Huddersfield Highways Down the Ages (1949) by William Bunting Crump (1868-1950)

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Vil PREFACE I HE RAILWAY AGE, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, superseded the Coaching Era of the previous hundred years. Dickens, writing in 1836, naturally des- cribed Mr. Pickwick as touring the country by coach. Tom Brown’s School Days, written in 1857, draws upon the author’s own experience as a schoolboy relate the hero’s first ride to Rugby in by the ‘‘Tally-ho”’ coach. It is almost the last echo of the glories of the Romance of the Coaching Era.

With the passing of the mail coach, the inns languished, the road was neglected, and presently the atlas and the wall map showed England streaked with railways in place of roads.

The present century has seen a great revival of interest in the roads as well as a great development in their design and structure with the coming of the petrol engine and the motor car. But interest in the history of English roads and in the road-books and maps of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is chiefly due to the research and writings of Sir George Fordham, from about 1920. To him we owe our knowledge of the early English cartographers like Christopher Saxton and John Ogilby, and the road books of Cary and Patterson. Now, besides a volume listing the county maps of all England and Wales, there are catalogues for many of the separate counties including the Maps of Yorkshire and its Ridings, 1577-1900, by Harold Whitaker, 1933.

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what he called the Priest’s Way Dewsbury, the

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3 was in prison. That was the decisive factor. The Turnpike Acts soon popularised the new name. An early one, in 1721, is entitled, ‘“‘An Act for amending the Highways leading from A to B, and also the great post road from etc.’’. But in a few years they settled down to the style, ‘‘An Act for repairing and amending the Road leading from Manchester, etc.’’, with the preamble opening thus, ‘‘Whereas the Highways or Roads leading trom Manchester, etc.’”’. So, as the name ‘road’ became attached to the thorough- fares transformed in the eighteenth century, it seems the natural thing to retain the old name, ‘highway’ for them here as they existed in earlier centuries, especially as it remains in use to a limited extent. Such words as highways and byways, wayside, causeway, highwayman and waytarer have their place in current English and we ask ‘the way’ quite as often as ‘the road’ to our destination.

When the question arose of giving a name to a particular length of highway, and local practice always settled such problems ‘unconsciously, the general word ‘way’ rarely entered into the name. In the speech of the North the commonest word for the second element was ‘ lane.’ It was used freely, both in the towns and in the open country, perhaps with a suggestion of narrow- ness, for many towns have, or had, such a narrow Back-lane. But it was applied without distinction to a length of almost any ‘way,’ leading from a village to the church, the fields, the pin- fold, the mill and to neighbouring farms and villages. There are scores of examples in any district.

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4. ley Bank and Almondbury Bank are familiar examples and the

last was a great highway until it was by-passed, first on one side

side and then on the other. The northern ‘gate’, for a street or - road, is a Norse or Danish word. A ‘gate’ is most familiar in its town use, as Northgate, Westgate, Southgate and Kirkgate in Huddersfield, whilst Towngate, found in Marsden, is very charac-

teristic of the upland village. Examples drawn from the open

country include Highgate on Heaton Moor and up to Lepton, Hollow Gate in Holmfirth, Slant Gate in Kirkburton, Cowcliffe and Thurstonland, Spinner Gate and Meltham Gate on Honley Moor and a North Gate from Honley Bridge towards Farnley. Waingate (Waggon road) up Berry Brow and Slad Gate near Holt Head indicate the nature of the traffic which they carried.

Badger Gate appears to survive only in the name of a farm

near Marsden on the old highway over Stanedge but it once applied to the highway, the gate travelled by badgers who were

dealers in corn, meal and flour, serving the countryside on their -

regular rounds. ‘These traffic-names attached to early highways, or found along them, are like fossils, for they preserve and record the mode of life of earlier centuries. The continuous carriage of salt by pack-horse out of Cheshire over the Pennines has left a trail of

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was a piecemeal change, but always with the same purpose—to bring the road down towards the streams. So the valley road to Marsden supplanted the primitive way up the spur of Crosland Moor and Blackmoor Foot. Similarly the Penistone road was deflected into the Fenay valley off the spur that runs south-east from Almondbury, and in the end all the traffic to the east and south that had gone through Almondbury utilised the Fenay valley instead of the spur. Waterloo Bridge shows by its name when this came about.

Geologically the district is wholly built up of grits, sand- stones, shales and coalbeds of the Carboniferous period and this fact has determined its economic and industrial lite. As the dip is towards the east the succession of newer beds is from west to east, and the eastern side of each valley tends to be scarped and therefore steeper than the other. Another outcome of the nature of the rocks is that the peat vegetation characteristic of Pennine moors dominates the summits and formerly came a long way down the spurs. The peat mosses of the summit plateaux form the most difficult ground to traverse, on a large scale, that remains in England; and the local distribution and depth of peat must have been an important factor in fixing the feasible routes over the summits. The Pennines are the antithesis of the Chalk Downs in that there are no tracks, and never have been any since the peat accumulated, along the flats of the main axis. Ridgeways are confined to the spurs where the peat has never been as deep as on the ill-drained summits.

The natural vegetation of the valley bottoms and along the slopes has been largely destroyed by civilisation but the relics of it and place-names go to prove that all the valley slopes must have been well clothed with oak woods similar to those that have sur- vived. As for the bottoms, where there was no forest there was swamp and marsh, and passage was impossible through either until a clearing had been effected.

