The Legends and Traditions of Huddersfield and Its District: Volume I, Part III (1942) by Philip Ahier

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, BY I I PHILIP AHIER. Price 2/6.



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To my old friend,

PHILIP H. LEE, has in Ne Haye of a early struggles in the inde of Local History, gave me much encouragement

and considerable assistance.

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CHAPTER VI.—Legends and Traditions relating to I I Places : I I

‘ I. Churches I

_ II. Halls and Dwelling Houses ...

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eee EE

Castle Hill. I St. Peter’s Huddersfield, in 1836. Almondbury Parish Church. Kirkburton Church. ae JXirkheaton Church. Emley Church. Hill Manor House. I

Deadmanstone House.

. Emley New Hall.

Eraley Market Cross. Fenay " The Orangery at Fixby. The in Fixby. I red Rane of ine Baty Fixby Park.

The so-called ‘‘Haunted Room,’’ Newhouse Hall.

Gledholt Hall. Milnsbridge House, 1829. The Former Wing of Newhouse Hall.

Quarmby Hall.

‘Thickhollins, Meltham.

Whitley Hall.

Wormall Hall, (Almondbury Conservative Club).

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I regret that I have not been able to fulfil the promise made in the Preface to Part II. of presenting to my readers the story of “The Elland Feud.” Two reasons have prevented my so doing ; first, owing to the War, I have not been fortunate in securing the loan of a hitherto unpublished MS. which gives an account of this vendetta; this document, now lodged in a safe underground store- house, I had hoped, would have been printed as one of the original sources of the Feud; secondly, my own contribution to the exist- ing literature on “The Feud”? had assumed such bulky proportions _ that Pehle have been compelled to have increased the price, which, these days of national economy, I desired to hod.” Consequently, I have had to abandon very reluctantly my original


In this Part, I have recorded the Legends and Traditions’ related of Churches and Dwelling Houses, besides adding matter Mitel. in the case of Fixby, has not yet permanently appeared in I print. Part IV. will deal with the &c.’’ concerning demolished buildings such as Cook’s Study, Lower Hurst at

Longwood, etc.

Again, I have to tender me ven best thanks to the Proprietors of the ‘‘Huddersfield Daily Examiner”’ for their great kindness in loaning me photographic blocks to illustrate the book, and, the same remarks apply to the Committee of the Tolson

Museum at Ravensknowle.

This Preface would not be complete without my expressing,

as on many previous occasions, my great debt of gratitude to Mr.

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Vili Horace Goulden, F.L.A., our esteemed Public Librarian, and to his Assistants, in particular, Mr. Charles Bennett, who, at all times, are ever ready to give me facilties in our Public Library to collect material from old Press cutting books, &c. To them all,

I am considerably indebted.


24, Lightridge Road, Sheepridge, I Huddersfield, I August, 1941,

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Camden, in his ‘‘Magna Britannia’’ (1584), wrote a most fanciful account of a cathedral church built by Paulinus on the top of Castle Hill. When translated into English, Camden’s story (Camden wrote in Latin) reads thus :

‘‘Six miles from hence, (that is from Halifax) and not far from the river Calder, near unto Almondbury, a little town standing upon a high and steep hill, which has no easy passage or even ground unto it but on one side, are seen the manifest tokens of a some ruin of walls and a castle, which was guarded with a triple strength of forts and bulwarks. Some will have this to be Olicana, but the truth saith otherwise, and namely, that it is Cambodunum, which Ptolemy called Amiss Camulodunum, and Bede, a word divided Campo-dunum. This is proved by the dis— tance thereof, on the one side from Mancunium (Manchester), on the other from Calcaria (Tadcaster); according to which Antonine placeth it. Moreover, it seems to have flourished with very great honour when the English Saxons first began to rule. For the king’s town it was—and had in it—a cathedral church, built by Paulinus, the Apostle of those parts, and the same dedicated to St. Alban; whence instead of Albonbury, it is now called Almon- bury. But when Cadwall, the Briton, and Penda, the Mercian, made sharp war upon Edwin, the king of these countries, it was set on fire by the enemy, as*-Bede writeth (the Venerable Bede) ; which the very adust and burnt colour, yet remaining nee the stone, doth testify.’

The FOOTE statements made the Camden we now ieee to be fiction :— I

In the first place, the hill fort on the top of Castle Hill is definitely a pre-historic earthwork, almost similar in structure to Wuliam’s Hill at Middleham.

Secondly, ‘Castle Hill was known as and not as Cambodunum, the latter may have been at Greetland—the older theory that it was at Slack, near Outlane, having been discarded.

Thirdly, there is no record of a cathedral church ever having been built by Paulinus either on the top of Castle Hill, or on the site of the present church of All Hallows’, Almondbury, while the place name Almondbury has no connection whatever with St. Alban. The visit of Paulinus to this district, 620 A.D., is, as already stated (p. 21), discredited by modern historians.

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Aerial Photo by Mr. Peter Firth.


(Reproduced by courtesy of the Castle Hill Exeavations Committee).


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Fourthly, the Battle of Heathfield or Hadfield, fought in 633 A.D. between Penda, King of Mercia, and Cadwallon, King of a part of Wales, against Edwin, King of Northumbria, is supposed to have taken place near Doncaster, which, in Roman days was known as Campodunum.

the other hand, much burnt and fused stone does occur in the ramparts and has been thought to have been the result of frequent conflagrations of the wooden palisade which at one surrounded the rampart. ‘“The cause of this ‘vitrifaction’ as Mr. J. A. Petch said, is, however, a matter of dispute.’’ (‘‘Early Man in Huddersfield, Tolson Memorial Handbook, p. 66).

In August, 1939, Castle Hill was excavated by Mr. W. S. Varley, .M-A., F.S. A.: in the Report published by Mr. Varley, appears the following paragraph : —

‘In five out of the six sections cut through the inner ramparts there were indisputable signs of a great destruction by fire. The oak beams had been charred, in literally burnt to a cinder, and the intermediate layers of earth fired to the colour of brick. Experiments are now in progress to determine the conditions required to produce such effects, but from close observation on the site we came to the that the fire spread along the beams, and that these could only have been deliberately fired, after the encasing walls of stone had been partially demolished. = In other words, it is our present opinion, that’ the pene represents a deliberate attempt at destruction.’

With regard to the experiments above by Mr. Varley, Dr. j. Grainger, the Curator of the Tolson Memorial Museum, writes me the following : —— 7

“We tried the experunent here at Ravensknowle of making a scale model of the ramparts, and lighting a fire in front of it. The flames from this’ fire were directed towards the model by a fan producing a wind of approximately six miles per hour. This was not effective in setting the ramparts on fire and although this experiment is open to certain criticism, I think it indicates very clearly the difficulty of getting the murus gallicus (the ramparts) ablaze. We are carrying out further experiments.’


Tradition says that the first Parish Church in Huddersfield was erected about the year 1073, some seven years. after ihe Norman Conquest, by Walter de Laci, the son of Ilbert, to whom the Manor of Huddersfield (besides many others) had been

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granted by William the Conqueror after the dispossession of its former Anglian owner, Godwin.

The story goes that Walter de Laci, while journeying on horseback between Huddersfield and Halifax, had the misfortune to tumble into a swampy marsh between these two places. In his predicament, he vowed to the Almighty, that if he should emerge alive from the morass, he would build and dedicate a Church in his father’s Manor. He escaped and fulfilled his vow. It is

said that this early Norman church, dedicated to St. Peter, ‘‘a small and unpretentious structure’? was consecrated by the Bishop

' of Negropont; the advowson (i.e., the right to appoint the vicar)

was conferred by Hugh de Laval, Lord of the Manor of Hudders— field (1122-1181), upon the of St. Oswald at Nostell ae theryear .. .

The second Parish Church was built in 1508 ccs thase authority says 1506, a third, 1507) and was probably an enlargement of the first; the third Parish Church (the present sacred edifice) in 1836.


.Two interesting problems in connection with the first Parish Church of St. Peter are the exact sites of the former Chantry Chapels which were associated with the sacred edifice.

A chantry was a chapel either inside a church or a separate building erected at some distance from the mother church (such as that at Wakefield) where masses were sung for the souls of departed persons.

Within or without the Parish Church of Huddersfield, there were, in Pre-Reformation times, two Chantry Chapels :—



(i) From the ‘‘Valor Ecclesiasticus,’’ compiled in 1534 giving details of the property, &c., of the Parish Church at Huddersfield in that year, we learn, respecting the second, that ‘‘the sayd Chappyll is distant from the Parysh Church.”’ _ The Chantry of the Holy Trinity was founded by Thomas Stapleton, Lord of the Manor of Quarmby, who died in 1525 or ‘6, and who married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Neville, of Liversedge, and was himself buried in the Church.

A tradition has been handed down that this Chantry stood at the top of Quarmby Clough and that a field bearing the name of — the Chapel Field perpetuates the memory of this former Chantry.

There may be some vestige of truth in this tradition, for it is possible that Thomas Stapleton erected this Chantry to replace a former Oratory which had been built by Alice, the widow of John

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de Quarmby IV. in 1328, having previously obtained license from the Archbishop of York todo so. (Y.A.J., Vol. VIIIL., p. 518).

Apart from the survival of the field name ‘‘Chapel Field,’’ there is no documentary evidence that the Chantry of the Holy. Trinity stood in Quarmby.

(11) It has generally been assumed that the Chantry dedicated ‘to the Blessed Virgin was a side chapel within the precincts of the first Parish Church. Until this statement is disproved, little is concerning it except what is recorded in the ‘‘Valor Ecclesiasticus’’ (Huddersfield Parish Church Magazine, November, 1885). I

On the other hand, tradition has been very busy in giving the locations of at least tw former Catholic chapels which existed, or are believed to have existed, in Pre-Reformation days in the ‘Manor of Huddersfield.

I was told that a Catholic chapel had at sae Dae stood somewhere in Fartown and that the base of one of its pillars stood in a garden off Bradford Road. I examined this pillar on New Day of 1931, but came to the conclusion that it was fairly -modern. Lt

As already stated, there is the tradition that a part of agp Hall “was used as a Chapel (p. 6). I

All these traditions, however, must be discounted unitil MN documentary evidence is forthcoming to substantiate them.


C. A. Hulbert, in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury’’ ip fee When referring to the former Parish Clerk’s House which stood on a site now marked by a tablet stone, said there was ‘‘a tradition that a tumulus or mound existed at the west end where the clerk’s house now stands, and which may have been an ancient British sacred site, and led to the erection of the Church,’’ now All Hallows, Almondbury. I I

It is certain that the Parish Church of All Hallows is built on an eminence, but whether there was an ancient British Sacred Site in former days at Almondbury is a matter of conjecture.

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The actual date of the building of the first Parish Church in I that locality is not known. Dr. G. W. Morrison, in his *‘Short History of the Parish Church”’ (p. 1) says: ‘‘A small church now the chancel, built in the Early English style with double plain lancet windows, arose about the close of the twelfth century, and a rector was appointed to serve a very large district: westward of the Pennines.’ .

The Clerk’s House referred to by Canon Hulbert was demolished in 1907 and the tablet stone which stood on it built _against the west wall of the churchyard. It has the following inscription engraved upon it:

ret 765 Built by Mrs. JANE PENAY For the Parish Clerk Who is not to sell any Ale, Wine, or Strong Liquor.’’

“The Clerk’s House, of which the stone above formed a portion, stood on a site adjoining this spot, opposite the west door of the church. The house was demolished in sed a


This was a Chapel founded by the Kayes of Woodsome in days on a site later known as the Chapel Yard, This Chapel also gave its name to the steep road called St. Helen’s Gate where a well bearing her name existed up till 1916.

Canon Hulbert, in his of Almondbury’’ (p. 70), ex- pressed the view that :—

‘“The primitive church erected by the Lacies, had probably long become inadequate to the requirements of the increasing population, when quieter times arrived, after the Wars of the Roses,’’ and that the Kayes of Woodsome built the chapel to meet this need.

On the other hand, it is more likely that the edifice was primarily erected as a Chantry Chapel, endowed by the Kayes, so that priests might pray for their souls and those of their ancestors. To this Chapel, there is reason to believe there was attached a Chantry School and that the Chantry priest acted as Schoolmaster. (On this point, see Mr. Taylor Dyson’s ‘‘Almondbury and Its Ancient School,’”’ p. 11). I

In the Archives of Woodsome Hall, there was, at one time, ‘‘an old Manuscript of Woodsome,’’ which, when Canon Hulbert wrote his ‘‘Annals,’’ was ‘‘no longer to be found,’’ but a copy thereof was in the possession of Miss Crosland of Clare Hill. This

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(Reproduced by courtesy of the Proprietors of the Huddersfield Examiner.’’)


