearby of York, it was a much smaller eight-roomed house, built ca 1800. He and his brother Henry were working for their father Jonathan Akroyd, a rich worsted mill owner, and living at Woodside Mansion in Boothtown. Jonathan died in 1848, and it was possibly Edward's inheritance which paid for the development of Bankfield which began around this time. Edward encased the 18th century building in fairfaced stone and added two loggias, a dining room, Anglican chapel and kitchens. By 1867 Akroyd was Member of Parliament for Halifax and obliged to entertain on a grand scale. When the future Edward VII visited Halifax to open the town hall in 1863, the royal party ate lunch and dinner with the mayor who had more space at Manor Heath, although the prince did visit the Akroyd family business at Haley Hill Mills. For this reason, the 1867 wing, designed by John Bownas Atkinson of York at a cost of £20,000, was spacious and decorated to impress. It had a porte-cochere, saloon, drawing rooms, library and billiard room. At its busiest, the mansion had 25 servants. Akroyd extended his influence beyond Haley Mills and Bankfield by building Akroydon close by: a model village of gothic terraced houses, allotments, park, cooperative, stables and All Souls Church, all designed by George Gilbert Scott. By 1887 the business was in decline and Akroyd was dying. He sold the building to Halifax Corporation for £6,000 and retired to St Leonards-on-Sea where he died.
The Duke of Wellington's Regiment museum shows the history of the regiment from its beginnings in 1702 as the Earl of Huntingdon's Regiment of Foot to its demise, when it was amalgamated with the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire and The Green Howards to form the Yorkshire Regiment on 6 June 2009, using accounts from serving soldiers and interactive displays. There is also a textiles gallery here. There is Wheelchair access to the ground floor only. Handling boxes for visually impaired visitors are available. Please contact, prior to visit, if you have special needs; the staff will be glad to help.
Location : Akroyd Park, Boothtown Rd, Halifax HX3 6HG
Transport: Halifax (National Rail) then bus - 1.5 miles. Bus routes : 575 and 576 stop outside.
Opening Times : Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 to 18:00.
Tickets : Free.
Tel: 01422 352334