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8 I eastwards until at Conisborough and Sheffield respectively they

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but at the bridge itself the Calder cuts a small gorge through the hard Rough Rock of the Millstone Grits. There is solid rock both in the river bed and on either bank, providing an ideal site for either ford or bridge.

The eastern part of the Huddersfield district that has just been considered had, by reason of its lower altitude, its better soil, its mineral wealth and its accessibility, advantages which promoted ~ its early settlement. It lay contiguous to the richer lands of the plain on the south and east and was easily entered from that direc- tion. A great contrast is provided by the southern middle region —the Graveship of Holme, with which may be included the sub- sidiary Meltham valley. It seems to-day easily approached by its valley from Huddersfield and this long, narrow valley of the Holme is comparable with that of. the Colne. The resemblance was even closer in the Middle Ages when both in their upper reaches were forest, i.e., hunting grounds. Holmfirth was originally ‘Holne- frith’ and the name is similar to Chapel-en-le-Frith in the hills further south. In both ‘frith’ means

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ae an integral part of the York and Chester route. In other words

those. forts and the road they defended were abandoned at that time, as Richmond has shown.

A link of some seven

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14 be regarded as ‘made roads’, but they were established ways, trodden for the most part, opened out with the axe and improved

in places, with simple bridges of logs across small streams and a ford sought out or made across larger ones.

Our knowledge of these Saxon ways is largely due to the researches of Dr. Grundy who has identified three ditferent classes of through roads.; These are :—

(1) Ridgeway (‘Hrycgweg’) is used of a road that follows a watershed for a time, avoiding the passage of streams, even the smallest one. Many of them survive on the Downs and all of them are primitive or pre-Roman trackways.

(2) Street (“Straet’) was applied to a made road of some kind, not necessarily a recognised Roman road, but at least one metalled in places during the Roman occupation.

(3) Army-way (‘Herepath’) was applied to any kind of through road, though generally to those of Saxon origin.

The minor roads around a village were simply ways, ‘weg’, or boundary-ways, ‘maer-weg’. Dr. Grundy uses the name ‘Sum- mer-way’ to denote ways running parallel to ridgeways but at a lower level; they served in place of the upper ways when the streams ran dry in summer.

The presence of ridgeways in this district has already been mentioned. On the main ridge of the Pennines they are impossible, but the lateral spurs are often used by an ancient highway that keeps to the watershed for some miles, perhaps to come down to a ford or to worm its way through a pass, and maybe descend to a ford on the other side. There is the old road to Marsden, breast- ing Crosland Moor as far as Blackmoor Foot, for an example, or the older ways to Barnsley, Penistone and Sheffield. The New Hey road following a Roman road on to Pole Moor is perhaps the ‘best local example of a ridgeway following a watershed.

The name ‘Summer-way’ does not suit anything in the Pen- nines but there is a type of track penetrating the hills mid-way be- tween valley bottom and crest which takes its place and is more important. There are several names that describe its character. It is an upland road skirting the edge of the moors; it is a hill- side road ; or it is a contour road, following a contour pretty evenly as it takes the curves of a valley. On the whole it runs at a height of about 800-900 feet and is made up of a series of lanes, high enough to have escaped being turnpiked, though some of them are now being rapidly transformed for the first time in their history.

+ Grundy, G. B.: The Evidence of Saxon Land Charters on the Ancient Road

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15 The advantages of such hill-side roads in early times were considerable. They lay between the peat-clad moors and. the wooded or marshy valleys but they had to cross every tributary stream. Sometimes they were high enough to avoid the steep wooded ‘clough’, or they turned up the valley for a while to clear it. At other times they came down more or less precipitously, but no where was the actual crossing of the water formidable.

The upper Calder valley is richest in this type of ancient high- way but there is a very impressive example

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17 are the stock material of local history. Their numbers,

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To Mr. Townley and Brereton Their help for to require. And they set off at once— Unto the mount beneath Marsden, Now where they come with speed ; But, hearing that their friend was slain, They turned again indeed.

The old road over Standedge climbs from Marsden to the Mount on Pule Hill and is on the direct route to Brereton Green through Stockport.

The second scene of this act is at Cromwell Bottom, between

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Mr. John Haigh : an(d) Abraham

Hall: Sir(veyors) 1756

On the opposite face directing hands point to: Rippond(en) 3 Mile(s)

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20 hard, unvarying routine of the medieval village farm, of lives spent

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21 with a road to it. Before 1185 they a bridge oyer _the Calder and another over the Colne towards Kirkheaton. The latter retains its old name, Colne bridge, but the one over the Calder was known as Bradley bridge and wads, in 1336, ‘between the Couford and the grange of Bradley’. Soon after 1300 it was broken down and a dispute dragged on for many years between the manor of Wakefield and the. Abbot as to its repair. When and by whom it was renewed. is unknown, but in 1483 it was known as Cowford bridge, and in the seventeenth century as Cowper or Cowford bridge, so that the Cooper bridge of to-dav is the lineal descendant of the Bradley bridge built in the twelfth century by an Abbot of Fountains ‘for the convenience of his grange.’ Notice that in spite of changes of spelling the York- shire pronunciation Coo remains’ “unchanged and ‘the ‘f’ has be- come ‘p’. It is an unexpected fact ‘in the growth of Huddersfield that the chief outlet of the Colne Valley. is due to the industrial enterprise of an Abbot of Fountains over 700 years ago. Certainly these are the earliest bridges recorded in the distriet, though by the opening of the fourteenth century there were other wooden bridgés across the Calder at Brighouse, Mirfield, Horbury and probably at Elland. Not one of them was replaced bya stone structure before 1500. I