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MS. ‘was compiled by John Kaye (d. after 1593), and, concerning this Chapel, he wrote :—

‘‘Arthur Kave’s ancestors buylded a chappel of Old Tyme, in the lane above the Butts at Sr. Elyn Well. About pmo. Edw. : sexti, he and I (namely, his son John) dyd shift it. And by con- sent of the Parish dyd translate the same into the Schole House, that now is, and I (that is, John) dyd p’cure (=procure) one Mr.. Smith, a good scholar to com and teach there.’’

Thus, it would seem that the Chapel or Chantry of St. Helen was demolished in 1547, and, with its stones, &c., a school was erected on a site below. It is conceivable, that, after the Dissolu- — tion of the Monasteries and Chantries in 1539, and the previous enlargement of the Church of All Hallows, St. Helen’s Chapel served no useful purpose, consequently, the Kayes of Woodsome, realising the importance of maintaining an educational establish— ment in Almondbury, ‘‘with the consent of the Parish,’’ built what was probably the second Grammar School in the locality. (See Mr. Taylor Dyson’s account of the four phases of the Grammar School in his ‘‘History of Almondbury and Its Ancient School"’ (pp 11-15). _ ‘There is no mention of St. Helen’s Chantry in the Survey of 1546, but, as Mr. Taylor Dyson explains, the list of Chantries then compiled was known to be incomplete, some were ‘‘kept at the discretion and cost of the inhabitants without any fixed endow- ment, or because the Commissioners did not know they were _ chantries, or because they were concealed.’’ (loc. cit. p. 14).

Unfor the Chantry of St. Helen at Almondbury has been confused with that of Farnley near Leeds. The error arose under these circumstances :- - : : I

Dodsworth, in his visit to this locality, transcribed the deeds of Fixby,' one of which recited that, at some date between 1240 — and 1250, Sir John de Wridlesford, Lord of the Manor of Fixby, granted to his sister Maud and. her husband, Michael de Briest- wistle, and their heirs ‘‘all his land in Fekesby; both in lordships and services, etc., at the annual rent to the chapel of St. Helen of Farnley, of one pound of wax for making a candle to burn before the crucifix, and for maintaining a lamp before the altar of the _ Blessed Virgin Mary, in the same chapel, etc.’’ I

The Chapel of St. Helen at Farnley was first identified by Mr.

A. S. Ellis who annotated the Dodsworth MS. printed in

Yorkshire Archeological Journal (Vol. VII., p. 187).as St. Helen’s Chantry at Almondbury, but Mr. Charles T. Clay, in his annota- tions of the Fixby Deeds, says that the Farnley mentionéd in the deed is ‘‘the vill of that name near Leeds’’ (Yorkshire Deeds, Vol. IV., p. 52, note 1). I

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Mr. Taylor Dyson, in his ‘‘History of Almondbury and Its Ancient School’’ (p. 12, p. 109), fell in the same error as Mr. A. S. Ellis, and represented St. Helen’s Chapel at Almondbury to have _ been endowed by John de Wridlesford, Lord of the Manor of Fixby. The statement did not appear in his later work, ‘*The History of Huddersfield and Its District.’’


These are problems which have intrigued our former local historians and topographers, Four questions arise, of which three can be certainly answered :—

(a) Was there a building at one time dedicated to this Saint

at some distance from the Parish Church of Almondbury and which had some quasi-religious significance ?

The answer is in the and the first documentary reference relating to it is The Rental of Henry de Laci, Earl of Lincoln, Lord of the Manor of Almondbury, compiled in 1296. (Y.A.J., Vol. 13, p. 414). Almost at the conclusion of this Rental is a payment of “three shillings made to the Master of the Hospital of St. Nicholas from one tenth of the Herbage of the Park.’’

This entry has been overlooked by all our local historians, nevertheless, it definitely proves that the Lord of the Manor made a contribution from his rents in Almondbury towards the upkeep of the Hospital of St. Nicholas.

As Hospitals originally .developed from Monasteries and

Friaries, it would seem that there must have been some such small foundation in Almondbury in the Middle Ages. A tradition had Jong persisted in the locality that a Monastery had once been in existence there, even Canon Hulbert, in his ‘‘Annals of Almond- bury’’ p. 144), when describing Townend (photo on p. 106) stated that ‘‘an old inhabitant says it was called ‘The Monastery.’’’ On this point, Canon Hulbert later obtained information that St. Nicholas House stood near Broken Cross (loc. cit. p. 251). When further documents such as Rentals, Court Rolls, NC, relating to the Manor of Almondbury are discovered, it is con— ceivable that further information concerning this early Monastic settlement—cum- Hospital will be revealed.

ib) Was there an altar dedicated to St. Nicholas within the precincts of the sacred edifice ? Here again, we have documentary evidence which supplies an affirmative answer :— (i) The will of John Wood (or Wodde) of Longley who died in 1538, directed that his body should be buried in ‘‘the Parish

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Church of Almondbury before St. Nicholas.”’ (‘‘Torre’s Testa— mentary Burials,’’ quoted by Canon Hulbert, ‘‘Annals of Almond- bury,;’’ p. 228), I I (li) From the Chantry Act of 1546, whereby Henry VIII. ordered a valuation of all chantries and endowments, we learn, as regards the Church of Almondbury :— .

in the Parish Church of Almondbury, there are several services perpetuities, I

One service of St. Nicholas—clere remane of the rental of 8/2d. goods £5-5-0, plate 48/-, etc.”? (Mr. Taylor Dyson, ‘“History of Huddersfield and Its District,’’p. 210). :

(c) Where was the altar of St. Nicholas situated within the Church ? I I

Mr. Taylor Dyson, M.A., in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and Its District,’’ (p. 211) endeavoured to give the answer, a an, the _ Beaumont Chapel where the organ stands, or in the body of the nave? We cannot say definitely ?’’ ee

(d) Was there any connection between the House of St. Nicholas outside the Church and the altar of St. Nicholas within its precincts? —

The answer to this question was supplied by the Jurors at the time of the Inquisition held into the Manor of Almondbury in the year 1584 by order of the Crown :—

“There is one house called St. Nicholas House and one acre of land to the same appertaining within the Manor of Almondbury, sometime belonging, as they think, to the service of St. Nicholas in the Church of Almondbury, now in the tenure of John Hepworth, being in the hands of Her Majesty . . . for which there is yearly answered to Her Majesty by Her Majesty’s Receiver, 8/2d.”’

The Inquisition also took cognisance of the fact that there was ‘‘one cottage at the West end of the steeple built upon the grounds of the said Nicholas for the use of the clarke of Almond— bury for the time being.”’

F'rom both the Chantry Act of 1546 and the 1584 Inquisition we can conclude that— (i) The House or Chapel or Hospital of St. Nicholas had been suppressed as a religious or quasi-religious institution, its revenues had been confiscated by the Crown which appropriated the rental of 8/2d. annually from the lease of the premises and its immediate lands. — I I (ii) That in 1584, the House of St. Nicholas was still standing.

(iii) The Parish Clerk's House was built upon land which nad formerly belonged to that institution.

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(iv) Some connection existed between the building and the service of St. Nicholas within the Parish Church. 2

As there is no mention of a Hospital or a Monastery in the Inquisition, it must be presumed that the original functions of the I foundation had fallen into disuse and that the building was purely used for ecclesiastical purposes in early 16th century days.

In 1627, King Charles I. sold the Manor of Almondbury to Sir John Ramsden, Kt., and, included in the transaction, was the Chappell,’’ as it subsequently came to be known. I

Sir John Ramsden (1594—1646) ‘ordered the survey of the ‘‘Towneshipp of Almanberie’’? to be made in 1634, and the old plan of the Manor is now in the possession of the Almondbury Church School. A study of this map showed, so Mr. J. Nowell stated in 1865, ‘‘a little plot of ground of 65 perches, called the ‘Chappell’ (cf. p. 181), then occupied by Arthur Hirst, as well as the field adjacent called ‘the Mole Bank,’ an area of 1 ac. ro. 35 perches. This corresponds nearly to the St. Nicholas House.”’ (Hobkirk, ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’? 2nd Edition, p. 91). _

Through the courtesy of Mr. S. Weedon, the present Head Master of the Almondbury Church Schools, I was privileged to see this old plan of ‘‘Almanberie.’’ The Mole Bank (or Barn) covering an area of 2 ac. ro. 35 per. is marked on the left hand side of what is now called Kaye Lane on the way to Castle Hill. There is also indicated a plot of 65 perches likewise allocated to Arthur Hirst, but there is no mention of the word ‘‘Chappell’”’ as suggested by Mr. J. Nowell, although there are some undecipher- able letters above the words ‘65 per.’’ I I

Mr. John Nowell, who supplied Hobkirk with the bulk of the information on the House of St. Nicholas, was of the opinion that. “the most likely: site for St. Nicholas House’’ was ‘‘in the little field opposite to the West end of the Workhouse, which field partly reaches down to Wheatroyd, and on the right hand as we walk down the narrow lane which leads from Kaye Lane, close to the Workhouse end, which is about the spot laid down in the old plan as the ‘Chappell’.’’

The old Almondbury Workhouse, in 1876, ‘‘in a dilapidated together with 1769 square yards of land at the junc- ture of Wheatroyd Lane with Kaye Lane, at Broken Cross, with other buildings, &c., were sold in the January of that year to Sir John William Ramsden, Bart., with the consent of the Charity Commissioners. Since that date, there has been much develop- ment on both sides of Kaye Lane, that it is very difficult to locate precisely where the places above mentioned exactly stood. I

I It is not known when the House of St. Nicholas was’ de- molished, but it would seem that it took place at some date be-

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tween 1584 and 1634, as it is not marked on the Township Map ot that last named year. ©

Mr. Nowell supposed that ‘‘St. Nicholas House’’ was a kind of Oratory at the entrance of the village (of Almondbury), and, as such, would doubtless be furnished with a Cross, before which the traveller could repeat. his prayers.’’ (Hobkirk, ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’’ Second Edition, p. 91).

It would thus seem that the House of St. Nicholas was or- iginally a Hospital attached to some long since forgotten monas— tic settlement, definitely in existence in 1296; that there was a connection between it and the Altar dedicated to the same patron _ Saint in the Parish Church, and that presumably religious services were held in its precincts up till the time of the Reformation.

It does not, however, appear to have been a Chantry Chapel as was St. Helen’s Chapel in St. Helen’s Gate.

There was, therefore, no lack of Churches or Chapels to meet the spiritual needs of the scattered population of the then extensive ecclesiastical Parish of Almondbury.

In a letter to the ‘‘Huddersfield Examiner,’’ dated October 9th, 1989, Mr. S. V. Lewthwaite, of ‘‘The Mount,’’ Farnley Tyas, gave an account of certain ‘‘Roman Remains¥ which, he stated, existed in the vicinity of Almondbury and Farnley Tyas ; these included wells and underground tunnels, one of the latter, so Mr. Lewthwaite asserted, led ‘‘to the site of St. Nicholas Church. This Church -was burnt down nine or so years “ago, about the second of November.’

I replied to this letter on October 12th, 1989, by saying that I had read ‘‘The Examiner’’ every day for over twenty years, but I did not seem to have noted in its columns an account of the destruction by fire of this edifice at any time, say, between 1920 and 1940. Moreover, I added, that if this building had been burnt down during those years, Mr. Taylor Dyson, M.A., in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’’ written in 1932, would have duly mentioned the fact.


with the House of St. Nicholas, according to Mr. J. Nowell and Canon C. A. Hulbert, was the Cross believed. to have been situated in front of the sacred edifice.

Mr. Nowell formulated the opinion that ‘‘probably the Cross would be broken down in the time of the Puritans, or at any rate defaced.’’ (Hobkirk, ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’’ p. 91). This Cross, in its ‘‘broken’’ form, seems to have been in existence in early 19th century days, for Canon Hulbert, in his “Annals of Almondbury’’ (p. 148), tells of an aged resident of

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that locality who had informed him that ‘‘he could remember an old Cross situated in Kaye Lane, on the road to Castle Hill.’’ Two interesting problems arise in connection with this Cross. : I ty Te (1) When, and for what purpose was it erected ?

