The Story of Meltham (1977) by Richard Orton

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The Story of Meltham

Richard Orton

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In the Foreword, in 2nd Paragragh, for Brook-Hirst family, read Brook & Hirst families and for Joseph Brook-Hirst read Jonas Brook-Hirst.


Cover picture and photo on page 26 kindly provided by Michael Shaw and acknowledged to the Huddersfield Examiner.

lllustrations on pages 11 and 13 kindly provided by Mr. Gilks, Archaeologist at Tolson Memorial Museum.

Photo on page 41 comes from the Meltham U.D:C. Guide, 1973 Photos on page 46 acknowledged to Lilywhite Postcards Ltd. Photo on page 50 acknowledged to Huddersfield Examiner.

Illustrations on pages 15; 17; 20; 52; 53; 57 & 62 provided by the author.

Published by MELTHAM TOWN COUNCIL 1977

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by Richard Orton

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To the children of Meltham Church of England Primary School, past, present, and future

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This book grew out of a suggestion made by Councillor Horace Dearnley at a meeting of the Methodist Men's Fellowship early in 1969. I had just given a talk entitled 'New Light on the History of Meltham' and Mr. Dearnley thought that what I had to say should be put in more permanent form and made available more widely.

Going backwards from that occasion, the 'New Light' I had been talking about meant newer than what Joseph Hughes had to say in his history of more than 100 years previously and had been acquired from the study of other literature and documents not available to him, and from the discoveries of the Huddersfield Archaeological Society in the Meltham area, in whose excavations I played a small part.

Going still further backwards, I first became concerned to supplement what Mr. Hughes had to tell us when I was trying to awaken an interest in local history amongst the children of Meltham Church of England Primary School. It is to them I dedicate this work, to those whom I taught, who walked round Meltham with me on many occasions looking at 'interesting old things'. It is my hope that this book will help the present generation of Meltham school- children to understand something of their past and that perhaps even children of the future will find something in it worth reading.

Going forwards from Councillor Dearnley's suggestion, the then Urban District Council invited me to talk to them about the project and agreed to commission me to write a history on their behalf. The work started immediately and was largely completed within three years. Then started a chapter of ac- cidents, beginning with the lamented sudden death of the clerk to the Council who had given me so much help, Mr. Derek Binns, and going on through one upset after another, associated with changes of staff and local government reorganization. I myself had concluded that the manuscript would remain for ever in a drawer. That it has seen the light of day is chiefly due to the energy and enthusiasm of Councillor Mrs. Jollans, who believed it was worth publishing and was determined to get it published.

At the beginning, the intention was not to say anything about Church history, because Joseph Hughes had said so much and because all the Churches had their own historical booklets and brochures. I was just going to concentrate on domestic and social matters. Then I found I had more space available than I thought, so two extra chapters were added. This explains the remark at the end of chapter 5 and the later insertion of chapters 12 and 13. Nevertheless, Joseph Hughes' work is still indispensable to the study of Meltham's history. This book will not replace it; my hope is that it will sit beside it on the library shelves, for I was assured by the librarian that Hughes' History of Meltham was the most popular book in Meltham's library.

There is a lot of guesswork in the writing of local history, because there are so few definite facts to go on. I am solely responsible for the historical guesses in this book, but while the judgements are mine, I have benefited from the


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advice and knowledge of many other people. I mention particularly my debts to my colleagues of the Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society especially Mr. J. P. Toomey who directed the Society's work in Meltham, to Mr. David Gledhill for information about the Meltham Branch Line, to Mr. Gilks of the Tolson Museum and his knowledge of Prehistory, and to the late Mr. Matthew Kaye for his local knowledge. Much of the information in this book has already appeared in other works and I have learned so much from other writers that it would be impossible to remember them all. To these works I would refer any of my readers who want to know more; to Sykes' "History of Hudders- field and the Valleys of the Colne, Holme and Dearne", to Hulbert's "Annals of Almondbury", to Mr. W. J. Varley's reports on his excavations at Castle Hill Huddersfield, to the works on place-names by A. H. Smith, to the publications of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society especially Jessop's Diary and Herring's Visitation Returns and the Society's journal and most of all to the many book- lets published by the Tolson Memorial Museum which I have read with so much profit and to their authors J. A. Petch, T. W. Woodhead, W. G. Collingwood and especially W. B. Crump.

For help of a more practical kind I am indebted to Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Wake, the Rev. P. Spivey and my typist, Miss Beryl Smith alongside whom I have dug many holes on Meltham's higher slopes in the interests of archaeological knowledge; also the the staff of Regent Printers. Encouragement has been given all along by many friends in Meltham, especially Mr. D. H. Holmes, Councillors Dearnley, Hinchliffe, Mrs. Jollans and Mrs. Kirby who has kindly provided the foreword and above all by my wife who was best placed to prod me into getting the manuscript out of the drawer again where it had lain so long.

If I have overlooked any due acknowledgements I apologize and freely admit how many people contributed to the production of this work. I could not have done it alone.


Hellifield Vicarage, North Yorkshire. May 1977

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Chapter 1 Hunters and Potters 2 The Ancient Britons 3 The Dark Ages 4 The Middle Ages 5 The Seventeenth Century 6 The Eighteenth Century 7 Industrial Growth and Buildings 8 The Enclosures 9 The Beginnings of Local Enterprise 10 The Local Board .. 11 The Urban District Council 12 Churches .. 13 Religious Dissent and Co-operation 14 Schools Appendices .. Index

















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FOREWORD by Councillor Mrs. J. Kirby, Manor House, Wilshaw, 1 Feb., 1977

When I was asked to write a foreword to this history I wondered why I was chosen rather than an old Melthamer, only to realise that of course I am now one of them. I am honoured to be asked, and in one respect I do qualify, as nobody can enjoy more than I do the reading of this history, or appreciate more the work that has gone into the compilation of the book, producing in one volume a comprehensive history of Meltham from time immemorial to the present day.

I have only a tenuous connection with the Brook-Hirst family. Joseph Hirst, whose sister I think, married into the Brook family, was my great-great- uncle. He helped to start the Meltham Co-op and built up his own woollen trade. One of his brothers kept the Railway Hotel. Joseph Brook-Hirst, his nephew and my grandfather had a finger in most pies - Local Board, Gas Board, British School Board - and laid his dignified weight about generally. My uncle, the Rev. William Hirst, wrote the description of a Meltham Mills Church congrega- tion mentioned in this history, and my father was a Meltham Urban District Councillor for many years. I can remember wandering with him on the moors below West Nab inspecting water courses when water supply was a Council responsibility.

There must be many people in Meltham who can recite a similar list of forbears and who will find this history of particular interest. We in Meltham are indebted to Mr. Orton for his inspiration and industry in the writing of this book and for helping us to realise that our present lives are a link between the past and the future.

Jessie Kirby.

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The story of Meltham begins on West Nab. Some time between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago groups of hunters moved across the open moors. At that time there was no peat. Instead, these people would probably find patches of bare rock, some heather and a thin scattering of trees, at first mainly birch and later, pine. The animals which they were hunting would be deer, wild ox and wild pig, and perhaps wolf and bear. The weapons they used would be spears and arrows with points made of flint or chert, stuck to the shafts with resin.

Prehistoric tools found on Meltham Moor (with acknowledgment to Tolson Memorial Museum)

Neither flint nor chert are local stones. Chert can be found in Derbyshire, but to get flint which is a better stone for the job you have to go to the East Riding. So, the pieces of flint and chert found on West Nab must have been


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brought there for a purpose. We can guess the purpose. When you strike these stones a sharp blow, flakes break off. These flakes have very sharp edges. More careful tapping will then make them the right shape for fitting into the end of a shaft to make a spear, or will blunt part of the edge so that they can be held in the hand without danger.

Flint tools don't last very long. The sharp edges easily get chipped or broken. Hunters would have to carry a supply of pieces with them and every so often would have to stop to make more weapons. They seem to have stopped usually by a large flat stone which they could use as an anvil or work-bench. Archaeologists call such a place a 'workshop', and over 40 of them have been discovered on the surrounding hills. One 'workshop' like this was found about a hundred yards beyond the summit of West Nab - a large flat stone with 140 chippings of flint scattered around it in the peat.

This was at the edge of the moor where the peat is not very deep. There may be many more 'workshops' buried under the peat, which in some places is ten feet thick. We do not know whether these men stopped for any length of time. All the collections of flint found near Meltham so far are quite small and suggest only a short stay - just long enough to make more weapon heads, and perhaps cut more shafts from the birch trees. But then who knows what still lies under the peat waiting to be discovered ?

The peat also gives us information of another kind. In it are the remains of the many different plants which have grown there at different times. Botanists can tell from the types of plants what the climate must have been like at the time. The average summer temperature at the present time is 61 degrees Fahren- heit (16 degrees Centigrade). Round about 6,000 B.C. it was 65 degrees F. (18 degrees C.), and during the next few thousand years it rose still higher. Anyone living at that time would find even the summit of West Nab quite warm. They wouldn't need many clothes. Weaving had not yet been invented, but from the shape of some of their tools we know that they did scrape animal skins. There was nothing primitive about these people and they were just as human in appearance as we are. They had a form of culture though a simple one. We cannot tell the size of the population but we do know that this race of people had settlements as far apart as Cornwall, Wales, the Isle of Man, the North East coast and Southern and Eastern Scotland, and they appear to have ranged widely in search of food.

If there were any people in the Meltham district before this time they have left no traces. It is not likely, because the Ice Age was only just coming to an end. The climate was still cold. Even though West Nab and the surrounding high peaks of the Pennines were never completely covered with ice, they would, during the long winters, certainly be covered with snow. The melting of the ice had produced many large lakes in all the dales and valleys. The nearest one to Meltham, filling the valleys of the Calder and the Colne and their tributaries, reached up to 400 feet above sea level, flooding Magdale almost to Meltham Mills. Neither the valleys nor the moors would be suitable places for men until the climate improved.

When it did improve, the first men came to Meltham. The way of life depending on the hunting of small animals, which first brought men to these


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parts, continued for quite a time, probably for thousands of years. Men came in pursuit of their prey, sometimes stopping to chip more flints, sometimes losing their flints, sometimes throwing them away when they got blunt. The flints remained on the ground where they had dropped them. They remained there for a long time, finally getting buried under the peat. But before the peat started to form some of them had lain there long enough to be turned white by exposure to the rain. But not all the flints had time to turn white before the coming of the peat. These must have been dropped considerably later than the others, how much later we cannot tell. But for a very long time West Nab would only have occasional visitors.

As long as it was possible for the small population to make a living in this way there was no need for change. Round about 3,000 B.C. change did come. The sequence of events appears to have been as follows. As the climate got warmer and warmer, more and more ice melted, the sea level rose, the land between Britain and the Continent was flooded, forming the North Sea and the English Channel. From that time to this our climate has been largely dominated by the sea. It became much wetter.

There were two main results as far as we are concerned. First came the spread of the deciduous forests mainly of oak. This was followed by the formation of the peat. A warm wet climate favours forest development. Extensive remains of trees below the peat prove that this forest extended over the tops of the West Nab and the surrounding peaks. The wet climate continued and peat accumulated around the roots of the trees causing them to decay. In such con- ditions the amount of acid in the soil increases, and time soon came when the only plant that would grow was the cotton grass, which is itself the main peat former. No longer could West Nab be used as a hunting-ground.

Stone axe head from Meltham Moor


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The next traces of men to be found are lower down the hillside and a new type of tool makes its appearance. This is a stone or flint axe. A good example was found about 150 years ago just inside the Meltham boundary towards Netherthong. It was made of flint, was 54% inches long and 2 inches wide, tapering to one inch. These axes were used for clearing the ground of trees in order to grow crops. The men who used them were no longer only hunters but farmers also. Cultivation of grain was first practised in the Middle East about 6,000 B.C. From there the practice gradually spread through Europe, probably reaching Britain shortly before 3,000 B.C. Unlike the West Nab hunters of a few thousand years before, these farmers came to stay, at least for a little while. They did not exist only by farming, but continued to hunt. One of their arrow-heads was found at Wessenden Head.

A flint axe is not much use on heavy timber. Any clearing of the ground could only take place where there was light scrub. The valley bottoms at this time were thickly wooded and probably quite swampy, making them unfit for occupation or agriculture. As both the high ground and the low ground were unsuitable, farming would have to be limited to the slopes in between. In just such a place the flint was found.

The scanty knowledge to be gained from finds made locally can be filled out from other sources. These people who stopped on the shoulders of hills where they could find fairly open ground and started simple cultivation, belonged to a race of men who knew how to weave and who had domesticated the dog, the horse, the cow and the sheep. The remains of their skeletons suggest that they were good runners and climbers. They had stouter ankle and feet bones than we have. They would need to be tough to make a living from such inferior soil. Maybe it was at this time that the discovery was first made that the Pennines are better adapted to the keeping of sheep than the growing of crops!

Throughout this period the peat was continuing to form, and reached a depth of round about 6 inches. The type of remains which this layer of peat preserves are parts of trees, triangular flint arrow-heads and horn cases of the wild ox. A few inches higher are found barbed arrow-heads and pieces of bronze. No actual pieces of bronze have been found so far on Meltham's moors but there has been found a barbed arrow-head of the shape favoured by the users of bronze and a flint knife. Bronze was used alongside flint between 1800 and 600 B.C. The men of that time continued to fell trees and clear the land. Quite a lot is known about them from remains found in other places near to Meltham, particularly the Marsden area. There is still need for more excavation on Meltham's own moors. The peat holds many secrets, not only about the bronze users but about the farmers before them, and the hunters before them. To dig through a ten-foot depth of peat is quite a formidable task, but finds are still made casually by walkers, particularly where the streams have cut down to the base of the peat.

The people who used bronze in the Meltham district some 3,000 years ago may have been descendants of the earlier farmers or may have belonged to a different race. Various groups came to Britain from the Continent bringing new skills and customs. Some were merely traders but some of them stayed. In either


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case one very distinctive custom had been adopted by the local people. That was the practice of cremating their dead and burying the remains in pots shaped rather like pudding basins. Four of these were dug up on Pule Hill, Marsden in 1896. In the same place was found a flint arrow-head like the one found in Meltham.

Remains of a different kind but still belonging to these potters have been found recently in Hagg Wood in the Holme Valley. There were the remains of a shelter, a number of small hearths and a group of post holes and conveniently, from the same site, a flint arrow-head. Here was the earliest definite indication of a settlement. There are a number of similar sites on the rough rock terraces around the Holme Valley.

Again we can supplement the scanty local evidence by what is known about these people from sites in other parts of Yorkshire. On the Yorkshire Wolds they grew barley and herded sheep. On Ilkley Moor they carved the peculiar cup-and-ring marks and perhaps also the swastika. Meltham's contribution to our knowledge however, is limited to one arrow-head and one flint knife.

O - 1 o

Flint knife


This brings us down to about the year 1,000 B.C. Peat was continuing to build up on the moors. One particular level in the peat which coincides in time with the potters is a layer of heather instead of cotton grass. This is evidence of a drier climate but it was short-lived. Wetter conditions returned and so did the


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cotton grass, and by the time the Romans came the peat layer was several feet thick. The story of man from his first appearance to the present day is the story of his gradual descent from the very tops of the hills to the very bottom of the valleys. This was caused by changes in the climate and the subsequent changes in the vegetation. Heather and light scrub were followed by forest which in turn was followed by ever-increasing peat.

The next traces of man come from the time when he had finally retreated from the summit. West Nab is over 1,600 feet high but now anywhere above 1,000 feet had become unfit for human habitation.


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In the previous chapter we have taken the story of Meltham from its first detectable beginnings throughout a period of something over six thousand years down to some time after 1,000 B.C. We have evidence of three different groups of people - the hunters on West Nab, the stone-axe users who were farmers as well as hunters, and the potters who were also users of bronze. The next group of people were users of iron. We know more about them than we do about the earlier people because we know the exact positions of two of their settlements. One of these has been known about for a very long time. It was mentioned by Joseph Hughes in his 'History of Meltham' written over a hundred years ago. He called it a Roman Camp but it is now known to have been not a Roman Camp but a native, fortified dwelling-place.

It was difficult to know what to call the earlier people but with these iron- users we are spoilt for choice. They belonged to the race of people known as Celts, they were members of the tribe called the Brigantes and they were the people whom we have called since our schooldays the Ancient Britons. Our ideas about these people have altered a great deal recently, due to the many archaeolo- gical discoveries which have been made in many places throughout England and Scotland, and particularly on Castle Hill, Huddersfield.


Iron Age fortified enclosures in Meltham


Until the excavations of the last few years on Castle Hill, it was thought that these Ancient Britons were in occupation there about the time that the Romans came. It was assumed that the members of the same tribe who lived in Meltham were contemporary with them. The picture has now been completely altered. Some of the timber which formed part of the earliest rampart on Castle Hill has


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now been dated scientifically to 555 B.C. This means that the occupation must have been rather earlier than we thought. In addition the serious fire which put an end to the Ancient British occupation of Castle Hill has been scientifically dated to 100 B.C. or even before. When the Romans came the British fort on Castle Hill must have been deserted for about 150 years.

The British forts in Meltham may date from any time between 500 or so B.C. to perhaps 100 A.D. We cannot be sure. The so-called 'Roman Camp' has got nothing to do with the Romans and might even have been there a long time before they came.