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23 é

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the parish church. They were Kirkgates. The old chapeiry: of Elland in particular was merely the succession. of townships in- tersected by the Roman road from -York to Chester along the twelve miles from the Calder at Brighouse to the county bound- ary on Blackstone Edge. It owed its existence and length to the highway and when

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26 as their metropolis; their kirkgates led thither and not to Hud- dersfield. Hence arose the need of bridges across the Holme at Honley, at the Hermitage or Armitage, and at Lockwood, where there was an earlier Salford, or ford by the sallows. Hence also the steep lanes climbing the escarpment, such as Lockwood Scar

and Taylor Hill towards Newsome and Waingate up Berry Brow,

all leading to the church at Almondbury. As a result of this ‘cross-grain’ tendency of highways linking the villages to their focus at Almondbury

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and equipment of militia. The annual sum might be as

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In 1676 Jonas Wild was on the job ‘setting’ and ‘repaireing high way betwixt Sowerby Towne and Bentclose yatte’ and later in the summer ‘betwixt Sowerby and Bowood’ , with a man ‘lead-

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Clothiers with Packhorses, from Walker’s ‘‘ Costume of Yorkshire.’’

H. Atkinson

Raised Causey, Throstle Nest Lane, Bradley.


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rigidly between the one type and the other especially as

such causeys were laid down in the country districts in the eighteenth century and even later, to serve people going regularly from a village to a mill or church. These might be close to a wall and run pretty straight but there are causeys which wind

through a wood or over a moor or similar ground, and these

have evidently been laid down to follow the curving line taken either by man or beast to avoid the wetter places. In time especially where they have been much used the stones became worn by the


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Hl. Atkinson 7. Paved Causey, Merrydale.

W. B. Crunip Bridge at Park Mill, north of Clayton West, from the south.

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9. Pack-saddles.

Drawn by. James Walton.


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years after the publication of Ogilby’s Britannia, 1675, for in it Ogilby gives the traveller a list of the

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11. Early Surveying Instruments; Ambulator, Surveyor’s Dial, and Dividers

E. W. Aubrook

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(3) In 1644, during the Civil War, a map of England was produced by Wenceslaus Hollar by order of Oliver. Cromwell.

~The sheets of this map, commonly called the ‘‘Quartermaster’s

Maps’’ were founded on Saxton but showed a few roads roughly, amongst them one from York through Rochdale. A minor road on the same sheet, only marked by a single line, connects Halifax, Elland, Huddersfield, Barnsley and Rotherham. This indicates the second important highway through the district.

(4) The greatest achievement since Saxton was the publica- tion by John Ogilby in 1675 of his Britannia, Volume the First, by the command of Charles I]. It was a series of one hundred double folio copper plates showing the principal roads of the

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point.* It

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I dd the county filling his sketch books and note books and soliciting subscriptions for his map as he went.t Warburton did not tramp the roads, he travelled trom house to

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near where Colne Bridge gives access to another direct and ancient way to Barnsley which Hobson must have crossed on Grange Moor between Whitley and Flockton.

(a) GuIDE

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These pre-turnpike milestones are all interesting for their

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made at a date 1752, just prior to the turnpike era, when nearly all the bridges were widened or rebuilt. Its title is, ‘‘A Book of the Bridges belonging in Whole or Part to the West Riding of the County of York Drawn by Order of the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace holden at Pontefract

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50 putes arose about the repairing of Ledgard’s Bridge and these are recorded in the Parish Registers of Mirfield. As by 1920 most of the Wapentake Bridges had been taken over by the county the class was abolished and the few remaining became County Bridges. I _ Practically all the important bridges within the district (i.e. over the Colne and the Holme) such as The Longbridge (as Huddersfield Bridge was called) Lockwood and Longroyd, were Wapentake Bridges. The rest were repaired by the township or townships, as Milnsbridge by Quarmby. Little is known of the history of this bridge but there is evidence enough of the exist- _ence of both the bridge and the corn mill it served at an early date. Thus in the Lay Subsidy of 1297, Thomas del Brigge is named under Quarmby. The modern name first appears in 1533 when Roger Hyrst of Mylnbrige is named as a clothier,


It was the invasion of the old highways by wheeled traffic for the carriage of passengers and goods almost for the first time in their history that brought about the great revolution in highway construction and maintenance. Wherever and when- ever coaches and ‘carriages’ began to be used, there were con- stant complaints of the deplorable state of the highways. This new traffic was in fact foreign to the purpose of the existing ways, aS witness all the earlier legislative attempts to adjust the design of the wheel to the road surface. The final triumph of the road engineer in adjusting both surface and gradient to the wheel is well known, but it came very slowly. The recurrence of the problem brought by the motor car in the 20th century has been countered much more rapidly, but by revealing the diff- culties of adapting roads to a new type of traffic recent experience makes the course of events in the eighteenth century much more intelligible. I Whereas the advent of wheeled traffic was the immediate and most widely operative cause of turnpikes it was scarcely so in the Pennine hills. The stimulus came from the needs of the woollen industry, both sides of the Pennines, where the pack- horse continued to be used and the coach, and probably the waggon, remained unknown for years after the making of the early turnpikes. The-attempt to obtain better means of communication was the first phase of the Industrial Revolution. As regards turnpikes the movement, so far as the North is concerned, began in South Lancashire, where, in 1724-25, both Liverpool ‘and started to improve their connection with the great post road to London. Then, in 1732, Manchester obtained powers to turnpike the Woodhead highway over into Yorkshire as far as Salters Brook on