No less than three hypotheses have been formulated regard-

ing its origin :— I (a) Canon Hulbert was of the opinion that it was one of a series of crosses which were erected after the traditional visit of Paulinus to this district, circa. 620 A.D. ‘‘Broken Cross and Fenay Cross, no longer visible, but their situations well known, were probably placés or stations of preaching.’’ (‘‘Annals of p. 71).

The late Rev. G. W.. Morrison, M.A., Ph.D., in his

of the Parish Church,’’ wrote:

“The hamlet of Broken Cross may mark the site of a preach- ing station in pre-Norman days.’’ But, as already stated, the visit of Paulinus to this district is discredited by modern his— torians (p. 21). oN _ (b) It has been suggested that Broken Cross marks the site of the old Market lace of Almondbury, and that the original cross erected there was the Market Cross of that township set up by Henry de Laci, Earl of Lincoln, Lord of the Manors of Al-

mondbury and Huddersfield, shortly after he had acquired Market. I Rights for Almondbury in 1272, from King Edward I. (Hab-

kirk, ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’? Second Edition, pr

But against this theory, it must be stated that the site of Broken Cross is too far away from the centre of Almondbury ; Markets were usually held within close proximity to the Parish Church, and, if a Market Cross were erected at Almondbury in 1272 (or shortly after), it would have been placed at a reasonable distance from the Church of All Hallows.

Huddersfield, through the instrumentality of its Lord of the Manor, Sir John Ramsden (1648—1690), acquired Market Rights in 1672, and it has been suggested, (but wrongly), that after the Market Cross had been erected in the Market Place at Hudders- field, that at Almondbury was ‘‘broken’’ into two pieces !

(c) In 1865, much speculation arose regarding the derivation of the place-name Broken Cross. Mr. J. Nowell put forward the theory, as outlined previously, that the Cross had some con- nection with the House of St. Nicholas, and that it stood in front of the edifice. . If this theory be correct, then the date of its erection would be in 13th century days, as the Hospital was in existence in 1296. (p. 136). :

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(2) When was the Cross broken ? It has been suggested that the place name Broken Cross

arose after the Reformation, when large numbers of Catholic _ symbols and images were destroyed.

But the locality name of Broken Cross, as it was known in inid—nineteenth century days, does not appear in 16th or 17th century documents relating to Almondbury; moreover, there is good reason to believe, as we Shall state later, that “The Cros3s”’ was very much intact in Elizabethan and early Stuart days; and must have escaped the Puritan fanaticism :—

(i) Among the Jurors empanelled to enquire into the Manor

Almondbury in 1584 was John Kaye of ‘‘The Cross’’ which

suggests that the symbol of Christianity was in existence in that year. :

_ (ii) John Kay, probably a descendant of the former, described as ‘‘of Crosse,’’ paid tax on three fire places as his quota to the Hearth Tax in 1664; this also suggests that the Cross was in toto in that year.

The first documentary reference relating to the place-name ‘Broken Cross’’ which I have so far discovered, occurs in the will of the Rev. Carns Philipson, M.A., Vicar of Almondbury, 1683 - 1706. In this testament, dated August 22nd, 1708, he bequeathed, amongst other items, to his son and heir, “My frechold estate in Honley, my copyhold estate in Almondbury, except the tenement at Broken Cross.’ (Quoted by Dr. H. J. Morehouse, in jiis annotation of ‘‘The Diary’’ of the Rev. Meeke, Curate of Slaithwaite, p. 18). I

It is therefore probable, but cannot be proved definitely, that the Cross in Kaye Lane was ‘‘broken’’ at some date between 1664 and 1708. (v) THE LEAD ROOF ON THE CHURCH OF ALL HALLOWS.

Canon Hulbert, when describing the exterior ornamentation. of the Church (‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ p. 20), remarked :—

‘There is a tradition that the Church was originally covered

_ with lead (and there were found indications of gutters and battle-

ments); that the false economy of the Churchwardens, more than two centuries ago, led them to sell the lead to a builder who con- tracted to supply the plain stone slate roof, which existed until 1878; and that the Contractor cleared a large sum by.the bargain. It is probable that at that time the flat ceiling over the chancel was introduced, which has been removed, and the ‘‘High embowed roof’? of oak been substituted by the Patron and chief Lay Im—

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propriator, Sir John William Ramsden, Bart. No memorandum on account of this barbarous spoliation is preserved in the Parish Books, which extend back to 1692, or the Registers which com— mence in 1557,”’

The reverend gentleman wrote the above paragraph on Meare sh

25th, 1874, and between that date and January 1880, when the first part of his ‘‘Annals’’ was published, he had an opportunity of consulting the Churchwardens’ Accounts to ascertain whether the tradition was accurate or not; on pages 103-109, he printed various extracts from these Accounts ‘and gave the following among them :

“1711. Pd. Josh. North for ye Upper Church Roof taking off and laing on as was agreed per the Town £9 Os. Od.’’

‘‘For Lower Church Roof taking off and laying on again co Os. Od.”’

‘“This was probably the tira the lead roof was ex- changed for a stone one, much to the advantage of Mr. North,’’ commented Canon Hulbert. I


Reference has already been made to this Cross as one of those alleged to have been erected after the traditional visit of Paulinus to this district in 620 A.D.; this statement has been completely disproved and the origin of this ‘‘imported’’ Cross duly given (p 23).

During the last century there was much speculation as to its origin and purpose, while attempts were made to link up the Cross with the history and building of Christ Church at Woodhouse.

Thus, the late Mr. Friend Hepworth, in his ‘‘Memoirs,’ written in 1910, wrote an exceedingly lengthy paragraph on the subject :—

‘Previous to Woodhouse Church being built, there had been services held for generations on the spot where the worn Cross now stands in the vicarage grounds.(!) This Cross is a very ancient landmark, and had been there for at least four hundred vears. People came from far and near to worship at Woodhouse Cross, that having been the name of the Cross from time im-

memorial. Even in my early days it was called the Woodhouse ~

Cross. For instance, people would say that they had met other people at ‘Woodhus Cross,’ short for Woodhouse. As the later generations of the parishioners, who were living before the Church

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erected, died, the old name of Cross fell into disuse and church

was substituted for cross. I have often searched for the history of this old cross, but always without success. 1 suppose there must be a record of it somewhere. It is, however, supposed to & one of those crosses which, centuries ago, were placed in various parts of the country to mark the site of preaching stations. You will therefore see that Woodhouse has been a place of worship for centuries, and that there is no doubt whatever that when Mr, John Whitacre first entertained the idea of building a church, he would naturally choose the place where the services had been held for sO many years.

I am very much afraid that the late Mr. F. Hepworth, and several others who followed him, drew considerably upon their I imagination when they formulated the above theories, while the supposed link between this Cross and the Church is decidedly non- existent.

In the first place, the locality of Woodhouse was never known as Woodhouse Cross, at least, not in official documents. There is no reference to this so-called locality in the deeds relating to the former Manor of Woodhouse (Y.A.J., Vol. VII., p. 279); in the “MS. Account Book of the Surveyors of the Hi vi of Far- town’’ (1715-1791), there are details of repairs cine effected at Woodhouse Road in 1790; in the Award under the Huddersfield Enclosure Act, 1789, there is no mention of Woodhouse Cross; while the Act of Parliament enabling John Whitacre to build Chrisi Church is silent upon the former existence of a Cross in the district.

Secondly, Christ Church was built by John Whitacre in 1824 whereas the Cross on the lawn at the Vicarage was placed there sometime during the vicariate of the Rev. Robert Crowe, M.A , FP RAS. (1854 + 1898) and certainly before 1868 when Hobkirk first described it in his second edition of his ‘‘History of Hudders- field”’ (p. 104). Consequently the Church preceded the Cross and not vice-versa as in the case of many other me aN a parish churches.

Thirdly, the Church was built on the opposite side of the road to the present vicarage lawn; the Vicarage was originally built as a private dwelling-house in the year 1792 by John Whitacre, the

father of the builder of the Church, who left his former residence

at Longwood House at the top of Netheroyd Hill Road to dwell in this new abode.

: Lastly, the Cross on the Vicarage Lawn, as already stated, marked the buria! site of a pet dog belonging to Mrs, Robert. Crowe, the wife of the Vicar above mentioned.

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; i


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renter noes mane nc HS es



Page 29


Dr. H. J. Morehouse, in his of the Parish of Kirk- burton and of the carey of Holme’’ (p. 59) records :—

‘“A legendary story remembered by some of the old people in the parish, which represents that when the Church was to be rebuilt, it was the desire of many of the parishioners to have it erected on Stocks Moor, in Thurstonland ; but no sooner had they determined to do so, and begun to convey the materials to the place, than they were <s speedily removed back to Burton, that is, what materials had been brought in the day, were moved to Burton in the night so that the parishioners were at length obliged to

adopt the ancient site!’’ (An almost similar story is told of

Emley Parish Church, p. 150).

es story,’ says Dr. Morehouse, ‘ ‘appears to embody a probable fact under a very superstitous garb.”’

In a lengthy paragraph, Dr. Morehouse states that the original church at Kirkburton was situated at the eastern end of the parish which was then more populated and fertile than the other; when the population increased, efforts were made by those in the western part to have the built in a more central position in the Parish, and the site in Stocksmoor seemed the most advantageous. He then suggested that the Lords of the Manors of Burton and Shelley were probably averse to any change of site and that perhaps a popular feeling also existed in favour of the. retention of the old site. If the church authorities at Kirkburton had originally intended to change the site of the church, the plan must have been abandoned, but, to accommodate the spiritual

of the western part oF the Parish, a Chapel of Ease was

built at Holmfirth, either in the days of Edward III. or of Edward


Dr. H. J. Morehouse gave a very good reason for the Chapel

Holmfirth having been built in the days of Edward Ill,

At the moment, there are many “caps ’’ in the histories of both the parish churches of Kirkburton and of Holmfirth, and, until further documentary evidence is forthcoming, it is difficult to state definitely whether in the long reign of Edward III., 1327- 1377, there was a movement to build a church in the centre of the existing’ parish of Kirkburton.

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(Reproduced by courtesy of the Proprietors of the © Huddersfield Examiner.’’)


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Reference has already been made to Sir Richard Beaumont (Black Dick) and to the handsome monument erected to his memory by his cousin Sir Thomas Beaumoni, to be seen on the north wail

of the Beaumont Chapel (p. 41).

Numerous stories, apochryphal and true, are told concerning Black Dick’s effigy in this chapel (photo on page 42) :—

(So: the story went, before the Church was se demo- lished as the result of a Gan I in 1886, and later rebuilt and restored, Black Dick used to sit up every time he heard the church clock strike ‘‘the midnight hour.’’ Similar stories are told of effigies lying in many parish churches throughout the country. a (ii) Queer noises were frequently heard from the direction of Black Dick’s tomb which gave rise to the tradition on page 43. There are, however, at least two true stories told in connection

with the Beaumont Chape zl which may have been the cnet of the tradition of these ‘‘queer noises’’ :— I

Two gentlemen in the middle of last century one afternoon visited the Chapel with the object of copying the inscriptions both

in Latin and in English which are to be found on the tombstones

of the various members of the Beaumont family therein interred. So absorbed were these two antiquarians in their task that they

_ did not hear the sexton (thinking that there was no one inside),

lock the entrance gates of this private sanctuary. The two gentlemen had not yet finished their work of traa—

‘scription when daylight was gradually disappearing, and, to their

great amazement, they found they were temporarily imprisoned in the Chapel.

in their first stage of anxiety to get out, they knocked at the windows, hoping to attract the attention of any passers-by in the churchyard, but, alas, in vain.

They next observed a trap-door on the floor of the Chapel which they opened, and descended the flight of stone steps expect— ing to find a passage leading to a grate outside the church wails; they soon found out their mistake for this passage proved to be the one leading to the Beaumont family vault and they were soon groping midst coffins! Te add to their discomfiture, the trap door above the steps fell down with a huge thud! Thus, for some minutes, which, to them, seemed hours, they were entombed within the bowels of the church, so to speak.

In a state of terror and perspiration, they ascended the flight of stone steps and had a terrible task in lifting up the stone trap door I

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(Reproduced by courtesy of the Proprietors of the ‘‘ Huddersfield Examiner.’’)