The belief that there were Romans living in Meltham, that they had a road going over to the Isle of Skye and that they gave the place its name, must now be abandoned as completely untenable. The reasons why the idea has become so firmly established are these. Before much was known about Ancient British settlements in the Pennines every earthwork which was roughly square was automatically assumed to be Roman. Accordingly the one in Meltham was popularly believed to be Roman and was stated to be so by Joseph Hughes and following him the Ordnance Survey. In 1923 Professor Ian Richmond, a leading authority on Roman Britain conducted an excavation at the site and even though no Roman material was found he still inclined to the belief that it was Roman and said so in his book in the Tolson Museum Series. He even went to the lengths of plotting the likely route of a Roman road through Meltham, linking this fort to the one at Kirklees. Towards the end of his life he changed his mind and suggested that some of the Pennine forts were possibly not Roman at all but native British. (Both the lack of substantial buildings and the beehive quern which he had found would be more easily explained if this were so.) He recom- mended that further excavations should be undertaken.

The Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society followed up his suggestion and conducted excavations on the site during the summer of 1960 and again in each succeeding year until 1966. These excavations have added considerably to our knowledge and will therefore be described in detail. The site is at Oldfield Hill, on land belonging to Mr. George Sykes, It is on the 900° contour sufficiently far down the slopes of West Nab to be away from the thick peat and the Rough Rock, but at the same time not so far down as to be in amongst the trees. At this time the valley forests had not yet been cleared. The fort was roughly an acre in size, and was surrounded by a double wall with rubble filling in between, about 7 feet wide, the bottom few rows of stones were still in position below the present ground level. On the outside of this wall was a V-shaped ditch about six foot deep. This was cut out of the rock which at this point is not the Rough Rock as it is on West Nab but a softer sandstone suitable for building material. Within the area enclosed by this fortification there were found traces of the foundations of several huts. There was also evidence that before the stone fortifications a simpler boundary fence made of wood but cov- ering a smaller area had been in use. There was an extra enclosure up against the eastern side, possibly a cattle pound. A few scraps of flint were found, some evidence of iron-smelting, a little pottery, a few stone discs and some pieces of quern, or millstone.


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stone rubble stone (& ~ >» I’D, > ¢ C_~-e7 - * 3:6.7: 9 > 2

37 ", a © ~ C , ‘C/ <2ft>

--» T


<------6ft-----> End section of rampart with ditch

According to Joseph Hughes, before the time of the Enclosures the stone rampart still stood and was quite visible. Since then most of the stone has been taken away and the land has been much ploughed. All that shows at the present moment is the outline of the fort in the form of a mound.

It is not possible to say how long the first simple enclosure, the wooden fence, was in use but it rather looks as if the stone rampart was not in use for very long. The excavations seemed to show that this stone rampart had been deliberately pushed into the ditch. This seems to have happened quite soon after the ditch had been cut, because this was in a comparatively fresh condition. In other words there hadn't been time for much silting up before the wall was pushed in.

The question arises, who sacked the fort? There are two possibilities. It might have been the Romans or it might have been a rival British tribe. There was a great deal of fighting and raiding and plundering between the tribes. Most of the Iron Age settlements recently excavated throughout Britain seem to have come to a violent end, or at least show signs of violence - Castle Hill is a good example. The fire there was so fierce that the rampart itself caught fire, charred timbers and burnt earth being very much in evidence. Probably there were lean- to dwellings right up against the rampart and the fire spread from these to the rampart itself. The picture of the Ancient British occupation of this district is very incomplete still. Here is one guess - when the Castle Hill fort was aban- doned round about 100 B.C. any of its inhabitants who survived would be likely to flee into the hills. The people who settled in Meltham may have been one such group. Alternatively there may have been smaller settlements at the same time as the big one on Castle Hill. Of course this is all guess-work, but the Meltham settlement also certainly seems to have come to a sudden end.


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The coming of the Romans to the north of England brought more peaceful times. The Roman policy was to contain the tribes by surrounding their territory with military forts, otherwise leaving them fairly free to carry on their own lives. Inter-tribal fighting of the type which was common before would therefore hardly be possible now. If fortified dwellings were no longer necessary the Britons might well have continued to live in Meltham all through the Roman period, but they would leave no more clues like the earthwork on Oldfield Hill.

It would appear that these British people who lived in Meltham were mainly sheep-farmers, probably trading hides to the Romans. The presence of part of a millstone would seem to suggest that they also grew a little corn. This would not be easy as the climate in Roman times was very similar to ours.

Until ten years ago it was believed that the fort at Oldfield Hill was the only one in Meltham, but aerial photography revealed the presence of another, of similar size and shape, at the same height above sea level, a few hundred yards to the south, on the crest of the hill looking down into Royd Edge Valley. The Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society also excavated there. They found a mound of earth and a ditch surrounding a square. The ditch was on the inside of the mound. There was no stone rampart like the one at Oldfield Hill. Traces of dwellings were found, a piece of quern and a spindle whorl. Apart from that the picture was confused, due in no small measure to early nineteenth century water-course construction. The evidence points to a similar homestead to the one at Oldfield Hill but a simpler one, and of course a much more exposed one. Apparently Joseph Hughes and his contemporaries did not know about this fortification, whereas they did know of the one at Oldfield Hill. All trace of it therefore must have disappeared a good deal sooner. It would probably not have been found at all if it hadn't been for the aerial photographs. Perhaps other similar fortifications will be found.

We have had to change our ideas about local British occupation in another way. The Castle Hill fortification can no longer be regarded as the headquarters of Cartimandua. Cartimandua was the notorious Queen of the Brigantes, who co-operated with the Romans, and when Caractacus took refuge with her she handed him over. At one time Castle Hill was regarded as a likely site for her headquarters, particularly as a coin bearing the abbreviated name 'Carti I' found on the site was thought to refer to her. It is now known to have been instead a coin of Volisios Cartivel, a ruler of the Coritani about the time of the Roman Conquest. In any case Castle Hill we now know was not occupied in Carti- mandua's time. Her headquarters was probably much further north at Ald- borough. Far from being near the centre of the Brigantine kingdom, Meltham was therefore very much on the edge.

From an archaeological point of view the chief 'find' of interest was the material from Oldfield Hill which resulted from iron-smelting. The interest is two-fold. In the first place this is very early compared with similar material found in other places. In the second place the practice of iron-smelting may conceivably have given Meltham its name. For a discussion of this we turn to the next chapter.


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The period between the departure of the Romans just after 400 A.D. and the arrival of the Normans over 600 years later, is largely a blank. There are no written records of events in Meltham, as there are for later periods, and there are no traces of occupation nor any tools, as there are for earlier periods. It is likely that Meltham remained within the boundaries of the British kingdom of Elmete for some time after the arrival of the Angles. There was an Anglian kingdom to the north, called Bernicia, there was another Anglian kingdom to the east, called Deira, and there was an Anglian kingdom to the south, called Mercia. Elmete was a sort of island of Britons, surrounded by these Anglian kingdoms. It appears to have covered the majority of the West Riding, with the exception of Craven.

It is unlikely that Meltham was a permanent settlement when it was part of the British kingdom of Elmete. It is too high up in the hills. The high ground was used as summer pasture by groups of people whose permanent settlements were lower down the valley. Meltham may have been used in this way by people living in the Kirkburton area.

Probably the settlement of Meltham did not take place until the Angles finally conquered Elmete, an event which came about in this way. The two royal houses of Bernicia (Northumberland and Durham) and Deira (The North and East Ridings) had been quarrelling over which should be the dominant power for the last fifty years. The powerful king Ida had set up his seat at Bamburgh as early as 547 and controlled not only his own kingdom of Bernicia but also the kingdom of Deira across the other side of the River Tees. The joint kingdom was called Northumbria.

Upon his death in 559, Deira broke away under Aella. (This was the man whose name featured in Gregory's famous pun. The fair-haired slaves whom Gregory saw for sale in the market at Rome were from Deira. Gregory remarked that these Angles had faces like angels, and Alleluia must be sung in the land of Aella.)

When Aella died the tables were turned again. The Bernicians attacked and resumed control in the person of Ida's grandson Aethelfrith. Aella's family fled into exile. His son Edwin took refuge in East Anglia and another relative Hereric fled to Elmete. The victorious Aethelfrith pressed on still further and defeated the Britons of North Wales at Chester.

Aethelfrith's triumph was short-lived. Edwin returned with an army and wrested the kingdom from him, making himself king of both kingdoms. One of his first acts was to invade Elmete. It seems that his relative who had taken refuge there had been poisoned, and this invasion was by way of a reprisal. The King Cerdic was expelled and Elmete became part of Northumbria, as did "all the British territories" (according to Bede) and also the isles of Anglesey and Man, for Edwin was a powerful king.


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Strathclyde, Rheged Elmete, Gwynneth and Powis were British


Bernicia, Deira and Mercia were Anglian Kingdoms Northumbria was formed from the union of Bernicia and Deira

Kingdoms ELMETE U - Meltham C < j lal west en'"_ 6 oy Cy Q0 QQ? EAASGT MIDDLE NOLs ANGLES EAST SAxXONS MIDDLE a SAxXONS yo' H SAxOoNnS west gA souT

Map of kingdoms


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Edwin's reign was important nationally because the conversion of the north began during it. Edwin had married a Kentish princess who was a christian and she brought her chaplain with her when she came north; this was Paulinus. Edwin himself was baptized in 627 and many of his subjects followed suit. There is a tradition that Paulinus preached at Dewsbury, in what had been until recently the British territory of Elmete. Edwin's reign was important locally because it led to the coming of permanent Anglian settlers in Meltham. Once the Britons had been defeated there was no longer any obstacle to Anglian colonisation of the upper parts of the valleys. Though colonisation was now possible, it does not appear to have happened straight away. The evidence for this comes from place names. If it had been the northern Angles who first settled Meltham, then Meltham place names would have been in the Northum- brian dialect. They are not. Instead they are in the Mercian dialect spoken by the Midland Angles. For example, while the Northumbrians said "ship" for sheep and named Shipley, Shibden and Shipton (later changed to Skipton by the Norse who couldn't pronounce the 'sh' sound), the Mercians said "shep" and named Shepley, Sheepridge and Sheepscar. Other local words which are Mercian rather than Northumbrian are Ecles, Worth, Royd, Pightle, Wang, Owler (as in Owler Bars) and Bury (as in Almondbury). The Northumbrian capital shows the other spelling of this last suffix i.e. Bamburgh. In the Lan- cashire town of Bury we see again the Mercian spelling. Clearly from the point of view of dialect, Leeds and Huddersfield and their districts, including Meltham, are aligned with Lancashire and Derbyshire, which were definitely within Mercia. This evidence would suggest that though the Northumbrians first con- quered Elmete it was the Mercians who settled there and named the places.

The reign of Edwin came to an end in 632 when he perished in battle with Penda, the Anglian King of Mercia, in alliance with Cadwallon, King of the Britons in North Wales. This invasion by Penda and Cadwallon was in turn a reprisal for a defeat which Aethelfrith, Edwin's predecessor as king of Northum- bria, inflicted on the Britons at Chester in 615. The following year 634 Oswald, son of Aethelfrith, who had succeeded Edwin as King, defeated Cadwallon. Oswald's reign is important for the next stage of the conversion of Northumbria, connected with the names of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne and St. Hilda of Whitby. In 641 Penda invaded Northumbria again and killed Oswald, taking control of the whole of Deira, including that part which had been formerly Elmete. Under Penda, Mercia was the dominant English kingdom for the next twelve years, but in 654 Oswy, cousin of Oswald, defeated and killed Penda at the River Winwaed, somewhere near Leeds.

This gives us a period of some twelve years when the Meltham district was under Mercian influence. It seems highly likely on the present evidence that the Anglian settlement of Meltham took place during this period. During this period too, it was given its name. We can be fairly sure that it was the Mercian Angles who gave it its name, but we cannot be nearly so sure what they meant by it.

The name 'Meltham' has been spelt in different ways, as follows:-

1086 - Meltha' 1255 - Meltham (also 1297, 1328 and 1361)


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1316 - Muletham (also 1388) 1405 - Meltam 1583 Melthame (also 1588) 1608 - Melteham

Recent writers have derived the prefix from Mylte - a cloudberry, or Mylen - a mill, depending on the 1316 spelling, but the 1316 spellings are known to be unreliable. The predominant spelling and the original one was Mel. The Anglian 'ham' means a homestead and the Anglian 'Meltan' means to smelt. There is a West Riding dialect word 'melt' meaning to prepare barley for fermentation, but this would be a Norse word not an Anglian word. It would seem better to stick to the Anglian derivation for both parts of the name and admit that the exact form and meaning of the first element cannot be known for certain. Meltham might mean the smelting place.

Other names within the district are indisputably Anglian in origin. Thick Hollins (holly); Bent Ley (clearing of bent grass); Black Moor Foot; Boll Bents (bent grass on a small rounded hill); Brow; Colders (cold hillock); cote (shed); cradin holes (dwarf holes); dry clough ; dunnock (hedge-sparrow); moss (a bog); royd (clearing); goyt (a water channel); greave (a grove); greens end ; half roods; harewood ; harden (valley of hares); meal hill (multi-coloured hill); cop (a peak); owler (alder tree); pick hill (pightel - a small enclosure); popley butts (either butt - a tree stump or an abutting strip of land); shooters nab; snape (a boggy place); spark green (brushwood green).

There are also a few names which are Norse. A grein (grains ash) was a river fork. An ing was a meadow ; a laith was a barn; and a nab was a hill. These are mainly words which have become part of the language and need not have been given by the Norse, but could in fact have been given at any time. Admitt- edly this might also be true of some of the Anglian words too, but when the numbers are compared, 25 Anglian as against 4 Norse, the evidence speaks for itself.

Other places locally which were named about the same time are also clearly Anglian, e.g. Holme and Honley. Some two hundred years later, Norsemen entered the district over the top from Lancashire and gave names to places like Slaithwaite and Linthwaite. South Crosland appears to be the nearest Norse settlement to Meltham. The Danes who came from the east don't appear to have got nearer than Denby. While these later Danish and Norse invaders were making themselves at home in the vicinity, Meltham continued to be an Anglian settlement. The Dark Ages after that one brief ray of light in the middle of the seventh century, continued to be dark as far as Meltham was concerned, until the coming of the Normans.


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Meltham remained an Anglian settlement for the next 400 years. In the Domesday Book dated 1086, produced by order of William the Conqueror, the local settlements are described as either ploughlands or pasturable woodland. The amount of ploughland appears to have got progressively less the nearer we get to the Pennines. The measurement was made in carucates or amounts of land which could be ploughed by one team of oxen in one year. In Clifton near Brighouse 7 carucates are recorded, in Almondbury 4, in Meltham and Honley 4, while the four settlements of Holme, Yateholme, Austonley and Quick had only 2 carucates amongst them.

Domesday Book for Yorkshire


Manor. In Haneleia (Honley) and Meltha' (Meltham)Cola and Suuen had four carucates of land for geld, where three ploughs may be. Ilbert has (it) and it is waste. T.R.E. (in the time of King Edward) it was worth forty shillings. Wood, pasturable, two leugae in length and one leuga and a half in breadth.

Before the Norman Conquest two Anglian thanes named Cola and Suuen were the lords of Meltham. After the Conquest it was given to Ilbert de Laci and passed to ten successive members of the Laci family. Then through the marriage of the heiress to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, it became the property of the Earls of Lancaster and after the accession of Henry Bolingbroke, came under the Crown until Elizabeth I, who began to sell it off in parts. It continued to be bought and sold for the next 300 years. Sales are recorded in 1571, 1583, 1649, 1677, 1741 and 1751.

From this period of history (the few hundred years following the Conquest) unlike any previous periods, there survive a number of documents which shed light upon life in Meltham. No longer have we to rely on guesswork. The first of these documents is dated 1297, during the reign of Edward I, and is what we call a Lay Subsidy. Four inhabitants of Meltham were assessed as taxable. The details are as follows:-

Thomas Robuby has 2 bulls, worth ten shillings. 2 cows, worth seven shillings. 1 horse, worth three shillings. 6 quarts of oats, worth three shillings. Total 23 shillings - tax paid 3s. 6d.

Gilbert, son of Wilfrid, 2 bulls, worth 9 shillings. 2 cows, worth 6 shillings. 4 quarts of oats, worth 3 shillings. 1 horse, worth 3 shillings and 6 pence. Total 19s. 6d. - tax paid 20 pence.


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John of Meltham, 2 bulls, worth 8s. 6d., 3 cows, worth 9 shillings. 4 quarts of oats, worth 2 shillings. Total 19s. 6d. - tax paid 20 pence.

Adam Robuby, 1 bull, 5 shillings. 2 cows, 5 shillings. 1 horse, 2 shillings. 4 quarts of oats, worth 2 shillings. Total 14 shillings - tax paid 18 pence.

Apparently the tax assessor was either unfair or bad at arithmetic or both!

It was about this time that Meltham Mills originated. The Dison family built a house near Bent Ley. It was called the Manor House and had a small corn mill attached. Tradition says it was built before 1350 (see Hughes page 194). The Dison family continued to live at Meltham Mills until quite recently. We know that a Daniel Dison worked as a Carrier in the late 1600's. Also when the first Chapel was pulled down in 1785, some of the stone was used by Nathaniel Dison to build a fulling-mill.