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Colne Bridge situated over the River Colne, in the parishes of Kirk-heaton and

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through were levied according to the Act. There was no provision for the gradual redemption of the debt, and in later times it became difficult even to pay the interest. In the end the loans provided by the trustees and their friends were lost. Usually a particular turnpike stopped at the county boundary and the adjacent county was expected to continue it if it was to be a through route. The Blackstone Edge Road seems to be the only exception to this; it started on the Rochdale side and on the Yorkshire side divided at Ripponden towards Halifax and Elland, possibly following the

lines of a Roman road.

The earliest turnpikes, those made between 1730 and 1770, were existing highways amended or repaired,

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friends to make the road. A smaller number would then beconic the administrative body whose first step was the appointment of some local solicitor to direct them in putting the Act into force (the Act provided for the summoning of the first meeting of the trustees). The making of a road was let by tender and the collection of the tolls was also let annually to the best bidder who probably engaged and re-engaged the occupants of the Toll Houses whose duty it was to open the gate after collecting the proper toll.

Most of the Toll Houses and Toll Bars have been demolished but a few remain in this district, such as Kirklees, at the point where Shepherds Thorn Lane crosses Bradley Lane and on the old Wakefield and Austerlands Turnpike at Fenay Bogden and Flockton Green.

Exemptions from tolls were granted for a of reasons. A Wakefield and Austerlands Act as late as 1820, exempted ‘any Horses or Carriages attending His Majesty, or any of the Royal Family,’ ‘any Horses Cattle or Carriages employed in conveying the Mails of Letters and Expresses under the Authority of His

Postmaster General,’ ‘any Horses, Cattle or Carriages

employed in carrying the Arms or Baggage of any Officers or Soldiers, or any sick, wounded or disabled Officers or Soldiers.’ Other exemptions were the local vicar on his way to church or visiting parishioners, persons going to or from church, to or from: a funeral, to an election, to or from the Fields (i.e. the open. plough land of a village) and persons carrying materials for the repair of highways or bridges and in particular ‘for repairing or rebuilding the Dam or Weir of the King” S Mill, in the Parish of Almondbury.’

The Tolls provide us with an insight into the nature of the traffic along these turnpikes. Thus, in 1820, the tolls between

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Barhouse at Fenay Bridge

17. Barhouse at Kirklees


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For every Horse, Ass, Mule, or other Beast or Cattle draw- ing any Waggon, Wain, Cart, Van, Caravan, or other such like Carriage, having the Fellies of the Wheels of the Breadth of Six Inches or upwards at the

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Now the duty of maintaining roads fell upon the local auth- orities and, towards the end of the century, these were the County

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1920. 'When the ‘new Manchester road’ was carried along the Colne Valley over a century ago it certainly stimulated the expan- sion of the Huddersfield trade in that direction. But the canal, threading the valley as far as Marsden, was an earlier factor and the railway was an even greater influence. Now the road has attained an importance hitherto denied it.

There is another reason for considering first the of the highways over Stanedge. Within the last two centuries, and they cover all the period within which historical exists, the exact roadways in use between the same two terminals have shifted about considerably in attempts to find the easiest line of traffic through the hills. Further, a Roman road came from the one terminal, the fort which gives Manchester its name,

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evidence he submits about the actual course of the road. The term is justified insofar that the direction of the Roman road all the way from Manchester to Castleshaw varies only a few degrees from N.E. by E., so that on a small-scale map it could be represented by one, or, at the most, two straight sections. In practice in _ hilly country like this such a course is improbable i in detail. From Austerlands northwards the road is definitely using the valley of the Tame in order to reach the watershed of the Pennines. lt must therefore conform in some degree to the contours of the valley flanks and it may even follow some pre-existing track which wound into the hills with the slightest of constructional aids.

map showing the roads in Saddleworth exists prior to the large one of the County of York published by Thomas Jefferys in 1772. By that time the first turnpike road between Wakefield and Austerlands had been constructed ‘under the Act of 1759 and is shown by Jefferys. At that date a turnpike act usually provided for little more than the repair and widening of an existing road. There may be occasional departures from the original line but in the main the turnpike road on Jefferys’ map must also represent the course of the pre-turnpike highway known to Percival.

Although Percival never says that the Roman road, beyond Austerlands, coincided with the highway it could not by his des- cription be far away, as it went ‘along the inclosures on the south edge’ of High Moor. Thorpe-lane, on the first turnpike, is exactly in the right direction but the continuation towards Doctor-lane- head only keeps off the open moor by bearing more to the east, and all the way it is over the 1,000 foot contour. The Roman road might take a straighter course than the loop to High Thurs- tone Clough but it is likely to have crossed the hollow at the same point. In fact, it is probable that Percival actually travelled along the Roman road, at least from Austerlands, for there was no other road at that time along this hill-side. I

From High Thurstone it most likely continued N.N.E. along Knar Barn Lane until near Hill Top where it came up against Knot Hill and turned eastwards down Knot Hill-lane. This course fits Percival’s description exactly. Towards the bottom of Knotty-lane the first turnpike, which has taken a much easier course, rejoins it and soon enters Delph.

