Public Houses of Holmfirth: Past and Present (2016) by Holme Valley Civic Society

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Holme Valley Civic Society Local History Group

Public Houses

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Public Houses of


Past and


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Published by Holme Valley Civic Society 2016 Registered Charity No. 255297

© Holme Valley Civic Society.

Full acknowledgement must be given for any part of this text when reproduced in any form.

Printed by Enterprise Print, Honley, Holmfirth HD9 6EA

Publications Holmfirth Blue Plaque Trail Leaflet 2011 History Trail of Holmfirth 2012 Aspects of Life in the New Mill Valley Chapels and Churches 2009 Schools and School Days 2012 Miners and Mining 2014

Front cover: Elephant and Castle Inn, 1910

Back cover: List of Alehouse Keepers in Holmfirth, 1803

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Contents Page Acknowledgements 4 Introduction 4 Map showing location of inns, beerhouses and hotels 6 Selected notes on the history of brewing 14 “At the sign of ” 19 Centres of community life 22 Individual Pub Histories

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We are most grateful to the staff of both the West Yorkshire Archive Service in Wakefield and Huddersfield and the Huddersfield Local Studies Library for their interest in our researches and their helpful assistance with these. Extracts from the Records of the Upper Agbrigg Brewster Sessions are included with the permission of the W.Y.A.S.

We would like to thank Kirklees Digital Archive, Peter Berry of Holme Valley Lodge No. 652, Iris and Peter Bullock, Charlotte Earnshaw and Ian Roberts for their permission for

the use of photographs (see page 143) also Joan Shires for the poem “Old Turk.”

We are indebted to Dave Green, the well-known Huddersfield public house historian, for sharing his knowledge with us.

We have greatly appreciated the contribution made by local landlords and the people who have shared their knowledge and memories with us.


The intention of the members of the Holme Valley Civic Society Local History Group was to locate, record and describe the past and present public houses of central Holmfirth. It was decided to create a walk following the route of the Holmfirth History Trail giving selected information for the numbered pubs. Where known, the following aspects have been included in this: origin, description, valuation, closure and compensation, replacement use and _ interesting facts. Unfortunately the available surviving records are incomplete in

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the details given and there is often an inconsistency in the presentation of some of this information. Quotations from these are written in italics and are in their original form regarding spelling, punctuation and words used.

The text has been researched and written by members of the Local History Group, particularly the Pub Project Group, Deborah Wyles, Vivien Aizlewood and Katrina Riley.

Prior to 1800 Holmfirth was a small village with a Chapel of Ease and several inns lying at the confluence of the Holme and Ribble watercourses and at the junction of the two earliest routes through and across the valley. As such it was the centre of rural community consisting of the scattered hillside villages and hamlets. The majority of families who lived in these earned a livelihood as farmers and handloom weavers. The dramatic change to their way of life came about with the mechanisation of the woollen cloth industry and the building of textile mills along the sides of both the Ribble and Holme rivers. By the middle of the 19th century Holmfirth had developed into what was described in Kelly's Trade Directory of 1861 as: “a large and prosperous town. ”

For many people going to the numerous town centre pubs and beerhouses was an important feature of their lives. However, for others within the community these establishments were not acceptable. The Holmfirth Temperance Association was formed in 1835 by those concerned about the effects of drunkenness for both the individual and families. Highlighting the “evils of drink” they strongly urged people to stop drinking alcohol and the frequenting of inns and beerhouses. Such beliefs and activities brought them into direct opposition with those variously involved in local brewing and the liquor trade.

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Looking at the map of Holmfirth it can be seen that the early road layout influenced the location and size of the pubs. From their positions it 1s clear where the principal highways into and through Holmfirth were situated. The route, which came from Huddersfield via Honley, ran from Thongsbridge along Berry Bank Lane to Station Road then Town Gate, Higgin Brigg, Hollowgate and Upperbridge, from where it made its way to the village of Holme lying at the head of the valley. It was along this oldest route, subsequently to be the first turnpike to run through the town, that a variety of public houses were built to serve both those living locally or visiting the valley. Improved in 1768, this continued to be a well-used route even after the more direct road from Thongsbridge to Holmfirth was built in 1771. This second highway became part of the Huddersfield and Woodhead Turnpike, now known as the Woodhead Road, A6024. The development of a third route into the town with the building of a new Turnpike in the mid-1820s, the present-day Dunford Road, B6106, helped maintain the importance of the area around Higgin Brigg. Certainly during the eighteenth century there were a number of alehouses, beerhouses or inns to be found along these routes. However, it is difficult to establish exactly what and where. There will also be a number for which no record has survived.

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There are two early records of an innkeeper in Holmfirth. The first of these are the entries in the surviving pages of the diary of Arthur Jessop (1682-1751) a local Apothecary, which detail his frequent visits to: “the house of William

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Alehouse Keeper Surtees

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It was not until 1803 that both the name of an alehouse or inn and the licensee were recorded. The name of the licensee was that of the landlord who could also have been the owner. Additional information possibly provided by these records includes names of owners, guarantors and prosecutions.

It has been possible to locate all but one of the named inns found in the List of Alehouse Keepers of 1803, this being the White Lion where the landlord was Jonas Roberts.

An earlier Licensing Record reveals that a Jonas Roberts had been licensed in 1777 as: “a person of sober life and conversation and duly qualified to keep a Public Inn.” The name of the inn was not recorded. However in 1803, at the time of the resumption of the Napoleonic War, from a newspaper report it is known that a Jonas Roberts, innkeeper of the White Lion, Holmfirth held a meeting at: “his house” in the matter of: “the necessity of Peace and the propriety of petitioning for it at the present Unfortunately it has not been possible to establish whether or not the Jonas Roberts of 1777 and 1803 is the same man (if he is, then he had a rather lengthy tenure of the inn). Perhaps we are talking of father and son or a relation in some other way.

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Holmfirth lies within the three ancient Townships of Wooldale, Cartworth and Upperthong and as such within the Graveship of Holme in the Manor of Wakefield. At the time of writing there was no access to the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, one of the major sources of information about the transfer of Copyhold property within these Townships. The majority of the premises investigated were such properties, so it has not been possible to include detailed information relating to the names of copyhold tenants and the descriptions of properties. This situation arose due to the relocation of the Archive and Library of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society to the Special Collections, Brotherton Library at Leeds University.

However, it has been possible to use some published transcriptions for the Court Rolls of 1286, 1308, 1333, 1339, 1790, 1792 and 1882.

Particulars relating to a number of the sales of freehold premises were found in entries in the West Yorkshire Land Registry.

At the time of a change of landlord, an inventory was made of the furnishings, fittings and stock-in-trade being transferred to the new tenant. Where found these and the accompanying descriptions give a fascinating insight into the layout and nature of the premises. Likewise a sale or lettings advertisement occasionally provided a contemporary view as to the nature of the business or the status of the establishment.

The names of the Landlords have been compiled from a range of Sources such as the Court Rolls, Land Registry Deeds, Brewster Records, Inventories compiled at the time of the Transfer of Licence, Census Returns, Rate Books, Trade Directories and advertisements and articles in Newspapers.

The names of landlords have been listed for each pub under the heading of Known Landlords with the following key:

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CR Court Roll of the Manor of Wakefield BR_ Brewster Sessions Record: Annual Lists of Licensees/Alehouse Keepers Records of Transfer of Licence Extinguishing Licenses Records Compensation Authority Papers I

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Selected notes on the history of Brewing

Traditional English ale made solely from fermented malt was brewed by people in their own homes and then sold to neighbours or within houses, known as alehouses or taverns. Each of the keepers of these would brew their own distinctive ale for the local population. The practice of adding hops to the ale to produce beer was well established by the mid-1550s. From this time, any house selling home-brewed ale and beer could be referred to as an alehouse, a beerhouse or a tavern. Those that offered accommodation were called inns. Later, local independent commercial breweries were established, these soon became the major suppliers to what became known as public houses in their neighbourhood.

Lying within the Graveship of Holme, the area we know as the Holme Valley was part of the Manor of Wakefield. The main source of evidence for the brewers in the medieval period comes from the records of the courts of the manor, which sat to hear of infringements of local laws and of disputes between tenants every three weeks. The manor court imposed fines against those found guilty, and these were a significant source of income for the lord of the manor.

Brewing of ale was a common occupation in the valley and the majority of brewers seem to have been women. Sometimes the women brewers were identified, such as Margery of Holme and Juliana of Cartworth, but more often it was their husbands who were named, such as this reference from 1308: “the wife of Jordan the Miller”. They brewed and sold their ales from their homes, but the absence of specific reference to ‘brewsters’ or similar official titles in the records suggests that brewing in the medieval Holme Valley was a subsidiary occupation. This is reinforced by references such as this from 1286: “John the Cobbler is fined 12d for brewing contrary to the assize”’.

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In 1215, the Magna Carta had stipulated standard measures for wine and ale. Further requirements were put in place in 1277 to ensure brewers only used properly stamped measures.

In the mid thirteenth century a law was also passed that was enacted throughout England called the “Assize of Ale”. This law fixed the price brewers could charge for ale and linked that charge to the price of wheat, barley and oats. It also linked the cost of ale to its strength. The Manor of Wakefield would have had an aletaster whose job it was to monitor the brewers of the area and to report infringements of the assize to the manor court. The fines levied for “brewing against the assize”, were typically 2d, 6d and 12d although it is not clear what the different levels of fine represent. The same brewers are often fined repeatedly and their names are found in the court rolls time and again suggesting that the fine for breaking the assize was in reality a local tax on brewing rather than a genuine punishment.

Drinking game. Marginal detail from the Luttrell Psalter (1325-1340)

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An interesting record heard by the court in January 1333 tells us that the whole settlement of Hepworth was ‘distrained’ or held in debt, for: “concealing that Beatrice, wife of Richard de Heppworth brewed at Id contrary to the assize”. In the court of April 1339 the township of Wooldale was fined 40d for: “concealing” Alice de Bothe who was herself fined 2d for brewing against the assize.

Responsibility for brewing changed when the Act for Licensing Alehouses was introduced in 1552 and_ the enforcement of brewing laws moved from local manorial courts to Justices of the Peace. Such was the Government’s concern over the social problems associated with drunkenness that Justices of the Peace, who already carried the responsibility: “to bind over unruly persons to be of good behaviour" were given additional powers to enforce civil order. They were also required to licence all alehouses in their locality.

At the start of the English Civil War in May 1643, Parliament imposed a tax on beer at the rate of two shillings per barrel in order to raise money for the war against the King. Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1690 taxation of all types of liquors continued and Parliament then levied further taxes to beer, ale and other liquors to: “protect trade” and: “to pay for the navy and maintain the war against France ”.

In 1751 the retail sale of spirits was restricted to licensed public houses and additional duties were raised. In 1753 Clerks of the Peace were required to keep registers of licensed victuallers in their locality. These were then included in the Brewster Session Records.

An increase in the numbers of British distilleries for the manufacture of spirits, including gin in particular, came about as a result of the French Revolution. In 1789 the government passed an Act banning trade with France which included the importing of wine and brandy. ‘This boosted local liquor

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production and promoted the already popular consumption of gin, with its resulting social ills. It was during the latter half of the eighteenth century that the terms alehouse, inn, and tavern were gradually replaced by public house.

