The Parish of Sandal Magna

Visit to The Treasurer’s House, York


Members of the Churchyard "Gardening Team", Alex Hull, Don Fairclough, John Saville and Mike Webster, travelled to The Treasurer's House on 22nd March, at the invitation of the Friends of the Treasurer’s House, to learn more about the connection with Sandal Church and its Churchyard.

We were welcomed by Bob Scott, Patricia Jay and Heather who gave us a slide introduction to the history of the House, the Green family and their connection with Wakefield, Heath Old Hall and Sandal. We were informed how they gained their wealth from the design and construction of boiler economisers. Frank Green’s grandfather had the idea and offered to build them and only get paid when the factory owners made a profit. He was the original "cold caller"!

We then had a most informative tour of the House and learned about how Frank Green had altered the property and acquired the furniture, paintings etc. He turned a run-down property into a Grand House fit to entertain royalty (including the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VII). He gave the property to the National Trust in1930 but insisted that the furniture stayed where it was, to such an extent that studs were fixed to the floorboards to mark the appropriate positions. Some pictures and furniture were purchased because he just liked them and could afford to buy what he desired. He travelled a lot on the continent where some of the artefacts were purchased. He did not like staying in hotels so he had some caravans made, but they were too large for the ferries so they were sold, maybe ending up at Reighton Gap or similar locations as holiday homes.

Frank Green never married. He retired to Somerset (some say for health reasons) having passed the business on to relatives and never returned to Wakefield. When he died his relatives brought his body back to Wakefield and he is buried in a triple-width grave in St. Helen’s churchyard where one space is identified by a memorial to Frank with an inscription on the gravestone identical to that on the back of a portrait of him in the House. The other two spaces appear vacant and it is thought that they were possibly reserved for a nephew and his wife. There are also two beautiful memorials on the south wall near the entrance to the church.

Alex Hull




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