There are two details in Percival’s description which deserve to be noted. The Roman road ran ‘along the side of Knot-lane and so crosses over the present road to Huddersfield at Delf’. On the whole the simplest interpretation seems the best. Down Knotty-lane the Roman road ran along the south side of the lane and then at some point on the further side of the river Tame it reappeared on the north-side of the highway and in about a third of a mile up Delph-lane it struck away ‘over the fields to Castle- shaw’.

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68 and became secretary to the great Earl of Strafford. Several boys, cousins from the neighbourhood mostly, made the journey together and grooms presumably brought back their horses. George Rad- _cliffe was fourteen when in this letter he describes his return to Mr. Hunt’s school* at Oldham on January 13th, 1607-8. He first called at Longley Hall on the Sunday and the party, now appar- ently including young John Ramsden, continued on their way. ‘We lighted at Marsden and sate there ; coming to Peele (Pule) and Staninge (Stanedge) the wynde was so boysterous that we could hardly stand, and being both cold and some of us half sick we went to Saddleworth on Monday at night and there we stayed all night ; the next morning was very windy till noon: at noon we set forth and so came we, God be thanked, at Oldham in the

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69 type repeated in almost every act. Still it is worthwhile to quote

the preamble of the Act establishing the Wakefield-Austerlands Turnpike Road as it is the earliest for this district.

‘Whereas the Road leading from the Town of Wakefield (W.R. co. York) thro’ the Towns of Horbury, Netherton, Over- ton, Lepton, Almondbury, Huddersfield, Marsden and Saddle- worth to Austerlands in the said county, being situated in a trad- ing and populous Part of the same County, and much used and frequented for the Carriage and Conveyance of Goods, Wares and Merchandize, Commodities and Provisions, made, manufac- tured and consumed in that Country and so necessary to be made passable and kept in Repair for the preserving and encouraging the Trade and Commerce thereof, is, from the Narrowness and Steepness thereof in many Places and the nature of the Soil, be- come so deep and ruinous that in Winter and Wet-Seasons the

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road strikes straight up Crosland Moor, going SW, until it touches 875 feet just before it drops to the small stream which it crosses at Blackmoor Foot. Here the long frontage of the Travellers Inn provides the first suggestion that the road is not as modern as it looks; that it may even be an old coaching road. For the next mile over Black Moor to Bradley Brook and Holt Head (5m.), where Swithin Cross once stood, it follows the bound- ary between Linthwaite and Meltham townships, except for one section along which the road may have been straightened when turnpiked. It crosses the brook by a lofty, and possibly later, bridge and then there comes a steep narrow bit up to the White House, or Dyers Arms, that was a few years ago the best

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from Waters Gate and Mount Tabor to a point beyond the Pack- horse Inn, dated 1642. It is now simply ‘Packhorse’ and lies on a short loop road, but there can be no

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‘As he had engaged to make nine miles of the road in ten months, he began in six different parts with near four

hundred men employed. One of the places was Pule and

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quently found on the map in Yorkshire, it occurs again on similar marshy ground, Coal Hill Slades, at Brown Rough just over Stanedge. A slade, in dialect or.

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83 Yet the Austerlands road was recognised by the beginning of the nineteenth century as part of an alternative route across England. David Ogilvy in 1804 made use of it as the road from Liverpool to Hull either by way of Wakefield and Pontefract or of Leeds and York.* The more familiar New Itinerary of John Cary showed the same route in the Fourth Edition, 1810, and possibly in the First. In the light of such evidence it appears that the trustees were being forced by the pressure of public demand to consider what improvements they could effect. So it is not surprising to find them, the next time they sought a renewal of their term, in 1799 or 1800, also seeking powers ‘for repairing the Road from Wakefield to Austerlands’ (39-40 Geo. III, c. 18). As in the first act, ‘repairing’ was the customary

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The Second Turnpike—continued.

The first stage was the making of a new road, two miles in length, to take the place of the one made by Metcalf across the of Pule Hill to Thieves Bridge and Stanedge Foot. Start- ing from Mount Bar, at Mount Pleasant, it took a more circuitous route to the south of Warcock Hill and Redbrook Reservoir and rejoined the old one at the top of May Letch Lane, short of Stan- edge Foot. Within the angle between the old and the new turn- pikes stood a house which was described as ‘John Carter’s House’ several times in the Saddleworth Enclosure Award of 1834. To Carter was also allotted the new enclosure in the rear of the house, or east of it, between the roads. But John Carter was dead when the Award was made for it was made to his widow. I

In such a position the house may have been built for a

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ever saw it.. These new roads—they were planned in two stages —constitute the ‘Third Turnpike’, planned and executed by the same Trust as the earlier ones. Reference has already been made to the Act of 1800 which gave the Trust power to repair the road. In 1820 the trustees again had need to seek renewal of their auth- ority. This time the older acts were repealed and the trustees obtained an ‘Act for repairing and the Road from Wakefield to Austerlands’ (1 Geo. IV, c. 68). It provided for a new body of trustees convened to meet

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clear. The Derbyshire hills were easily distinguished. As we came down the hill on the other side we were informed by a passenger that there was a tunnel underground for three

miles, through which the.vessels

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Barkisland branch. The descent from that point to Denshaw or

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Cupwith-moor to Pole moor stone, or Guide post* above Slaighwait or Glaighwait and along the north of Gowkerhiil or Wholestone moor, or Hoolstone moor, leaving the

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93 I

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94 and direction, which could all be observed in his day. A century later the Ordnance surveyors could still detect its course though not continuously nearly as far as Warren House, pointing towards Ainley Top. But through Fixby and Rastrick townships it has vanished with scarcely a word written about it.