Page 33



lid. ‘They certainly had escaped from being busied but they were still captives in the Beaumont Chapel, now getting darker and darker with the fading twilight and with Black Dick’s efhigy looking down upon them ‘‘as if it might at any moment jump up and frighten them into eternity.’’ I The two antiquarians made another frantic attempt to draw the attention of the outside world. A number of children, who were playing at some distance from the churchyard wall, heard their appeals for help, and, with the cry ‘‘Black Dick is scampered immediately homewards as fast as their legs could

carry them to inform their parents of the Knight’ S

escapade !

The agitated state a the children attracted the attention of a few men who had then been making themselves familiar with the spirits of the ‘‘Beaumont Arms’? to the extent that they were not afraid of the spirits of the departed Beaumonts. ‘They realised at

once what had happened and sent for the Parish Clerk, who soon proceeded to the Church, and, amid the laughter of the spectators

who jad quickly gathered, opened the Beaumont vee and set the devotees of antiquity at liberty. Another story related of an occurrence in the same Chapel was given to me in these words :— A number of men, one evening, according to custom and_ habit, had foregathered in the Beaumont Arms for their usual

“night cap.’’ About closing time, the opinion was expressed by

one of the party that it would be an ordeal for any one person to spend the whole of a night in the Beaumort Chapel. ‘*Nonsense,”’ retorted a second member, ‘‘I bet you any money like that

[ll go in and hammer a nail in Black Dick’s effigy.’’ The wager

was duly made and the venturesome individual went into the Chapel and accordingly hammered the nail into Sir Richard Beaumont’s arm. In so doing, however, he fastened down his smock with the same nail, as in the darkness, he was not able to see his own handi- work. Having completed the task, as he imagined, he proceeded to leave, but ‘‘Black Dick brought him heck ’? The ‘‘hero’’ lost his nerve and screamed ‘“‘blue murder’?! The other members of the party who had remained outside to developments soon came to his rescue, but the first man won the bet!

7.—THE PARISH CHURCH OF EMLEY. Messrs. John and Thomas Thorp, in their ‘‘Emley Almanack,”’

‘compiled in 1884, giving a popular account of this township from

the Conquest to their own day, wrote the following Peper concerning the building of the Church :—

“Tt was probably in the 13th or 14th century when our picturesque Church was built. A declares that it

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had been decided to erect the church in the Kirk Hills and that the stone had actually been conveyed there for that purpose, but the fairies having some strong objection to this, removed all the building materials in one single night to the present site. This must have been heartily believed at that time, or it} would scarcely have reached the present generation. We do not profess to under- stand fairies or to be in any of their secrets, and therefore cannot tell what was the motive that inspired them on the occasion in question; but we have zo hesitation in complimenting them-— wherever they may be—on the appropriate site they selected.’’

As already stated, this tradition is very reminiscent of that I told regarding Kirkburton Farse


NH lal the following story is neither a legend nor a tradition, yet it’ seems appropriate to record it as an illustration of a superstition which formerly prevailed in the locality, and which, it is to be hoped, is no longer believed. I

It was the custom in nineteenth century days, if not earlier, for the people of Hartshead to watch in the porch of this Church on St. Mark’s Eve (April 24th), from 11-0 p.m. till 1-O a.m. on St. Mark’s Day, April 25th. I I ye The third year (for this ‘‘watching’’ had to be done three years in succession), the ‘‘watchers’’ were supposed to see the ghosts of all those who were to die the next year pass by into the Church.

‘‘When anyone sickened who was thought to been seen in this manner, it was sooa whispered that he (or she) would not I recover, for so and so, whe had ‘‘watched’’ on St. Mark’s Eve,

> Nad: 4

This absurd and cruel superstition was so strongly believed © :

that if those who were ill, heard of it, they despaired of recovery !

“Many are said to have actually died by their imaginary fears I —a truly lamentable, but by no means, incredible instance of human folly.’’



Crosland Hill Manor House, which stands on the brow of Crosland Hill, not far from the quarries, one of which lies a little over a hundred yards from its front, is an old Tudor homestead, at one time owned by a family of Crosland until the direct male line became extinct in 1727.

Page 35


In 1707, the Rev. Thomas Crosland, the last of that family, sold his estates to Matthew Wilkinson of Greenhead Hall. After the extinction of the male line of the Wilkinsons, it descended to Sir John Lister-Kaye, Bart., of Denby Grange, who had married Helen Wilkinson. . The Manor House remained in the possession of the Lister—Kayes till 1783, when the estates were purchased by John Battye, an attorney of Huddersfield, in whose family it remains to this day. Tradition states that the easterly wing of the Manor House was once used as a Court House. This tradition, although no strictly accurate, arose in this manner :— I

In the early days of the occupation of Crosland Hill Manor House by the Battye family, an extensive legal business ‘vas carried on in the premises, it is said that no less than fifteen clerks were employed by the Battyes at one period of their pro- fessional career. One can hardly imagine, as one walks through the various rooms of this building at the present day, that in late 18th century days, clerks were poring over ledgers and musty documents as they sat! on high stools.

At Icast two of the Battye family were lawyers, John Battye who died on the 6th of June, 1795, and Daniel Batt'ye who died on the 11th of December, 1831. John Battye was the Steward of the Court Leet of the Manors of Almondbury and Huddersfield when that Court belonged to the Ramsdens, in this capacity he pre- sided over the Court Leet and also over the Court Baron. Fre— quently, particularly in connection with the latter, much legal work was entailed which would be relegated to the clerks em- ployed at the Manor House.

The Battyes, too, were the professional legal advisers to the Overseers of the Poor of South Crosland in late 18th and early 19th century days. They were consulted by the Overseers on such matters as affiliation orders, orders respecting places of © settlement, warrants for non-payment of rates, etc. There are a large number of references to the Battyes in the Account Books of the Overseers of South Crosland relating to the problems men- tioned above. I

Hence, it is quite conceivable that, by virtue of the fact that . many legal points arising out of the Poor Law problems of the day were solved there, subsequent generations held the view that the Manor House at Crosland Hill was used as a Court House.


Both the place-name and the homestead (now divided into three dwellinghouses) possess interesting features which merit a Chapter by themselves :—

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ye ieee


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( (i) The origin of the place-name, ‘‘Deadmanstone”’

_{ii) The boulder stone in the grounds ;

(iii) The traditional underground passage or passages leading I to Castle Hill; : (iv) The legend of the buried warrior. As all the above aspects of the place are inter-related, it is probably best to commence by quoting the opening. paragraphs of

a little book published in 1897 entitled, ‘‘Founded on The Rock. A Chronicle of Wesleyan Methodism in Berr} Brow in :—

I ‘‘Deadmanstone, or as in the early records ‘Dudmanstone’,

carries a history in its namie. ‘Itisa rugged cliff or rocky shoulder

overlooking the beautiful valley of the Holme, and round it lies the

very unpicturesque village of Berry Brow. Deadmanstone Hall, the home of the Bentleys during the first half of the century, is

prettily settled on the top of this shoulder, and with its castellated boundary walls on the west side, gives the idea of an ai time impregnable fort.’

‘fA recent owner of the estate, (née late Vin’ We R: ‘Haigh, who collected many interesting facts relating to the early history of the district, believed that the name arose from a gruesome dis- covery which was made in a natural archway existing in the rocks, — and which arch js still preserved intact behind one of the vestries. The remains of the warrior and his armour were found walled up I in this cave or arch, and it is assumed that during one of the early Border wars, the place was held or attacked by one of the Scotch forces. It is probable that a sentry, posted in the cave, had been surprised by the enemy or caught asleep, and had been walled up. Any how, the discovery of the remains in later years gave the name +o this rock of Dead Man’s Rock or Deadman’s Stone.”’

Thus wrote the compiler of the History of Methodism in

Berry Brow, and the last sentence perpetuated the current belief

that the site had some connection with the words ‘‘Dead Man. It is therefore evident that this gentleman had not read Hobkirk’s

of Huddersfield” (2nd Edition, 1868, p. 188) where that

writer stated :— “As many. opinions have pede hazarded respecting the origin

_. of this name, which is now frequently spelled Deadmanstone, I “may perhaps venture to add another. It has no connection with ee Man; but Dudman, the original spelling, is, in old Saxon,

‘bogard’ —hence it is ‘bogard stone,’ derived doubtless either Fst the weird aspect of the rocky platform on which it is built, or from a very singular looking bare rock in the grounds, which has a hole running quite through it.”’ - Canon C. A. Hulbert, in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury,”’ (p. 237) said that Dudmanstone ‘House took ‘ ‘its name doubtless from a

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large Boulder Stone on the Cliff, almost in the form of a iion couchant, which is perforated so that a dog could run through. William Ramsden, Esq., of Dudman, was holder of the Court Baron, 13 Cha. II., of which name that of ‘Deadmanstone’ is believed to be a modern corruption. . . . The site is indeed rocky, and is ornamented towards the North Towers on the Cliff, which give it the appearance of an ancient fortress.’’

But Mr. Armitage Goodall, in his ‘‘Place Names of South

West Yorkshire,’’ (p. 125), gives an entirely different version of the origin of the word. He first mentions two older spellings of the place-name, e.g. Dudmanston, written on the Ramsden Estate Map of 1634 (p. 138), and Dudmanstone marked on a similar map dated 1716. He says that. Dudmanstone ‘‘means ‘Dudman’s farm’,’’? derived from ‘‘an old English word tun meaning an

or farm,’’ hence Dudmanstone is the farm of some

former occupant named Dudman.

‘*Popular etymology has been very busy with this name, says Mr. Goodall, ‘‘and is responsible for the spelling on the Ramsden Estate Map of 1780, Deadman Stone which is doubly inaccurate.’

I shall, however, c patinbe to use the spelling “Deadmanstone’’ by which name it is referred to in title deeds and conveyances relat- ing to the Estate. I


The most interesting feature in the grounds is the large boulder stone to be seen on its southern side on the sloping eround. Canon Hulbert’s comparison of this stone to a lion couchant is not far wide of the mark. It Pais a large hole resembling the barrel of a cannon.

The greatest length of this sandstone boulder rock is 12 yards, its greatest breadth is 6 yards. The lowest height of the stone above the sloping ground is 44 feet while its greatest height is 12 feet; the diameter of the entrance hole is 2$ feet.

In mid-nineteenth century days, the boys of Berry Brow

bought penny candles and crawled through it. Some former occupier of the homestead must have been annoyed at seeing boys doing this performance and decided to close up the northern entrance (or exit) by filling up the space between it and an adjoin- ing wall with earth, broken bottles, barrel hoops, stones, &e. I In that condition the northern exit remained until the month of Sepember, 1940, when some boys, with the consent of Mr. H. F. Diggle (the occupier of the central part of Deadmanstone), and under my personal supervision, cleared the interior of the hole in order to find a possible exit and ultimately re-discovered it by digging the débris from the space above mentioned. I

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The object of this excavation was to find one of the two traditional underground passages leading from the grounds to Castle Hill but this passage was not’ discovered.

A tradition has been handed down that this boulder stone was I used in the later Middle Ages as a place of temporary repose for coffins which were to be interred in the churchyard of the Almond— bury Parish Church after having been brought from South Crosland and Meltham.

a ‘There may be an element of truth in his tradition as there I can be no doubt that the members of a funeral party from either of these two localities would find the journey to Almondbury in those far-gone days a very tedious one and this boulder stone would afford a welcome haven of rest.


The arched cellars of Deadmanstone have been divided into’ two by a staircase leading from the ground floor. At one place, it is evident that they have been cut out of the solid rock. The floors of these cellars have been tiled in square slabs of stone. A door out of one of the cellars has been blocked up by a brick wall some t'welve feet in height and six feet in breadth.

This bricked—up entrance is alleged to be the entrance to one of the’ passages leading to Castle Hill ; Deadmanstone is almost due south of the Hill. I

In the September of 1938, Mr. H. F. Diggle attempted to break open this entrance but found that it would be a very difficult _ task as the wall consisted of four-course brick !


Reference has already been made to this old homestead (pages 3 and 46) and to the tradition that its one-time owner, Richard Langley (executed December Ist, 1586), sheltered Catho- lic priests there during the days of the persecution of the Catholics by the Protestants.

As previously stated (page 3), there is no documentary evi- dence that Richard Langley harboured priests here previous to his selling it to Thomas Stansfield in 1567. But it is quite pos— sible that before this date, there may have been provision made for the accommodation of Catholic clergy during the days of Edward VI. (1547-1553). Before some structural alterations were made to the building some years ago, there were two secret cupboards in the house ; one was about two feet square and: six feet in height; when it was opened, it’ was found to contain relics, mostly, discarded hats !