These years also saw the introduction of turnpike roads on which travelling became easier, particularly by coach. Public houses were built along these improved highways to provide the services required by those travelling. These included overnight accommodation, a supply of food as well as drink, stabling and food for horses and space for the coaches.

The coming of the railways during the nineteenth century created similar requirements for those travelling by train, so public houses were often sited near the railway station.

The Weights and Measures Act of 1824 sanctioned a single imperial gallon to replace the variable wine, ale, and corn (wheat) gallons then in general use. The new imperial standard gallon was equal to eight imperial pints.

Aimed at reducing the amount of gin consumed under the 1830 Act, any rate-paying householder could apply, with a one- off payment of two guineas, to brew and sell beer or cider in their home. The beer was usually served in jugs or dispensed directly from tapped wooden barrels on a table in the corner of the room. The permission did not extend to the sale of spirits and fortified wines, and any beerhouse discovered selling those items was closed down and the owner heavily fined. Although not allowed to open on Sundays, it was not long before the new beerhouses far outnumbered the combined total of long- established taverns, pubs, inns and hotels. Finally in 1869, this erowth was checked by greater magisterial control and the introduction of new licensing laws which prevented the creation of new beerhouses whilst allowing those already in existence to continue. Many did so whilst others made application to become fully licensed.

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The Licensing Act of 1872 imposed several new conditions on publicans; closing times were altered to midnight in towns and

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renewal of a licence if it was considered that the pub was “unnecessary.” Compensation was paid both to the owner of the premises and the licensee although, typically, only about 10% of the compensation went to the licensee. This law angered many members of the Temperance movement. Believing that there were too many public houses compared with the need of the public they had actively supported a law that would lead to the closure of many of them. However, they regarded the financial compensation as a: “subsidy on We can be sure that those advocating temperance in the Holme Valley would have expressed their view on this issue.

Legislation during and after WW1 under Lloyd George, a fearsome devotee of temperance, tended to relate to changes to opening hours, these being reduced from twelve to five and a half daily, and to the increase in duty.

In 1923 it became illegal for those aged under 18 to buy or serve alcoholic drinks on licensed premises.

“At the SIGN OF ”

It 1s unclear how the names of individual pubs were acquired. A number of Holmfirth pubs reflect a common practice of names with royal or heraldic origins, whilst others have names with unmistakeable local associations like Gas Tavern, Ring O’ Bells or The Druids. Well into the 1800s when reference was being made to the name of a tavern, an inn or public house the phrase “Sign of the

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population, those unable to read or write. In 1393, hanging of signs was made compulsory by King Richard II so they could be recognized by the official Ale Taster who regulated the quality of ale sold. Richard H’s emblem of a white hart became a very popular pub name.

The evidence for these in Holmfirth can be found in surviving photographs, the earliest being those from the first and second decades of the twentieth century, and those listed in the Inventories made on the transfer of a landlord’s licence.

Most pubs were identified by a hanging sign or their names on boarding on the front of the building. The name of the supplying brewery was frequently included in the signing.

Sign of the White

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Hammonds Ales Kings Head Inn

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Centres of community life

Public houses played an important part in the life of the local community, hosting all kinds of activities. Housing in Holmfirth was generally small in size and often overcrowded and so much social activity had to take place outside the home. There were flourishing sports clubs, hobby groups, religious and political organisations which held both regular and celebratory meetings in local hostelries. These events were usually reported in the local press, as were Coroners’ inquests, auctions, meetings of creditors in cases of bankruptcy, trade meetings for local employers and employees. Specific examples of these are given in the individual pub histories.

Many people were members of Friendly Societies, formed on the basis of friendship and benevolence. Often established on religious, political, or trade affiliations these organisations would support members (known as brethren), their widows and children in times of financial need from sickness, loss of wage, injury or death in return for a small regular subscription. Responsible for its own affairs, each Lodge was often affiliated to a National Order of Lodges. Friendly Societies such as the Old Friendly Society, (the oldest benevolent society in the town), the Oddfellows, the Order of Foresters, the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds and the Ancient Order of Druids had branches in the town.

Female Lodges also existed for the large numbers of women who worked, as was the case in the Holme Valley with so many textile mills. Lodges for women recorded as meeting in Holmfirth included the Female Foresters; the Ancient Order of Druidesses and the Female Friends of Secret Orders.

The Crown Hotel, Rose and Crown Inn, Friendship Inn, the Druids Hotel, Victoria Hotel, White Hart Inn, Waggon and Horses Inn and the Jolly Hatters Beerhouse all had designated

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Lodge rooms. Annual feasts were also provided at which large numbers would sit down for dinner followed by an evening’s entertainment. Such feasts were often preceded by a church service or a procession around the town behind a brass band.

The activities relating to the use of public houses by the three local Freemason Lodges were regularly recorded in the local press. The Victoria Hotel and the Druids Hotel provided lodge rooms for the Holme Valley Lodge, the Kings Head for the Loyal Yorkshire Lodge and the White Hart Inn for the Lodge of the Yorkshire Man.

Before the existence of the local police constabulary the Holmfirth Society for the Prosecution of Felons was established in 1804 to help dispense justice against criminals: “within seven miles of Holmfirth”. Regular meetings held at the Victoria Hotel, the Shoulder of Mutton Inn and the Kings Head Inn were attended by the members who paid dues to cover one another’s costs of privately prosecuting offenders should a crime be committed against them. This organisation exists to this day but for social purposes only!

From the reporting of the dinners and celebratory occasions it would appear that Holmfirth folk shared a great capacity for enjoying themselves. Such gatherings inevitably included “speechifying” which was then frequently followed by entertainments such as solo singing, instrumental music, recitations, magic tricks or dancing.

The most frequent public administrative function conducted in pubs and inns was that of inquests, for deaths following accidents of every conceivable kind, suicides, those unexpectedly found dead or bodies discovered in millponds. Inquests would generally take place in the nearest inn, overseen by a coroner with a jury

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Pubs became important centres following the large loss of life which took place in 1852 when the Bilberry reservoir at the head of the Holme Valley burst its banks and inundated the town. Substantial damage was caused, many buildings were swept away and 81 people lost their lives. Local pubs acted as collection points for recovered bodies, and inquests were held for the identification and their return to families for burial. Such Inquests were held at the George Inn, Kings Head Inn, Elephant and Castle Inn, Rose and Crown Inn, Shoulder of Mutton Inn, Waggon and Horses Inn, White Hart Inn and the Crown Hotel. The full Coroner-led inquests were then held in the Town Hall.

Another important function was that of meetings of the Court Leet and the Court Baron of the Manor of Wakefield. Twenty-three of these sessions took place at the White Hart between 1850 and 1890.

Other administrative functions recorded related to registration of voters, the work of the local civic boards responsible for local affairs prior to the establishment of Holmfirth Urban District Council in 1894 and meetings held to discuss the proposed Greenfield to Shepley Lane Head turnpike.

It was not uncommon for a room to be known as the commercial room. Business related meetings were frequently held in pubs, but it was auctions that were the main commercial activity, relating to both local properties and those from a wide area around the district. With a significant number of interested parties attending, these gatherings were generally scheduled for early evening to allow for food and other refreshment to be taken.

A common feature of pub life was the breaking of licensing laws and the committing of a crime by both landlords and their customers or passers-by. Those relating to landlords centred on

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opening hours, permitting gambling, drunkenness and rowdy behaviour on their premises. Two prosecutions in the same year could lead to a landlord losing his licence. Crimes committed by customers or passers-by would include drunkenness, disorderly behaviour and violence to varying degrees. Interestingly, the authorities occasionally turned a blind eye to drunkenness if no disorderly behaviour occurred, as happened in the Friendship Inn in April 1873 when the defendant was discharged on these grounds.

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1. Gas Tavern, Huddersfield Road

This beerhouse would have been found on the Huddersfield Road opposite the Civic Hall, in the middle of the terrace of houses at today’s number 124. So situated it was close to the site of the town gasworks, gas having been introduced to Holmfirth in 1840. According to the writer of a letter published in the Holmfirth Express in May, 1900 the Gas Tavern was 27 yards from the Crown Hotel.


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Following the decision that the tavern should close, the valuation of the premises as trade premises was £1,284-8s-4d and the estimated value of the premises per annum as a private dwelling was £10. At time of closure the owners, then Seth Senior and Sons, were awarded £950, the premises subsequently becoming a private house.

The first known account of this beerhouse is a newspaper report of a Floral and Vegetable Show in October 1855 at the Town Hall which lies almost directly opposite the tavern. It was stated that the supper for the exhibiters and those closely connected with the show was provided at the Gas Tavern.

It is however, the breaking of licensing laws and associated crime that was the most apparent newsworthiness of this pub. There are numerous reports of court appearances where the Gas Tavern was the scene of drunkenness of both customers and landlord, was found open out-of-hours or reported for the use of bad language.

In January 1861 the police, convinced that the tavern was open out-of-hours, were: “standing looking across the valley where there was a fair view of the back rooms.” It 1s likely that they were watching from the higher ground of Station Road near The Druids. As they then attempted to enter the premises the landlord, John Bradley, refused to admit them. In Court, Bradley claimed that he had been 1n bed and never heard them. He was found guilty and fined.

Charged with assault by his "better half in June 1863, the landlord, Edward Ashwell, was brought before the magistrates and judged to be guilty. For this he was sentenced to three months with hard labour in the Wakefield House of Correction.

William Coldwell, the landlord in 1878, was fortunate in that although charged and found guilty of being drunk in his own house along with three regular customers and_ five

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“showpeople” ' he was fined twenty shillings and costs but there was no endorsement of his licence.

A theft charge came to court in March 1886 when Ebenezer Coldwell, the son of William Coldwell, accused Arthur Brearley with stealing his watch. Brearley had asked for a room at the Gas Tavern and had slept in the same room as Coldwell junior who, having hung up his watch, later found it was gone. Brearley had by then left for Manchester where he had pawned the watch. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six weeks hard labour.

The Gas Tavern was frequently visited before or after men had been elsewhere to drink. Such was the case in the records of the following two inquests.

It was reported on 1s" July 1868 that George Morton, having spent four hours drinking in the Gas Tavern before leaving, had quarrelled with a man called Brooke. Morton was the only man to strike any blows but it was Morton who died later that evening in his mother's house. The surgeon, Mr C. J. Trotter ascribed the death to apoplexy.

In July 1871 John Shaw, a painter of Lane End who was the worse for drink after visiting several pubs including the Gas Tavern and the nearby Crown Hotel, became embroiled in a disagreement with Joseph Turner which led to a fight. Turner died a day later from head and spine injuries but there was however, insufficient evidence to “criminate” John Shaw.

A family disagreement occurred in 1889 which resulted in the licensee, William Wike, suing and securing judgement against his brother-in-law, Thomas Simpson, of Hill Top, chimney sweep, for the return of £9 borrowed money.

' Possibly travelling players performing in the nearby Town Hall

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Location of the former Gas Tavern in a row of terraced houses, Huddersfield Road 2015

Known Landlords 1861 John Bradley C 1863 Edward Ashwell N 1878 William Coldwell N 1887 Hannah Coldwell BR 1889 Allen Lockwood BR

1890 1895 1896 1898 1903

John Hartley Martha Hartley Wimpenny Lindley Samuel Shaw Wimpenny Fred Howard


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2. Crown Hotel (The Post Card)

Crown hotel, Huddersfield Road early 1960s

Situated at 134, Huddersfield Road and therefore on the direct road from Huddersfield to Holmfirth via Thongsbridge, this was one of the larger licensed premises 1n the town.