The only hint appears to be the statement in Horsfall Turner’s History of Brighouse (p. 21, 1893) ‘that more than a century ago Jonas Wilkinson, whilst reclaiming land from the waste in a field now known as Lower Hopper-take, near Slade Lane top, found his operations obstructed by a paved road which passed across the waste in the direction of Fixby Ridge.’ The evidence is very slight but none the less it accords well with the conjec- tural line of the Roman road, passing on the west side of Round Hill towards Rastrick Common and the Old Ford across the Calder.

THE GUIDE STOOPS ON THE PRE-TURNPIKE ROAD Reference has been made to the pre-turnpike guide-stoops or mile-stones on the ridge-way, or the Out-lane as Watson calls it at one point. They form a pair, similar in style, erected the same year, 1755, and almost certainly the work of one sculptor. From the beginning of the eighteenth century guide posts or stones were ordered to be set at cross-roads, especially on unenclosed moors. It is easy to see that these conformed to that order originally though the road is fenced and the stones have both been moved a short distance from their original positions.

The first is on Haigh House Hill, midway between Ainley Top and Outlane, and only a field length above Haigh Cross which certainly marks an ancient cross road coming up from Milns- bridge. It is now an unattractive straight road, called Crossland- road, made no doubt when Lindley Moor was enclosed. Within living memory the stoop stood in the middle of this road at its junction with New Hey Road. Then it was moved to one side and some years ago it was placed on the north side of the New Hey road. On the front face it reads:—

40 Brighouse iii miles Marsden

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The lettering is good, with the old style long ‘f’ for ‘s’ in the middle of names; the hands are large and elaborately incised, those on the front being within sunken panels. The distances are estimated and given in the long customary miles.

The historic value of this stone lies in the information it supplies rather than in its good workmanship. The date is halt a century before the new Hey turnpike was made and it directs the traveller from, Brighouse to Marsden. That route may be left for a moment while we consider the cross-road coming from Halifax and going to Milnsbridge. The difficulty here is to see how to proceed to Halifax for no road is visible in the direction of Elland on the way to Halifax. In fact it is still a very primitive highway, a succession of narrow twisting lanes dropping down the hillside and aiming at the slack in which Blackley lies. Then South-lane leads on to Elland, dropping sharply down the escarp- ment with a hair-pin bend at the steepest point, the Woodman Inn. Just before reaching Elland South-lane enters the Ainley road which has taken the place of this old way on to the ridge.

In the other direction, towards Milnsbridge, the exact course of the ancient highway is more conjectural, for the enclosure of Lindley Moor and the multiplicity of modern roads lower down have destroyed parts of it. But Haigh Cross and Quarmby Hall provide two fixed points on it and Crossland and Tanyard lanes form the links between them. Quite close to Quarmby Hall are the remains of the village stocks, now built into the wall. One upright of the stocks apparenily served as a guide post for it bears the following

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Haigh Cross

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Dike T.P.’ It was well placed to catch the wheeled traffic, though there must have been very little entering the turnpike road from

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102 is a Curious statement by Percival which supports this view. In 1751 he wrote that ‘for four or five summers last past, living but six miles from Castleshaw’ he had made diligent search around Marsden for a possible Roman road going towards Almond- bury, which was then supposed to be the Koman station of Cam- bodunum. ‘I have made enquiry from the shepherds, turf-getters and the people at Marsden but could never hear one word of any via militaris, or road going that way. On the contrary, they all speak of the present highway (Stanedge) being found out some time since in their grandfathers’ or great-grandfathers’ memories; and that the old highway was along the track of the Roman road’.


Returning to the ridgeway, now called the Hey Road, the earliest documentary reference both to its existence and to the pack-horse traffic along it is to be found in the deeds quoted in the Chartulary of Fountains Abbey. More than seven hundred years ago it was used so constantly by salters, men buying salt I at Northwich in Cheshire and carrying it for sale into and beyond this district, that the road was called the Saltergate.* The deeds in question relate only to one locality, Haigh House Hill, where the stands which directs travellers to Marsden, Brighouse and Halifax. Much or all of the area passed by successive gifts into the possession of Fountains in the thirteenth century.

In the actual transfers to Fountains the whole area is simply called Heya or Haya, that is land enclosed by a fence or ‘hey.’ This is nothing else than the modern

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justly so. It begins with a perfect example of an old pack-horse bridge. It strikes up on to the open moorland and twists and curves as it threads its way round or across the watershed of the many tributaries feeding the Colne, the Roch or the Tame and yet it maintains a fairly direct course towards Rochdale. Not that the whole length is merely a ‘pack-and-prime’ way, for over Denshaw Moor, Rapes Highway was converted into a ‘public carriage way’ by the Enclosure Award of 1813, but across the waste of the manor of Marsden, i.e. Clowes Moss as far as the’ ‘New Hey or Buckstones road, it remains as it was. The public right of way along all this old gate was amply proved and con- firmed at Leeds Spring Assizes in 1908 when the case of the Lord of the Manor (Sir Joseph Radcliffe) v. Marsden Urban District Council was heard.