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The other was full of old letters and receipted bills) and was so large that it might have been used for hiding persons, or even, for getting rid of undesirables! In one of the bedrooms, there are two man-—holes, which also could have been used for secreting priests.

A tradition has been handed own that in Post-Reformation times three Catholic priests lived in this Tudor homestead. During an apparently quiet conversation, they quarrelled vio— lently and later one of them murdered his colleague. The mur- derer and the remaining priest buried the victim in the garden in front of, the house.

This is the legend as was told to me by a former occupier ot the homestead; and it is quite feasible that the first sentence is historically correct. Probably what took ‘alas at the Dives House was as follows :— I

One. of the priests died a natural death and could not he buried at the Kirkheaton Parish Church without the lives of the owner of the house and those of the remaining priests being en- dangered. A trusted servant would be employed to dig a grave in the garden for the deceased priest. Years after, when Richard Langley was dead and the priests scattered (or dead), this servant would relate his midnight experience in digging the grave and assisting at the burial. The story, in course of time, would be- come exaggerated and distorted, so much so that it was. later stated that a murder had been committed at the Dives House and the body of the victim secretly buried.

A few words about the Dives House Sa its one- -time Catho- lic owner, Richard Langley, may not be out of place :—It seems possible that it owes its name to its builder, a member Or Tne). _ Dives family which was very prominent in Dalton in the 14th century. - This surname is. interesting and probably owes its origin to the fact that at the time surnames came into being, a member of this family was so termed on account of his great wealth. (Latin, Dives = wealthy, compare the Parable of Dives and Lazarus). Thomas Dives was a witness to a document dated 1gt6. Vol

John Langley, of Rawthorpe Hall, died “seised of’? of the _ Dives House on the 24th of September, 1537, leaving a son and heir, Richard Langley, eight years old at the time.

Richard Langley I. inherited his father’s estates, and _ it appears that the Dives House was a second manor house of Raw- thorpe Hall, which was then the principal residence fof the Langleys. He married Joan Beaumont, of Mirfield, and had one son, Richard Langley II., who harboured Catholic priests.

Richard Langley II. was probably born at. Grimthorpe (“Catholic Encyclopedia,’’. Vol. VIII., p.°789), but, later he

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lived. at Ousethorpe in the East Riding, while he also had a residence at York. He was an ardent Catholic and refused to accept the doctrines of the Reformation, pursuing: his hostility to the movement by sheltering I persecuted priests in his manor houses. An ancient MS, quoted by Father J. H. Pollen, S.J., in his ‘‘Acts of the English. Martyrs,’’ says, ‘‘He built a very well hidden house underground which was a great place of refuge _ for priests during the persecution.’’ This seems to have been at _ Grimthorpe. Richard Langley refused to to the Act of acy making Queen Elizabeth the Supreme Governor of the Realm in things Spiritual as well as Temporal; he was apprehended for this offence against the law, tried and condemned to death. On the Ist of December, 1586, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at York. On the 15th of December, 1929, he was beatified by Pope Pius XI. and declared Venerable.

The Dives House, at one time, was known as ‘‘The Old Bogard,’’ and some most weird occurrences are related by those who have lived therein. I I

Strange noises have been heatd “in” one ‘of the bedrooms which is supposed to be haunted. On one occasion, the spectre of a very tall lady dressed in black with a white apron appeared at the foot of the bed. In this same room, one very dark night, a small circular spot of light travelled along the wall till it disappeared at the top of the landing. The occupier of this part of the house was positive that light was not the projection of a bull’s eye lantern of a policeman, or of passing inotor car head-lights. This ‘‘phenomenon’’ was noticed twice that night and was observed by another member of the family at a later date. This was the room where I was challenged to sleep on the night of any November 15th, when the. ‘‘phenome- non’’ was at its best! .


a bedroom in another part of the old homestead, ‘“queer stories are similarly related, it is haunted by ‘‘a mysterious eerie presence.’’ Strange noises can be heard at ‘‘the time of the change of the moon.’’ ‘The occupants of this part of the building assured me-that they could not go to sleep unless there was a dimmed light in the room. If the room were completely darkened, they had considerable difficulty in obtaining their night’s rest.

Two amusing episodes are told concerning this bedroom and the landing leading to it: I

(a) On one occasion a member of the family could not fall asleep, even though the room had been dimly illuminated with a night-light. He attributed this inability to sleep to ‘‘the mys- terious eerie presence,’’ which, so he alleged, removed Sg entire

bedclothes from the bed ! !

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(b) The occupants kept an Airedale dog which one night barked furiously after they had gone to bed. The dog was silenced twice, but, about a quarter of an hour later they heard the pitter-patter of footsteps, which were not those of the dog, walking up the staircase. The head of the family got out of bed, proceeded to the top of the landing, but, of course, no one was to be seen. This mysterious occurrence happened a few times, so I was informed. :

In the cellars, too, of the Dives House, it seems that, at periodic intervals, noises similar to the tramping of feet walking backwards and forwards have also been heard. I

Truly, as I suggested previously, the Dives House should be visited by the Society of Psychical Research and these ny phenomena investigated.


The old Hall was so completely rebuilt in Georgian times that it bears little resemblance to the original homestead of Sir John de Eland the elder and of his son, Sir John the younger who were victims in the Elland Feud, 1841-1351.

The present Hall, which, no doubt, incorporates s@veral features of the older structure, lies on rising ground on the bank of the River Calder, facing Elland Bridge. It is now divided into three dwelling - ‘houses consisting of a central project- ing portion and two side wings which lie east and west of the main building. In some places, the exterior walls are between 14 feet and 2 feet thick.

Watscen, in his ‘‘History of Halifax”? (p. 165), gave some details of the first Hall, parts of which, in 1775, were still in existence :—

‘“‘It was for generations the seat of the ancient and honourable family of the Elands, who, there is every reason to believe, lived here in great splendour until the deadly feud, when it became vested by marriage in the Savile family. A barn belonging to the house was recently pulled down, and is supposed to have been a I chapel from the form of the window. In one of the lodging rooms several Scripture sentences had been written on the panels of the wainscot but were then almost defaced. . . . The building was of timber, as was the custom some hundred years ago, and between two of the wails was a vacancy of a considerable size, and perhaps deeper than the foundations of the edifice, which, no doubt, had its use in troublesome times.’’

Dr. Whitaker, in his ‘‘Loidis and Elmete,’’ p. 395) says :— “It is not unlikely that the Saviles ever deserted Elland Hall on account of the large estates in the neighbourhood. It had, like every other mansion of the same rank in ancient times, a park,

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and a few aged oaks, many perhaps, have been contemporary with the Elands, and witin the deadly affray by which the narne became extinct.”’

Hobkirk, in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield’’ (1st Edition, 1859, p. 106), said that “‘the only remnant of the old Hall is the kitchen at the back, the front possessing quite a modern appearance.’’

There are several traditions told of Elland Old Hall :—

(i) This old kitchen which once possessed an open fireplace ~ (now walled up) and a tablet stone containing the inscription “D.W.C. 1718’ (now covered with wallpaper), is said to be haunted; a story, too, is told of that an old woman, who occupied this part of the house at one time, positively swore that she saw this fireplace move! ‘There is also supposed to be a secret passage behind this fireplace.

(ii) The ‘‘vacancy of a considerable size’’ is to be seen in the westerly wing of the Hall and is locally known as ‘‘the concealed chamber.’’ It encloses a large space from the ground floor (or, as Watson suggests, from “‘the foundations of the edifice’’) up to the roof. This ‘‘vacancy"’ is in the form of an irregular pentagon, the largest side of which is six feet, and the smallest four feet; its walls are solid as far as can be ascertained by tapping them. Its secrets could only be revealed by opening the roof of the building and lowering one’s self down into its interior by means of a rope. Tradition states that a ghost is imprisoned therein !

(ii) Three underground passages are supposed to lead from Elland Old Hall; one to the New Hall, a second to the Parish Church of St. Mary in Elland, and the third to Clay House at Greetland. I

(iv) The most gruesome tradition handed down concerning Elland Old Hall is given by the Rev. Thomas Parkinson in his ‘Legends and Traditions of Yorkshire’’ (Second Series, p. 209) :-—

“In the time of Edward the Confessor, when Wilfred de Elland was Lord of Elland, a young Norman, named Huh Beaulay—who, like so many of his countrymen in that King’s reign, had found his way into England—was overtaken by a. tremendous thunderstorm among the wild Yorkshire hills. He found hospitable shelter in the hall of the Lord of Elland. The young and attractive stranger treacherously won the affections of the beautiful young wife of his entertainer. He lingered, at the home he had so wronged, until the treachery became manifest to De Elland, who challenged the young man to mortal combat, The struggle took place in the banqueting hall, and was long and fierce. At last the Norman, assisted by the faithless wife, drove his sword into the breast of the unhappy husband. The house-» carls, aroused at length by the noise, burst open the door, and rushed in to the rescue of their master, but too late. They were only in time to see the wounded Lord of Elland, by a dying effort,

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raise himself from the floor, dip his hand in the blood which flowed from his wound, hurl it in the face of his victorious antagonist, and, with gasping breath, exclaim, ‘‘As thou hast won this heritage by bloodshed, so shall it go from thee and from thy house.’’ —

marriage of the guilty widow with the murderer placed

him, so it is said, in possession of the hall, and the wide domains

of the De Ellands, whose name he also assumed. Upon the advent of his countryman, William the Conqueror, he heartily joined that tyrant in his oppressions of the English; ‘the false

Lord of Elland fell by the hands of a Saxon nobleman, whose.

lands had been added to his already ill-gotten possessions.’’

=. £*All the descendants of this man are said to have been marked I

with three blood—spots on their forehead. This evil distinction

they inherited from father to son, as a memorial of the blood,

which the true Lord of Elland hurled into the face of his Nornais murderer. with his dying hand.’’

This sordid story is not referred to by Mr. Charles T. Clay in,

his monograph of ae he Family of Eland” (Yi vou 2%; ‘pp, 225- 245).

I am inclined to think that the whole episode is “faked”? and

was probably concocted to give an earlier background to the famous (or, ee Elland Feud (1341-1851).

5.—EMLEY OLD HALL. MARY AND THE WOLF. aad Tradition says that the last wolf was killed in the neighbour-

hood of Emley some six hundred years ago. The story of the

slaying of the wolf is somewhat tragic :— The ranger of Emley Park, then the property of the Fitz-

williams of Emley Old Hall, had a little daughter named Mary,

‘‘a beautiful and happy child. She was a favourite at the Hall and always a welcome visitor. One cold January morning, she left her home and wended her way to the Hall singing to her- self as she walked. On looking round, she saw a wolf coming bounding towards her.. She ran to the moat which then com-—

pletely surrounded the Hall, only to find that the drawbridge had

not been lowered. She for help, but before the draw-

bridge could be lowered, the wolf had set upon her. Sir Thomas

Fitzwilliam, hearing the shrieks, looked through the window of the Hall and saw his little friend struggling for life. He quickly took down his bow and arrow and shot the beast through the heart. In the meantime, the drawbridge had been lowered by his servants, who rushed across, only to find the child’s life blood fast ebbing away.

Mr. Fred Lawton, of Skelmanthorpe, has written a poem based on the legend, and which he has kindly allowed me to reproduce :

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MARY = AND THE lees A Legend of Old Hall.


_’Twas winter time, hoar frost. was on the ground,

The very birds were silent, and scarce a sound Disturbed the quiet calm ‘of. that peaceful day, When Mary left home, to while an hour away. With cheerful buoyant step, and form so fair _ Singing to herself though the chilly air Met the beautiful child, that knew no fear. As she left her home on the hillside drear, O’er the short crisp grass she bounded along, With a smiling face and a cheerful, song. Though the scene ‘around was barren and wild, Yet she was a picture, this happy child. A wolf looking round with hungry eyes, Heard the sweet child singing, and saw the prize. With a savage snarl he made for his prey, Mary, hearing the sound, saw with dismay The wolf run towards her in deadly strife, The poor girl saw it was a race for life. She swiftly over the white grass did run, Whose blades were gleaming with the morning sun. On she ran to the Hall and Moat nearby, I Finding the drawbridge up she heaved a sigh ; She shouted for help, the old squire did hear, And what he saw there filled his heart with fear.

fought bravely the wild savage beast,

In strength for victory she was’ the least. re Old Sir Thomas took down his trusty bow, And prayed ‘‘Don’t let her die, O God, not He sent over the moat the feathered dart, And shot the cruel wild beast through the heart. He lowered the drawbridge and o’er it sped,

But alas, too late, poor Mary was dead.

