In the 1630s the East Riddlesden estate was purchased by James Murgatroyd a rich and respectable clothier and it is he who was largely responsible for the present house.
The Murgatroyds later became infamous for their profanity and debauchery and members of the family were fined, imprisoned and excommunicated.
W.S. Gilbert is said to have based the Bad Baronets in 'Ruddigore' on the Murgatroyds and popular tradition claims that the River Aire below the house changed course in protest at the antics of the family.
An impressive entrance front is dominated by a great two-storey porch, the doorway flanked by classical columns and above it is an ecclesiastical rose window of eight lights (of a type said to be unique to West Yorkshire).
The porch is topped by battlements and Gothic pinnacles.
To the left stretches the square main block of the house with its mullioned windows and gabled facades.
On the right of the porch is the one-storey great hall which links to the remains of another wing.
This wing was the work of Edmund Starkie, the great-grandson of James Murgatroyd, and dates from 1692. Only one facade, with pedimented windows, remains from this part of the house. The stonework of the house has been darkened over the past 150 years by polluted air.
From the beginning of the 19th century absentee landlords ensured that the building survived unaltered.
However, most of the 'Starkie' wing was demolished in 1905 and none of the original contents remain.
The Hall was virtually empty when it was saved from dereliction in the 1930s by the Briggs brothers of Keighley.
East Riddlesden Hall is now is the care of the National Trust and they have furnished the merchant's house with 17th century oak furniture, paintings, pewter, embroideries, Delftware and oriental porcelain.
Several of the rooms have the original Murgatroyd panelling and plasterwork.
Old stone walls surround a formal garden created by the National Trust.
The site of the demolished Starkie wing has a lawn planted with umbrella-like Robina trees. There are also herb and flower borders.
In front of the house, in the grounds running down to the River Aire, is a great stone barn said to be the finest in the north of England, 120 feet long with a pair of gabled porches in each flank and a fine timbered roof.