The Upperthong Tithe Map and Book dated 1847 provide the earliest record of the Crown Hotel and indeed Dave Green gives this year for the opening date.

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Commercial Gentlemen especially, to combine the and comfort of home with a close proximity to the Railway, ing Within about three minutes’ walk of the station,

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By 1857 James W. McDonald, had left and John Haigh was landlord for the following three years. It was during the tenure of the next landlord, John Earnshaw, that the premises underwent an internal renovation, for in April 1864 he issued a notice stating that: “The hotel has undergone a_ thorough internal renovation in re-papering, painting, cleaning, etc, and is now replete with every convenience. Being opposite the Town-Hall, the Crown is the most convenient place in Holmfirth for gentlemen attending the Magistrates’ Court, the County Court, or the Chamber of Commerce. At the Crown Hotel travellers will find first-class Bedrooms and Beds; good Stabling for horses and Coach-house in an enclosed yard. With these advantages and a determination to supply Wines, Spirits, Ales, Porters, etc of the best qualities and on reasonable terms together with strict attention to business, J. E. hopes to merit share of public patronage.”

In 1892, when a new landlord was being sought following the departure of Robert Turner, an inventory of the rooms and stock was included in the advertisement. The rooms listed were: “Lodge room, bar, bar parlour, filling room, commercial room, tap room, billiard room, kitchen, wash kitchen, 2 bedrooms, six attics, two cellars and a coal cellar, ale cellar and wine cellar, yard, and

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Changes to the accommodation made between 1907 and 1909, whilst Ben Litthewood was the landlord, appear to have arisen because of a need for more bedrooms: bedrooms 1 and 2 and the nearby billiard room were altered into four bedrooms. This upgrading of the accommodation was undertaken by the new owners, Bentley and Shaw Ltd., Lockwood Brewery.


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Keith McDonald, licensee, takes delivery of this giant postcard from Walter Pawson, the local postman

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Being one of the larger licensed premises, the Crown was the venue for auctions, inquests and the meeting place for many societies and clubs in Holmfirth. Numbered among the later were Holmfirth Glee Club, various Orders of Druids, different Orders of

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A second link is that Andrew Greenwood, the landlord in 1879, was a former professional cricketer having played for Yorkshire from 1869 to 1880 where he encountered the Gloucestershire and England player, W. G. Grace. Greenwood played for England 1876-1877 and was a member of the first England team to play Australia.

Andrew Greenwood (standing right) with members of the 1875 Yorkshire County team, Allen Hill and Charlie Ullathorne

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The Crown Hotel also had political connections that included the premises being used in 1858 for a meeting of the Revision of the Registry of Voters. This was necessary, as at the time there had been a limited extension in voting rights.

Ten years later, it was the scene of the Liberal Parliamentary Candidates election rally. The crowds, reported as being both electors and non-electors despite continuing restrictions on eligibility to vote, assembled on Crown Bottom in appallingly wet weather,. The Liberal candidates, Lord Milton and Mr. H. F. Beaumont, were given a hugely enthusiastic welcome. Amidst banners that were said to have been displayed everywhere, both candidates addressed the crowds from the balcony of the Crown Hotel.

Benjamin Mellor, owner of the nearby Albert Mill used the pub for the works suppers in 1872, 1879 and 1882. On these occasions some fifty six employees attending were treated to: “food, games, singing and

There are only a few recorded instances of the landlord breaking licensing laws. However, Edward Lodge appears to be the exception, for in 1871 he was called before the magistrates sitting for the Brewster Sessions. He was warned that his behaviour towards the police following his conviction for: “having his house open for the sale of drink in prohibited hours” was unacceptable and if this continued he would lose his licence. The following year he had been fined for flouting the licensing laws on two separate occasions. The first offence was for selling beer at the Town Hall, just over the road, without a licence. He had claimed that in the past he had had a temporary licence for events at the Town Hall, but on this occasion he had merely got consent and not the licence. He complained that he had to get to Huddersfield to obtain the licence and had not made the journey. The second infringement was selling gin early one Sunday morning to a girl who had

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been sent by her stepmother to buy it for her father’s breakfast!

Robert Turner in 1892 was charged with selling diluted brandy, in fact 30 degrees under strength. His defence was that he had bought the brandy in small lots and he did not know how to account for the decrease in its strength. He was found guilty and fined ten shillings with costs.

When Friend Shaw was discovered to be serving customers after closing time in March 1906 it was stated in court that he had unsuccessfully tried to bribe the policeman with a box of cigars.

As with most of the large pubs, the Crown has its own 1852 flood story, but not one related to the flood waters and the destruction and loss of life caused by them. Being undamaged by the flood, the premises became the venue for three important meetings dedicated to dealing with the consequences of the flood and the necessary actions to be taken. Issues raised at these were the matter of alleviating destitution in the town, the opening of a public subscription fund by donors and the discussions of the plans for the re-building all those areas damaged by the waters. An additional meeting was arranged to determine the most appropriate way to thank the British public for the noble manner in which sympathy had been shown.

An additional crucial concern was the safety of another nearby reservoir, namely Holme Styes, which although remaining intact, was very full.

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Known Landlords

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3. Victoria Hotel, Station Road

The now demolished Victoria Hotel stood on the corner of Station Road and Bridge Lane

On entering Holmfirth, either from New Mill and Wooldale or from the direct Thongsbridge to Holmfirth road via County Bridge and Bridge Lane, this would have been the first public house encountered at Lane End.

The arrival of the railway in Holmfirth in June 1850 was seen by many as being of crucial importance to the standing and prosperity of the town. The building of the station brought with it the need for the development of the adjacent area of Lane End.

At the beginning of 1851 there was a public: "invitation to

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tender for masons, carpenters, joiners, plasterers, slaters, plumbers, glaziers and painters for the erection of a new hotel near the railway station. Drawings and specifications may be seen at the Railway Inn, Holmfirth." The Railway Inn was shown on the O. S. Map dated 1854 to be near Lane End, the surveying for this was undertaken circa 1850. The value of the arrival of the railway to the town would mean it is not inconceivable that an existing inn could have been renamed the Railway Inn. Could it be that it was the White Lion Inn that was so renamed?

It was stated that the new hotel would be built on: “the site of the old buildings which now disfigure it” and that

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to the town. The close proximity to the station meant that this service was particularly convenient for those travelling by train and hotel guests.

This establishment was held in high regard by those who frequented it for a variety of activities and events. Between 1854 and 1900 there were three hundred and seventy-nine articles in the Huddersfield Chronicle which related to the Victoria Hotel and which give an indication of its standing in the town.

From 1855 to 1921 it was the long-time home to the Freemasons belonging to the Holme Valley Lodge No. 652. For the purpose of the regular Lodge meetings there was a dedicated Masonic room or Blue room with Masonic emblems in the plasterwork. It was reported that the proprietor of the Victoria Hotel, Bentley Shaw Esq: “has spared no expense in making it the most convenient and perhaps the most elegant room for such purpose in However, by 1912 the Masons were expressing concerns that it was then in a bad state of repair with water coming in through the ceiling.

Besides meetings, the Masons also held eminent dinners and balls here. One such celebratory dinner on

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place between Rev. R. E. and Mr Floyd’? which we have obtained for publication. Describing the letters as: “just mutual congratulations” he quoted from Floyd’s letter: “You will readily excuse both the soiled paper

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given conducted by Joe Perkin, who later became renowned for his arrangement of the song Pratty Flowers — which was then sung at countless celebratory functions held in the town and became known locally as the Holmfirth Anthem.

Other interest groups meeting here included the local Chess Club, Royal Patriotic Fund, the committee for the Holmfirth Flower Show, the

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installed on the upper floor where there was also staff living quarters including a bedroom for the night operator. There was no thoroughfare from the exchange premises into the remaining hotel rooms. Wilfred Swift, the landlord at the time, was summoned for non-payment of the General District Rate and Poor Rate, but he appealed against this maintaining exemption from payment because the building in part was being used as a telephone exchange.

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Today the site the Victoria Hotel once occupied has a modern house on it.

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4. Brown Cow Inn, Lane End

Exactly where this inn was situated remains unclear. In newspaper articles from 1807 until 1850, this inn 1s only referred to as being in Holmfirth. In 1851, however, it was described as being at Lane End, Holmfirth, an area on Station Road near the junction with Bridge Lane and Back Lane.

River Holme

Lane End

County Bridge

Bridge Lane

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To be

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However at some point during the three years between this latter date and 1798 Thomas Blythe, an auctioneer and appraiser, had become the landlord. The circumstances within his life and work that later led to his being committed to jail as an insolvent debtor are not known. However on his release in 1823 ironically, his creditors were notified of a meeting to be held in August at the Brown Cow Inn, Holmfirth, by then the house of John Roberts.



Sold by

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By 1843 the Inn was owned by the Shaw family of Lockwood Brewery, for in that year the business premises in Lockwood and the public houses owned by them were put up for sale. Although included 1n the list of public houses so listed the Brown Cow Inn, Holmfirth was not sold

Closure followed the refusal of John Marsden’s application for the renewal of the licence at the Brewster Sessions in 1852.

The only recorded evidence of a crime relating to this pub appeared when “a case of gambling by moonlight” was tried in April, 1851. After: “drinking in Matthew

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Bankruptcy proceedings including meetings for creditors took place at the Brown Cow such as those relating to that of Thomas and Jabez Stutterd of Lindley and Thomas Littlewood of Oldfield, Merchants, Manufacturers and Chapmen in 1807, and two years later those for J. Holmes, of Underbank, Holmfirth, a Yorkshire merchant. The Brown Cow Inn also appeared in the advertised list of meetings for the Creditors of Francis Burgess of Denby in 1811 and George and Thomas Roebuck of Penistone, Clothiers and Chapmen in 1815.

The only known auction held here was that of the house and land belonging to Jonas Heap of West Nelly in Wooldale following his bankruptcy in 1815.

Lane End 2016


Known Landlords

1771 Mr Dickinson 1781 Mrs Sarah Dickinson 1798 Thomas Blythe 1823 John Roberts 1828 Isaac Rogers

1841 Elizabeth Rogers 1847 John Baldwin 1847 Matthew Lockwood 1852 John Marsden

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5. The Druids Hotel, Station Road

The Druids Hotel 2015

It is known that in May 1846 Jonathon Thorpe and Joseph Crawshaw sold the land in Station Road, on which this building stands, to the Ancient Order of Druids. The building then constructed by them at a cost of over £2,000 was known as the Druids Hall. The accommodation comprised of: “a ground floor with two large kitchens and four good sized, well- furnished sitting rooms. On the second floor there were five beautifully fitted bedrooms and the whole top floor consisted of one very large room.”

The two wings provided rented housing and indeed the Census Returns show that there were several families living on the premises, only one family being that of the landlord.

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two hundred druids having assembled at the Crown Hotel, they formed a procession, the office bearers in full druidical uniform and headed by the Temperance Band, walked through the town, and afterwards took a wide circuit through the neighbouring district.” The report explained that the hall had been constructed not only to provide larger accommodation but also to: “free themselves of public houses as a considerable number were teetotal’. This decision appears to have reflected the strong following that the Temperance Movement had in the valley at this time.