Yes; her spirit had left the casket riven, But in the shroud arrayed: a4 yt A A smile, a sudden gleam of heaven

Around her lips still played.

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af ries

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The modern residence is built on the site of the old Hall which ~ stood in Emley Park and which was demolished in the middle of the 18th century.

The first was one of the residences of the Fitzwilliams who lived here and later at Spotborough for more than two hundred years, At the time of the Domesday Survey, 1085, the Soke of Emley belonged to the Manor of Wakefield; in 1117, Sir William. Fitzwilliam became Lord of the Manor of Emley through his marriage to Eleanor, the daughter and heiress of Sir John de Emley of Emley and of Spotborough.

The Fitzwilliams held the land under the overlordship of the de Warennes; Lords of the Manor of Wakefield,..and every year, the head of the Fitzwilliams appeared at the Wakefield’ Manorial ‘Court and swore homage and fealty to the de Warennes, Earls of Surrey, besides paying annually the sum of 13/4d. A few notes concerning some of the prominent members of this family can be piven I (i) In 1217, Sir William Fitzwilliam, son of Sir William Fitz- willam and of Albreda de Lizours, granted to the monks of Byland a piece of wood in Emley for ten years at the rent of 14 marks (£9 6s. Sd.) per annum. Thus it came about that the Monks of _ Byland Abbey obtained a foothold in Emley and afterwards built the first Bentley Grange on or near the site of the present farm- house. I (ii) In 1253, Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam received a charter from King Henry III. whereby he was permitted to hold a market at Emley every week on a Thursday and a fair every year on the eve and day of the Holy Cross (May 3rd), and the following three days. There is every reason to believe that the old Market Cross in the centre of the village of Emley dates shortly after this grant had. a> a7 ice ae (iii) On the 10th of November, 128%, Edward I. granted to Sir William Fitzwilliam, licence to substitute, for the highway which ran through the middle of his park at Emley, another of the same length and breadth through the western part. of the estate for the better convenience of pedestrians; it measured 380 perches 60 feet in length (i.e. 1 mile 160 yards). The late Mr. W. S. Banks, in his ‘‘Walks around Wakefield,”’ (p. 433).said that it was ‘‘probably the road. which now exists for it accurately follows the above directions, being on the westerly side, but still within the bounds of the park.’’ (iv) Sir William Fitzwilliam, who died on the Ist of December, 1474, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Thomas Chaworth of Wiverton, and by her, had one son, Sir William

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Fitzwilliam, and two daughters, Isabel, who married Richard Wentworth, of Bretton (p. 78), and Catherine, who married Sir Thomas Wortley, of, W OEY se I

(v) Sir William Fitzwilliam married Elizabeth, thie daughter of Sir John Conyers and by her had five children ; he died in 1494. The, upper part of the east’ window in Emley Church depicts the coat of arms impaling Covyers. Dodsworth visited I Emley Church on the 25th of July, 1627, and made a record of the coats-of-arms of the Fitzwilliams and those impaling the families of Chaworth and. Conyers. I In that year, the following inscription could be read :—‘‘Orate pro. animabus Willi Fitz W illiams, Arm. yet Elizabethe filie Domi Theme Chaworth uxoris eius. Orate pro animabus Willi Fitz’ Williams et Elizabethe filie Dni Johis Conyars militis uxoris (Y.A.J., Vol. VII., p. 129). Some of ices Latin’ words are still to be seen midst the old stained

Te ‘Hall and the Park remiatnpd in the possession of the family until Tudor days, when Sir William Fitz- william, by his will dated the 5th of March, 1516, bequeathed his Emley and Spotborough estates to John I Fitvaiitiam, son of Ralph, subject to a life estate in the testator’s uncle and aunt, Thomas Sothill of Soothill Hall and his wife, and their daughter, Elizabeth Sothill.

Elizabeth Sothill married Sir Hoses Savile of Thornhill and Tankersley, and thus the’ Manor Oh» Emley descended to the Saviles of Thornhill.

icv The Savile family became extinct in 1784 by the death of Sir (seorge Savile, M.P. (8th Baronet, of Thornhill), who bequeathed the Thornhill and Emley estates to Richard Lumley, the second son of his sister Barbara who had married Richard Lumley, the 4th: Earl of Scarborough. This nephew added the name of Savile to‘his own, this being’ a condition of his inheriting the estates.

The 8th Earl of Scarborough, John Savile Lumley, assumed the name of Savile in 1836; he was born in 1788 and died in 1856. He teft his. Yorkshire and Nottingham estates to his son Henry ae who was born in 1822.

Henry Lumley Savile died in 1887 leaving no issue and the estates descended to Augustus William Savile, his brother, who, in turn, bequeathed them to his brother, John Savile, afterwards Ist Baron” Savile (1818-1896). He also died childless and the estates devolved upon his nephew, John Savile Lumley, 2nd Baron Savile (1853-1921), the son of the Rev. Frederick Savile Lumley.

,. ,The present Lord Savile (3rd Baron), who succeeded to the Yorkshire Estates, which include Emiey, was born on the 24th of January, 1919, i es


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Emley Old Hall, as already stated, was demolished in the middle of the 18th century, while the Park was converted into . small farms; the farmers built their own houses and outbuildings and, it is said, that some of them lived rent-free for several years !

The enclosure, on which the modern farmhouse known as Emley Hall and the outbuildings have been built, is about. 80: ye square.

The old moat which fcrmerly encircled the Hall is still to be seen on three sides of the House, but only on its north side is it filled with water.

The following account of Emley Park was written by the late Mr. W. S. Banks in his ‘‘Walks about Wakefield.” Mr. F. Lawton reproduced it in his ‘‘Notes on the oy of Skelman— thorpe’’ and added a few more details :— I

Emley Park is now cultivated after the ordinary manner of farms, and on the top of it, which is a small ‘edge’ and rather bare, stands an old dead yew tree, known as the Tee Pot and Kettle, which overlooks the dale between Hoyland and Clayton on one side, and Skelmanthorpe on the other. Bretton Hall (p. 67) stands in view, and beyond it, rises Woolley Edge, whilst west and south, the prospect extends to Pike Low (Tinker’s Monument) and the moors beyond Penistone at the south-west corner, at the bottom of the road lies Park Gate. I

Below the (Emley New) Hall between it and Babe Mill, anciently a corn mill, in the little clough, through which a small stream runs, are the remains of dams at intervals, constructed in times past to conserve the water for working the mill; The boundaries of the Park are distinctly marked, he fence surround- ing it being known as the Pale Bank. (‘‘Notes on the History of : ee p- oy


I have been informed that several traditions have been handed down concerning ‘this Tudor homestead, re-built in 1602, restored and enlarged in 1792, but I have not yet been able to obtain the precise version of a legend which is related thereof. A former owner told me that if these legends got into print he would never be able to keep any servants, the problem of en— and retaining domestics were terrible worries. to his family, he added.

Mr. Taylor Dyson, M.A., in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and Its (p. 163), tells a most interesting “‘conversa- tional tour’? in Almondbury with the late Mr. Edwin Lodge, of

Birks Farm, in which the latter, at the age of ninety years, gave

his reminiscences about persons’ and places in the vicinity of

Birks Hamlet.

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FENAY HALL, from the Old Garden.

(Reproduced by courtesy of the Proprietors of the Examiner.’’)


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Mr. Dyson asked Mr. Lodge ‘‘What about Fenay Hall?’ and the old man recalled the ownership of Mr. Taylor, Mr. Keighley, Mr. Walker Brook, and Mr. John Arthur (afterwards Sir John Arthur) Brooke, M. A., yr es

‘‘Mrs. Walker Brook could not settle at Fenay because she thought it was haunted. So scared were the owners that they persuaded ‘‘two young gentlemen’’ from the Almondbury Grammar School (whether masters or boarders is not to sleep there. Even these got nervous, and so a well-known local char- acter was offered 5/— a night to join the sleeping party.. Mr. Lodge was consulted, and he said, “‘Tha mun goa; its gain addled brass.’’ The man followed the advice and took his dog along with him; and the only ghosts he came across were a few rats scurrying about among the rafters’’ (!)


Possibly the most intriguing building within Park is the rectangular structure which lies to the North of the Hall and on the left of the public poem leans to Fixby Ridge.

_ There has been as to the purpose for which it was originally built, while the date of its erection has likewise been the subject of much debate. I

(i) According to some persons,’ and, as will be soon stated, _ they are correct, it is an Orangery,—a building where oranges and other tropical fruits were grown under artificial conditions. Certainly its architecture baat it, was erected for that purpose.

(ii) Some have put: the ie that it was the Dower House of the Hall, the abode of the widow of the Lord of the Manor of Fixby when his eldest son succeeded to the estate, _ but this theory is unsubstantiated.

(iii) Others have was the private Chapel of the Thornhills of Fixby, and was that’ the members of this - family might not have to travel to’the Elland Parish Church or to the Rastrick Parish Church to attend Divine Worship. Against _ this hypothesis, there stood -the- fact that’ the building bore no resemblance to an Anglican Church.

In order to solve the problem, I communicated with the late Mr. T. Bryan Clarke-Thornhill, who most courteously supplied me with the history and purpose of the building built as an Orangery.

Mr. Bryan Clarke-Thornhill the opinion that it was erected by his great-grandfather, Thomas Thornhill (the father of Richard Oastler’s employer), shortly after he married Eleanor

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Lynne in 1780, and that it was intended to be a wedding present for his bride, who came from Horsley, in Essex. On the pedi- ment over the main Southern door is a coat-of-arms which impales the Thornhills of Fixby with the Lynnes. of Horsley.

This type of building seems to have been erected in the parks of the nobility and gentry in the last half of century, and appears’ to. have had its origin in those structures known as Le Petit Trianon and Le Grand Trianon in the gardens of Ver- saillesimutsuderParis; 3 = o2 bez E203

The dimensions of the Orangery are roughly 17 yards long, 8 yards wide, and 25 feet high, while its walls are two feet thick. ‘The Western door has been ré order that this part of the building might be converted into .a garage. Previous to 1930, over the doorway, there could be seen a most beautiful piece of decorative work above its centre supporting stone. |The two stone door lintels were also removed. I eRe The building originally contained seven windows, but four in 1930 were walled in. They faced South, and on the glass were to: be seen imitations of stained glass decorations.

In the forties of the last century, the building was known as “The Chapel,’’ due to the fact that it was converted (but appar- ently not dedicated) as a Chapel of Ease by Captain Edwards, a former tenant of Fixby Hall. At the time of my first investiga- tions' into the nature of this building (1928), there were persons living. who could remember. their parents and grandparents. stat- ing that they had attended Divine Worship in its interior ; it ap- pears that a.small Altar was placed at its. East. end.

Afterwards, the Orangery was converted into a dwelling - house by being partitioned into three rooms and a fireplace inserted in the north wall, but as the occupiers found it dreadfully cold in winter time, they premises. At the present time, the three rooms.are used as a workshop, a store house and a garage.

The plot of ground on which the Orangery stands is sur- rounded by a brick wall, some of these bricks are hand made. The garden in front of the Orangery provided fruits and vegetables — for the occupiers of the Hall. During digging operations some years ago, lead pipes were discovered under the soil. These may have been hot water pipes to provide warmth for the building.


‘The Ice-House is a semi-underground structure situated on the 11th green on the Fixby Links. It appears to have been built in} a tablet stone on which; that date has. been inscribed is to. be seen on the centre supporting stone of it’s doorway.

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THE ORANGERY,. FIXBY., ° Photo by Mr. J. Hadfield:

THE ICE..HOUSE,- FIXBy: i Photo by Mr, J. Hadfield.

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It is built of brick and goes down into the soil to a depth of about 15 feet. The roof is “conical in shape and very similar to the top of a shell or bomb. The roof is now turfed and forms the boundary of the 11th green. The floor of the Ice—House is full of stones and débris, while after a heavy rainfall, it is usually filled with water toa depth of a foot or more.

The structure was originally built for the purpose of storing ice required by the Thornhills of Fixby for cooling their champagne. Later when the Thornhills left the Hall, it was used as a ‘‘Silo’’ by tenant farmers who stored their turnips and other root crops in its interior.