Now on to 1379 and the poll tax of Richard II. This tax was very unpopular and resulted in Wat Tyler's Rising. It was 30 years after the Black Death, but we have no records of the effect of this on Meltham. We do however know the details of all the people in Meltham who paid the tax of 4 pence a head. In so far as everyone had to pay the tax who wasn't a vagrant or a minor (below 16 years of age) we can form a fairly accurate assessment of the population. 22 households are represented, suggesting a total population of less than 100. Notice the very few Christian names that were in use. In Meltham these people were taxed :-

Johannes Godeman de Dendby and Isabella Thomas Godeman and Agnes Willelmus de Meller Johannes de Hoderfeld and Isabella Thomas Michell and Isabella Thomas de Silverston Adam Diconson Wilhelmus Salter and Alicia Willhelmus De Silversterson and Agnes Willhelmus Gudeman Johannes del Castel and Alicia Nicholaus de Derlegh and Alicia Johannes Smytheson Wilhelmus de Honelay Ricardus Hynne and Alicia Thomas, his servant Matilda Marian Emma de Brenneley Adam de Dendby Thomas Kungeson Johannes Thekhons and Thomas his son.


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A similar list is available for the year 1523. In that year Henry VIII was granted permission for a levy on lands, goods and wages. The tax paid was one shilling in the £ on land, and sixpence in the £ on goods. Only the rich people paid this tax. Six names are mentioned of people living in Meltham. They are as follows:-

Lands Goods Tax John Beamond £1 - 1 shilling Adam Cay £1 - 1 shilling Robert Beamond -- £2 1 shilling John Taylor - £2 1 shilling John Armitage - £10 5 shillings Edmund Greyn - £4 2 shillings

This is all the documentary evidence for these few hundred years. The population was growing slowly, and had perhaps reached 300 by the time of the Stuarts. There must have been well below a hundred at the time of the Domesday Book. The woollen industry was growing but would still be largely on a domestic basis. Most people kept only sheep as we can see from the lay subsidy of 1297, when only 4 people had either bulls or cows or horses. Apart from the 3 people who had horses, travel would only be possible on foot, and would no doubt be at a minimum. They did walk to Almondbury and back to attend church - a round trip of 14 miles. One reads in the Parish Registers of Almondbury about infants brought this long way to be baptised in the middle of winter and brought again a few days later to be buried. All weddings would have to take place at Almondbury and that was the only place where the parishioners could go to receive Communion.

The sort of houses that people lived in is a bit of a problem. No building from this period in Meltham has survived, but this is true over the whole of the country. The only buildings from the Middle Ages of a domestic kind which have survived are houses of rich people. The question of what sort of houses the peasants lived in cannot be answered for certain. Recent archaeological excava- tions at the sites of buried villages suggest that during the period which we are considering there were several changes of practice. In Anglian times wood and straw with turf as an alternative to straw seemed to have been the main building materials. Stone was more in use after the coming of the Normans, but standards deteriorated again before Tudor times and only the bottom few feet of the walls were of stone. The rest of the walls and the roof were a rather primitive inter- weaving of sticks cemented together with mud. The term "wattle and daub' used to describe town buildings is almost too complimentary a term for use with these primitive constructions. This type of building doesn't last very long. The excavations at Wharram Percy in the East Riding point to their having to be rebuilt every 10 years or so, or at least once a generation. No buried villages have been discovered in the Pennine area, so how closely buildings in Meltham would resemble those excavated in more prosperous parts of the country, cannot be known for sure. Stone would be more plentiful, but that doesn't mean it was used. In grants of land surviving from this period frequent reference is made to the right of turbary, that is cutting turf. It has always been assumed that this was for burning, as in Connemara nowadays. Recently the idea is being con-


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sidered that some at least of the turf cut was for roofing purposes. Another way in which the English countryside was significantly different during the period we are considering was that the forests were far more extensive. The colossal Tudor programme of tree-felling to build the navy and the towns had not yet begun. Wood was more readily available, and perhaps stone, even though it was avail- able was more difficult to cut. This is purely guesswork but walls of wood and clay surmounted by a roof of turf laid on more wood would appear to be the most likely. The houses would be small, dark, draughty and smoky.


Meltham from the South


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From the middle of the seventeenth century onwards, the history of Mel- tham is much better documented. There are well-detailed Hearth Tax Returns surviving for 1664, the Parish Registers begin in 1669. There is a Court Roll for 1677. Robert Meeke's Diary began in 1689, and there is an Indenture concerning the sale of land at Royd dated 1698. We will take each of these in turn. Here are the Hearth Tax Returns for the district of Meltham.

1 person had 4 fire-places - _ James Taylor.

6 people had 3 fire-places - Anto. Armitage, John Woodheade, Anto. Oldfield, Abra. Beaumont, Wid. Champinett and Wid. Newton.

10 people had 2 fire-places - Tho. Harrison, Godfrey Hirst, Jun., John Taylor, Sen., Tho. Beaumont, Isaac Wood- house, Willm. Kay, Sen., Godfrey Booth, Hen. Shaw, William Kay, Jun., Richard Brooke.

45 people had 1 fire-place - James Waterhouse, Edw. Waterhouse, John Woodheade, Godfrey Eastwood, -Richard Field, James Taylor de Diggle, Edmond Par- kin, Rich. Scholefield, Abra. Hirst, Abra. Beamont, Michael Littlewood, Joseph Berry, John Eastwood, Mich. Woodheade, Edward Birkheade, Godfrey Hirst, Sen., John Wilson, John Gleadhill, James Taylor de Rode, John Taylor, Jun., Godfrey Lynley, John Taylor de Roode, Edward Haigh, Hugh Taylor, John Armitage, William. Parkin, Timothy Wood- heade, Abra. Woodheade, Geor. Woodheade, Geor. Kay, Willm. Saunderson, Joshua Wil- son, Wid. Woodheade, Willm. Marsden, Abra. Beaver, Gibbert Firth, Edw. Wallinson, Humphrey Wilson, Wid. Wilson, Tho. Wood- heade, Sen., Step. Mitchell, Godfrey Little- wood, Tho. Littlewood, Wid. Smith, Godfrey Littlewood.

The following were assessed as too poor to be taxed, though this does not mean that they had no fire-places:- Robt. Woddall, Jeremy Lockwood, Abra. Hinchliffe, John Berry, John Haigh, Robt. Matthew, Wid. Birkheade, Abra. Littlewood, John Smith, Edw. Holdsworth, Anto. Dyson, Geor. Thorpe, James Haigh, Geor. Haigh, Wid. Matthew, Xpofer Smith, John Wilson, Wid. Earn- shaws, Geor. Taylor, Thomas Shillitoe, making a total of 82 households and an approximate population of 410. Comparative populations of neighbouring towns were Honley - 600; Huddersfield - 700; Almondbury - 920; Slaithwaite - 465; Marsden - 405; Holmfirth - 2,200.


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The Parish Régisters

These go back to 1669 and in the earlier registers baptisms, marriages and burials are not separated. The very earliest of the registers also includes some accounts. Here is a transcript of the first few pages.




18th April. 22nd May. 20th June. 20th July. 3rd October. 7th November. 8th August.

30th November.

19th December 21st December

2nd January. 16th January. 23rd January. 23rd January.

1st February.

11th February.

11th February. 15th February. 15th February.

23rd March. 27th March.

27th March.

3rd April. 3rd April. 17th April.

20th April. 20th April.

7th May. 14th July.

26th July.

Martha, daughter of Isaac Waterhouse, baptised. Jacob Birkhead, buried. Sarah, daughter of George Haigh, baptised. John Taylor, of Royd, buried. Jacob, son of Thomas Perkin, baptised. William, son of William Brooke of Honley, baptised. Joseph Haigh, buried. George Taylor married Elizabeth Shaw. Joshua, son of Jeremiah Lockwood, baptised. John Campinett, buried.

Grace, wife of John Taylor, buried. John, son of Jacob Coldwell of Austonley, baptised. John, son of Daniel Dyson of Crosland, baptised. John, son of Adam Dyson of Crosland, baptised.

Susan, wife of Thomas Perkin, buried. (Her son, Jacob had been baptised 3rd October of the year before.) Joshua, son of Jeremiah Lockwood, buried. (An infant, baptised on 9th December of the year before.) Joseph, son of George Carter, buried. Rebecca, daughter of Joshua Eastwood, baptised. John Haigh, married Margaret Taylor.

Thomas Beaumont, buried. Anne, daughter of Robert Mayor of Crosland, baptised. Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Waterhouse, baptised.

John, son of John Sykes, baptised. Jacob, son of Joshua Kenworthy, baptised. Esther, daughter of Jacob Taylor of Pickhill, baptised. William, son of William Kilner, baptised. Sarah, daughter of Joseph Bardsley of Crosland, baptised.

Sarah, daughter of John Taylor, Jr., baptised.

Jacob Taylor of Pickhill, buried. (He whose daughter had been baptised 3 months previously.) George, son of George Woodhead of Netherthong, baptised.

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8th August.

24th August. 4th September.

10th September. 11th September.

11th September. 20th September.

7th October. 9th October. 22nd October. 30th October.

13th November. 16th November.

11th December. 26th December.

1st January

John, son of Simon Dalton of Bradley Brook, baptised. John Haigh, buried.

Thomas, son of Robert Johnson, baptised. Martha, daughter of William Swallow, baptised. Elizabeth, wife of William Kilner, buried. (The mother of the child baptised on 20th April.) William, son of William Kilner, buried. (buried with his mother.) Thomas Campinett and Adilicia Dyson, married.

Mary, daughter of John Haigh of Marsden, baptised. Henry Schofield married Grace Kaye. Isabella Beaumont of Helme, buried. John, son of Christopher Garlick, baptised.

John, son of John Woodhead, baptised. Infant of George Taylor of Helme, buried.

Phineas, son of John Eastwood, baptised. Jacob, son of Samuel Baxter, baptised.

Martha, daughter of George Carter, baptised. (just less than 11 months after his previous child Joseph was buried.)

At this time entries were made in Latin and so the spellings given are the

modern ones.

1677 Court Roll

This reports the fining of 98 people for digging turf and other fuel, for running sheep, for diverting and damming the water and thus killing the fish, and for chasing after hares with greyhounds. Also listed are the correct fines for these offences :-

Not keeping Helme's Lane gate in repair. Feeding sheep or cattle on the waste without a permit. Not keeping Mean Lane and gate in repair. Not having an efficient fence. Waylaying impounded animals. Raiding the pinfold. Collecting stones. Not yoking and ringing their swine sufficiently.

Letting dogs chase sheep.

Allowing sheep to depasture upon the commons. Allowing streams to overflow. Not scoursing the water course. Obstructing the road. Fishing (for outsiders) Extra details of this can be found in Hughes page 268.


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Reproduced by of the Reverend Peter Spivey Photo by Greaves

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Extracts from Robert Meeke's Diary = 1689 Robert Meeke was a friend of Randoll Broom and visited Meltham regularly.

(Randoll Broom was Curate of Meltham from 1683 to 1705. He lived at Linthwaite Hall near Slaithwaite.)

Robert Meeke was Curate of Slaithwaite.


October 14th. I went this day to Meltham, dined at Yeoman Armitage's, Dame Shaw and her sister Mortimer being with me.

November 17th. In the forenoon preached at home, in ye aften at Meltham for Mr. Broom, where there were many people.

December 25th. Preached at home from I Timothy 1, 15 - middle part. It was a thaw after ye snow. The way was very wet. Mr. Broome went not to Meltham but came hither. I desired his pains, but he was not prepared so I was frustrate of my hope. ‘

Puritan Chapel at Bramhope: Meltham's first church was like this (with acknowledgement to Bramhope and Carlton Parish Council)


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February 22nd. It was such a snow during the day that Mr. Broome could not go to Meltham, but came to the Chapel and preached for me, both ends of the day. The congregation was very small, but half a dozen women in the forenoon. August 30th. I preached at home, there being a slender congregation. Many went to Meltham, Marsden and Ripponden, being the first Sunday after Rush- bearing.


April 5th. - Snow so deep on the moor that Mr. Broom could not go to Meltham. He preached for me. July 10th. Rode to Meltham. It was a wet day bytimes showers, preached at both ends by God's assistance and returned home safe. Dined at James Old- field's, who had a child baptised.


Dined at Abram Beaumond's at Meltham with a new-married couple, viz. Mr. Radcliffe and his wife. After dinner we went into the town to drink a shot as the custom is. We stayed too long, athat it was very late before I came home, Mr. Broom being with me.


July. My neighbour Mr. Broom being ill all this week, I promised to preach for him tomorrow.

In 1698 James Taylor of Royd acquired the use of 9 acres in Meltham containing 2 farm houses, 2 cottages, 2 barns, 1 garden and the right to cut turf. Descendants of this James Taylor are still farming the same land. In 1698 the family did not own the land but were tenants. How long they had lived there we do not know, but the first page of the Registers in 1669 records the burial of John Taylor of Royd. It was probably this same John Taylor who is mentioned in the Hearth Tax Returns of 1664 as having one fire-place, together with a James Taylor who also had one. Back in 1523 amongst those taxed by Henry VIII was a John Taylor who possessed no lands but £2 worth of goods. We shall be referring to this family again.

It is perhaps from this period that the name Millstone Hill (for the lower slopes of West Nab) comes. The name suggests a former local industry - the cutting of millstones out of the Rough Rock. This industry may have begun as far back as the querns of the Ancient Britons. A couple of these millstones can still be seen on the site (National Grid Reference 083092). They measure approximately five feet in diameter and are one foot thick. The date of their quarrying cannot be pinpointed more accurately than sometime in the Middle Ages.

The story of the building of Meltham's first church and how a bishop was brought in to consecrate it (quite illegally) in 1651 has often been told. See Hughes pages 12-23 for further details.


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The century which began in the year 1700 saw many new developments. Public footpaths were signposted. The first schools were founded. The district was surveyed and mapped and two revealing documents have survived - Arch- bishop Herring's Visitation Returns and the Diary of Arthur Jessop. The story of the signposts began in 1698 when Parliament ordered the Justices to erect guide-posts at cross highways. A local order was made in 1700 by the Justices of the West Riding for "stoops to be sett up in crosse highways" inscribed with "* the name of the next market town to which each of the adjoining highways leeds". In 1733 it was ordered that guide stoops were particularly to be set up at cross roads "upon large moors and commons where intelligence is difficult to be had". In 1738 the distances were to be stated. In 1754 constables were ordered to appear before the Justices to report whether it had been done. In 1761 the inhabitants of Meltham at last got around to doing it! The road marked out by these guide stoops, which went through Meltham, was the Marsden to Penistone cross-country route. Further details of this are given by W. B. Crump in his book, 'Huddersfield Highways Down the Ages' published in 1949 by the Tolson Memorial Museum. Crump found four of these guide stoops in Mel- tham. One was at Mean Bridge, and said on one side 'To Holtehead and to Marsden' (pointing to the left) and 'To Meltham' (pointing to the right). On the other side it says 'To Blackmoorfoot and to Millsbridge'. The next one is at the end of Millbank Road. This is much worn but Crump reckoned to te able

Guide stoop at Thick Hollins crossroads Photograph by the Author


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to read it. According to him it says 'Honley 24 miles; Penistone 11 miles; Marsden ? miles' on three sides. The next one is at Thick Hollins cross roads - a district called locally Stoop. This one has been moved at some time, because it now points in the wrong direction. On the three sides it says 'Marsden 4 miles; Penistone 11 miles; Holmfirth 2 miles' 1761. The next guide stoop Crump found in use as a gatepost in Bradshaw Road, but it isn't there now. It said 'Marsden 5 miles; Penistone 8 miles; Huddersfield 5 miles'. It probably stood at the cross roads of the Wilshaw to Upperthong, and Honley to the Ford Inn roads. Crump remarks, 'All the way from Meltham the road is a sunken land winding and undulating, a typical early track'.

Ten years later Jeffreys produced his Map. The part of this track between Spark Green and Millbank Road is marked with a double line. The other parts of it are not shown at all. From this, it is obvious that Jeffreys' Map did not include footpaths, but only those highways along which it was possible to drive a wheeled vehicle. There is only one of these. It comes from Honley over Honley Moor, down Knowl Lane, along Millbank Road, along Holmfirth Road, down Station Street, up Slaithwaite Road and finishes at Spark Green. There is a short branch in the Market Place, and another short one along what is now Mean Lane. The road becomes very wide in the section between the Market Place and Mean Bridge - the likely site of the original village green (note the name Greens End).

There was only one way to get to Huddersfield in a vehicle. One pities the horses which had to pull a coach up Knowl Lane. Most people probably still travelled on foot or on horseback. The routes they travelled along were not regarded as sufficiently important by Jeffreys to be included in his map, and must therefore have been no more than foot or bridle paths. It was along such a road as these that Mr. Sagar travelled to visit his parishioners.

Mr. Sagar was Curate of Meltham from 1728 to 1770, and we know quite a bit about him. We know that he married Widow Broadbent of Cradinholes. We know that Arthur Jessop was the Doctor who came to visit his child. We know that he got into trouble with his superior, the Vicar of Almondbury for not keeping his registers up to date. We know that on 1st July 1747 he paid William Hinchliffe the Schoolmaster his wages for the quarter amounting to one shilling. We know that in 1760 the townspeople enclosed a portion of the waste, named it Parsons Close and gave it to Mr. Sagar for the augmentation of the living.

