Sometimes spelled lear, other times leer. From The English Dialect Dictionary.
Etymology: from German leer, empty. There are many examples of the word from the late 1800s, and a mention of "leirey places" from the late 1700s.
Related words (similar origins):
lereness - emptiness
lear-headed - empty-headed
leary - unladen (as in an empty wagon)
Leery (untrusting, suspicious) appears to come from German lernen, to learn;
lear (knowledge, education, custom) and learless (ignorant) have similar origins.
Leer (to look obliquely) appears to come from Middle English ler, cheek.
Apologies for the late post; the house was not a "leirey place" yesterday.