An interesting story is related concerning this Ice-House. After a poor harvest of hay, many years ago, a Fixby farmer cut considerable quantities of the rough grass which grows in the Park and stored it here, hoping that it would prove an efficient substitute. To his great. dismay, however, some months later, he discovered that the entire mass had rotted and was only fit for manure !

Tradition stated that an underground passage led from this building to the Hall. In the December of 1931, Mr. Farrar, then of the East Lodge, went down to the bottom of the structure and carefully examined the whole floor without finding a possible outlet.


About a hundred yards to the south west of the Ice House are the remains of the Bath House built in 1840. It was originally a circular building constructed of dressed sandstone and stood to a height of about twelve feet, it was surmounted by. a dome; the building was also used as a summer house.

While I was exploring the ruins of this building in August 1928, I came across the tablet stone bearing the inscription ‘‘T. Bell, 1840’ which suggested that the structure was erected in that year and that T. Bell was either the architect or the builder, but in 1931, when I revisited the ruins, this tablet stone had disappeared.

The interior of the circular bath was built of bricks but lined with tiles. It is impossible to discover the depth of the bath, as the circular space is full of broken stones, brick, tiles, weeds, &c., — but it is believed that it went down to a depth of four feet.

The water supplying the bath came from the small reservoir which lies some forty yards above it on higher ground. This reservoir, in its turn, is fed by no less than ‘sixteen streams which are found in the vicinity.

0) believed that the Bath House was erected by Thornhill as a ‘‘splash pond"’ for his children. It was demolished in 1918 on account of the dangerous nature of its superstructure.

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Photo by Mr J, Hadfield.


(see page 178). Photo by Mr. Alfred Wainwright.

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Page 57


A gruesome story is told of this homestead which may, or may not, contain some element of truth therein. It seems that one of its former owners kept a goodly store‘of wines and spirits in its cellars wherewith to entertain his guests as well as to fortify him— self against the rigours of winter.. He, however, suspected that his butler. helped himself rather freely to the contents of his cellars and decided io set. a trap by marking the contents of certain partially consumed. bottles ! This had a deterring effect on the butler for a while, but still the master was dubious as to the honesty of his employee. One late evening, the former caught the butler in the cellar in the act of drinking brandy from a bottle. When confronted with the charge of being in the habit of sampling — his master’s vintage, the butler flatly denied ever having done so. Heated words then followed, the owner of Gledholt lost his temper, ~ knocked down his butler head first on to the cellar steps never

_ to rise again! There were, so it was alleged, in mid-nineteenth

I century days, blood stains on these steps which were pointed out as the, where the butler met his death.


Strictly speaking, the story told of this homestead should have been discussed under “‘Traditions relating to Persons.’’

In’ early seventeenth century days, a family of Marshs lived at this old dwelling—house having: previously made Marsh Hall in the. same township their abode.

The last members of this family were Richard and Henty Marsh, the latter died in 1685. Shortly after this, both Marsh Hall and: Hallstead Hall passed to the Kayes, of W oodsome.

“There is a tradition that one of ‘the Marshes of Hallstead, resorted to the “‘reckless and reprehensible’’ act of hunting and killing deer in. Wodsome Park, which provoked the indignant baronet, Sir John Kaye, to. takes legal proceedings against the offender. . Fhe law ran its course and these terminated in the utter ruin of the Marshs whose estates were seized by the Kayes to pay the fines, legal expenses and See

ane late Tr, 44... }. Morehouse, in his “History of Kirk- -burton,’’ commenting upon this tradition, wrote {p. 121) :—-

“‘T have met with no authentic evidence on the subject; but there is nothing improbable in the story, as hunting was a very favourite diversion among the yeomanry and other classes of these districts, in the pursuit’ of which they were often led into great excesses.’ I

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Photograph of the Print of J. P. Neale, engraved by F. R. Day.


Page 59


While lecturing at the Milnsbridge Naturalist Society some ten years ago on the subject of ‘‘The Legends of Hudderstield,’’ I was informed, during the discussion which subsequently followed, that the former homestead of Sir Joseph Radcliffe, and later of the Armitages, was periodically visited by the ghost of a tall man dressed I in black clothes, but' no one present could give an expiana— tion of this supposed apparition.

An account of Milnsbridge House appeared in my ‘‘Studies in Local Topography,’’ Part I., (pp. 28-39), now out of print.


A number of legends referring to this old Carolinian home- stead has been handed down. They were originally printed in my booklet on ‘‘Newhouse Hall’’ (pp. 54-62, now out of print); the story of the Golden Guineas has been given in the (Ch. I., p. 7); the tragic love affair of Sybil Brooke and the murder of Father Hocker have been reproduced in the Chapter on ‘Legends Relating to Persons’’ (Ch. I1., pp. 43-46); the others now follow :— Two murders are alleged to have been committed in the above- named Hall :—

(1) One Sunday morning, in the days before banks were instituted and when money was locked up in cash—boxes, trunks, coffers or even kept in stockings by the side of the open chimney fire-place, a vagrant disguised as a woman, called at the Hall with the deliberate intention of absconding with the gold which . he knew to be stored therein. He chose his time of call carefully for he knew that the Master of the house and his lady were then at the Huddersfield Parish Church. He gained admittance to the kitchen and demanded a.drink. (Another version states that two rufians called at the Hall and asked for food and drink). The cook acceded to ‘‘her’’ request and offered ‘‘her’’ an armchair in which ‘‘she soon fell asleep and snored to ‘‘her’’ heart’s content.

In the bedroom above the kitchen, the family nurse observed -a crowd of men crouching in the wood (Lower Felgreave) behind the Hall. . She suspected that they were ready to move at a signal from the rascal in the room below. By this time, the cook’s sus- picions had been likewise aroused for she noticed the vagrant’s ‘trousers emerging below the skirts of the supposed woman. These fears were reinforced by the nurse who opened a secret panel and shouted to the cook to give the rascal ‘‘a scalding hot drink.’’

On that particular morning, the cook had rendered fat from pork and ham, and, on hearing the nurse’s words, poured down the rogue’s opened mouth the contents of a cauldron of boiling fat.

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Demolished in -1865.


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The ‘‘woman’’ awoke in agony, and, at ‘hat particular moment, the master of the house returned home. He realised at once the situation, drew his sword and instantly slew the maurauder. As the servants were removing the corpse, a whistle dropped from the vagabond’s clothes which confirmed the opinion formed by the nurse that he was in league with the men in the wood. Eventually, the body was thrown into the underground passage previously mentioned (p.

There are several variations of this. story, one account says that the Christian name _of one of the heroines in the episode was

Nell. A slightly different - version of. the story runs thus ——

A number of men arrived at the Hall with an oak chest the servants, in the absence of their master, that they had bre ously orders from him to deposit it in the upstair corridor. These instructions were duly carried out.

Early in the evening, one of the servants heard a weird noise emanating from the chest as she proceeded up the staircase. She informed the rest of the staff of her discovery and it was decided to form a “‘watching’’ party among the servants, one group keep- ing guard at one end of the corridor and a second at the other.

Towards midnight, the two sets’ of watchers saw the lid of this chest open and a man get out. The ‘‘watchers’”’ blew their whistles and then set on the intruder who endeavoured to attack his would—be captors. The rest of the staff and farm- hands were soon on the scene of the fight and swiftly overpowered and slew the maurauder.. I

As related in the other version of this legend, his body. was flung into the kitchen cellar.

(11) At one time, a certain man had quarrelled with one of the Brookes of Newhouse over sundry money matters. The owner of the Hall at various times had lent this person sums of money and also helped him out of his financial difficulties on more than one occasion. But this debtor did not seem inclined to fulfil his obligations to his creditor. This so exasperated the latter, that after heated words had taken place between the two men, landed his poe fist: on ta man’s: s temple and killed him out— right.

No one saw the deed and Ses flung the corpse of his victim into the cellar, there it lay, until Brooke, on his death bed, confessed that he had murdered a man many years previously: After Brooke’s funeral, the cellar was explored and the decomposed remains of the murdered man were discovered. cay

At one time, marks were to be seen on one of the panels in the lower room at Newhouse which were supposed to be the im-

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prints of the nails of the victim’s boots as ve fell back against the panel. There are also variations of this story but this version was told by the late Mr. J. Hopwood to Mr. George Fox, who, in his turn, related it to me in the words given above.

Three legends concerning dogs at Newhouse Hall are also recorded :—

(i) One of the rooms in the Hall containing a secret panel-— the sole survivor of some eight or nine which are supposed to have existed at one time in. the building—is reputed to be haunted.

Persons who ieee in this particular room when it was used as a bedroom, complained that they were awakened in the dead of night by the sensation of a heavy weight resting upon their legs as if some animal were crouched upon them. ‘The occupant of the bed immediately switched on the electric light, but, as was to be expected, saw nothing supernatural. There were formerly two beds in this room; and strange to say, this nocturnal visitor. only manifested itself upon one bed. Tradition states that the ghost of Newhouse Hall is a dog and that this dog visited its abode at certain times, particularly when the bed in this room was occupied. Here it would crouch upon the sleeper in the dead of night and later disappear into the wall!

(ul) There is also a story. of a dog possessing a human head and a beard stretching from ear to ear, which was supposed to lurk in the woods near the Hall in century days. One or two persons have assured me that they have seen this apparition; one, in particular, informed me that when he removed his eyes from the ghost, it disappeared !

an also said that about a hundred years ago, this monstrosity _appeared in Newhouse Wood and so terrified a woman named Elizabeth Haigh that she swooned and was discovered a day later in a very prostrate condition.

_ There may be an explanation of the origin of this ‘‘bearded dog”’ legend. In eighteenth century days, Newhouse (or Lower Felgreave Wood) was not2d for its game, pheasants and hares were very plentiful in this locality. The Brookes of Newhouse and their successors, the Townleys, Wilkinsons and the Thornhills, naturally wished to preserve the birds and animals which provided them with both food and sport, and employed keepers to be on the watch for poachers who would be most anxious to obtain cheap food. It is also possible that these keepers disguised themselves in sheep-skins and crawled through the wood ‘‘on all fours’’ at night. This ruse scared the poachers, and thus it got noised abroad that monstrosities frequented the woods !

. ili) The story of the ‘‘headless hound’? of Toothill has myer told under that of Sybil Brooke (p. Pin

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179 13.—QUARMBY. HALL.

The second Quarmby Hall is situated at the end of the lane on _ the left-hand side of Tanyard Road, near Quarmby Fold, and was built in Elizabethan days at some date between 1574 to 1587 by John Blythe, the then Lord of the Manor of Quarmby. The latter placed his crest—a hart trippant—at the back (or it might, in those days, have been the front) of the building where it remains to this day.

This coat—of—arms was observed by Dodsworth the antiquarian when he visited Huddersfield in 1629 and duly recorded (Y.A.]., Vol. VI., p. 425).

There is every reason to believe that the present building was erected on or near the site of the Hall in which old ‘‘Hugh’’ de Quarmby met his death in 1341 at the hands of Sir John de Eland the elder and his followers.

In May 1932, during a heavy thunderstorm, a large part of the roof of Quarmby Hall collapsed.

Hobkirk, in his ‘“‘Eiistory of Huddersfield,’’ (1st Edition, p. 18), says that ‘‘externally. there is not much to interest except the ancient and time—worn, appearance it presents, with its high gables, and small windows.’’ In 1859, it was occupied by an oid man named James Denham whose ancestors had lived in it for some hundreds of years. Old Mr. Denham escorted Hobkirk through ‘‘his castle’’ and related to the latter a he knew about the building :— I 3

‘On entering the es, our conductor pointed out to us the old fire-place, the warm and cosy seats which no doubt echoed ~ oft to the bacchanalian’s midnight song. The old stairs and hand- rail are still in situ, upon ascending which we were introduced into the attic, the roof of which is supported on immense unworked timbers. In a corner stands the old carved bedstead, musty with age, and near it a chest of equal antiquity in which are some leaden weights. In another room we had the honour of sitting in the high-backed chair which has often rested the weary limbs of old Hugh and his predecessors ( !) and were shown some pieces of curiously carved ancient furniture.’

Mr. J. Turmer, in. his: book on. “The Tragedies’’ (p. 88), made some fantastic statements concerning two rooms in the Elizabethan building :— _ : (a) ‘‘The room where the ‘King of Quarmby’ was slain is still pointed out’’( !) 7 (b) One big room is said to have been ‘‘’t’kitchen wher t’king lived.”’