Mr. Sagar's chief importance in Meltham's history is the Return he sent in to Archbishop Herring in 1743. It provides some fascinating details of Meltham at the time and is here included in full.

Transcript of Archbishop Herring's Visitation Returns of 1743, volume 2, page 179, entry no. 165 (Meltham Chapel, Pontefract). (not written on the printed form)

1. There are 90 families in this chappelry. Not one dissenter among them of any sort whatsoever.

2. We have no licensed or other meeting-house in this chappelry.


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3. We have a school in the town, endowed with 25 shillings a year, but the Master only teaches English scholars, and sometimes writing and arithmetick and has now, I believe, betwixt 20 and 30 scholars, takes care to instruct them in the principles of the Christian religion and to bring them duly to the Chappel as the Canon requires.

4. We have in our Chappelry no almshouse, hospital or other charitable endowment. No lands or tenements left for the repair of our Chappel but some for the maintenance of the Minister, which benefactions are in the hands of Trustees, but I do not know of any abuse or frauds committed in the manage- ment of them.

5 I reside constantly upon my Cure, but not in any house belonging to the Chappel.

6. - (no assistant Curate)

7. I believe that no unbaptised persons come to my Chappel, but I am afraid a great many that being baptised and of a competent age are not confirmed.

8 The Publick Service is constantly read in my Chappel upon all Sundays. It is duly performed twice every Lord's Day but I never could have much en- couragement to read Prayers upon Holy Days for my people will not be persuaded to come to Chappel upon those days.

9 I catechise as often as children are sent unto me, which are duly prepared and qualified to say their Catechism.

10. _ We only have the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper administered here once a year, about ten days before Easter, the Vicar comes, receives his Easter dues and gives the Sacrament. I never take an account of the number of communicants but the Vicar does, so that you may expect that account from him.

11. I always give open and timely warning of the Sacrament before it is administered. It is not usual for the parishioners to send in their names. I never did refuse the Sacrament to anyone.

This is as clear and satisfactory a return to the questions proposed by His Grace the Lord Archbishop of York as I am able to make, by His Grace's dutiful and humble servant.

ROBERT SAGAR. Curate of Meltham.

(C. Robert Sagar admitted 22nd July 1728, made Deacon St. Asaph 20th September 1724, made Priest St. Asaph 21st July, 1728. Churchwardens Old, Joseph Mosley; New, James Gearey.)

The Vicar of Almondbury's own Return for the whole of the parish includ- ing Meltham, adds the further information that his Easter communicants were 1,343. The normal attendances on the first Sunday in each month and the other major feasts varied from 30 in winter to 200 in summer. He also claims that men frequently came 7 miles to these services (Meltham is 7 miles distant). We note that the service lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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There are two interesting entries in the Vicar's Accounts, with reference to Mr. Sagar.

1752. April 5th. Paid 3 men for going to Meltham to affright Mr. Sagar to make him send his registers, Mr. Rishton being fast for going forward with his. Paid 3 shillings.

1758. Paid 3 men 3 shillings for going to Meltham about the Registers.

The year that Mr. Sagar died was the year in which Thomas Jeffreys' Map was published. The Survey must have been conducted therefore during Mr. Sagar's term of office and can give us some idea of the face of Meltham at the time. The districts marked on Jeffreys' Map are New Hay, Hay and Lower Hay, Elm, Dun (on Meltham Cop), Calders, Royd, Thick Hollins, Grave, High Brough and Hickle House. It is clear from the Parish Registers however that Jeffreys did not mark on his Map all the districts, for between the years 1765 and 1775 they also mention the following place-names:- Greensend, Lower Mill, Blackmoorfoot, Peigh Hill, Knowltop, Gill Birks, Dud, Sunroyd, Owler- barrows, and as they also have various spellings, Helm and Heigh Brow.

The registers for this period list names, places and occupations. For example, in 1770 these individuals brought children for baptism :-

James Pogson of Bradshaw, clothier, Richard Brook of Helme, clothier, James Broadbent of Meltham, clothier, Matthew Hirst of Lane, Charles Broadbent, clothier, Thomas Moorhouse of Colders, clothier George Taylor, blacksmith, William Mellor, clothier, Nicholas Calverley, clothier, James Earnshaw, clothier, James Mitchell, clothier, Joseph Taylor of Pickhill Brow, Joseph Taylor, Joshua Hinchliffe of Greave, Matthew Thorp, clothier, Abraham Woodhead, Junior, James Garside of Helme Wood, clothier, William Broadbent of Helme, clothier, John Pogson, mason, George Holroyd, clothier, John Haigh of Owler Bars, clothier, James Harrison of Edge, clothier, John Hirst of Greave, clothier, And these people were buried, Joshua Parkin of Crosland, carpenter, Joseph Roberts of Edge in Crosland, Joshua Beaumont of Nether End,


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The Reverend Mr. Sagar, Mary Bower, Abraham Roberts of Edge, Jacob Barrett of Greensend, Mary Shaw of Millmoor Head, Sarah North, John Brook of Thick Hollins, Mary Armitage, Martha Calverley, Anne Ellis.

During this century the first schools, of which we have any record, began. A certain Matthew Lockwood in his Will dated the 23rd May 1715 directed that the interest on £20 be paid to a schoolmaster for teaching children English and Latin in the town of Meltham. The next reference is in 1734. There is an entry in the Church Register on October 17th of the burial of a Mr. William Ripley, schoolmaster of Meltham. Then in 1777 in Mr. Sagar's Account Book we read that on July 1st one shilling was paid to William Hinchliffe, schoolmaster, towards a quarter's wages. Joseph Hughes informs us that the first school built in Meltham was built in 1745 and stood on the site of the Conservative Club. Further light on the eighteenth century is thrown by the Diary of Arthur Jessop, a doctor. Note the inconsistencies in Mr. Jessop's spellings. Here are the entries which concern Meltham.

The Diary of Arthur Jessop.

(spellings of Meltham - Metham, Melton, Milton, Meltorn.) 11 May 1730. I hear that Thomas Littlewood's son who was lost on 25th March is found on West Nab. It is between six and seven weeks since he was lost. A child was found yesterday the ten in the afternoon a good way beyond the West Nab. It's head was eaten off and its skull left bare. Its hands were gone and its arms as far as could be seen. They brought and wrapped it in a blanket to Meltorn Chapel.

6 May 1741. I was at Melton to visit John Osterfield the Schoolmaster's child. 4 November 1741. I was at Melton. I called at the School but Mr. Osterfield is removed to Huddersfield.

21 March 1745. A boy at Milton, Edward Bowes, apprentice, was shot dead on Monday the 10th. I hear another Boy and he were exercising and had a gun which had no powder in pan.

17 April 1745. Sharp frost. Cloudy. Some hail, sleet and snow. I was at Mel- tham at Mr. Sagar's to visit his child. He was the Clergyman at Meltham (chapel) church. I called at Mr. Armitage's at Thick Hollins. I hear that the Duke of Cumberland hath killed several thousands of the Rebels and hath taken the rest prisoners. But we know not the truth of it.


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It was during this century also that the second Meltham Chapel was built. The story is told in detail by Hughes, but included here is part of a document which throws light on the social conditions at the time. From The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 1936. Meltham Chapel 1782.

Represented upon petition of the Minister, Chapelwardens and principal inhabitants of the chapelry of Meltham in the parish of Almondbury, as by certificat of the Justices assembled at Quarter Sessions held by adjournment at Wakefield on Thursday, 17 Jan, 22 Geo III (1782) that the chapel of Meltham is a very antient building and notwithstanding the inhabitants have laid out several sums of money upon repairs is become so ruinous and decayed in every part thereof that they cannot assemble therein for Devine Worship and in order to make it safe and commodious for the purpose it will be necessary to take down, rebuild and enlarge the said chapel. That by the oath of Joseph Haggar an able and experienced workman who has made an estimate of the charge which amounts to £1,040:2:3%d., exclusive of the old materials, too great for the inhabitants to raise among themselves, being mostly tenants at rack rents and poor manufactorers and burthened with a numerous poor.

In the possession of the present inhabitants of Royd Farm (Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Wake) are a number of Indentures and a Will dating from this century. The Indentures concern the purchase of certain property at Royd. It was purchased in two halves, one half in 1712 and the other half in 1713. Each half was pur- chased for £102. The property is detailed as follows "all that moiety or half part of one messuage of dwelling-house situate, lying and being at Royd aforesaid in the tenure and occupation of the said John Taylor or his assigns, and also the moiety or half part of one barn thereto adjoining and also the moiety or half part of one other barn or coyte situate lying and being in the Wood and belonging to the said messauge and also the moiety or half part of all those several closes of land, meadow or pasture hereafter named, to wit, The Croft, The Two Overwharts, The Land and Close, The Over Black Earth, The Nether Black Earth, The Peat Close, The Great Close, The Nether Hinging Royd, The Over Hinging Royd, The Little Inge, The Great Inge, The Intake and The Wood . ..... and also the moiety or half part of all commons - common of pasture and turbary, woods, under-woods, walls, wall groundways, passages, waters, water courses, liberties, privileges and hereditaments whatsoever to the same belonging."

The majority of these names for portions of land are still in use, no doubt for the same portions. It would appear from this that the enclosures of land at Royd were considerably earlier than those in other parts of Meltham. It had already been suggested that Royd was one of the earliest parts of the district to be brought under cultivation. To find further evidence of this the reader has only to go along Bedlam Lane. Looking back he can see behind him the neat rectangular enclosures of the nineteenth century which will be treated in detail in a later chapter, and looking ahead across the valley the irregular enclosures of an earlier period. We notice references in the documents to walls, passages and water-courses. The nineteenth century Enclosure Commissioners were con-


Page 41







[PST wate


and Surro

Page 42

cerned with all of these three, but clearly they were by no means the first to mark out the land or to bring the streams under control in this way. John Taylor bought the land in 1712. At that time it was already divided up. These enclosures were probably of the seventeenth century or maybe even earlier. The present map of the buildings at Royd is very similar to Jeffreys' map of 1770. It would seem that the view from Bedlam End was very much the same 300 years ago as it is today.


Page 43


During the nineteenth century Meltham changed more than during any other comparable time. The population grew at a phenomenal rate. The majority of the common land was divided up and the present pattern of dry- stone walls fixed. The Local Board and later the Council were appointed. Education for children became the rule rather than the exception. New roads were made and most important of all, for the future development of the district, the railway came to Meltham. Accordingly this century will have to be dealt with in parts, a separate chapter being given to each part. This chapter will be concerned with industrial development.

u y 66. 4 + C Hoke n pa B. c at i t

View across Meltham from Wessenden Head showing the pattern of early nineteenth century enclosure


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When we speak of industry in Meltham we think particularly of the large complex at Meltham Mills, but there are many other mills and factories. It was the mechanising of the textile trade which caused the building of the many mills along the banks of Meltham's two rivers. Royd Edge valley, being rather steep and on one side at least already long under cultivation, was saved from this type of development. Between Meltham Mills and the head of the valley there was found room for only one mill - the dye works. It was lower down where the valley flattens out that most of the mills were built. The other stream however, known variously as Brow Grains Dike, Meltham Dike or The Sefton, flows through a valley which is far less steep, and room was found for the building of mills almost every few yards.

The beginning of this process is preserved in one of the most interesting of the local place names - Folly Dolly or Dolly Folly. This name first appears in the Baptism Register for 1819. The entry states:- "Alice, daughter of Samuel and Sarah Wood, clothier of Dollyfolly, baptised." The two questions arise in connection with this - who was Dolly and what was his folly? Perhaps Dolly was the nickname either of Samuel Wood or of some other clothier who lived in the house before him. The nature of his folly is in dispute. A recent correspon- dence in the Huddersfield Examiner suggested that Dolly committed a folly in building a house in such an out of the way spot. This correspondence was prompted by a photograph printed a few nights previously of Folly Dolly Falls in spate. Anyone familiar with Folly Dolly Falls will know that it is in spate only after heavy rain when there is plenty of 'top water'. Most of the time there is only a trickle coming down the Falls. I would suggest that the folly was connected with this fact. It was not at that time a folly to build cottages in out of the way spots. There were many cottages built in spots much more out of the way. We can still see the ruins of them dotted about on the edges of the moors. Wherever there was water a weaver's cottage would be built. In any case this particular spot is less out of the way than most. Two paths cross there, one from Meltham to High Brow past the brickworks, and the other from Helme to Bent Ley. Before the turnpike road was built up the valley these paths would have been much used. Dolly Folly would be quite a busy cross roads. We must seek some other reason for the folly. Clothiers at that time were thinking in terms of mechanisation. It had been discovered that looms could be driven by water power, more cloth produced and more prosperity attained. One can imagine Dolly saying to his wife, "Everybody's doing it. We must have a water wheel." So he dug a dam, and a channel from the dam to the stream, constructed a wheel, connected his loom to it and sat down waiting for the wheel to turn. Nothing happened! There was indeed plenty of water after heavy rain, but very little of it got into his dam. The majority went straight past and over the Falls. It is possible that the dam never filled up at all. Dolly certainly committed a folly in imagining that that stream could ever provide enough power to drive machinery. I owe this suggestion to the late Mr. Matthew Kaye who himself heard it from Mr. Francis Creaser. Francis Creaser was born in the 1860's at a time when there would still be people living who could remember Dolly and his Folly. There is no doubt that somebody dug a dam and a channel. They are still there to be seen (silted up now of course). Then apparently he found out too late that


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he had wasted his time and energy. Would not this make him a laughing-stock of the neighbourhood? Would not his Folly be talked about in the taverns? One needs something like this to account for the sudden appearance of a new place-name, and this seems to the writer the most likely explanation. The evidence is quite strong, a trustworthy tradition traceable through known individuals of proved reliability, going back to within living memory of the event itself and concrete evidence in the form of a mill dam in a place where there is not enough water to fill one.

Folly Dolly Falls in full spate (with acknowledgment to the 'Huddersfield Examiner)

We owe the preservation of this story to an event which took place in 1940. Matthew Kaye was called to put out a grass fire at High Brow. They took their hoses but found there was not enough water power to operate them, and so had to fight the fire by hand, a job which took all night. Next day, working at Royd Edge Dye Works on some sewers in the presence of Francis Creaser, whom he


Page 46

had called in to advise (being the man who had put the sewers in in 1885), he remarked on his night's work, and Mr. Creaser replied, "You made the same mistake as old Dolly!" and of course explained his remark. Incidentally Francis Creaser himself was a significant part of Meltham's local history, having trav- elled as a toddler on the very first train and as a nonagenarian on the last.

The first stage of industrialisation seems to have been the use of water for driving. machinery. This was no doubt done on a small scale by many individ- uals. Dolly was not the only person to have difficulty with shortage of water. William Brook, first member of the family to live in Meltham, built in 1785 a small woollen mill worked by a water wheel. He found it necessary to installa steam pump to raise the water to the necessary level for driving the wheel. This method was used until 1805, when the Meltham Mills reservoir came into use. William Brook first came to Meltham from Thorp Arch in 1774. He was aged 40 at the time and lived at Thick Hollins until his death in 1806. His first mill was a scribbling mill built about 1780 behind Wood Cottage. His second son Jonas was born in 1776, two years after William had moved to Meltham. It was Jonas who appears to have been chiefly responsible for the growth of the firm. He took over from his father and converted the woollen mill to cotton. When Jonas died in 1836 his brother Charles took over the firm. He enlarged the works and built the silk mill to provide employment for the wives of his employees. This was built in 1840. The eldest of the three sons of William seems to have given his attention to building works in the district outside the factory but his son William Lee made further enlargements to the factory. It remained in the hands of the Brook family until 1906 when J. P. Coates took it over.

The Brook family were by no means the only people involved in the textile trade though they are the best known. Edward Baines's 'History, Directory and Gazeteer of the County of York' for 1822 lists the people involved in the trade. They are as follows:-

Dyers Dawson, T. & Co. Turner, James. Dawson, James. Woodhead Wm and Sons.

Taylor, George. Falling and Scribbling Millers

Armitage, George. Sykes, Christopher. Dyson, Timothy. Taylor, Abm. Sykes, J. & G. Wood, Benjamin Shaw, Eli Woollen Manufacturers Booth, James. Haigh, John. Booth, John. Kiner, John. Booth, Matthew. Mellor, Richard. Bower, James. Orange, John. Dawson, Jonas. Shaw, Eli. Dawson, Thomas. Sykes, Christopher.


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Dawson, James. Dyson, Nathaniel. Eastwood & Sons. Eastwood & Kaye. Garlick, James. Gledhill, John.

Taylor, Edward. Taylor, George. Taylor, James. Taylor, Abraham.

Woodhead & Sons.

Carrier:- Samuel Siddal to Huddersfield on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. Dep. 8mg.

ret 8 evg.

A smaller industry was that of coal-mining. It is possible to trace the rise and decline of this particular industry fairly closely by means of the Baptism Register. These are the individuals who are known to have engaged in coal- mining for some part of the period under examination. We exclude those known to have lived outside Meltham.