However, in 1873 when the landlord, Hugh Holmes, was applying for an innkeepers licence it was stated that the premises had become a beerhouse in 1853 and that: “there were two highly respectable (public) houses within 150 yards, the Victoria in one direction and the Friendship in the other” and “that they would prefer having a neighbour who had a spirit licence than a beerhouse near them.”

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Between 1907 and 1911 there were three different landlords, for in January 1907 the licence transferred from Albert Stockwell Heap to Young Walker. At the time the accommodation consisted of bedroom, no.1 front bedroom, no. 2 front bedroom, stairs, entrance, Lodge Room, darts room, back wash kitchen, stairs, entrance and passage, barber shop, snug, tap room, kitchen, ale cellar, wine cellar, filling bar, coal place. Outside Front there was an oak sign over the door and a swing sign. Young Walker then left and John Leeman became landlord. The valuation, dated October 1909, taken on the transfer of the licence from W. Braithwaite to Mrs L. Owen for the furnishings, fittings, stock-in-trade and an unexpired licence was Set at £74-18s-4d. It was noted that there were no beds in front bedrooms nos. I and 2 and in the Lodge Room there was 26ft of upholstered seating and a singing platform.

In August 1908, the licence was acquired by Whittakers Brewery of Bradford.

When the hotel closed on 30 December 1916 the compensation paid amounted to £716-2s-0d. During the following year, after a protracted four year negotiation undertaken by Robert Turner, John William Shaw and William Heeley, members of Lodge No. 346 of the Royal Order of Modern Druids purchased the Druids Hall for seven hundred pounds. Extensive renovations of the building were then carried out at a cost of £2,000. On the completion of these in 1921 they relocated, the premises then becoming a private club in which alcohol was sold to members and their guests. As

such Freemasons have continued to the present day as Holme Valley Lodge No. 652.

The size and nature of the premises meant that besides auctions being held here they became the regular meeting place for a number of local societies and their special functions and events. Among their number were Holmfirth Cricket and

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Athletic club, Holmfirth Agricultural Society and Naturalists Society. After the United Methodists broke away from the Wesleyans in 1849 they held services and meetings here until their own chapel was built in 1860. Members of the West Yorkshire Regiment Rifle Volunteers formed in 1860 used the premises to store their arms and the main room as a drill hall until 1892 when they moved to the newly built all-purpose Drill Hall. The nearby mill of Messrs B. Mellor of Albert Mills held treats here on three occasions for their employees between 1878 and 1887.

Hugh Holmes, landlord in the 1870s, was also a cab driver. He ran an omnibus service between Lane End where, of course, the Victoria Hotel was situated and Holmbridge. In 1872 he threatened to axe the service as it was running at a loss. However, subscribers paid in to defray expenses, and so the service continued. Holmes had stables for seven horses in his own yard and also took the yard at the Crown Inn in which he kept his cab and omnibus.

A later landlord, Michael Redfearn, appears to have continued this provision of transport, for in 1883 on the sale of a waggonette, a dog cart and harnesses it was reported that he:

‘Is giving up the business.” During the following year Redfearn and Tom Haigh, a butcher from Meltham, were involved in a dispute regarding an alleged breach of warranty on the sale of a horse. Haigh successfully sued Redfearn for non-payment in a case brought to the Huddersfield County Court. Redfearn remained at the Druids Hotel until September 1890 when Joseph Littlewood, a well-known local cricketer became the new the landlord. Unfortunately he suffered a severe illness in 1892 which must have badly affected his business for during the following year he was declared a bankrupt.

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A Bamforth film actor entering the Druids Hotel early 1900s

Known Landlords

1855 1861 187] 1879 1890 1893 1893 1894 1895 1896

A. Haley Benjamin Woodhead Hugh Holmes Michael Redfearn Joseph Littlewood Joe Wood Hiram Mellor James Bray Daniel Broadhead Christopher Abbott

1897 1902 1906 1907 1907 1908 1909 1911 1911 1916

James Bray Thomas Barden Albert S. Heap Young Walker John Leeman W. Braithwaite Lavinia Owen George H. Hirst Brook Horsfall Elisabeth Holdsworth

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6. Friendship Inn, Station Road

Town Gate showing part of the frontage of the Friendship Inn

This inn stood on a section of the road known as Town Gate opposite the present-day Cornerhouse Café. Following the opening of the railway this later became part of the re-named Station Road.

The circumstances that gave rise to the following advertisement for the inn published in June 1843 are not known: “Jo Let with immediate possession, Brewhouse, Stable and other conveniences and well supplied with good soft water.”’ Neither is there any information about the outcome. What is known however is that by an Indenture dated May 1845, for Admittance of Mary Gartside with Joshua Moorhouse and Nathan Thewliss, trustees of George Gartside (died 1844), the Friendship Inn became part of the Gartside Estate.

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The sale notice for the auction of the Friendship Inn in 1860 described the inn as: “all that old and well accustomed Inn or public house — the inn and part of the outbuildings are Copyhold of the Manor of Wakefield” having “stabling, brewhouse, outbuildings, - appurtenances built on a plot

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landing. Outside stable and a butcher s shop.”

In 1901 Hannah Elizabeth Gartside, widow, of Carr House, Holmfirth signed a lease for fourteen years with Bentley & Shaw Brewer, Huddersfield for: “All that messuage or tenement used as a public house situate in Holmfirth called by the name of Friendship Inn and now in the occupation of the said lessees Also all that building thereto used formerly as a butchers shop also the building used as a stable adjoining to the said butchers shop now in the occupation of the lessees.”

During the following year the Trustees of the Gartside Estate sold freehold land and property to the Holmfirth Urban District Council for £6,405 of which £2,000 was for the Friendship Inn.

In the Particulars of Claim to the Compensation Authorities dated June 20", 1929 it was noted that the owners were Holmfirth UDC, the lessee was Bentley and Shaw Ltd., and James McGuin was the tenant. The total award was £1,810, apportioned to tenant £340, to lessee £116, to owners £1,354.

In the Extinguishing Licence for the Friendship Inn in 1929 it was stated that 1t was: “in the occupation of Bentley and Shaw and subtenants, with wash kitchen and conveniences thereto belonging and a shop, stable and storeroom. And also that 4 storey mill with attic over adjoining the Inn in occupation of H Mettrick and part unoccupied.”

The demolition of the Inn and parts of the mill began in September 1934 in preparation for the continued re- development of Town Gate.

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' ! I


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On occasions local landlords held garden produce competitions. Such an event was held here in 1906 but only for: “red cabbage, these not to exceed Ilb, and dish of 6 potatoes. ”

Given the importance of brass bands in the musical life of the valley it 1s surprising that this 1s the only inn with any known recorded connection with one. In January 1876 the landlord, Jonathan Turner, welcomed eleven players of the Holmfirth Old Brass Band and forty of their wives, relatives and friends for a tea and evening entertainment. The latter consisting of songs, readings and recitations by members of the band contributed to the time being spent: “in a very pleasant and orderly manner until eleven o’clock.” In 1871 an unplanned competitive event occurred between the brass bands from Wooldale and Wooldale Town End. Both bands having assembled at the same time outside the Friendship Inn intending to play neither would give way. Drinkers in the inn and those walking in Town Gate were then entertained by both bands continuing to play at the same time but different tunes until sore lips stopped them.

The Leeds Mercury dated 12" August, 1843 carried the following account: “A poacher, being apprehended by the local Constable for not paying a surcharge and taxes by the Commissioner of taxes, pleaded with him not to put up in the lock-up which was: “a very uncomfortable place.” The Constable took pity on him and took him to the Friendship Inn where he saw him undress and get into bed and having secured the door, the Constable left for the White Hart. Returning some time later to see all was O.K, he was surprised to see the prisoner in bed but fully dressed. This aroused the

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find the poacher missing along with the bed cover to hide his nakedness. If the offender is not found

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7. George and Dragon Inn, Town Gate

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before 1900. The writer of the letter published in the Holmfirth Express in May 1900 makes no mention of this inn as he describes the inns lying in close proximity to the Holmfirth Parish Church. In like manner Frank Marsh on his sketch map of Holmfirth in the 1900s, (drawn in the 1980s), that Wylbert Kemp included in his book, Holmfirth by Lamplight, gave no indication of this inn.

Known records exist from 1820 until 1865 though these provide scant information about the Inn itself, the landlords or how it was used by local folk. After that date there was no mention of it in either the local newspapers of the time or brewery records. The first known landlord was John Battye

Section of the notice for an auction of dwellinghouses at the house of John Battye, the George and Dragon Inn November 1820

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Reports of the damage caused by the flood of 1852 described how the rush of water was so great that it caused the cellar arch to collapse and the upper walls to subside.

The passing of the Nuisances Removal Act in 1857 gave powers to Surveyors and Highway Committees to inspect, check and have rectified:

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on a Sunday: “the churchwardens of Holmfirth Parish Church preferred the charge for allowing his house to be open on the feast Sunday eighth of May during the hours of afternoon Howe acknowledged his offence and was fined two shillings and sixpence and eleven shillings expenses.

The law relating to the playing of bagatelle in unlawful hours was clear: “no publican can allow gaming in his house for money or moneysworth. Then again if gentlemen be playing merely for amusement if a landlord suffers them to play after one o' clock in the morning, he is guilty of a breach of the law.” In November 1861 when charged with permitting men to play bagatelle at 3am the landlord, Mr Westerby, pleaded guilty whilst claiming to be unaware of the law as he was: “only new at public house keeping.” This being his first offence he was not fined, he did however have to pay seven shillings costs. Whether or not it was this incident that prompted Mr Westerby’s departure is not known but by the spring of the following year the licence had been transferred to John Hebblethwaite, who had previously had been employed as a journeyman brewer. In May 1862 when announcing his arrival John Hebblethwaite said that he hoped: “to be favoured with the share of public patronage by keeping ale, porter and spirits of the best quality, at reasonable prices and by paying attention to the comfort and accommodation of his customers.”

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intention to defraud the revenue, reduced the fine from the possible £200 to forty shillings, money that possibly being added to his accumulating debts contributed to his bankruptcy.

The inn was then advertised as being: “Jo be let with immediate possession with the Brewing Utensils etc.” Specifically noted advantages were that the inn was: “situate in the centre of the town and is well supplied with

It is not known when the George and Dragon closed but it would appear that a most likely date is prior to 1871 as there is no entry in the Census Return of that year. The premises were demolished at the time of the continuation of the road widening of Town Gate in the early 1920s.