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Photo by Mr. J E. Smith, B.A.

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It is also said that at one time blood stains could be seen on the stone staircase leading to the upstair rooms of this part of the dwelling—house; local tradition further added that these stains were those of old ‘‘Hugh’’ de Quarmby who met his end, as previously related, in 1341. ‘I have been informed that in nineteenth century days, these ‘‘blood stains’’ were periodically renewed in order to ee old tradition !

But Sir John de Eland’s first victim in the Elland Feud was

not murdered in the present building which, as we have said _ was erected at some date between 1574 and 1587...


This old. homestead, now the headquarters. of oe Meltham Golf Club, was, for many centuries, the residence of the Armytage family, a branch of the Hermitage: Highroyd- -Honley representa- tives of that name, although the latter spelled their surname with an re : The last of the direct male line of the Thickhollins ieee was William Armytage, who died unmarried on the 23rd of May, 1807. He bequeathed his estates to his cousin Joseph Green, subject to his assuming the surname of Armytage which he ulti-

matey did by Royal Licence.

- Joseph Green Armytage married Anne, the eldest daughter of Benjamin North of Lockwood and had a large family, some of whom lived at Thickhollins in the early days of the 19th century when they suddenly left the homestead, resided elsewhere and let the building to tenants. :

Nothing, it is said, would induce any member of the Green Armytage family to come back to their ancestral homestead al- though they periodically returned to I to survey the property in the vicinity of Thickhollins.

The building was later occupied By Mr. William Brook, the founder of the original firm of Messrs. Jonas Brook and Brothers, Cotton Spinners, then by his grandson, Mr. Charles John Brook, and later by Mr. James William Carlile and Sir Edward Hild: red Carlile. These last two gentlemen frequently invited members of the Green Armytage family to stay at Thickhollins, but the

latter courteously declined.

Local gossip connected the curious behaviour ob the Green Armytages with the suppcsed haunting of the house by a lady formerly resident there who appears to have had a morbid craving

for all sorts of exotic types of food and was said by the superstitious

folk of Meltham in early nineteenth century days, to have cooked and eaten babies !

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(Reproduced by courtesy of the Proprietors

MELTHAM. of the “Huddersfield Examiner.

ee ee



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It is said, but confirmation on this point is as yet not forth-

coming, that this erratic woman lived at Thickhollins between the

years 1820 and 1830, and, owing to the unbalanced state of her mind, was ultimately removed to a mental institution, but her ghost has been seen in Thickhollins at periodic intervals,

During the days when the Carlile family resided here, ‘‘various inexplicable noises’? were heard by them, such as the sounds. of crying, of the wheels of a carriage arriving at the front door, of mysterious footsteps, etc. ;

Sir Walter Carlile, who lived there as a boy, related that one evening, while seeing his dogs safely bedded for their night’s rest, noticed they suddenly cowered against the wall, growled fiercely while their hair was raised as if they were terror stricken, yet nothing was to be seen in the kennel house. Another member of the Carlile family stated that one night he saw a woman, dressed in black with a white cap upon her head, go.into the store room. . As he did not recognise her as one of the household staff, he followed her into this room only to find that she had vanished into thin air !


Tinker’s Monument, or Pike—Low is situated on the moorland

heights between Shepley on one side and New Mill-Jackson Bridge

on :the other. It can be approached from. either Shepley or Jackson Bridge, and a fine day should be’ chosen °for paying a visit to this landmark.

The approach from either the New Mill side or the Shepley side is by means of steep paths which lead to two small entrances on to the green in front of the building. 8h The date of its erection seems to have been the subject of some discussion. The writer of ‘‘Rambles in and about Hudders-— field,’’ which appeared some vears ago in the ‘‘Huddersfield

Examiner,’’ stated that it was built in 1829-1830, but

Major Brian Tinker informs me in a letter that the Monument was: erected in 1844 by his great-uncle, Mr.. Ebenezer Tinker, son of)

Mr. Uriah Tinker, whose residence was at Mealhill, half - a-mile

west of the present building. et Mr. Ebenezer Tinker built the and. the ede building as an observatory, but whether he astronomical observations or merely directed his telescope on the surrounding scenery is not definitely known.

Like the former Cook’s Study (demolished in 1935), Tinker’ s

- Monument is built on an eminence and towers above the neigh -

bouring hills. Its height above sea level is 1,250 feet.

The entire block of buildings which are in a very good state . of preservation, consists of three parts : (i) The Monument, in the

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form of a tower; (ii) a ee house, now occupied by the. keeper; (iii) a barn. Viewed from a distance, the whole structure has all the appearance of a church.

It appears that before the Monument was built by Mr. Ebenezer Tinker in 1844, a farm—house stood upon the site, and it seems possible that the tower adjoined that farm- house, which was later rebuilt.

The Monument is a rectangular—shaped tower, 39 feet 9 inches in height; it measures North to South 22 feet 4 inches, and East to West 15 feet’ 3 inches wide. These figures have been sent to ee by Major ‘Tinker, who says that the Monument was built by . James Turner, of Downshutts, Scholes, for his great - -uncle, ie: Ebenezer Tinker.

The dwelling-house is 40 feet long, 21 feet wide, and oa 20 feet high.

The entrance to the tower is by a wooden door on its south side. At one time, this tower contained four storeys, but at the I moment there are only three. One reaches the parapet by climbing 48 steps, which are divided into four staircases; two are of stone and are partially winding, while the other two are wooden.

At one time, in order to reach the parapet, one went out of the tower at the second storey by a door (now a window) and pro— ceeded to the top by a stone staircase adjacent to the walls of the I Monument. Nine stone steps only remain of this staircase; the force of the gales blew down the others on the roof of the dwelling- house, much to the consternation of its occupants!

During one period of its history, the dwelling—house was un- inhabited, and the whole fabric went to rack and ruin, but in the early nineties of the last century it was repaired. At the time of this restoration, it was decided to abolish the stone steps as of ascending the parapet. Wooden steps were built within the tower and one storey removed.

The top of the tower contains a parapet 2 feet 8 inches deep, from which a wonderful view of the surrounding scenery can be seen on a clear day, in particular, Wakefield, Pontefract, Huddersfield, the high ground above Holmfirth and Penistone. A gcod deal of the moorland west and south as far as the border of Yorkshire, and in some places parts of Derbyshire and Cheshire, can be seen. prominent landmarks which can be seen from the top of Tinker’s Monument, are Black Hill, Holme Moss, Buckstone Moss, Thurstonland Church, Church, Castle Hill Tower, and the Hartcliff Towers. Originally the Monument contained a ‘good many windows, but most of these. have been walled in.

Two events have taken place in the vicinity of

Tinker’ s Monument :—

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(i) On the ground at the back of the tower a beacon fire was lit on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee on, June 22nd, 1897. . Major Brian Tinker’s father had the honour of applying the first match. This appears to have been the one and only occasion when a commemoration bonfire was lit near the Monument. I

(ii) The hilly slopes near the Monument were the scenes of experiments in ‘‘sail-planing’’ on Saturday, May 30th, and Sunday, May 3lst, 1981, when Here Magersuppe, a German expert in the art of gliding, gave demonstrations with his ’plane.

This description and history of Tinker’s Monument gives me the opportunity of refuting « tradition which has been unfortunately handed dewn that Mr. Eberezer Tinker built the structure in order to deprive his nephews and nieces of money which they would otherwise have received after his death, but this statement is utterly devoid of foundation.

It is true that the building went by the name of ‘‘Old Ebbie’s Folly’’ but it is conceivable that this title was given to it because ‘‘the Jocai inhabitants did not understand the astronomical purpose for which it was built’’ (Mr. Oswell Blakeston, in an article on ae Follies of England,’’ John o’ London’s Weekly, June 18, 937). Thus, at Spennymoor, in Durham, there is a tower called Folly, built as an observatory by one Thomas lina a famous astrologer and n:athematician.


(a) A story was told that there was a ‘‘bloody hand,’’ that is, a hand covered with blood, secreted behind one of the mantelpieces in Whitley Hall: Whose hand it was, is not definitely known, but some have averred that it was that of Black Dick (Sir Richard Beaumont, pp. 38-43), who, as we have already stated, had a shocking reputation, not only in his life time but long after his death. However, when this particular Adams fireplace was re- moved and sold by auction some years ago, no “‘bloody hand’’ was discovered !

(b) The ghost of a lady dressed in white garments is said to visit the Hall at periodic intervals. It is believed that it is the spectre of one of the numerous ladies which Black Dick beguiled > to the Hall and there made love to them. Whether this be true or not, some sixty years ago, the Beaumonts of Whitley had a visitor staying with them. On one hot summer afternoon she decided to stay indoors and write letters to her friends; while so engaged, she happened to raise her eyes and beheld a lady in white apparel apparently strolling from this room on to an open window leading to the lawn outside and then completely disappear out of sight !

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186 tN .

Te } y ‘ i fy \ x ' 7 a * : ye ‘ ae ’ ‘ 8 4 ‘ ve ‘ . -~ - “ oie 5 a Kot I ‘ 4 ‘ \ .

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Most of the legends so far related have a background of murders, violent deaths, tragic accidents, etc., that it is a relief to record a pleasant tradition regarding Wormail Hall, situated in Westgate, Almondbury.

This Carolinian homestead, now the headquarters of the Almondbury Conservative Club, was built in 1631 by Isaac Wormall, who placed two tablet stones over the entrance doorway ; on these are inscribed the letters I.W.M and 1631; I.W.M\ designate Isaac Wormall and Mary, his wife; it was the custom in those days for the initials of both husband and wife to be placed in some. prominent position on a house front when once it had been erected.

In the kitchen is a magnificent ceiling containing a beautiful piece of ornamental plaster relief work consisting of nine panels entwined with heraldric devices of thistles, Tudor roses, lions rampant, etc., no doubt the work of Italian artists who came over in the reign of Charles I. and executed this type of work in the houses of the nobility and gentry. Similar specimens of work are to be seen on the ceilings of the Dining Room at Fenay Hall, at Newhouse Hall and formerly in Lower Hurst at Longwood.

Tradition relates that in former days when visitors came to this house, they were supposed to tell, under this plaster relief work, the story of their love making. Those married couples would recall their early courtship days, how they first met, where they walked on Sunday afternoons, how the proposal was effected, and so on.

The idea underlying this love confessional box was to keep green the memory of those happy courtship days and rekindle the fires of love, which Pett in the passage of years, have, perhaps died down !

A portion of a second plaster relief moulding originally designed in circular form can be seen; unfortunately, it is partly hidden by the woodwork which partitions the staircase leading down to the cellars.

Two true stories are told in connection with the building and are worth recording for future generations, lest they be, at a subsequent date, regarded as traditions !

(i) At one time the timbered frontage of the building was com— pletely hidden behind rough plaster which had been placed upon it ‘‘during the renovations and restorations so common in the eighteenth century.’’ It was discovered quite by accident. The front of the hall had become so dilapidated that the Trustees of the Wormall Charity decided to refront its exterior. ‘‘The man, to whom the work was let, stripped off the lath and plaster, and at

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Almondbury Conservative Club


Photo by the late Mr. Smith Carter.


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once revealed a perfect and splendid oak timbered front—-black and

white. Mr. J. E. Taylor, then the Chairman of the Trustees,

happened to get wind of the ‘find,’ just in time to prevent a piece

of vandalism on the part of the renovator, who would have stripped

the front completely.”’ (‘‘The Almoridburian, February 1877—

reprinted from the “Hudder sfield Weekly News”).

(ii) At the time the Almondbury Conservattve Association took possession of Wormall Hall, the greater part of the oak panels found in the room on the left of the entrance passage as well as in other parts of the building was entirely covered with several coats of paint or whitewashed. The members of the Club set to work to remove these layers of paint or whitewash; each member was allocated one panel to clean and thus all the panels were restored to their original condition.

It is not known who lived at the Hall after the Wormalls left

the district. Some litigation occurred after the death in 1737 of

Israel Wormall, the last of the male line of that family, concerning the administration of the Charity which he founded and the he left in eee (Charity Commissioners’ Report for 1897,

pp. 4, 64).

Tradition states that at one time in early 19th century days the building became converted into a public house, then it was used

a grocer’s shop, and later, the headquarters of the former

Almondbury Co-operative Society, founded in 1829. In 1877, the Trustees of Wormall’s Charity leased the premises

‘to the Almondbury Conservative Club who are stll its tenants.

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