Joseph Carter Nathan Carter William Carter George Carter James Dyson William Hallas James Crowden John Parker Samuel Stanfield John Haigh William Haigh David Haigh

George Haigh Gad Haigh John Thornsworth Thomas Wykes Thomas Dickinson John Hardcastle George Batty Daniel Heppleston Jonathan Brook Alan Mellor John Kaye John Harrison

This is a total of 26 individuals, and assuming that people of the same name are related, includes members of 17 families. The frequency for each year in the

period is as follows:

1814 _ 1 1823 1815 - 1 1824 1816 | 1 1825 1817 - 1 1826 1818 _ 1 1827 1819 _ 3 1828 1820 _ 2 1830 1821 - 1 1831

1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1839 1840 1841

N - b Go -- Go bd -

B N bo- G b - b

1842 - 2 1853 1844 _ 1 1854 1845 - 2 1855 1846 _ 1 1856 1848 - 2 1857 1850 - 2 1858 1851 _ 1 1859 1852 - 2 1863

hae bJ -- b) - bd

1765 1870 1871 1873 1877

uaa t GQ gaa

Grouping these, it is possible to get a picture of the growth and decline of

the industry. Before 1820

1820 - 1829 1830 - 1839 1840 - 1849 1850 - 1859 1860 - 1869 After 1870

4 individuals, 10 individuals, 7 individuals, 8 individuals, 6 individuals, 2 individuals, 5 individuals.


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Town Hall (with Carlile Institute in foreground)

Convalescent Home (now Royd Edge)

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Helme Church (with acknowledgment to the Examiner)


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Assuming that the occurrence of names in the registers is proportional to the number of people actually employed in the industry the picture given by these figures is that coal-mining began round about 1810 and grew in the next twenty years, and then began to decline slowly and suffered a slump in the 1860's, never really recovering afterwards. It was in 1867 that the coming of the railway brought cheap coal into Meltham. Also, sometime during the 1860's Joseph Carter, who had been employed in coal-mining since the 1830's, became a confectioner like his son, while George Carter had become a labourer by the time of his son's marriage.

The name which occurs most frequently is that of Joseph Carter, and it is possible to build up a picture of his life. He was born in 1812. He married in 1834 at the age of 22, Hannah who was then 19. The children born to them were

Lewis in 1835, Thomas in 1837 (died in infancy), William in 1839, Elizabeth in 1841, John in 1842, Jane in 1844, Ann in 1846, Henry in 1848, German in 1850, Sarah in 1853, Fred in 1855, Charley in 1857.

Over a period of 22 years they had 12 children; none of them followed their father to the pit. Both William and Charley became confectioners; Charley, possibly through marriage to a confectioner (unless he married the boss's daught- er). Hannah Carter died in 1869 aged 54. Joseph himself died in 1876 aged 64, having dug much coal, sired many children and sold many cream cakes. This information has all been acquired through following one occupation through a few pages of the Baptism Register. What a mine of information the Church Registers are, though such research takes a lot of time!

It seems that at the start of this period the coal nearer to the surface at Brow Grains was mined by digging down from the surface fairly shallow circular pits. Later it became necessary to tunnel underground in the more usual method. The pit-head would appear to have been either behind the Liberal Club or in the field behind Colders Green. Mr. Matthew Kaye stated that on several occasions employees of his engaged in the work of laying sewers disappeared from view down holes left by the coal miners. The industry seems to have come to an abrupt end, almost certainly when the new railway brought much cheaper coal into Meltham.

During this century the face of Meltham changed beyond recognition. Many new buildings were erected. The number of buildings still existing from before 1800 is very small. The present church dated from 1786. There was a barn behind the Fleece Hotel, pulled down a few years ago, which bore the date


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1795. There are dated cottages up Colders Lane, at Crosland Edge and in Helme village. There are other buildings in the Market Place and in some of the older farming hamlets whose style of architecture seems to come from the eighteenth century. There are not many of these however, maybe 50 in all. The vast majority of buildings in Meltham including domestic, industrial, religious and public buildings, but excluding of course the council and private housing estates, were built in the nineteenth century.

Most of the mills on the banks of the two rivers were constructed during this period. The present church reached its present shape in 1876. The first Baptist Chapel, now cottages, dated from 1816, and the second one, now pulled down, dates from 1864. The first Methodist Chapel, the present Assembly Rooms, is dated 1819, and the second one is 1884. The other ecclesiastical buildings together with the rest of the public buildings we mainly owe to the Brook family. James Brook, the eldest son of William Brook, built a dual- purpose church-cum-school to seat 250 people in 1838. Seven years later he pulled this down and built the present church at Meltham Mills to seat 750. His brother Charles built Meltham Mills School in 1856, Meltham Mills Vicarage in 1859 and Helme Church in memory of his son Charles John who died at the age of 29, in 1859. William Lee Brook, son of James, built cottages for his work-people and Meltham Hall in 1841. James's younger son Charles, called The Younger, to distinguish him from his uncle, built Meltham Mills Infant School, Bank Buildings and the Convalescent Home, now Royd Edge Special School. He also gave the Pleasure Grounds. Edward Brook, the most recent member of the family to make benefactions, provided most of the money for the opening up of the centre of the Church and the building of the Chancel. He also gave the Recreation Ground in 1887 and the Town Hall in 1897.

Not all the industrial growth in Meltham was the result of the work of wealthy merchants. The villagers themselves started a cotton spinning mill of their own in 1887 known as The Meltham Spinning Company.


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Blackmoorfoot Reservoir and its watershed West Nab

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The present-day dweller in Meltham has in most cases ten minutes or quarter of an hour's walk or even more before he reaches open moorland. In 1800 the open moorland or the common as it was called, reached almost to most people's front doors. Some land at Royd, as mentioned in the last chapter, had been walled in for some time, and there were other enclosed lands. These earlier enclosures can be distinguished from the main enclosures made between 1816 and 1832. The arguments in favour of enclosing common land were that the owner could cultivate the land and grow corn and this would both add to the national wealth and provide employment. The Huddersfield Enclosure Act was passed in 1784. This was followed by Honley in 1788, Lindley in 1798, North Crosland in 1799, Shelley in 1807, Dalton in 1811 and Kirkburton in 1816. All of these were enclosed before Meltham.

By the time the Meltham Enclosure Commissioners were appointed to the task, considerable experience had been gained. No longer was it entrusted to a group of local worthies as had been the case with the earlier enclosures. Instead, professional experts were appointed to survey the land and draw up a plan of enclosure. These men had learnt not only how to enclose the land in the best possible way but also how to get the best possible fee from it. The standard charge had gone up from a guinea a day to £3;10s. a day and it was obviously in the interests of the commissioners to make the job last as long as possible. Fre- quently the same men would be supervising enclosures in different parts of Yorkshire and even outside the county at the same time. The case of Meltham became notorious because it dragged on from 1816 to 1832.

Two Commissioners were appointed, William Rayner and Joseph Taylor. They sold part of the common in December 1817 for £4,500 and more in 1823 for £2,400. However they neglected to make any statement of account and were suspected of sharp practice. The land which they had sold had been to defray their expenses but no progress had been made at all towards enclosing any land. In February 1824 there was a petition to the House of Commons to have them removed. A Bill was passed to amend the Act in 1817 but didn't get through the House of Lords. Matters got still more complicated. In 1829 William Rayner was declared bankrupt and lodged in the King's Bench Prison. A new commissi- oner was appointed but Joseph Taylor refused to swear him in. A second petition to the House of Commons stated that by this time the commissioners had received a total of £16,000 from the sale of waste lands and were deliberately delaying the final execution of the Act in order to pay themselves large annual incomes for nominal attendances as commissioners. If this went on much longer there would be no commons left to enclose. Yet again the Bill got through the Commons but not the Lords, but finally in July 1830 as a result of clauses inserted by the House of Lords an auditor was appointed to enquire into the whole question.

The auditor was John Hardy. He stated that Mr. Taylor had charged the sum of £2,765 for attendances during the last thirteen years and had received so


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far £2,317. The auditor instructed that he pay back £1,514 and also disallowed other items, particularly journeys to York and London on Parliamentary business and hotel expenses amounting to £945. Mr. Taylor claimed to have made 1,317 attendances. Mr. Hardy declared he only needed to have made 400. The commissioner Mr. Taylor objected to this verdict and took the matter to the West Riding Sessions in Leeds. At this Hearing it was stated that the whole job could have been done in less than 400 sittings and the whole expenses need not have exceeded £2,500. The actual expense so far was more than £13,000. The verdict went against Mr. Taylor.





_ \ wiLSHaw


Township of Meltham Land enclosed before 1800

The outcome of this sixteen years of very expensive deliberations was as follows. Eleven public roads 30 feet wide were laid out. These were Meltham Mills and Austonley Road, Holthead Road, Netherthong Road, Mill Bank Road, Wilshaw and Holmfirth Road, Royd Road, Mill Moor Road (36 feet wide), Blackmoorfoot Road, Huddersfield Road, Netherthong and Bradshaw Road and Wash Road. (Fuller details are given in Appendix IV). In addition to the public roads there were 38 private carriage roads. Nine new footpaths were marked out, each 5 feet wide (details in Appendix IV). Eighteen water-courses were dug and the responsibility of keeping them clean and in good repair was placed upon the owners of the enclosures through which they ran. There were


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26 public watering-places, and it was the job of the Surveyor of Highways to keep them cleaned out. These were for obtaining water for domestic purposes and some of them were also for animals to drink from. Most of them were situated where the public water-courses crossed a road or went under a wall, and consisted of stone troughs. There were 10 public quarries, the largest being 4 acres at Royd Edge. Others were Thick Hollins Hill, Snape, Royd Bridge, Kaye's Maggleden Top, Golcar Hill, Linthwaite Cross, Lawnd and Holthead. These were for "the purpose of digging and getting stone, slate, gravel and other material for the making or forming and repairing the highways and roads, public and private, and for the use and benefit of all owners and tenants within the Manor for building and repairing any messuage or tenement, outhouses or other buildings and erections, walls or fences or otherwise improving their said estates within the said Manor, but not to be given away, sold, exchanged or elsewhere or otherwise used, applied or disposed of."

The land to be enclosed comes under several headings. The Lords of the Manor were given one-sixteenth part of the commons in right of soil. Joseph Green Armitage received 118 acres on Fleak Moss, Richard Henry Beaumont received 444 acres on Belle Monte and Scope Moss, Fleak Moss and Fern Nook. Timothy Dyson, corn miller, received 20 acres on Harding Moss, Joseph East- wood, cloth merchant, received 80 acres on Deer Hill Moss. The Trustees of







Township of Meltham Extent of allocations at 1832


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Charles Radcliffe received 117 acres on Deer Hill Moss. Thomas Shaw received 156 acres on Scope Moss. Referring to these particular enclosures D. F. E. Sykes in his book, 'The History of Huddersfield and the valleys of the Colne, the Holme and the Dearne' (page 70) comments, "In the case of Meltham what happened was that the sheep of the poor were turned from the moors that the rich might better preserve their grouse." We note that the allocations to the Lords of the Manor were in large lots and high on the moors.

The second section consists of land sold to defray expenses. Remembering the £13,000 which the commissioners managed to get for this, the section is quite a large one. In all 242 acres were sold in 133 separate lots. The next section, the smallest of the lot, was made to the Churchwardens and the Overseers of the Poor, 4 acres. The final section consisted of the rest of the commons. These were shared out amongst the land-owners and their families - 88 people in all.

The full details of the enclosures will be found in the Appendix, but certain comments are appropriate here. It would appear that people had been helping themselves and anticipating the enclosures by encroaching on the commons. All such encroachments made during the previous 20 years were considered part of the commons. The Lords of the Manor retained the right to coal mines, also all rents and liberties of hawking, hunting, coursing, fishing and fowling, all goods and chattels, of felons and fugitives, and all minerals in the ground.

Miscellaneous. The purchasers of the various allotments were responsible for making and maintaining good and sufficient fences. Some of the allotments were sold to be used for tenter ground only. No buildings were allowed and no tenters above the height of eight feet. Joseph Eastwood in his allotment on Mill Moor had a right of waterfall and the privilege of erecting a weir. Most of the allotments were sold to people living in Meltham. Other pur-

chasers lived in Oldham, Bradshaw, Slaithwaite, Hipperholme, Milnsbridge, Leeds, Crosland Moor, York, Huddersfield (3), London and Healey House.

The occupations of the purchasers were as follows:- (a) Clothiers. (24)

Abraham Bates Richard Mellor Matthew Booth George Mitchell James Booth William Orange John Booth John Pogson Edward Bower James Shaw James Bower James Taylor Jonas Dawson John Taylor James Dawson John Taylor James Garlick John Taylor Matthew Hirst David Taylor Jonas Hirst James Waterhouse John Mellor Amos Woodhead


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Cloth Manufacturers. (3) John Haigh David Harrison John Woodhead

Cloth Dressers. (2) Thomas Sykes John Sykes

Cloth Merchants. (2) Joseph Eastwood Adam Mellor

Cotton Spinners. (3) Charles Broadbent Abraham Holroyd Christopher Redfern

Weaver. (1) James Brook

Cotton Manufacturer. (1) Jonas Brook

Dyer. (1) John Hinchliffe

total number engaged in the textile trade was 37.

Stone Masons. (4) Joseph Mitchell Abraham Moorhouse

Schoolmasters. (2) John Sykes Joseph Booth

John Pogson, Senior John Pogson, Junior

These were the only representatives of their trades :-

Benjamin Armitage - Joseph Beaver - William Eastwood - John Garlick - John Johnson - John Kenworthy - John Lumb -- Jonathan Shaw -- Crispin Taylor --

Shopkeeper. Carpenter. Butcher. Butcher. and Innkeeper. Land Surveyor. Shoemaker. Dealer in cattle. Sexton, tho' he wanted his land for tenters. Merchant (unspecified).

The following people were to use their allotments for tenter

John Booth James Garlick George Mitchell James Shaw

Jonathan Shaw James Taylor John Taylor John Woodhead


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Walls were to be at least 4 feet 6 inches high, and ditches to be 3 feet wide, 6 inches wide at the bottom and 2 feet deep. Where the ditches needed to be bridged they had to be in stone or brick. The rate for all the land was 5d in the £. Thus:-Richard Henry Beaumont with over 600 acres - the rateable value of approximately £3;4s. would pay 5d. in the £, would pay 1s.4d. a year. James Brook with about 80 acres and the rateable value of £11 ;2d. would pay just over 5d. a year in rates.

The vast majority of these proprietors worked in the clothing trade, the exceptions were :- k

The Lords of the Manor, 2 Gentlemen - Philip and Uriah Tinker, 3 Yeomen - Luke Eastwood, William Fairbank and Adam Sykes, 2 Surgeons - Ralph Hiram Taylor and Benjamin Bradshaw, 2 Butchers - John Brooksbank and Benjamin Holroyd, a Corn Miller - Timothy Dyson, a Shopkeeper - John Siddall, a Publican - Samuel Siddall, a Shepherd - John Taylor.


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Chapter 9


The first Census took place in 1801. At that time there were 1,279 people living in Meltham. Ten years later the number had risen to 1,470. By 1821 it had topped 2,000, by 1831 2,746, by 1841 3,262 and by 1851 3,758, just three times

Population graph Growth between 1801 and 1861


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as many as there had been 50 years previously. By 1871 there were 4,229, by 1881 there were 4,530, and by 1891 the peak was reached of 5,214. There was then a drop of several hundred and the 1891 figure was not passed until the middle 1950's. The 1961 figure was 5,425. The graph on page 57 shows the growth during the nineteenth century compared with that of Huddersfield.

This phenomenal growth was not limited to Meltham, the population of the whole country showed a similar rise. All these people needed somewhere to live and many of the older stone houses in the district date from this period. The local roads have been mentioned in the previous chapter but something must be said about the new turnpike roads through Magdale to Netherton and Hudders- field. The section linking up Meltham with Lockwood was made in 1819 and the section over to the Isle of Skye still known until recently as New Road was made in 1825. A turnpike road was owned by a group of interested businessmen who charged a toll for the use of the road. Every mile or so was a toll-gate known as a 'bar' or a turnpike. At the side of the gate a toll-house was built, known as the bar-house. On the stretch of road between Lockwood and Meltham the toll-bars were at Beaumont Park, Netherton Bar and Meltham Mills Bar. The house is still there at Netheton and the one at Meltham Mills has only very recently been demolished. There was a further toll-bar at the Shepherd Inn, now the private house on the corner of Pan Lane just below the Vicarage. One sus- pects that the traveller to Huddersfield who did not want to take the road over Honley Moor would travel along the footpath via High Brow and South Cros- land. The traveller over the Pennines would go to Slaithwaite or to the Ford Inn. Neither of these is what one would call a direct route. It is possible that there was a track of some sort leading from Meltham to the Isle of Skye. Calm- lands Road does continue as a track of a sort and joins Wessenden Head Road just above the cattle grid. This was perhaps in use before 1825 as the main way of reaching the Isle of Skye. It might also have been the route used to bring down the millstones mentioned in a previous chapter. These new roads partic- ularly the one made in 1819 must have been a great boon to local industry. People could now travel up from Netherton and even Huddersfield to work in the mills. It would also be a great deal easier for the merchants travelling from Meltham to Huddersfield to show their wares at the Cloth Hall.