Site of the former George and Dragon Inn, Towngate 2016

Known Landlords

1803 John Battye BR 1861 Elizabeth Rogers C 1828 Sarah Battye BR 1861 Mr Westerby N 1838 Mary Turner D 1862 John Hebblethwaite N

1848 William Howe D

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8. White Hart Inn, Town Gate

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with “a brewhouse, coach house,

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An early record relating to this inn is an advertisement for the sale of trees and poles from Arrunden Wood near Holmfirth, the property of Joseph Hirst, of Upperthong. The sale was to be held on the fifth day of February, 1809 at the house of Mr John Boothroyd. The sale of a public house in Netherthong was held at the house of Mr John Boothroyd, The White Hart, Holmfirth, on

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By 1857 although it was described as: “one of the oldest and most respectable commercial houses in the district” it is clear that the condition of the building and décor had deteriorated. According to the inventory prepared for the sale of the inn in that year there were many rooms with evidence of damp, broken window panes, swollen doors and water penetration through the roof. The rooms within included Bar parlour, with: “walls papered with race course pattern.......a black veined marble chimney piece and a half register stove,’ bar, little parlour, commercial room, larder, spirit cellar, front room or tap, cooking kitchen, brewhouse, Lodge or sale room, Blue room, four bedrooms, room over bar for the “fountain cask” malt room, stable including hayloft, gig house in very poor repair and two mistals with lofts over, all not in good condition. “All the household furniture, excellent beds, blankets, bed and table linen, china, glass, earthenware, hotel fixtures, brewery plant and utensils and stock in trade” were also included 1n the sale. The last item, being the customary alcohol inventory, listed the usual whisky, rum, brandy, cognac brandy, gin, sherry and port, ale, porter, tobacco, lemonade, soda water, gingerette, peppermint, four bottles of Champagne, a bottle of Worcester sauce, capers and anchovies and fourteen pounds of soap. Also available were: "a swing sign, grapes and fittings, letters over the door."

Described as: “a valuable inn” the White Hart was put up for sale again in 1872. In the occupation of Mr Thomas Boothroyd the sale included a Brewhouse, yard and adjoining conveniences, the adjacent dwelling house and slaughterhouse adjoining the rear of the premises in the occupation of Henry and George Haigh and a building across the road near the Friendship Inn used by Mr Boothroyd as a stable. George Fred

> Possible reference to a cask produced by the Fountain Brewery, Bradford

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Tinker, Auctioneer, bought the inn for £1,720. Ten years later the brewing of ale appears to have stopped as in that year it was described in a Court Roll as the “Old Brewhouse.”

In September 1899 at the time when the tenancy transferred from Mr Roper to the brewers, Messrs Senior and Sons, the furniture and fittings were valued at £260-7s-6d. The brewery appointed Joseph Tyas landlord, but he had left within a few months and Albert Blackburn took up the post. At this time the furnishings, fittings were valued at £337-9s-3d, the stock-in- trade at £67-14s-6d and the unexpired licence at £67-16s-3d. The inn consisted of: “a front bedroom no.1 with beds, front bedroom no.2 with feather bed, back bedroom with beds, bath room, servants room, attic bedroom, billiard room, blue room, landing and stairs, Lodge room, tap room, passage, bar parlour, smoke room, commercial room, vault, new cellar, kitchen, pantry, wash kitchen, outside back ale cellar, stable, coach house.” This description suggests the ample accommodation offered by this prestigious inn.

Interestingly in 1910 when Senior and Sons became the owners of what had been copyhold property within the description of the Inn it was stated: “also

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Tree Hotel, Huddersfield. In 1901 his unmarried son Fritz became the landlord of the White Hart, his parents living with him. According to a newspaper advertisement placed by him in the winter of that year he advised Holmfirth folk to: “Save Doctor’s Bills. If you have a cold try some WHISKEY as recommended by doctors. ”

During the centenary celebrations of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1905 Fritz Wintermann, wishing to show his patriotism to the country, displayed his copy of a newspaper announcing the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson's death. During the First World War he was interned on the Isle of Man, a place he returned to for he died there aged eighty- eight in 1966.

In the Deed relating to the purchase of the inn by Luther Beardsell in 1937 the description of the property was as in 1910 with the addition of a reference to the land at the back of the premises on which there was a 2-storey workshop in the occupation of William Earnshaw. It was also stated that: “any further building at the rear of the White Hart should not obstruct it, particularly of light.”

A central location, the closeness to the railway station, the size of the premises and the nature of the accommodation offered by the White Hart contributed to its standing within the town.

This status was underlined in that from 1850 to 1890 both the Baron and Leet Courts of the Manor of Wakefield were regularly held here. A lavish dinner usually followed the proceedings.

Two entries in the Minutes of the April and May meetings of Wooldale Local Board in 1874 related to Dyson’s stewardship of this inn. Members ordered the removal of the pigsty situated behind the Inn and that the work to remedy the problems with the privy be carried out.

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Recorded occasions when licensing laws were broken were few and included the typical offences of drinking after hours and permitting drunkenness. The landlord, Robert Dyson found himself before the magistrates several times in 1874 charged with allowing billiards to be played on Christmas day and selling of beer without a licence. The latter infringement occurred when Dyson who frequently supplied alcoholic drinks for events at the Town Hall did so without obtaining the required customary licence. Proceedings were again taken against Dyson when he was charged with permitting a pigsty to be kept behind the Inn, perhaps associated with the slaughterhouse. He was further charged three times with assault, but it was the fact that he had been fined for not allowing the police to enter his premises on two occasions that resulted in a two month loss of his licence. Interestingly the Magistrates found Dyson guilty on the grounds that the Constable in question on entering had been fulfilling his duty.

A court appearance was again required in 1874 following the theft of a hamper in the bar. Dyson accused David Johnson, a labourer from Holme, of stealing this, stating that 1t contained one dozen oranges, one pound of grapes, one bottle of calves foot jelly, one jar currant jelly, one pound of walnuts and two pounds of apples.

Easily accessible, spacious licensed premises such as those offered by this inn also made it a popular venue for auctions. For the same reasons many local groups and societies met here, the most longstanding being the United Order of Oddfellows; Rifle Corps/ Volunteer Corps; Working Men’s Conservative Association; Cricket and Athletic club; Chrysanthemum Society; Yorkshireman’s Lodge; Book Club, Angling Club and the Amateur Football League.

In March 1836 a meeting was called to consider the impact of the recent Factory Act and the changes in regulations

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Shortly afterwards, a distant explosion was heard and the crowd rushed to Upperbridge where several yards of pavement had been blown up and windows damaged, gas having escaped somewhere igniting in a drain underneath the pavement in front of Mr Wylie's house.

In 1841 the plans for the construction of: “Public rooms for Holmfirth” were on view here alongside a list of all the tradespeople needed to construct the building, which in 1947 combined with the adjacent Drill Hall to become the Town Hall.

Amongst the various activities that accompanied the opening of the Holmfirth railway in June 1850 was an excursion by train to Penistone. On returning to Holmfirth the travellers ended the day enjoying a splendid feast here.

At the time of the Parliamentary Elections in November, 1868 the Conservative candidates, Messers Stanhope and Starkey on entering the town were met by an enthusiastic crowd reported to be of: “some thousands of people decorated with blue favours” who then followed them in a procession: “with many flags hoisted” to the White Hart inn. The two men then addressed those assembled: “who refused to be repulsed even by drenching showers of rain,” speaking from a window of the inn. When asked the question: “Are you prepared to put the power of closing public houses into the hands of two-thirds of the ratepayers of any parish?” Mr Stanhope replied that he wanted to know the opinion of the working men of England upon the subject. An answer that prompted the opposing shouts of: “we want some beer” and “we want to close them.” A banquet was then provided for the candidates

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abundant health and vigour that are yet to be found among the inhabitants of the Valley of the Holme is afforded in the fact that on Monday evening last ten old veterans happened to find themselves met together in the kitchen of the White Hart Inn kept by Mr T: Boothroyd. Their united ages amounted to 732 being made up as follows: John Dickinson, 81: William Buckley, 77: John Roebuck, 77: William Morehouse, 75; Jonathan Hinchliffe, 73; Thomas Bedford, 72; Joseph Haigh, 72; James Batty, 70: William Senior, 70; and John Duckenfield, 65; giving an average to each individual of more than 73



White Hart Inn 1960s

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Brambles, the renamed White Hart Inn 2015

Known Landlords

1803 1827 1839 1847 1856 1860 1873 1879 1887 1894 1899 1900

John Boothroyd Richard Boothroyd Christopher Moorhouse William Dyson Jonathan Gill Thomas Boothroyd Robert Dyson Jonas Woodhead Frank Wintermann William H. Roper Joseph Tyas Albert Blackburn

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9. Jolly Hatters Beerhouse, Town Gate

Jolly Hatters Beerhouse c1906


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Backing on to the river, this small beerhouse was situated in copyhold property in lower Town Gate opposite the yard of the Parish Church. According to the writer of the letter published in the Holmfirth Express in May 1900 it was seventy yards from the White Hart Inn and sixty yards from the Shoulder of Mutton Inn. It stood in a row of buildings that were all demolished during the first phase of the widening of Town Gate in the early 1920s. Unfortunately there 1s little information about it.

The first known name associated with the beerhouse was Mary Booth, a widow, aged 43 who was the landlady in 1851. Interestingly, the next door neighbour at the time was Francis Vero, a hat manufacturer. Was this just a coincidence or could it have been that Vero had a connection with the beerhouse and its name?

The waters of the flood in 1852 caused great damage to the houses and shops at the lower end of Town Gate where it also: “passed through the Jolly Hatters Beerhouse. ”

In April 1863 several Copyhold properties of the Manor of Wakefield in Town Gate were advertised. One was related to: “three undivided fifth parts or shares in all that messuage or dwelling-house, three storeys high, now occupied as a Beerhouse, with the conveniences thereto, situate at Holmfirth aforesaid, (in the township of Wooldale), now in the occupation of Mr William Cartwright.”

One famous landlord of the Jolly Hatters Inn during the 1890s was Mr Brierley Buckley, a well-known local cricketer, who subsequently became landlord of the Rose and Crown where he died in 1914.

In 1893 Joseph Edwards Roberts of Hinchliffe Mill died. Amongst his legacies to his father, James Roberts, was the Jolly

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Hatters Inn, Holmfirth. By 1897, the owner 1s William Roberts.

It would appear that at some time after this date the Sheffield Brewery, Messrs William Stones Ltd, acquired the tenancy, for in August 1898 the bar effects, licence and stock- in-trade were valued at £7-9s-9d when it was transferred from William Stones Brewery Ltd to Hugh Mellor.


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and as having an outside sign board.

In 1910, now owned by Samuel Smith, Old Brewery, Fred Beaumont submitted the application to the Brewster Session for the renewal of the licence. This was rejected on the grounds of redundancy given that within a radius of 350 yards there were: “fully ten licensed

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There was a report of “a storm dinner” being held here in 1861. When there was a storm of any duration the masons and builders of Holmfirth, no doubt to celebrate their success in getting plenty of anticipated repair work, used to have what was described as a “storm dinner”. Such a dinner or “tuck

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Interestingly there is lack of any reports of court proceedings having been taken against landlords of this beerhouse except those concerning Joe Brook during the 1880s. He was accused on more than one occasion of permitting drunkenness on the premises. He also had two convictions for gambling with drinkers for a pint or a quart of beer. On another occasion two police constables had: “disguised themselves in navvies clothes” in order to enter the beerhouse undetected to secure an arrest.

“Shiner” was a well-known Holmfirth character, named as such because he was a French polisher and also the landlord of the Jolly Hatters Beerhouse. Mr Wylbert Kemp (1903-1990) as a young boy would visit him, but he was strongly rebuked for politely calling him by his real name, “Mr Beaumont’. (Mr Fred Beaumont.)

