Lord Savile dies at 89

LORD Savile, one of Calderdale's biggest landowners, has died aged 89. George Halifax Lumley-Savile, the third Baron Savile of Rufford, was the elder son of the second Lord Savile, who died in 1931.

The family had been prominent in Calderdale since the 16th century, holding estates at Hebden Bridge, Rishworth, Thornhill and Elland, and the lordships of the manors of Ovenden, Skircoat and Elland (now sold).

Lord Savile never married. He enjoyed attending the House of Lords, of which he was a member for 60 years, until hereditary peers were unseated in 1999.

In 1939 the family made Walshaw Lodge above Hebden Bridge, their permanent residence after the family mansion at Rufford Abbey, Notts, was sold.

During the Second World War Lord Savile was a captain in the Duke of Wellington's Regiment and later attached to the 1st Battalion the Lincoln-shire Regiment, which saw service in Burma during the campaigns of 1943 and 1944.

After being demobbed he bought Gryce Hall, Shelley, near Huddersfield, to serve as the principal family seat, Walshaw being reserved as a shooting lodge.

He was a keen shooter of grouse and opposed wind farms on his land.

He served for many years as a magistrate in the Dewsbury area.

In 1866 Lord Savile's great-uncle, Captain Henry Savile of Rufford Abbey, sold Skircoat Moor – then valued at about 40,000 – to Halifax Corporation for the nominal sum of 100, on condition the corporation took action to alleviate smoke pollution in the town.

In recognition of the captain's generosity, the moor was renamed Savile Park.

He also gave large areas of Hardcastle Crags to the National Trust in 1950 and in 1960 gave Popples Common and adjacent moorland near Heptonstall to Hepton Rural District Council.

A devout Anglican, Lord Savile worshipped for over 60 years at Emley Parish Church, of which he was patron.

At 11am on July 17 there will be a service of thanksgiving at Thornhill Parish Church.

His heir is his nephew, John Anthony Thornhill Lumley-Savile, who lives in Cornwall.