Much evidence of user was collected by searching for the oldest inhabitants of the district who had travelled to or from Marsden by this way for business purposes half a century earlier, or as children with their parents.

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old road to Oldham, reminds him of a Marsden character. ‘About the beginning of the nineteenth century,’ he

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horseback from the pit at Cherry Clough, on the road to Ogden, and also. handloom weavers from Denshaw with their pieces of cloth slung on their backs, a method which they termed ‘going bunting.’

Ben Schofield of Intake Head, Marsden, had used the road from the age of seven, and he was 77 years old when he gave his evidence. He remembered the demolition of the old inn, known as the ‘Pack Horse’ Inn, which was situated at Eastergate and was kept by old Esther Schofield, and he also remembered a line of posts, six feet high, marking out the course of the route. Ellen Wrigley of Badger Gate, Marsden, told how her father, who was a cloth manufacturer, took his pieces on horse back to Rochdale Market. She produced a pack-horse bell which had been in her family for several generations and bore the letters ‘GW.’ ‘G,’ she said, stood for ‘Go’ and ‘W’ for ‘Whoa.’ Similar evidence was given by .a number of other witnesses, proving a definite right of way along this old established route.

Further proof of the public character of the road is afforded by the Denshaw Moor Inclosure Act of 1809. The Commissioners, in their award of. May 7th, 1813, ‘ascertain, set out and appoint the following public and private roads, ways and passages in, over and through the said common waste lands..... a public carriage road 33 feet wide, called Rapes Highway, extending from Cold- greave Pasture and ending on the turnpike road leading from the Junction Inn to Huddersfield (the New Hey road) which public Carriage road is part of the ancient road leading from Rochdale to Marsden and described upon the said Map or Plan ‘Rapes High- way,’ for all persons whomsoever to pass and repass through the same on foot or on horseback or with horses, cattle, carts and carriages at all times whatsoever.’ The award also recites that a copy, together with an attached plan, should be kept in a tin and deposited in the church chest at Saddleworth. The award is now preserved in the County Hall, Wakefield, but

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is shown on Jefferys’ map of Yorkshire

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Bank, three hundred feet above the river Colne. This spur was utilised by the ancient way from Barnsley which descended:

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Ogilby’s Road Map

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In this example the carrier was also a dealer in cloth—a middle man—but there were carriers pure and simple, regularly

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113 time the main highway from

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Bank towards Huddersfield. But at the top of the Bank he marks a road leading to Colnebridge which, first as Bank End Lane and then as Dalton Green Lane, crossed the Lees Beck by the Hebble and Lees Bridges, and continued to Colnebridge along Dalton Bank Lane. This was undoubtedly the outlet from Almond- bury to the north-east, affording easy access to the markets at Leeds.

Rejoining Ogilby’s road ‘you descend 9 Furlongs, and cross- ing a Wooden-Bridg and Brook (the Colne), leave Hutherfield Church on the Left.’ The wooden bridge crossing the Colne shown by. Ogilby in 1675 is the Huddersfield ‘Long’ Bridge, shewn in the 1634 survey map of ‘Almanburie’ as ‘Hothersfield Bridge.’ This bridge was ‘repaired by ye wapentake of Agge bridge and Morley’ in 1638,* towards which Sowerby was called upon to pay £4 &s. as its assessment of the cost. Four years

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115 house Lane, was not constructed until 1765, when an Act was passed ‘for amending and widening the Road from the Sign of the Coach and Horses in Birstall to the Turnpike Road at Nunbrook; and from Bradley Lane to the Town of Huddersfield.’ This turn-

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116 I Common which was enclosed in 1789, and past the ‘Shepherd's

Arms’ at Cowcliffe to the Fixby boundary where an old boundary stone inscribed :— I

Here Parts Fixby And Firtown 1764

affords us another variant of the spelling of Fartown,

The old lane, dipping down to the picturesque hollow of Ochre Hole, is one of the finest examples of an unturnpiked and secluded coaching road now remaining. It has an almost con- tinuous raised causeway along the side, it is a fair width, sinuous, hilly and certainly muddy in winter. It remains much as it was in 1777, when it was superseded by a new turnpike, or in 1675, when it was surveyed for Ogilby.. Although it is far older than the days of the coaches, it was used later as a coaching road and this section continued to appear in the road books and itineraries as part of the London road, generally to Kendal.

‘At some distance on the right’ from Ochre Hole, Ogilby marks a wood which was almost certainly the present Upper Fell

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W. Hy. Sikes

Bradley and Fixbe 1711”

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the hill past Robin Hood’s Grave, (for ne was buried ‘under a great stone by the by-wayes syde’ according to the ballad), it reached Clifton village after passing the old entrance to Kirklees. It there became the ‘towngate’ of Clifton and at the far end of the village it entered, almost at right angles, the old ‘Leeds and Elland road. The latter road

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135 I

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and widening the Road leading from the East Side of Barnsley Common to the Middle of Grange Moor, and from thence to White Cross’.

The continuation to White Cross at Barnsley was never made.