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with a dull thud. Harrop's eyes popped out of his head and he turned several shades paler. The coffin lid slowly raised again. There was another loud groan. “Dammit, St Peter, look sharp. Get me a harp an’ a nice warm cloud.” Harrop called out, “Look at that! The coffin lid rose for the third time but Harrop didn't stop. He dropped his unfinished pint and fled across to the ‘Shoulder of Mutton’. The look of stark horror on his face turned all eyes towards him. “What's up Harrop” said Joe Barrow, the landlord “Tha looks as if tha’s seen a ghost.” “A ghost!” Retorted the shaking Harrop “I've seen summut war nor a ghost. They're screwing the buggers down wick across at Jolly Hatters’. Gimme a double brandy quick.” Harrop never lived it down and the story still goes the rounds to this

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Victoria Bridge Dunford Road South Lane houlder of Mutton Inn

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10. Ring O’ Bells Beerhouse, Dunford Road

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to the Parish Church and also that the first landlord, Jonas Cartwright, a wheelwright and mechanic, was a ringer of those bells. In 1858 John Edward Taylor and Charles William Taylor had inherited the beerhouse from their father, Thomas Taylor. The copyhold property and business, however, were not put up for sale until after the death of their mother in 1864. Cartwright having bought the beerhouse for £450 in 1866 then lived in a house adjacent to it until his death in 1892. In his will he left the premises to his sons, James and Benjamin.

In December 1891 the landlord’s licence transferred from John Bray to Albert Heap who then paid £31-16s-3d for the furnishings, fittings, stock-in-trade and the unexpired licence. At the time the beerhouse consisted of a front room, kitchen, bedrooms, attic, passage, cellars.

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furnishings and fittings, stock-in-trade and unexpired licence.

This was the first pub in Holmfirth to be closed under the Compensation Act. The doors shut on

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11. Shoulder of Mutton Inn, Dunford Road

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John Booth the Licensee listed in the surviving Brewster Session Record of 1803 is the first known record relating to this inn, but Dave Green is of the opinion that it was established around 1788. The Shoulder of Mutton remains open to this day and as such it is one of the longest running public houses in Holmfirth, apparently without any change of name in its history.

From the entry in the Rate Books for Cartworth dated 1859, there appears to have been a brewhouse alongside the inn, both owned by George Haigh Sen., with the brewhouse occupied by Samuel Earnshaw and the inn by George Sandford. Adjacent to the inn were two cottages and a barn.

By 1885 Alice Barrow was the owner-occupier and the premises consisted of the inn, stable, chamber and an old cottage for bottles. In the inn yard was a slaughter-house occupied by George Haigh with barn, stable and cart shed.

In 1912, the tenancy licence was transferred from Joe Barrow to J.W. Seddon who paid £296-5s-10d for the furnishings, fittings and stock-in-trade. This sizable property consisted of a commercial room, tap room, bar parlour, filling bar, billiard room, separate wine and ale cellars, as well as private accommodation including five attics and two bedrooms. There was also a stable with hayloft. At the time the owner and supplier of wines, spirits and beer was Bentley and Shaw of Lockwood Brewery. In 1961 the Inn was sold to Hammonds United Fountain Brewery, Bradford.

There were auctions held here as well as meetings of the members of the various societies, the main ones being the Holmfirth Society for the Prosecution of Felons, Lodges of the Oddfellows and the Druids.

After the death of her husband in 1880, Alice Barrow continuing as landlady, had become a member of the Native

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Oak Lodge of Druids of which her late husband had been a member. In 1891 she found herself in dispute with the Officials of the Lodge who had taken the decision to divide the property belonging to the Lodge and dissolve, the Lodge having got into financial difficulties. Having paid an entrance fee and then two shillings annually over a period of ten years, unlike other widows, she refused to accept the payment of five shillings. She considered this to be an inadequate share of the funds preferring to request £3-6s-Od as her rightful due as a member of the Lodge. She rejected the notion that her money had been paid as a relative of a former member solely to secure the payment of £4 at death. The case was heard in the County Court, but as it was shown that Lodge membership was only for men and that there was no provision in the Lodge rules that the widow of a deceased member should be on the same footing as a member, the Judge, as he awarded her

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in the press, it was decided to have a meeting in Holmfirth Town Hall at which all the differing views could be aired. The meeting to determine how the sale of the three hundred tickets being allocated to the members of each faction was held at the Shoulder of Mutton Inn.

During the years 1851 to 1856 the inn was the venue for the Barristers Courts held to examine the qualification of all those men claiming the right to have their names placed on the voters list. Such lists were then publicly displayed on church and chapel doors.

In June 1898, whilst travelling through Yorkshire, members of the Labour Federation held one of their Red Van campaign meetings outside the inn. Many people gathered to hear the speakers, Messrs George Palmer and John Foster, advocating the taxation of land values, improved working conditions and the unity of working class labour.

Another indication of the relative importance of this pub is that 1t was used as a venue for inquests and magistrate court hearings. The inquests included the initial ones for the identification the three victims of the 1852 flood and in 1896 those for two separate suicide victims found drowned at Holmestyes reservoir.

Seeking to discover the identity of who had entered his garden and stolen all the parsley and destroyed a considerable quantity of garden produce James Haigh, the landlord in 1852, offered a reward for the apprehension of those guilty of the theft. Whether or not he was successful is not known for no court record has been found relating to this incident. How Haigh used the parsley and why it was sufficiently important to him that he was prepared to offer the reward 1s unclear.

The Court proceedings relating to this inn were few in number and included the customary drunkenness, refusal to

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quit the premises, assault on the landlady, attempted theft.

The latter case in 1853 involved two travellers who requested overnight lodgings but were discovered by the landlord to be: “opening drawers in the room.” Fearing that the two men belonged to the: “swell mob” ° he immediately sent for Constable Earnshaw. A fight ensued after which they were arrested. It was discovered the two men had skeleton keys.

In 1863 Firth Broadbent of Liphill was brought before the magistrates charged with unwelcome intrusion. It was stated that after drinking at the Shoulder of Mutton, he made his way home but mistook his house for that of Henry Bower's at Park Head. On entering he had alarmed Mrs Bower in the bedroom. The magistrates determined that the intrusion was unpremeditated and dismissed the case. Broadbent apologised and was made to pay the court costs: “for the annoyance he so unintentionally caused.”

There was an altogether different court case in 1878. This was concerned with the unusual wager between the landlord, Joseph Barrow, and George Brook that Brook of St John's Place in Holmfirth could walk from the Shoulder of Mutton Inn to the Rose and Crown Inn in Meltham in fifty minutes. In addition he had to call by the Royal Oak in Upperthong and drink a glass of beer. The stake was £5. Both sides had their supporters. Those for Brook went on ahead to order the drink. Those for Joseph Barrow went on ahead too, but in order to distract the landlady of the Royal Oak and hide the pitcher of beer. This done, when Brook arrived it took seven or eight minutes to find the pitcher under the settle. The walk had taken fifty three minutes during which time Brook had sprained his leg. He took the case to court where he argued that because of the actions of Barrow’s

° Reference to the wealthy, club-land thieves of London

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Supporters it was unfair that he had lost. He also incidentally maintained that he could not afford to lose. The judge however ruled that the transaction was not a wager within the meaning of the Act of Parliament and as such was strictly void and could not be enforced in a County Court. This ruled therefore that the person who held the money on a wager had the legal responsibility to return the money.

In 1895 there was an unusual case when the landlord, John Haigh, was summonsed for selling diluted spirits. However Haigh maintained that he displayed a sign in his bar that read: "all spirits sold in this establishment are diluted but not below half

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A ghost story associated with the Shoulder of Mutton dating from 1970 was first made public in 1984. It was then published

by the History Press in 2012, 1n a book, A Review of Haunted

Huddersfield, researched and written by Kai Roberts. Roberts listed this as the only pub in Holmfirth that had a ghost story.

There had been reports of rattling door handles, sounds of footsteps in empty rooms, flickering lights, relocated furniture and a nasty smell in one room. Even more disturbing, a young child was seen communicating with someone unseen and another child was mysteriously trapped in a wardrobe. When the pub sign got damaged it was thought it was time to call ina clairvoyant. She identified several ghosts: a little boy wanting a playmate, a mournful woman, a band of uniformed men in a bar and an old lady, dressed in black with a high-collared dress and smoking a clay joss.

In 1947 a tragic accident occurred outside the pub when the Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir was involved in a fatal bus crash. Perhaps the clairvoyant knew of this, as well as being aware of the pub being an inquest site for three bodies in 1852. She also believed a former landlady had been unhappy with alterations made to the pub, and it is known that there was a landlady here between 1880 and 1891. Whatever she claimed to know, she did carry out an exorcism and it seems the ghosts went away.

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Shoulder of Mutton Inn

Known Landlords

1803 1828 1848 1857 1859 1864 1864 1870 1879 1881 1894 1898

John Booth George Haigh James Haigh John Lodge Jonathan Sandford William Sandford Joseph Marsden Jonas Woodhead Joseph Barrow Alice Barrow John Haigh James Heppenstall



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12. Rose and Crown Inn (The Nook), Victoria Sq.

Rose and Crown Inn, Higgin Brigg

Occupying premises built in 1754 and rebuilt 1818, the Rose and Crown is another important inn owing to its strategic position, size and length of time in existence. Lying on the One-time main route through Holmfirth at Higgin Brigg alongside the water course known as Ribble Dyke it is now to be found tucked away in the part of Victoria Square behind the main road.

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Known by locals for decades as The Nook, it has been referred to by either name for many years. The original name dates from the end of the War of the Roses (1485), when the victorious Duke of Lancaster of the county of the Red Rose, married Elizabeth of York of the county of the White Rose, thereby uniting the two houses and bringing the war to a close.

Brewing on the premises stopped when the Inn was bought by J.W. Roberts of Farnley Tyas Brewery sometime before 1857 for in December of that year the Inn with a butchers shop and stable was advertised To Let. Those interested were advised to contact J.W. Roberts at the Brewery.

The first known description of the inn is given in the details for the sale in June 1879.

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Six years later the then owners, Seth Senior and Sons, paid rates on the premises described as: “a public house and wash kitchen, stables, piggery and fire engine house.”’ The landlord was Charles Halstead. Adjacent there was a house, slaughter- house and butchers shop in the occupation of George Bower and a cottage occupied by Aner Bailey.

As one would expect the regular meetings of a number of Clubs and Friendly Societies were held here including those of the Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds; Ancient Order of Forresters; Female Friends of Secret Orders Friendly Society; Ancient Order of Druidesses; Holmfirth Naturalists and Holmfirth Cricket & Athletic Club. In connection with the latter an important meeting was held in 1888 called by Eli Collins, editor of the Holmfirth Express, concerning a proposal for a bowling green in connection with the Club. Both the club and the bowling green continue in to this day.

During the years when Brierley Buckley (1879-1914) was Landlord, one of the two Lodge rooms was for the members of the Friendly Society known as The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes. It would appear from the valuation of £46 for the household furnishings and fittings in 1914 that this room was well provided for it was twice that for any other room!

Members’ Insignia

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The inn was a popular venue for annual and festive dinners, for as many as one hundred and fifty people could be seated. A notable account of one of the annual dinners was the occasion of a feast for the Female Club in 1861. The landlady, Mrs Bray, was said to have had the difficult task of: “getting up a

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An interesting case relating to: “Usage of base or illegal coin” was recorded in 1857. The landlady, Mrs Lodge, took from John Beaumont, an engineer residing in Longwalls, Austonley, a half crown coin in payment for six pennyworth of rum. Later she went to the shop of Mr Wood where she

tendered the coin and it had been refused. When Mrs Lodge got back to the inn Beaumont had left so she went looking for him with no success. However an hour later he returned and enquired about lodgings. She then had asked him to change the coin, but he refused. When the case came to court the bench threw the case out claiming there was insufficient evidence!