There is in existence a Directory for the year 1822 entitled "History, Directory and Gazeteer of the County of York" by Edward Baines. This gives us the names and some of the addresses of people in business in Meltham.

MELTHAM, in the parish of AlImondbury, wapentake of Aggbrigg, and honour of Pontefract; 5 miles SW. of Huddersfield.

Population 2,000. Letters arr. at 12, dep. 2. Armitage, J. G. Esq. Thick Hollings, Armitage, B. G. attorney, do Bannister, Joseph, cloth surveyor, Bannister, Joseph, honour bailiff and agent to the Atlas Fire and Life Insurance Company, Brook, Jonas and Brothers, manufacturers of thread and cotton warps, Crowther, Francis, cloth dresser,


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Dyson, Timothy, corn miller, Eastwood, John, butcher and vict. Fleece, Garlick, John, butcher and vict. Swan, Hollingworth, John, cabinet maker, Kilburn, John, machine maker, Rawcliff, John, surgeon Meltham new mill, Shaw, Thomas, gent. Bent House, Taylor, George, woolstapler.

Grocers. Armitage, John Garside, James (and draper) Haigh, John Redfearn, James Siddall, M & Sons


Eastwood, Joseph & Son Eastwood & Kaye Mellor, Richard

A more complete list for the year 1835 will be found in the Appendix. It is the Register of Electors.

By the year 1850 a daily omnibus (horse-drawn of course) was plying from Huddersfield to Meltham at nine in the morning and six in the evening. It started from the Boot and Shoe Inn, (the family of Siddall from Meltham Mills still acting as carriers) leaving the White Lion at 6 p.m. every Tuesday. This information is contained in the Huddersfield Directory for the year 1850. The Directory for 1867 mentions three carriers by road from Huddersfield, William Pickles from the Packhorse on Tuesdays, Jonas Eastwood from the Horseshoe on Tuesdays and Joseph Eastwood from the White Lion on Tuesdays and Fridays. There had been a Post Office in Meltham since 1845, a Lending Library was set up in 1851 and a private company started manufacturing gas in 1855.

The inability of horse-drawn transport to meet the needs of the new age was being keenly felt by this time. Getting raw materials into the district and an adequate supply of fuel called for something on a much larger scale. It is not surprising that many local businessmen looked to the railways to provide the answer.

If the roads had really been adequate neither the canals nor the railways would have been necessary. They were not adequate because of the attitude of the authorities both local and parliamentary. This attitude seems to have been that highways must be preserved from damage by wheeled transport, so wheeled transport must be limited. The damage which the wagons did was in making ruts in the muddy surfaces. In 1753 wagons with wheel rims less than 9 inches wide were not allowed through the turnpikes. A little later with increased loads this width was increased to 16 inches. Earlier in 1622 there had been an Act for- bidding wagons entirely on the public highways. With this state of affairs


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wheeled transport offered very little advantage over packhorses. The increase in the size of the load which could be carried was offset by the greater likelihood of getting bogged down. Overall there was no increase in speed. It soon became apparent that railways could do far better than this. By 1850 the main cities and large towns had been connected by rail and after that date the railway builders could turn their attention to branch lines. The Holm- firth branch was opened to traffic in 1850, the same day as the Penistone to Huddersfield line. Meltham's turn came next.

The Railway - Meltham branch line

The Railway Act was passed in 1861. The first sod was cut by Charles Brook on the 4th of April 1864. There was heavy rain but many people attended. James Wrigley of Netherton (Cocking Steps Mill) gave the spade. Brook cut three sods, placed them in a wheelbarrow, wheeled them along a platform, and tipped them out. In this original way the Meltham railway was begun. It was a very expensive line to construct, including two tunnels, Butternab - 325 yards long, and Netherton - 210 yards long, five embankments and three stations. It took five years, three months and one day to construct, and formed part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. There were several falls of earth which delayed progress. The first locomotive, named The Meltham, containing railway officials, ran on the 13th May 1867. Goods services commenced on August 10th 1868. On October 1st in the same year the line had to be closed because of a fall of earth at Woodfield, but in the two months it had been open, as much as 250 tons of coal was transported. Goods services were resumed on the 6th February 1869 and passenger services commenced five months later on July 12th. The line was three and half miles long and was uphill all the way. The station at the lower end of Beaumont Park which was opened on 1st June 1874, was to have been called Dungeon Wood, but was changed to Woodfield. It stayed open precisely 29 days but proved a failure financially, and was closed. Money collected at the station probably didn't reach thirty shillings. The next station was at Netherton. This one was closed on 3rd May 1949. A private station for the workers of Jonas Brook Ltd. called officially Meltham Mills Halt, but known locally as The Spink, remained in use until September 1934.

In 1901 the following trains

on Monday 11, Tuesday 12, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 11, Saturday 13, Sunday 2.

In 1938 there were no trains on Sunday, 14 on Saturday, and 11 on other days. In 1947 no trains on Sunday, 6 on Saturday and 5 on other days. The last passenger train ran on 23rd May 1949. The last freight train ran on 5th April 1965.

Most of this local enterprise was of a private nature but in 1860animportant step was taken with the setting up of the Meltham Local Board of Health. The Public Health Act for the District of Meltham was adopted on 29th February


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1860. Notice of adoption was published in the London Gazette on March 30th, an election took place and the Board was appointed on May 26th, and the first meeting was held on Wednesday 30th May. Here is a transcript of the report of this meeting. "At the first meeting of the Local Board for the District of Meltham held at the Rose and Crown Inn, Wednesday 30th May 1860 at 4 o'clock p.m. The following members attended and made the declaration of qualification required by law, viz. Messrs. Charles Brook, Edward Brook, Joseph Mellor, James Kilburn, John Taylor, Abel Thorp, John Sykes, Edward Coleman Gooddy and Hamer Taylor. The summoning officers delivered in the nominations and other papers connected with the late election. It was ordered that Charles Brook Esq. be Chairman at all meetings of the Board at which he is present during the ensuing year. That the Election papers remain in James Battye's custody until such time as a place is provided for their reception. That Messrs. Edwin Eastwood, James Kilburn and John Taylor act a Committee for Highway purposes for the present, with power to order all necessary repairs between the meetings of the Board. That Messrs. John Taylor, Abel Thorp, Hamer Taylor, Joseph Mellor and Edward Brook be the five members of the Board to sign the notice to the late Surveyors of Highways informing them on the Constitution of the Board. Ordered that Mr. John Haigh, who is collecting the present Highway rate be appointed Nuisance Inspector for the present at a salary of 10s. per month. Ordered that Messrs. James Kilburn and Joseph Mellor enquire against next meeting for suitable offices. Ordered that meeting be adjourned to Monday 11th June at 6 o'clock p.m. at this place."

(signed) CHARLES BROOK Chairman. (At the next meeting Joseph Hirst, Edwin Eastwood and James Ramsden made the Declaration.)

Now that the population had reached over 4,000 some control of domestic sanitary arrangements was a vital necessity. Certain parts of the district were getting distinctly smelly! -chiefly due to the practice of tipping refuse at the side of the public highway. The appointment of a Nuisance Inspector was essential. Equally essential was the provision of a supply of clean drinking water. The watering-places set aside by the Enclosure Commissioners were now proving inadequate and some were getting polluted.

In 1861 a Waterworks Committee was appointed when the decision was taken to impound Fearn Nooks Spring on High Moor. Land was purchased for a lodge for the Waterworks and an agreement was made with the Curate, the Reverend Joseph Hughes for the reservoir to be situated in the Vicarage grounds. A new Vicarage had been built in 1839 and had the advantage of being directly in line with the Spring and in a sufficiently elevated position to supply water at pressure to most of the township. An oval-shaped tank was sunk into the ground and the depression can still be seen. The Water Rate was established at twopence in the pound, a twenty one year lease was taken for the reservoir. Meltham had no need ever to be short of water. There was an abundance of springs. This fact did not pass unnoticed by the Water Board of Meltham's big thirsty neighbour Huddersfield. A great part of the energies of the Local


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Board had to be devoted to preventing what looked like an attempt to "steal all Meltham's water". Matters came to a head when the Huddersfield Waterworks Bill came before Parliament. Huddersfield was requesting permission to gather water from the slopes of West Nab and Shooters Nab. Meltham was in danger

W/ / spark areen


oucal BRIDGE S . T






Water supplies in Meltham

of losing what Nature seemed to have provided for its express benefit. The Fearn Nooks Spring supply was now proving inadequate. It had failed completely in 1868 so Meltham itself must look for a new source. A Public Meeting was called with the following result.

Copy of a resolution proposed at a Public Meeting held at the Oddfellows' Hall, Meltham on 1st February 1869. It was proposed by Mr. John Sykes, seconded by Mr. Joseph Taylor "That the Local Board for the District of Meltham in the county of York be and are hereby authorised and empowered to petition Parliament against the Huddersfield Waterworks Bill and also to bear and pay out of the General District Rates of the said District of Meltham either the whole or any part (as they may think proper) of the costs and expenses of one or more petitions having for their object the protection of the rights to water and other interest of all or any of the inhabitants of the said District of Meltham, and the restraining of the Huddersfield Corporation from carrying into effect their design for encroaching on such rights and interests." Votes were taken - for:386, against:10.

In response to the failure of the water supply it was decided to impound Scope Spring. Following the Public Meeting it was decided unanimously "that as many members of the Parliamentary Committee as can make it convenient


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be empowered to watch in London the passing of the Huddersfield Waterworks Bill through the Committee of the Houses of Parliament, and to make any arrangements which they may deem advisable in the interests of Meltham solely excepting disposing of the existing Meltham Waterworks, with the works in present in progress for increasing the water supply."

The cost of this fight to the ratepayers of Meltham was £1,452. To raise this money house rates went up to 3s.4d. and land to 10d. A Mr. Rockley Taylor served the Board with notices of his intention to appeal against the District Rate. The Board in reply employed a solicitor and Mr. Rockley Taylor withdrew his notice. Nevertheless this increased great hardship, particularly to the poor people and in the long run Mr. Edward Brook paid 613 of the poorer ratings (there were 936 ratings in all) out of his own pocket, totalling £31.76s.11d.

On March 29th 1869 the whole district was made into a Water District. The Huddersfield Waterworks Bill established the Meltham Local Board in possession of their own water rights and privileges. This freed them to impound Scope Spring and extend their mains coverage.

A new Service Tank was installed in 1874.


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Now that Meltham had a local government of its own, changes took place very quickly. Here is a summary of the work of the first year.

On 2nd July George Taylor of Royd was appointed Clerk, Collector of Rates, Assistant Surveyor of Highways and Inspector of Nuisances at a salary of £30 per annum. The Surveyor Joshua Blackshaw was being paid twenty shillings a week at the time.

A Highways Committee was appointed.

The problem of water running down the New Road was solved by diverting it along the Dud Ing Road into the coalpit working.

The Highway Rate was established at ten pence in the £ and the General Rate at four pence in the £.

An Order was given that "no carts, wagons, gigs or other carriages be suffered to be washed on the public highways."

The following year bye-laws were drawn up covering the Constitution of the Local Board and Regulations about streets, drainage, new buildings, slaughterhouses, closets and nuisances. The Town Pindar was instructed to impound all cattle, asses, sheep or geese found upon the highway. Labour troubles began in 1866 and the Corporation workmen made a request that they might knock off on Saturdays at one o'clock. The following year it was decided that people employed by the day for team work should begin at eight o'clock and not seven o'clock. The Managers of the new School just opened in memory of Joseph Hughes were allowed to take in the Pinfold as part of the playground on the understanding that they found an alternative place for it. The site of the Pinfold has now been clearly marked by the erection there in the garden wall at the side of the bungalow built for Mr. Matthew Kaye, of one of the stone win- dow mullions from the first Church (of 1651). Mr. Kaye expressed the wish at the time that it should stay there for another 300 years.

In April 1874 a memorial was presented in London to this effect, "That the original Act for making and maintaining a turnpike road from Lockwood to Meltham and a branch to Meltham Mills was passed in the fifty eighth year of the reign of His Majesty King George III and an Act amending the same was passed in the sixth year of the reign of His Majesty King George IV, and a further Act for widening and better maintaining and repairing the said road and for other purposes was passed in the fifteenth year of the reign of Her Present Majesty.

That the Township of Meltham has for the last forty years and upwards been called upon to repair that portion of the said road which lies within it, being about 1,358 yards in length.

That during the whole of that time the Trustees of the said road have been receiving toll within the said township of Meltham, but have not expended any


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money in, or paid any contribution towards the repairs of the said road. There is one toll-gate in the township of Meltham situate at Harewood Bridge near the junction of the said road and the branch road to Meltham Mills, but no repairs have been done to the said branch road by the said Trustees since it was constructed.

That in consequence of the said toll-gate being erected at the said point of junction and of a chain bar being put across the said branch road all the traffic requiring to be passed from the Railway Station in Meltham to Meltham Mills is carried by a circuitous route over the highways of Meltham township a dis- tance of 1,470 yards, whereas if that chain bar were removed the said traffic would only pass over a length of highway of 490 yards long.

That the inhabitants of Meltham consider this to be a great hardship upon them. That the Trustees a few years ago refused an application to remove or diminish the tolls taken at the said chain bar.

That Meltham Mills are very extensive and the traffic to them is large. They are the property of and are occupied by Messrs. Jonas Brook and Bros., Cotton Sewing Thread Manufacturers.

That Messrs. Charles Brook and Son are the owners and occupiers of a large Silk Spinning Mill and premises about 250 yards to the eastward of the said Harewood Bridge toll-bar. Immediately on passing westward through the same toll-bar to the Station the private road of the Railway Company communicates with the said turnpike road so that the traffic from and to the said Silk Mill and premises only passes over the said 258 yards of turnpike road and yet the said Charles Brook and Son have to pay three full tolls per day for the same. This length of road forms part of the before-mentioned highways in the township of Meltham.

That the debt owing by the said Trustees is inconsiderable and ought to be immediately discharged and the toll-houses removed and the Act allowed to expire. (signed) WILLIAM BAMFORD. Chairman of the Meltham Local Board."

This request met with success. The Committee decided that the Act should expire on 31st December.

The Local Board was in existence until 1894. Here is a summary of the main decisions taken in this period.

1875 Some gas lamps placed in the streets. 1878 - The Town Lamp to burn all night through. 1878 To light the four faces of the Church Clock with gas. 1880 Intention to construct a reservoir capable of holding more than a hundred thousand gallons. 1881 Land for reservoir bought. 1882 - Work started on the new storage reservoir. 1882 William Broadbent appointed lamplighter to the Board at ten shillings a week.


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Golcar Brow Road became a public highway.

Nuisance Inspector instructed to inspect all house sinks, to ensure that all waste pipes were trapped.

The Cop Road, Blackmoorfoot became a public highway. Plans approved for the new Wesleyan Chapel. The Clerk of Works for the new reservoir was given a month's notice because the Board was dissatisfied with the speed of construction. Fearn Nooks Spring was diverted into the new reservoir.

Gas Works purchased. Medical Officer of Health authorised to summon people having cases of scarlet fever and neglecting to keep their children indoors.

Reservoir emptied due to leakage. Many of the public watering-troughs condemned as unfit for public use. No more than four cottages to be allowed to one privy throughout the district.

The clothes of a smallpox case to be destroyed, and new ones to be provided by the Board, also the bedding if necessary. Edward Brook gave the Recreation Ground as a Jubilee gift. Smallpox epidemic stamped out. The New Road from the old toll-bar to Town Bottom to be lighted with gas.

Edward Brook offered to provide a new Board Room. Clarke's Spring to be turned into the reservoir. Three mill-owners cautioned about the dense volumes of smoke emitted.

All ash-pits to be covered in. A certain gentleman ordered to stop emptying buckets into the manhole in Green's End. Steamroller bought for £335.

Town Gate from the Swan to the Waggon and Horses and the road macadamised.

Footbridge to be placed over the stream near Sefton Mill. Three more cases of smallpox. Mean Lane became a public highway. Smallpox Hospital built at Moor Top. Reservoir leaking again. Land bought from the Dartmouth Estate for Sewage Works. Twelve new wayside seats placed as follows:- Stoops, below Alma, up


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New Road below Catch, opposite Meltham Reservoir, opposite Mr. Hirst's wall corner, Top wall corner, Wills O'Nats, Lane End Meltham Moor, opposite Mr. Briggs' place, top of Helme Wood Helmes Lane, Shoe Broads Lane top, Bottomley's Lane top.

Two Notice Boards for the Recreation Ground and posters put in same cautioning the frequenters of the ground against using obscene language etc., therein.

27th December 1894 - Last Meeting of the Meltham Local Board.


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First Meeting of the Meltham Urban District Council was on 31st December 1894 when the new Councillors were sworn in. At the first meeting in 1895 the Local Government Board was asked to grant the powers not already possessed by the Council. It was decided that the Seal of the Council be "Meltham Urban District Council" with a device of a girl at a spinning wheel in the centre.