All these details of the minor ‘tracks crossing the Barnsley road and dropping down to the Calder have tended to obscure the main fact that from Colne Bridge and the milestone on Heaton Moor, there was an important highway going towards Barnsley. It is simply a branch out of Ogilby’s road from London, going north to Richmond. The latter leaves the high ground springing the Calder after passing Kirkburton. Crossing the beck at Wood- some Mill the road climbed round the grounds of Woodsome Hall to enter Almondbury by St. Helen’s Gate,

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127 Wortley and went forward across the River Don on to the ridge along Salter Hill along the high ground above the Little Don River until they came to the Flouch Inn on the Barnsley-Stockport turnpike, at a point three miles east of Saltersbrook Bridge. This is decidedly a ridge-way touching 1,000 feet. On it are two old milestones, both naming Huddersfield. The first, which appears to have been moved, was formerly at the cross roads one furlong south of Wortley. It records the distances :—

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‘Shepley,’ and ‘Commerworth’ for ‘Cumberworth.’ Many of Warburton’s words were abbreviated, e.g. ‘Upper Cumberworth T:B. SE 85°,’ where ‘T’ stands for ‘town’ and ‘B’ for ‘bearing.’ ‘Hall’ is usually ‘H’ whilst ‘Rd’ (road), ‘Rt’ (right), ‘Lt’ (left) and ‘Res.’ (resident) need no comment.

Warburton was constantly in touch with his surveyor and hé probably assisted in reading the theodolite whenever it was taken up a tower to record the directions of the features visible all round the prospect. But his chief object was to visit the gentry to induce them to subscribe to his map offering them the bait of decorating the map with their arms. Occasionally he made a very crude small sketch of his host’s house, but he had engaged Samuel

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Station Bearing.

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Station Bearing

31 32 33 35

36 37



Al 42


db Ad.


46 AT

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Siation Bearing


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Station Bearing Distances

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Warburton ‘descends Leasurely’ along Broad. Lane, Black House on the right, crosses Clough Dike and climbs to the Top of the Butts. From here his route takes us along Whistones- lane, Cross-lane, Wood-lane and Jenkin-lane to Upper Shepley. With slight deviations, the old route from Shepley to Penistone was identical with the later turnpike road of 1777. Just before reaching Penistone, at Nether Field Chapel, is a guide stoop which indicates :—

London 177 Huddersfield 124 Penistone 4

Warburton crossed the ‘River Din by A

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137 particularly by the Hansons of Woodhouse in 1553 and 1599. By

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account of the old highway. The route which he followed formed part of the first ‘Wakefield to Austerlands Turnpike,’ the authority for which was granted in 1759. This turnpike road is indicated as such on Jefferys’ map of 1772 and it is identical with Warbur- ton’s description. For the first part of the road to

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The ‘Old Road’ continues by way of Overton, which Warbur- ton described as ‘Uppertown. Properly Upper Shitlington.’ On Jefferys’ map it is marked as ‘Over Shittlington.’ Passing Grange Hall, Warburton’s route follows the turnpike road until ‘Legit’ (Lidgate, between Great and Little Lepton) is reached. The old road to Huddersfield went by way of

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the head waters of the River Colne to those of the River Don. It links Marsden to Meltham, Meltham to Holmfirth and the last one to Penistone. Starting at Marsden the old Manchester road is foi- lowed as far as Holt Head where the roads converge on it from Slaithwaite and Linthwaite. At this point it breaks away to the east and climbs to the pass (900 ft.) between Meltham Cop (1,000 ft.) and Deer Hill (1,400 ft.) to drop down to cross Meltham Dike at Mean Bridge and enter Meltham, A milestone has

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way from Meltham the road is a sunken lane, winding and undu- lating—a typical early track. From Upperthong there is the choice of two ways. The upper one, Thong-lane, leads from the east end of Upperthong village; the lower one, Broad-lane, passes a num- ber of settlements such as Lower Nether House and Royd Top. Strings of hamlets and farmsteads situated midway between the valley bottoms and the moorland are a notable feature of the Southern Pennines.

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149 I guide-stoops which bear witness to the existence and former. importance of this hilly cross-route which carries the traveller

out of the basin of the river Colne and its tributaries over the watershed into that of the Don.

This ‘handbook does not attempt to look at individual villages and to trace their links with Almondbury or Huddersfield; nor does it follow the growth of Huddersfield itself. Most of these can be traced in the succession of maps preserved at the Tolson Museum. The Ramsden family may now be looked upon as enterprising land-owners who gave Huddersfield good, wide streets and fresh outlets, but the direction of medieval Huddersfield was deter- mined long before the Ramsdens came to Almondbury. The names

W. H. Sikes

37. Maythorn Cross, New Mill

of the existing streets and the site of the church show that Medieval Huddersfield lay in the direction taken by Ogilby—as he traversed it from the long bridge. From Almondbury what is now the Old Bank came down to Moldgreen and the Long Bridge (Somerset Bridge). Thence through Upper Aspley the streetway went by The Shore to ‘Kirkgate,’ ‘the way to the church’ in the northern tongue, and so by Northgate towards the Fartown (a name which is of more modern origin than the others). An alternative way went by the Open Fields, first by Castlegate, by Lowerhead Row and Northgate. Leeds also had its Upper Headrow and Lower Headrow (now amalgamated into

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