The circumstances that led to the bankruptcy of her husband, Joseph, in 1858, who by then was described as an innkeeper and coal agent, are not known nor indeed when they left the inn. Their departure was prior to 1861 however, for by then the landlord was William Bray.

There was an interesting case concerning gambling in 1864 when twenty people were in the house after closing time and the police had witnessed card playing through the keyhole. Banging on the door had not resulted in admittance, as the landlady, Martha Dearnley, declared that she had a system whereby the police knew to use their sticks, not hands to gain admittance. In court it was stated that although the evidence against her had not been good, she was made to pay a small fine and costs as a warning. Another gambling case was brought against the same landlady two years later. Having lost money during a game of toss-a-coin Aaron Turner had demanded repayment. When this had been refused he sent for the police. In evidence it was stated that the landlady had not been in the room at the time and the court ruled it was a false charge and the case was dismissed.

In 1970, Bentleys Yorkshire Breweries of Woodlesford sold the Rose and Crown to David Roberts and it has continued as a

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family business through his children, lan Roberts and Susan Sutton.

In 2009, in-house brewing returned to The Nook with the creation of the Nook Micro Brewery. The Nook Brewhouse was built on land just above the confluence of the Holme and Ribble rivers on the site of the original brewhouse dating from 1754. A constant cellar temperature throughout the year 1s created by an old cellar and the nearby spring. Nook Brew, known today as ‘Nook Yorks’ and a wide variety of ales ranging from pales and blondes, to deep red ales and stouts are now produced for both local and country-wide sales.

The Nook Brewhouse 2016

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The Nook, otherwise the Rose and Crown Inn 2015

Known Landlords

1828 1834 1848 1851 1857 1861 1864 1870 1881 1885 1894 1894 1904

Asa Bywater Jonathan Boothroyd George Higgins Thomas Boothroyd Joseph Lodge William Bray Martha Dearnley Benjamin Beall Spooner Booth Abel Beaumont Charles Hilton Brierley Buckley Joe Booth

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13. Princess Royal Beerhouse, Higgin Brigg

Princess Royal Beerhouse


This small beerhouse was situated in Victoria Square and practically next door to the Rose & Crown Inn. This situation placed it directly on one of the oldest routes through Holmfirth, namely Higgin Brigg. The site is now occupied by a private and relatively modern house.

Although a well-established beerhouse there is very little available information relating to it.

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The date of the earliest known record is 1850 and dealt with the prosecution of the landlord, William Earnshaw. The dispute that followed presented a challenge to the then licensing laws relating to opening times in Holmfirth whilst highlighting the complication of there being three separate census townships covering Holmfirth, namely Cartworth, Upperthong and Wooldale with a combined population of more than 2,500. The Licensing Act of 1840 required that all public houses had to close at 10pm if they were in “a place” with a population of less than 2,500 and Ilpm if the population exceeded this number. The licensees of Holmfirth therefore felt justified in remaining open until 1lpm believing that the town had a population in excess of 2,500. However in May 1850, the Superintendent constable, Mr

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Elliott Whiteley, a shoemaker, having bought the beerhouse for £260 in 1874 very quickly put it up for re-sale. In

September of that year the auction notice gave details of the freehold property.

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When James Bray left in 1893 and James Cartwright became landlord, the premises consisted of an attic, sitting room and a bedroom: “divided with camp bedstead”, club room, kitchen, tap room, passage or bar, cellar and a sign in front of the house. Cartwright paid £38-1s-8d for the furniture, fittings, stock-in- trade and the unexpired licence. In 1906, following the death of her husband, Elizabeth Cartwright became landlady and licensed retailer of ale, beer and porter.

At the Brewster Sessions March 1909 the licensing of: "all that messuage known, used and occupied as a dwellinghouse and beerhouse called The Princess Royal” was referred to the Compensation Authority. Owing to its close proximity to not only the Rose & Crown Inn, but also to several other pubs the decision was taken not to renew the licence. The compensation

paid was £1,050.

The property, no longer a beerhouse, was bought by James Quarmby, of Rotcher, Holmfirth, a Painter, for £110. During the 1980s the premises were used by Douglas Kaye of J. W. Kaye, Ironmongers, as a garage and store. Above these he later built a flat for himself. The property has remained a private dwelling.

The Princess Royal was a law abiding house as there are no known recorded cases of drunkenness, illegal opening hours, (except that in 1850) or gambling.

The limitations of the premises due to their size would appear to be the reason why they were not used by any local groups or societies.

In 1853 William Earnshaw, landlord of the beerhouse, was thrown out of the gig in which he was riding with Mr Hepworth, Agent for Gotthard & Co Spirits Merchants of Wakefield. Having collided with some large stones in the road near Underbank the gig overturned, the axle broke and

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Earnshaw was badly injured, no report was made as to the state of Hepworth! The horse then bolted making its way to the yard of the Elephant & Castle Inn where it was regularly stabled.

Higgin Brigg and the former Princess Royal Beerhouse 2016

Known Landlords

1850 William Earnshaw N 1885 Sarah Bailey BR 1862 James Whiteley R 1886 Robinson Swire BR 1871 George Stanley C 1888 James Bray BR 1874

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14. Elephant and Castle Inn, Hollowgate

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Mrs Kippax. Those interested were advised to contact Mr G Hinchliffe of Nab. Mrs Kippax was in fact about to move to the Victoria Hotel and unusually in these circumstances, rather than selling the inn furniture belonging to her to the incoming landlord, she sold the items by auction, hoping perhaps for a better financial deal.

Two years later a dispute arose over the ownership of the inn and the profit- sharing between those involved. The situation was created following a decision taken by Mrs Kippax’s successor, Miss Elizabeth Waterhouse. Being unmarried she had arranged with a Mrs Dyson that she should: “live with her to give respectability to the house, receiving in return a share of the profits of the business.” Unfortunately no formal partnership agreement was made which gave rise to problems relating to the ownership of goods ordered and the non- payments for these. On Miss Waterhouse’s marriage Mrs Dyson and her husband took possession of both the inn and the business but were soon facing financial difficulties. It was not long before the Dysons left and John and Sarah Lodge took over the business.

Reuben and James Senior became owners of the copyhold property in 1878 details were given as: “All that inn , stables, coach house, outbuildings and yard in the occupation of Ben Robinson, Also all that dwellinghouse and Butchers Shop adjoining the above premises also the slaughter house at the back thereof now in the occupation of Luther Firth.”

The first known description of the accommodation within the inn is dated November 1892. On the transfer of the tenancy from Joe Quarmby to Thomas Willis the rooms were listed as: “club room, best bedroom, commercial bedroom, bathroom, bedroom, passage and landing, bedroom over kitchen, attics, tap room, front room, commercial room, bar, filling bar, pantry.” It was also noted that outside there was a gilt-edged

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sign board and a sign over the door. At the time the furniture, fixtures and stock-in-trade were valued at £276-10s-7d.

On the transfer of the licence from George L. Lindley to Brian Calverley in 1967 the account of the accommodation in the inn included bar lounge, filling bar, tap room, dining room, kitchen, pantry, wash kitchen, ale cellar, six bedrooms, two bathrooms and sitting room. The valuation of the fixtures, fittings, stock-in-trade and unexpired licence was £1,022-9s-3d.

Elephant and Castle

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the survival of the inn. It was perhaps the angled position of the building from the river that resulted in it escaping the worst of the flood damage.

The height of the water in the flood of 1944 was recorded on a marker placed on the outside wall of the Elephant and Castle Inn.

The standing of the inn in the locality and the nature of the accommodation offered meant that it was an appropriate venue for auctions and gatherings of mill owners and manufacturers.

During 1853 the Holme Reservoir Commissioners held a meeting here of local mill-owners to discuss whether or not to pursue proceeding with action relating to the bill pending in Parliament regarding the costs to mill-owners of the water they used in their businesses.

Throughout the following year an issue of major concern for the Factory Inspectors was the exact ages of children employed in local mills and a circular was sent to the mill owners and occupiers requiring them to ascertain and record these. The considerable opposition by those who objected to having to do this was then expressed at a protest meeting held here.

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A similar meeting was convened by the same manufacturers at which they voiced their objections to what they regarded as the unrealistic demand of the Inspectors that the shafting in every mill had to be protected.

On two occasions, the location of the inn provided a temporary link with transport. In the 1840s for the convenience of people wishing to travel further afield, a daily omnibus service was run from here to Dunford Bridge in order for passengers to connect with the newly opened mainline railway. This was greatly appreciated by both those living locally and those visiting Holmfirth by train,


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there was an ox-roast and the beast was photographed outside the Elephant and Castle Inn prior to the event.

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Elephant and Castle Public House 2015 (note the differences on the right-hand side from the previous picture)

Known Landlords

1803 1838 1848 1855 1857 1857 1866 1879 1881 1886 1892 1895

George Bower Richard Birks Elizabeth Kippax Elizabeth Waterhouse Thomas Dyson John Lodge Sarah Lodge Jonas Hobson Charles Halstead Joseph Quarmby Thomas Willis Mary A. Willis

1895 1897 1916 1922 1934 1954 1958 1960 1962 1966 1967 1972

Sedley Dickinson Ben Robinson Martha Robinson Herbert Robinson Robert Schofield Wilfred Hargreaves Jack N. Swales John Mellor George L Lindley Brian Calverley Donald H. Birks Alexander Hair




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15. The George Inn, Upperbridge

The George Inn = 1902 at a time when it had a hanging inn sign

Unfortunately it 1s unclear which one of the King Georges 1s recognised in the name of this inn, although it clearly reflects a loyalty to the throne.

Details of the location of the inn were given in the Extinguishing Licences paper dated 1923 in which this was described as being: “All that piece or parcel of land or ground situate lying and being between the Smithy

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When the inn opened is not known but the earliest evidenced date relating to it is that for the first known landlord, John Beaumont, in 1792 found in the following Court Roll:

209 Holme, surrender by the hands of Cookson Stephenson, 11 July JOHN BEAUMONT of Upper Bridge, innkeeper, and ANN his wife (RL) and SAMUEL WALKER of Lascelles Hall, esq, to GEORGE CHARLESWORTH of Yew Tree in Austonley, clothier, forever

mess at Upper Bridge with the adjoining brewhouse, barn, cowhouse and nearby garden now in the occupation of BEAUMONT. WALKER is acting at his request. Consideration: in indenture of even date herewith, between: 1) BEAUMONT and ANN, 2) WALKER, 3) CHARLES- WORTH. Fine and Rent: [blank] compounded.

Extract from the Court Roll of the Manor of Wakefield July 1792

The records show that the Turner family had a long association with the George Inn, both as owners and landlords, the names of Jonathan, Joseph and Mary appearing from 1803 to the late 1850s.


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During the time Thomas Barden was the landlord, J. Smith Samuel Old Brewery, Tadcaster acquired the George Inn.