1894 - 1900

The house of a certain lady at Town Bottom was ordered to be closed at once as a common lodging-house on account of its "filthy dirty state". She was instructed to cleanse it for her own family. People who kept cattle had two shillings per cow added on to their water rate. People who used the town's water for washing their traps had two shillings and sixpence per trap added on to their water rate. Edward Brook gave £1,500 to build the Council Offices. The 'Urban District of Meltham (extension) Order came into operation taking in two thirds of Meltham Mills and the districts of Greave, Slack and Windy Bank from Honley Urban District, and Wilshaw and St. Mary's Court from Netherthong. Helme School closed for three weeks because of measles. Royd Farm and buildings purchased for £650 for an Isolation Hospital. Edward Brook gave a clock and a tower for the new Council Offices. Plans for Jubilee Celebrations - a beacon fire on Meltham Cop, Promenade Concerts by the Meltham Mills Band in the Recreation Ground. Wilshaw School closed for a month because of scarlet fever. Meltham Mills School closed through scarlet fever. Meltham was compelled to join the amalgamation for a hospital by order of the Local Government Board so the plan to use Royd Farm fell through.


Meltham became part of the Huddersfield Telephone District. Three cases of typhoid fever. The old Town School to be sold and the proceeds to be invested for secondary education purposes. Police Superintendent requested to suppress the playing of football in the Market Place. Auction held for the selling of Royd Farm. Death of Edward Brook. The day of the funeral a day of mourning. Smallpox in Calmlands. Free vaccination for all. William Carter, Clerk to the Council, completed 25 years service. Measures to be taken to prevent as far as possible the nuisance caused by dust on the road through motor cars. Cases of diphtheria. Meltham School closed. Motor testing up the hill on Wessenden Hill Road to be stopped if possible. Application made to Huddersfield for a tram to Meltham.


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The Council decided that the work and benefactions of Edward Brook should be commemorated. Therefore Mr. Henry Mawdesley A.R.C.A. was commissioned to paint a portrait in oils to hang in the Town Hall. The unveiling took place on 29th March 1913. The Clerk of the Council, Mr. W. Carter made a speech summarising Mr. Brook's work for Meltham. He was a member of the first Local Board, he paid the rates on behalf of 613 poor rate-payers in 1869, he gave the Recreation Ground in 1887, he gave land for the Town Hall in 1891, he paid the total cost for the building of the Town Hall (£2,882;8s;3d.). He paid the cost of taking in part of Honley and Netherthong in 1895, and he gave land to enlarge the Gas Works in 1898. Mr. Brook's son, who performed the unveiling, in summarising the doings of the Brook family pointed out that his grandfather Jonas was actually the founder of the Co-operative Movement in 1826.

In the same year a detailed description of Meltham and life in Meltham was given at a Housing Enquiry when the Council asked for a loan from the Local Government Board. The population was then 5,159 and the rateable value £26,656. Meltham had not been troubled by the speculative builder and was almost unique in that respect. People had become accustomed to low rents and no one would build as an investment. There were a good many houses in the district which had not separate accommodation for the sexes. Wages for spinners were 30 shillings to 40 shillings per week, bobbin turners 25 shillings, piecers and menders 25 shillings, labourers and dyers and woodyard men 22 shillings, girls from 10 shillings to 20 shillings. The total number of houses was 1,300. The Sanitary Inspector knew of one case where a bedroom and a living room were occupied by a man, his wife, three children and two lodgers. Many people were coming into the district to find work and were looking for lodgings. The Secretary for Meltham Co-op said that there were fourteen applicants for the next vacant house, and the one entitled to it had been waiting for three years.

Relations with Huddersfield were again strained. Meltham wanted Hudders- field to run trams into the Urban District. Huddersfield wanted to provide electricity. The Council refused to give permission for the supply of electricity until Huddersfield did something about the trams. Huddersfield insisted that the matters were quite separate, but if they secured the right to supply electricity it would no doubt be an inducement to provide trams. On the other hand if the right were withheld then the inducement would be gone. There was also the question of the several Borough extension schemes being promoted in the West Riding at the time. Together with many other small authorities Meltham was opposed to the enlargement of the already large Boroughs and sent a letter to the Member of Parliament.

Other events during this period were the building of the Council Houses at Broadlands, the forming of the Distress Committee, and the local Food Control Committee, the decision to build twenty one more houses at Broadlands and the holding of Peace Celebrations along the lines of those held at the Jubilees. It was finally decided to settle for a bus and not a tram.

There are very few references in the Council Minutes to the Great War.


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The Council's first job was to settle the terms for the Bus Service. One guinea was to be paid in respect of each vehicle, and also twopence per car mile run. Then there was the problem of unemployment. It was decided to apply for a Grant towards the additional labour to carry out work on the roads. The rate of pay was to be one shilling and sixpence per hour for an able-bodied man. However the Grants Committee rejected Meltham's application because there was not serious unemployment in Meltham.

There was a fuel emergency. The gas supply was restricted and emergency supplies of coal were being distributed. The water supply was again proving inadequate. The supply was to be turned off from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and water was to be bought from Huddersfield. A Picture Theatre was started in Meltham. Also a Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed consisting of six of the Council employees. Ten more houses were built at Broadlands. The Recreation Ground was equipped with swings and a merry-go-round. On 1st January 1928 a fire broke out at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Haigh. Their four children perished and the home was lost. A relief fund was started and reached over £1,000 after a week. This was to be spent on first, clothing and maintenance, next a holiday and then a new home and furniture. In 1930 a room at the Carlile Institute was equipped as a Library, there were five cases of smallpox, a guide book was issued and the roads going out to the Holmfirth and Linthwaite boundaries were taken over by the Council. In 1933 Wood Cottage Hostel was opened. Jubilee Celebrations were held in 1935. In this same year there was another water shortage and water was obtained from Huddersfield. In 1937 Councillor Edward Quarmby gave a paddling pool in the Recreation Ground. In 1938 a water diviner was employed and located several underground springs. In 1939 Meltham contributed £67:5s. and fifty nine parcels of clothing to relieve children suffering from malnutrition through the Spanish Civil War.

The War and after

The Spitfire Fund raised £222:17s:6d. Schoolchildren were employed collecting waste paper from five to seven in the evenings. It was decided not to run a British Restaurant unless the cooking could be done locally. Meltham adopted Mazurka. German prisoners of war were employed on a housing scheme. Wood Cottage became a Youth Hostel. Meltham Hall Estate was given to the District. In 1947 Meltham applied to the Boundary Commission for the whole of the Urban District of Meltham to be included in the County Borough of Hudders- field. A Christmas Tree was purchased for the first time in 1950.


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Part of the Urban District was included in the Peak District National Park. Celebrations to mark the Coronation were held in 1953.

The Carlile Institute was purchased. In 1961 the Council's Water Undertaking was transferred to Huddersfield

Corporation (the end of the fight.)


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Chapter 12 CHURCHES

From the earliest times Meltham formed part of the parish of Almondbury together with the townships of Lingards, Linthwaite, South Crosland, Lock- wood, Almondbury, Farnley Tyas, Honley, Netherthong, Upperthong, Aus- tonley, Holme and half of Marsden. The church in Almondbury was the only building in this extensive area which was licensed for the holding of christening, wedding, funeral and Holy Communion services. Meltham is seven miles from Almondbury church, but there is plenty of evidence that people did walk this distance; some of them only occasionally, many quite frequently and probably a few every week.

Nevertheless, as soon as they could manage it, most villages got a place of their own to worship in, at least for the Sunday services; a 'chapel of ease' as it was called, and a curate to take the services, resident if possible. When Honley got its chapel of ease in 1503 or thereabouts, this became the nearest place of worship to Meltham, but it was another 150 years before the first Meltham chapel was built.

The First Meltham Chapel

It was the will of William Woodhead which provided the impetus to the building. Being a bachelor, he had lived at home with his mother Martha at Royd, and was worried about her having to go all the way to Honley to church. It wasn't just the distance either, because as she crossed Harden Clough the local young ruffians used to pelt her with sods. William Woodhead had some property at Dobcross in Saddleworth and by his will he instructed that the rents and profits should go to pay a curate at Meltham if the people of Meltham should build a chapel.

The chapel was consecrated in 1651, but as Oliver Cromwell was ruling England at the time, the official religion of the country was Presbyterian and bishops were against the law. So it wasn't the Archbishop of York who came to perform the ceremony, as it would have been in happier times, but Henry Tilson who had been bishop of Elphin in Ireland but was now since his exile living in retirement in Dewsbury. Consecration by a bishop was against the law of course, but out of the way places like Meltham were a law unto themselves.

The best way to get an idea of what this building looked like is to visit the Puritan Chapel at Bramhope near Leeds. This was built at about the same time. Meltham's chapel had a porch at the south-west door, a gable at the west end with a bell weighing 148 lbs, four arched windows of three lights each and one at the east end of four lights. The floor was of mud, covered annually with fresh rushes at the feast of the patron saint, St. Bartholomew, on August 24th. Rush- bearing in Meltham last took place about 1770. Details can be found on pages 30-32 of Hughes. There was a pulpit in the centre of the north wall, an aisle in the middle, ten or twelve pews on the south side and simple forms for the poorer people.


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The population of Meltham at the time cannot have been much more than 200 to pay for the building of the chapel. They were no doubt proud of their achievement and turned up in force for the consecration, not bothering what Oliver Cromwell thought about it.

The first curate lived at Brockholes (Christian Binns 1651-1669), the abode of the second is not known (George Crosland 1669-1682 ?), the third lived at Slaithwaite and was friends with the curate there whose diary was quoted from in chapter 5 (Randoll Broom 1683-1705). They seem to have been without a curate from 1705-1710 as no name is recorded and the pages are lacking from the registers. The next curate lived at Netherthong (John Kaye 1710-1723). Then followed in rapid succession a Mr. Sunderland (for a few months), John Stainton (from 1724) and a Mr. Littlewood (very briefly). In 1728 Robert Sagar became curate. He was the first to live in Meltham and was curate for 42 years. It was his reply to the questions in the Archbishop's visitation return which provided the information about Meltham in 1743 (chapter 6). The last curate to preside over the old chapel was Edmund Armistead. He lived at Netherton.

The first chapel stood for 135 years. Two relics are preserved in the present church. Behind the main door is a stone with the date 1651 and in the pulpit, forming the centre piece of the desk, is the original book-rest inscribed with the same date. The stone mullions from the windows are preserved in the boundary wall of the cottage and school yard opposite, marking the site of the old pinfold. The rest of the masonry was used either in the new church or in the cottages nearby, or sold to Nathaniel Dison to build a fulling mill at Meltham Mills. 'Some of the wood was made into a dressing table by the joiner for the new chapel, just to prove his skill. He was Joseph Rouse and the table is still in existence at the vicarage. The altar rails in Meltham Mills Church are also made from some of the roof rafters.

The Second Chapel

Imagine the present church without its tower, chancel or transept, just a plain rectangle. That was the appearance of the second church at its building in 1786. The old one was not thought large enough for the growing population and its walls were decaying. Subscriptions from the townsfolk were requested, the demolition of the old church began on July 6th 1786 and the new church was completed within two years; built at a cost of 150 guineas.

Mr. Armistead, who had ministered for 16 years in the old chapel, con- tinued as curate in the new one until 1828, a grand total of 58 years. Add to that the 42 years of Mr. Sagar and you find that the two men between them spanned a whole century. The superiority of the new chapel was very obvious to Mr. Armistead, for he could remember the old one, but his successor was more conscious of its inadequacies. The population was still growing, accommodation was needed for the Sunday School children, and there was no tower and therefore no peal of bells. A grant of £250 from the Church Enlarge- ment Society and large subscriptions from the newly rich mill owners made the improvements possible. Work on the new tower and the new transept with gallery began in 1835. A year later all was ready for the arrival of the bells,


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amidst great excitement, for Meltham would now be top village as far as bells were concerned. No neighbouring village could match them.

It was during the energetic ministry of Lewis Jones that these improvements took place. He was already Vicar of the parish of Almondbury and therefore patron of the chapelry of Meltham. So when Mr. Armistead died, he appointed himself as curate. During the time he was Vicar of Almondbury, he had fourteen new churches built within the different townships of his parish. When he was satisfied with what he had done in Meltham, he relinquished the post after ten years and appointed a new curate.

His appointment of himself had not been popular. The people of Meltham had wanted Mr. Armistead's assistant, Robert Keen to be their curate and on Mr. Jones' arrival there was a riot in the churchyard which resulted in some of the rioters being taken to court in York. Judgement went in favour of the vicar and after that the people of Meltham seem to have behaved themselves.

The person Mr. Jones appointed as his successor was the Rev. Joseph Hughes whose 'History of Meltham' is a mine of information. To him all who study the history of Meltham are heavily indebted. During his time as curate the Vicarage was built, called then the Parsonage. He was followed by Edward Collis Watson who moved to Meltham from the chapelry of Honley and remained until 1899. He came as curate but in 1874 the chapelry of Meltham at last gained its independence from Almondbury so Mr. Watson became the first vicar. During his time pew rents were abolished and the church became 'free and open'. The chancel was added in 1876 and a carillon which plays hymn tunes on the bells in 1878.

Before Mr. Watson, Meltham had been served by eleven curates and since the beginning of the twentieth century there have been six more vicars. Mr. Tatham was vicar from 1899 to 1902. Canon Walshaw How from 1902 to 1917, Canon Barter from 1917 to 1940, Canon Roberts from 1940 to 1952, Canon Stanney from 1952 to 1960 and the Rev. P. Spivey since 1960.

Meltham Mills Church

The district of Meltham Mills became conscious of itself as a village in its own right and not just part of Meltham in the early years of the last century. This was due to the growth of the Brook cotton mills and of a population of work-people in the cottages which were built nearby. It was James Brook in particular who was continually looking for ways in which the human needs of those work-people could be met. The buildings which the Brook family gave to Meltham were industrial, domestic, educational and religious. It was in 1838 that a dual purpose building, to serve both as church and school was erected, but this soon proved too small and plans were drawn up for a 'real' church.

The church was consecrated on November 11th 1845 under very different circumstances from those surrounding the consecration of the first chapel in Meltham. There was no need for any law-breaking or any illegal bishop as on that former occasion. Bishops were not only legal, they were increasing in num- ber. In 1836 the vast diocese of York had been divided up and most of the West


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Riding was now in the diocese of Ripon. It was the first bishop of Ripon, Charles Thomas Longley, who came to Meltham Mills to perform the ceremony. In another important respect too Meltham Mills was different, for from the start it had full parochial status with a vicar in charge, while the mother church at Meltham still had to make do with a curate for another thirty years. This was a cause of much discontent amongst the church people of Meltham as can be imagined.

The first vicar was Mr. Meredith who had been curate in charge of the earlier building. His successors were Mr. Frost who came in 1850, Mr. Ince in 1853, Mr. Jagoe in 1867, Mr. Duncan in 1901, Mr. Wilding in 1907, Mr. Goulden in 1919, Mr. Edgell in 1932, Mr. Kearsley in 1937, Mr. Nixon in 1948, Mr. Morison in 1967 and Mr. Roberts in 1971.

The great days of Meltham Mills Church were probably during the incum- bency of the Rev. J. R. Jagoe who was vicar for 34 years, the longest term of office of any of the vicars, spanning the last third of the nineteenth century. Those were the days of the masters from the big houses with their coaches and uniformed coachmen, bringing along all their dependants and keeping an eagle eye open for any absentees among their employees, thus filling the church to capacity.

__ A description of those days, an eye-witness account in fact was provided in 1945 at the time of the centenary. It was written by a member of the Brook-Hirst family, then in his eighties, and gives his recollections of going to church as a child. Every Sunday morning the Sunday School children marched two by two from the schoolroom to the Church to join the adults for Morning Prayer. From the Hirst family pew, in the top corner of the gallery in the north transept, you could see the lectern, pulpit and main entrance clearly. You could see the gentry arrive; Mr. Edward Brook and his family from Meltham Hall; the Misses Hirst from what is now called Wood Cottage, followed by Mr. T. Julius Hirst; Mrs. Charles John Brook from Harewood Lodge; Mr. William Bamford and his family from Bent Ley. The Carlisles of Thick-hollins Hall and Mr. A. C. Armitage of Mount Cottage (Durker Roods) came in by the west door. The coachmen all came in uniform; blue and black from Thick-hollins Hall, wine coloured from Wood Cottage, lighter blue and drab from Meltham Hall and Mount Cottage, and most impressive of all Mr. Hill from Healey House in his black silk hat, white cravat, plum-coloured coat with black silk trimmings, black breeches and stockings and bright buckled shoes.

All the gentry and employers of labour were there and the partners in the firm of Jonas Brook and Bros. took it in turns to read the lesson. When the attention of the infants wandered, there were the brightly coloured windows to look at, and best of all, high up at the top, the goat's head; emblem of the firm. One wonders how many generations of children have found solace in their boredom by gazing at that goat.


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Chapter 13


In 1743, according to Mr. Sagar, filling in his form for the Archbishop, there were no dissenters in the chapelry of Meltham. Less than eighty years later, the new chapel was competing with two even newer chapels, a Baptist and a Methodist. The years between; the second half of the eighteenth century had been the time of the great evangelical revival and of the prodigious preaching ministry of John Wesley. There is no record of Wesley preaching in Meltham, but on two occasions he visited Netherthong, in 1772 and 1773. The Methodist influence therefore spread to Meltham from the south, while the Baptist influence came from the north, from the district of Pole Moor.