Being one of the nearest to the reservoirs up the valley, it 1s understandable that The George was a recipient of nine bodies after the 1852 flood, five from the same family. Other inquests held here include an accidental death by fall from a hayloft and two separate suicides in 1877.

Only one record of an auction was found, this being of oak and other trees from Brook Wood in Austonley in 1855.

There are only two known records of any club or society that used the premises. One was in 1861 when there was a club feast of the Friendly Society known as The Old 70 Brief Club. Every member was present at this event and it was noted that after dinner there was: “singing, music and speechifying”’ and that: “everyone had paid their contributions.”’ The other time a group met here was in 1872 when there was a lecture for another Friendly Society, the Holmfirth United Order of Gardeners.

A two man cricket match took place in 1862 between the landlord of the George Inn, Henry Netherwood and Mr Lancaster, the landlord of the Rose & Crown at Netherthong. The winner was then to pay for a supper for a dozen of their friends.

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The glory days of hunting were recalled in 1865 when the death of Benjamin Hudson, a well-known local huntsman triggered memories of the time when he and landlord, Henry Netherwood had raised a pack of hounds and re-established the local hunt, the Holmfirth Harriers. Not to be confused with the present day running organisation of the same name, members of the Harriers hunted mainly hares and rabbits and followed a pack of beagles on foot.

An intriguing advertisement was placed in the Huddersfield Chronicle on 4" August, 1866: “seeking a person who perfectly understands the manufacture of chemicals. Apply personally, any day at the George Inn.”

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was charged with wilfully neglecting his four children in such a manner as to cause unnecessary suffering. The circumstances of this case are unclear but following an illness, Kelly had found himself destitute. It would appear that his arrest was the consequence of his continuing refusal to take any labouring work. He was found guilty and sent to the House of Correction in Wakefield for fourteen days without hard labour. His wife and three of the children were sent to the workhouse.

George Inn c1950s

James Skidmore became landlord in June 1922 but twelve months later the inn was referred to the Compensation Authority. The application for the renewal of the licence was refused and the inn closed in December 1923. The compensation paid to the owners, Samuel Smith, The Old Brewery, Tadcaster, amounted to

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The premises of the former George Inn now the Voda Cocktail Bar 2016

Known Landlords

1792 John Beaumont CR 1894 Sylvester Kelly I 1803 Jonathan Turner BR 1895 Frederic Meed I 1834 Mary Turner D

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16. Kings Head Inn, Upperbridge


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oldest of Holmfirth’s inns.

Door lintel dated 1706 found near the site of the Kings Head Inn

A feature of this inn is the length of tenure of the licensee landlord. For seventy years of the nineteenth century, the surname of the landlord was Bower with at least five different forenames.

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Then, from that time to almost the mid twentieth century, the landlords were four named members of the Howard family.

There was a yard attached to the premises and in 1887 an application was submitted to the Holmfirth Local Board by Messrs E. Coldwell and G. Kaye for permission to use a shed in Kings Yard as a slaughter house. Permission was granted.

In March 1904 Seth Senior and Sons became the licensee; the landlord at the time was Mr. Jno. Howard. The inn consisted of a front room, tap room, bar parlour, filling bar, kitchen, back kitchen, cellar, bedrooms, Lodge Room.

In 1910 Seth Senior and Sons acquired what had been a copyhold property and the occupant, Mrs Howard, renewed the licence, Elliot

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Being a licensed inn of some importance in the town it was here that auctions were organised as were inquests, including an initial one for identification from the 1852 flood.

Kings Head Inn before it had the white door! 1910

The Holmfirth Pig and Poultry Society, Holmfirth Football Club, the Royal Lodge and the Holmfirth Prosecution of Felons Society frequently used the pub as a venue for their meetings and special dinners. It was recorded in 1861 that the A.G.M. of the Prosecution Society was attended by one hundred and sixty members and that the previous year had been costly to the society: “in view of the extra number of prosecutions.” 1861 also saw the annual dinner of the Mutton Chop Society. This group, with a coat of arms featuring a mutton chop, was established: “for the purpose of making improvements in gastronomy.” At their annual dinner after the meal: “a splendid knife and fork chorus entered upon and carried on without regard to either time or tune.” As part of the town’s peace celebrations at the end of the Crimean War in 1856 the employees at Green Lane Mill were provided with a dinner here.

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The 1932 Holmfirth shopping week celebrations included an ox-roast. For this occasion, the 1,015lb beast was kept in the yard at the Kings Head Inn until slaughtered and taken to be roasted on a specially built temporary oven at Victoria Park.

Also in 1932, the then landlord Frank Howard was going to the races but unfortunately he had got on the wrong train, so at Melton Mowbray he pulled the communication cord. He was fined £6. The report of this incident gave no indication whether or not he got to the races or if he did whether his winnings would have compensated him.

An overloaded lor near the Kings Head

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Upperbridge showing the Kings Head

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In July 1969 a lorry laden with oil drums crashed into the house and shop next door to the inn. Although this caused much damage, fortunately no-one was injured.

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Today the site is an attractive public garden with a mosaic wall sculpture showing the industrial heritage of the area.

Known Landlords

1795 Matthew Bower N 1918 Hannah Howard I 1834 Mary Bower D 1922 Frank Howard

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17. Old Bridge Hotel, Market Walk (Old Bridge Inn and Coffee Bar)

Prior to being opened as the Old Bridge Hotel in 1986 this copyhold property was known as Eldon House.

The one time home of Joseph Charlesworth, a well-known merchant and JP, this property was described in the auction notice after his death in 1852 as: “A family residence. Commodious, genteel. Garden, summer house, carriage house, barn, stable, a convenient warehouse and other outbuildings. Also a cottage conveniently attached suitable for a servant.” Bought by John Thorpe Taylor, a local manufacturer, the house continued as a family home until 1865. Remaining then unsold, in 1867 the property was used by the members of Holmfirth Working Men’s Club. Although the building offered members excellent indoor and outdoor facilities, the club cannot have enjoyed much in the way of success for by 1870 the property was once again advertised for auction as a domestic dwelling.

Other families recorded as having lived here were those of Mr George Ediss, Surgeon and General Practitioner; Joseph Shaw, joiner and cabinet maker who clearly used the outbuildings as his workshop for he paid rates in 1896 for premises described as: “works and home”; Charles Haigh, a local chemist; Henry W. Williams G.P. and Eli Collins, the owner and editor of the local newspaper. The Holme Valley Theatre, now known as the Picturedrome, was built in the erounds of Eldon House in 1913. It would appear that Eli’s son, Albert, sold the property early in the 1930s and it then became the home of the Holmfirth Conservative Club until 1984. In that year, having been bought by Hervey Woodhead, for £80,000 the building was converted into the Old Bridge Hotel. Included in the proposed plans were sixteen en-suite

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bedrooms, public and lounge bars, a functions room, dining room and coffee lounge.

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19.Waggon and Horses Inn, Huddersfield Road

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Joseph Tyas was certainly the landlord here by 1870 becoming the owner five years later.

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bedrooms, kitchen, wash kitchen, store room, 2 cellars, keeping cellar, small cellar and wine cellar. Outside there was a top stable, low yard and a trade sign. The furniture, fixtures and stock-in-trade at the time were valued at £288-12s-5d.

In 1908 when John Wood left and Harry Bower became landlord, the description of the rooms was the same except for the addition of “a gas stove” in the Lodge room.

The inn closed on 31° December 1954. Between 1990 and 1992 the premises were used by George Burgess & Son, Plumbers, Electricians and Heating Engineers. The buildings were then demolished and Lodges Supermarket was built on this and the adjoining site in 1975. This was later developed into the present day Riverside Shopping Centre where Medicare Chemists is located on the site of the Waggon and Horses Inn.

The usual events were held here: auctions, inquests including bodies from the 1852 flood, meetings of various groups and societies. The latter included the Friendly Societies of the Secret Order of the Golden Fleece, Shepherds and Oddfellows as well as the Holmfirth & New Mill Power Loom Weavers Association, Holmfirth Prosecution Society, Holmfirth Cricket & Lawn Tennis Club, Holmfirth Fanciers Society, Gin 1896 there was a demonstration of how to wash a canary) Holmfirth Harriers, Holmfirth Tradesmen's Association and Holmfirth Butchers Trade and Benevolent Association. Holmfirth's annual flower show took place here in 1896 when an outstanding 593 entries were recorded. By contrast in 1873 there had also been a show but one solely for red cabbages. The few recorded cases involving the breaking of licensing laws here involved the usual offence of allowing drunkenness and gambling for ale on the premises.

The early years of the 1870s witnessed much local industrial unrest arising from wage disputes and working hours and it

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would appear that the public houses provided venues for campaign meetings. In 1871 the carpenters and joiners of the Holmfirth district held their meeting in this inn under the banner of “Less hours and more wage”, prior to submitting their agreed resolution to their employers at a meeting at the Kings Head Inn.

The following year when there was continuing discontent in the local textile mills regarding levels of pay, the Waggon and Horses Inn was the starting point of a strike march to Huddersfield. 1200 weavers, both men and women, marched five abreast to Lockwood where they were joined by 400 more and a brass band. The whole body then continued to a fairground in Northumberland Street in central Huddersfield where a rally was held in order to protest about the unfair wage levels in the Holme Valley compared to Huddersfield rates of


Another march, of a different order, was recorded in 1892 when there was a military marching competition. The distance from St Georges Square in Huddersfield and back again via Holmfirth, the Ford Inn on the Greenfield Road, Meltham and Crosland Moor was 16.75 miles. Thirteen teams took part comprising of eight men plus an officer or non-commissioned officer and an umpire. The men were 1n uniform and all carried 22lbs of equipment which was checked at “the examination point” at the Waggon and Horses in Holmfirth. The winning team completed the march in an impressive 3 hours and 46 minutes and won £6, the second prize was £4 and third prize was £2. ‘Taking place in late November the weather was recorded as having been frosty and rainy. Despite these conditions there had been a good number of entries and

afterwards all competitors had tea at the Zetland pub in Huddersfield.

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Wooldale Township Map 1836 Cartworth Township Map 1859 Upperthong Tithe Map and Book 1847 Land Valuation Survey and Map 1910 Ordnance Survey Maps 1854

Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield West Yorkshire Land Registry

Brewster Records Annual Lists of Licensees Records of Transfer of Licence Extinguishing Licenses Records Compensation Authority Papers Public House Valuation Records - William Sykes & Sons, Estate Agents and Auctioneers, Holmfirth Rate books Township of Cartworth 1805-1920 Township of Upperthong 1864-1920 Holmfirth 1888-1982 Census Returns 1841-1911 Trade Directories 1828-1936

Holmfirth by Lamplight Wylbert Kemp Tollhouse Reprints 1987 Popular Illustrated Guide to Holmfirth Holmfirth Express 1909 A Review of Haunted Huddersfield Kai Roberts 2012 History of the Holme Valley Lodge No.652 Peter Berry 2015

Newspapers Bradford Observer Leeds Intelligencer Leeds Mercury Huddersfield Chronicle Sheffield and Rotherham Gazette Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Halifax, Huddersfield and Keighley Reporter Holmfirth Express

(Holmfirth Chronicles Ahier 1937-8 ) Yorkshire and Derbyshire Advertiser

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Illustrations Page Holme Valley Local History Group Archives Wooldale Township Map 1836 38 Solicitor Papers 27,110,138 Kirklees Digital Archive k0024351

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