If we regard the building of their chapels as what marked the real beginning of these congregations, then the Baptists got there first; by three years. But the proper place to be baptised if you are tough enough is in a river, and the first baptisms into the Baptist faith were performed in the stream above Panner Mill in 1813, three years before the chapel was built. Buildings were even less import- ant to the early Methodists, for Methodism started as a movement within the established church and its main distinguishing characteristic was the class meet- ing. It was in 1795 that the first recorded gathering of Methodists took place in Meltham, in a cottage at Bower Hill. That was 24 years before the building of the chapel and 18 years before the baptism in the beck. Accordingly we report on the Methodists first.

Methodism in Meltham

The Methodist Society of Meltham was listed in the Huddersfield Circuit in 1797 and by that time it numbered forty-four members. But that year was not a happy one for the society as a whole, for many left Wesleyan Methodism to form the New Connexion. In Meltham the number of people who remained loyal to 'Th'Owd Body' was only eleven. By 1810, numbers had grown to twenty and that was the year when the Holmfirth Circuit was formed, with Meltham as one of its groups. The circuit ministers lived in Holmfirth; not for over 100 years did Meltham have a resident minister.

So the society's survival depended on the determination of the members, and determination those early members certainly had. If your husband refused to mind the baby, then you had to take it with you to the meetings and if he threatened to lock you out of the house, you had to have your answer ready. "Sithee, if tha stands at one door cheek and t'divil at t'other, I shall gooa." Such determination enabled the small groups to build their own chapel by 1819. This is the building now called the Assembly Rooms. The first Sunday School Anniversary, a thing Methodists have always done well, was held the next year when 'silver was expected in the gallery."

The main milestones in the history of the society's growth are these. By 1838 two services were held every Sunday, a third one once a month and evening services at Meltham Mills. By 1846 three services were held every Sunday and of the twenty-two local preachers in the circuit, Meltham had provided six. The


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1850s saw the building of the Sunday School, the loss of many members due to the Reform Movement and then another influx of new members after a revival campaign. Sunday School continued to thrive; there was an average of 240 scholars per Sunday by 1864 and at the Anniversary that year, according to the newspaper, hundreds of people were unable to get in. (The average attendances at the other Sunday Schools were Meltham Mills 270, Meltham Church 265, Helme 138, Baptist 117, Wilshaw 87.)

The old chapel could well accommodate the normal Sunday congregations, but it was on these special occasions that the need was felt for larger premises. So the foundations of the new chapel were laid in 1884 and two years later it was opened. It cost £4,000 and it had seats for 720 people. The adult membership had reached 144 by centenary year (1910) and around that time the activities of the choir were making Meltham Methodists well known further afield. They had championed the new Methodist Hymn Book in 1904 against the complaints of some of the older members; they had begun the annual performance of the Messiah, and by 1930 were able to win their section in the Mrs. Sunderland music competition in Huddersfield.

The first resident minister came in 1933. He was Mr. Cooper. He was succeeded by Mr. Thynne in 1936, Mr. Collier in 1940, Mr. Goodison in 1945, Mr. Burnside in 1946, Mr. Woodhill in 1949, Mr. Christian in 1951, Mr. Wade in 1952, Mr. Garnett in 1956, Mr. Turner in 1959, Mr. Stott in 1967 and Mr. Beech in 1975.

The Baptist Church

That Baptism by immersion in 1813 was the result of a campaign begun three years before by the ministers of Salendine Nook, Pole Moor and Lockwood to extend the Baptist cause to Meltham. The names of those hardy souls thus immersed were Joseph Booth, Edmund Mellor, James Haigh, George Brook and George Taylor. Along with three who transferred from Lockwood, they formed the first Baptist congregation and met in a private house as the Meth- odists were doing at the same time. But that same year a plot of land at Broad- lands was given to them by Mr. Thomas Shaw. The building work began in 1816 and as much of the labour as possible was done by the members themselves.

""What fools these people must be", said Jonas Pashley, as he stood mocking with other local sceptics. He lived to eat his words, for in 1818 he himself was baptised. And the congregation continued to grow, so that by 1820 they felt able to invite Mr. Webster to be their minister. He had been at Pole Moor in the early days, but Pole Moor chapel had been for some time torn by disputes about theology. When the warring factions got tired they made a truce and invited Mr. Webster back. So he was at Meltham only about four years. During that time six new members were added. Six more joined during the next eighteen months while Mr. Muckley was minister. Then came Mr. Griffiths, who baptised twenty- three more.

The year 1829 saw the coming to Meltham of "The Noncomformist Bishop of the Huddersfield Diocese" to give him his nickname, or the Rev. Thomas Thomas, if you prefer. He was 41 years of age when he came and he stayed until


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his retirement at the age of 80. In 1832 a schoolroom was built adjoining the chapel at a cost of £105 15s. 14d. In 1844 the numerical strength of the congrega- tion was 81 and there were 153 Sunday School children, taught by 65 teachers. In 1844 the old schoolroom was converted into cottages and a new room built above it at a cost of £200 8s. 54d. In 1862 the foundations of a new chapel were laid. The money had been raised by public subscription and church collections; about £2,000 in all. The new chapel opened in 1864. In addition to his ministry, Thomas Thomas found time to run a private school.

His successor did not arrive until 1873, but the people had been willing to wait for him to finish his training, having benefited from his visits for some years before that. He was Mr. Alderson and he ministered in Meltham for thirteen years. During that time the school was again enlarged and the manse was built. After his resignation in 1886 there was the usual interregnum while the church members invited different preachers, mainly students in training at Rawdon College, to come and preach, being content to wait if need be a number of years until they could have the man they really wanted. So it was not until 1889 that the next minister, Mr. Davis, began his work, but when he left in 1892, the feeling was that a successor should be appointed as soon as possible. So Mr. Oliver came early next year and stayed until 1896, and he was followed by Mr. Jackson from 1897 to 1899.

The many changes of pastor and the lengthy periods between pastorates put a heavy burden on the lay members of the church. Meltham Baptist Church owed much to its deacons; men like John Broadbent and Benjamin Wood, Joseph Pogson and James Dodson. But it must have been a relief when a period of much greater stability began with the arrival of the Rev. W. K. Still.

Much of a minister's time is taken up with administration and buildings, and these are the things which get noticed by the community and recorded in histories. But these merely provide the setting for his preaching and teaching ministry; the task he is appointed for. The pastors at Meltham Baptist Church were invited mainly on the basis of their preaching, experienced usually when they came as students from college on preaching practice. Mr. Still's introduction to Meltham was also of this kind, so his ministry can be taken as typical.

Like many of his predecessors, he was trained at Rawdon Baptist College and came as a student to take services at Meltham during the period when they were without a resident pastor. His sermons seemed to have the right balance of a stress on the need for a genuine spirituality combined with a down to earth practicality, so he was invited to come as pastor. His work for Christian Endeavour and the Y.M.C.A. in Liverpool, where his home was, also seemed to fit him for what was needed in Meltham. So he came in 1902, as a young man interested in youth work, and a year later married a young wife. This is a com- bination of fortunate circumstances which never fails to melt the hearts of the stoniest congregations - of any denomination!

Mr. Still stayed until 1909; he was invited back in 1910 for the stone-laying of the new schoolrooms and again in 1911 for the opening ceremony. This had been the particular building project for which he had chaired the fund-raising


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committee during the whole seven years of his pastorate. These are the buildings which are now used as the Church as well as the schoolrooms. Mr. Still came back again in 1920 for the unveiling of the war memorial.

The pastorates of this century were those of Mr. Bach (1912), Mr. Hamilton (1919), Mr. Blake (1927), Mr. Fitch (1933), Mr. Harwood (1942), Mr. Taylor (1945), Mr. Griffiths (1955), Mr. Hickerton (1962). Most of these pastors are well remembered by present residents of the village. Mr. Hickerton was the last resident minister. Since 1966 the church has been linked with Slaithwaite and two years later it was decided to discontinue the use of the 1864 church and to convert the schoolroom for worship.

Inter-Church Co-operation

One of the things that strikes the outsider about Church life in Meltham is that it has three seasons in the year. There is the Sunday School Anniversary season in the summer, when for six weeks everyone deserts their own church and goes the round of the anniversaries. Then there is the Harvest Festival season in the autumn, when for six weeks they do the same. Then there is the carol service season in the winter. This might be irritating for the various ministers who have to stay put while their people are elsewhere, but it speaks well for the friendly spirit of neighbourliness that prevails amongst the different congrega- tions. It would appear that this spirit has never really been absent. If the Meth- odist Chapel of 1864 had to refuse admission to 'hundreds' at its anniversary, many of those hundreds must have been from the other churches.

Co-operation between the Methodist and Baptist congregations has always been close. The joint Whit Monday walk has been in existence probably forabout 100 years. Both churches had branches of the Band of Hope which frequently joined together. The scholars of the British School which normally met at the Wesleyan schoolroom were accommodated by the Baptists during the building of the new chapel. There was also a link between these chapels and Meltham Mills Church. Some parts of their congregations were seemingly interchange- able; one reads the same names in connection with the history of the three places. The young boy who sat in the Hirst family pew watching the gentry enter or gazing at the goat later became a Methodist minister, and the Baptist organ came from Meltham Mills also.

This century has seen first the union between the three branches of Meth- odism, then the inclusion of the Parish Church in the Whit Walk, then the introduction of joint services between Anglicans and Methodists, and most recently of all the establishment of a Roman Catholic congregation sharing the Parish Church. The end of this story cannot yet be told, but the outlook is promising. A closer unity seems quite possible, and this would be the happiest conclusion to the long story which has been outlined in these last two chapters.

Note:- These two chapters of Church history are largely a summary of

1. Hughes, chapters 2, 3 and 10, supplemented by Canon Roberts' Ter- Centenary Booklet of 1951.


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2. The Meltham Mills Parish Church Centenary Souvenir of 1945. 3. Conrad Stott's booklet on Methodism in Meltham, published in 1969.

4. The Meltham Baptist Church Centenary Souvenir of 1913, supple- mented by the Ter-Jubilee Celebration pamphlet of 1963.

To the writers and compilers of these histories I am greatly indebted.


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Chapter 14 SCHOOLS

The first written reference to education for Meltham children is in the Will of one Matthew Lockwood dated 23rd May 1715. This directed that the interest on £20 should be paid to a schoolmaster for "teaching children in the town of Meltham English and Latin." The first schoolmaster whose name we know was William Ripley who died in 1734. It would seem that he taught in his own house because the first school was not built until 1737 (Hughes, page 187). Mr. Benjamin Armytage of Thick Hollins gave the wood and the cost was £4.8s.6d. The school is believed to have been on the same site as the Conservative Club. From Mr. Sagar's Account Book for 1747 we know that William Hinchliffe was then the schoolmaster and received one shilling a quarter.

In 1823 this school was replaced by a new building on the same site. The cost was £266.16s.3d. In 1844 it was enlarged at a cost of £315.10s. The financial responsibility was taken over by the National Society and the school became a National School. Schools in the nineteenth century were either National Schools or Board Schools, the National Schools being administered by the local Church on behalf of the National Society and the Board Schools being administered by the Local Boards. The teacher at Meltham's National School was Mr. Thomas Lawford. He lived at the School House which was part of the school building. When the school opened there were five scholars. This grew to one hundred and sixty by the time Joseph Hughes was writing his History. Mr. Lawford later opened a private school of his own called "The Pan Villa Academy".

There was still a certain amount of private enterprise in the educational world. Thomas Thomas, who became the Baptist Minister in 1829, also ran a private school. In 1867 a rival establishment was opened known as the British School. It would appear that some children transferred and in an endeavour to win them back the school fees were reduced from 3d. to 24d. a week. There was certainly need for more school places in Meltham. The old school was now badly overcrowded and the new one was being built on land on Greens End Road opposite the Church. This school was opened in 1868 a week late. The children had three weeks' holiday for Christmas, one week more than usual on account of the new school not being ready sooner. History was to repeat itself a hundred years later. The new school on Holmfirth Road also opened a week late, and the children had an extra week's summer holiday that year, 1962. The old school continued to be used for the Infants until the new Infant School was opened in 1895. Mr. Thomas Lawford saw to the opening of the new Junior School called the Memorial School in honour of Joseph Hughes but resigned three months later, when Jesse Shelmerdine was appointed as the new master. Mr. Shelmerdine remained until 1872. He was replaced by Samuel William Coombes who stayed for two years. Samuel Bryant then took over for three months but then in December 1874 Robert Cadwell became Headmaster and remained until 1910. His successor was James F. Roberts who stayed until 1918, to be followed by William Gordon Greenwood, who was in his turn fol- lowed by Mr. A. Roberts, still well remembered by many people in Meltham.


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School Log Books are in existence from the year 1863 and provide inter- esting information about the goings on both inside and outside the school. A repeated, complaint concerns thin attendance. An amazing variety of reasons are given. In 1863 and again in other years it was grouse-shooting that kept them away. In 1864 the cutting of the first sod of the railway and the hay harvest, in 1869 the Opening of the Railway and in almost every year the local Feasts at Honley, Holmfirth and Marsden caused absences. Another complaint was about Inspectors, witness this comment for 24th December 1863: "Broke up the school for a fortnight's holiday. Most welcome both to master and scholars being wearied in expecting the Inspector."

The first examination to be mentioned is in 1868 when Jesse Shelmerdine examined the second class in arithmetic. Out of the twelve children present five failed. This was not surprising when you consider the sum they had to do. This was it:- £568.19s.7%$d. multiplied by 8,796." Even if the syllabus was a little strenuous it wasn't all hard work going to school at that time. At least once a year the children were entertained with a Magic Lantern. This wasn't enough to entice one boy to school, for we read that on 19th June 1868 Thomas H. was punished (at his mother's request) for playing truant. The same boy played truant again on 7th July and was flogged at his mother's request. It wasn't only the pupils who had to be kept up to scratch. The Staff did too, and in 1875 the Inspector reported, "Registers must be kept with greater care or the Grant will be in danger of a severe deduction".

The question of corporal punishment was clearly in dispute as long ago as 1896 when the Head Teacher had to reprimand one of the staff for boxing a boy's ears. In 1897 the classrooms were furnished with desks. Previous to this the children had sat on forms. It appears that the furnishings were still not adequate for this is what an Inspector had to say in 1898, "Babies' classroom - there are only three dual desks - the rest of the children sit on the gallery steps with loose forms in front for slates etc., and these often tilt over. Thirty eight children were present in this class. They are taught only by young monitresses, one being present in the morning and the other in the afternoon." The over- crowding and the staff shortage got worse. The next year the Inspector reported again, "Infant school is conducted under difficulties that call for the serious attention of the Managers. At a recent visit thirty six children were found in the cloakroom which is unwarmed and imperfectly ventilated. They were sitting on high forms with legs dangling over the stone floor. In the Babies' room were sixty one children, six of them sitting on the bare floor. The accommodation is for forty five only and this is the only classroom for this large school."

The Parish Magazine for 1900 provides this information. There were 509 children on the books, and school pence were abolished in that year. The year 1912 was an exciting one. On 29th January twenty three boys played truant. They called it "going on strike". The next day four were still out. Most of them said they'd done it because the others did. One boy said they were going to get the new bye-laws altered. The new bye-laws, whatever they were, must have been the cause of the strike. The boys weren't all back at work for several more days. On 12th July the King and Queen came through Meltham. The children


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stood in the Churchyard to watch. Mr. Charles Brook gave a medal to each child and the children gave three hearty cheers for Mr. Brook. Mr. William Wrigley provided tea and the children gave hearty cheers for Mr. Wrigley. "The children were very orderly and their behaviour exemplary". The Headmaster didn't continue to be so pleased with the children for long, for his next comment is very different, "There has been no King's visit to improve the attendance this week".

During the Great War there was a weekly subscription for parcels to prisoners of war. The girls made vests and pants - afterwards to be soaked in antiseptic solution for the troops. The material was already cut and supplied by the Huddersfield Women's War Work Committee. Apart from this the only excitement which the war seemed to provide was Meltham's first view of an aeroplane. One passed over the school at a very great height, at playtime on 1st March 1917.

There are several references in the Log Books to Collop Monday, usually complaints about the children arriving late. Collop Monday is observed in Meltham in a unique way. Whereas in other places it means having collops to eat, in Meltham it means begging for free sweets from the confectioners. This custom grew, like so many things in Meltham, out of the philanthropy of the Brook family who used to give away new halfpence to all the local children at nine o'clock in the morning of that day. The children and the sweet shops between them keep the custom alive.

The first recorded nature walk took place on 28th February 1919 when sixteen top class boys went to Meltham Mills Reservoir to study the winter condition of trees. After that there are more frequent references to children going out of school. A very exciting day for the scholars was 29th June 1927. On this day there was an eclipse of the sun. One hundred and sixty children met their teachers at 5.30 a.m. and with a number of parents watched the eclipse, chiefly from Bedlam End. By 1934 the children were going on outings further afield. This is the entry for June 2nd, Saturday. "The Annual Outing of the Senior Scholars was held and consisted of a Motor Coach Tour of Wharfedale and Wensleydale. The route was Ilkley, Bolton Abbey, Strid, Barden Tower, Kilnsey, Kettlewell to the top of Kidstones for a picnic lunch, proceeding to Bishopdale and Thoralby to Bainbridge. The Hill was climbed to Countersett to view Semerwater. The whole party recited the ballad on the lake shores. Returned to Aysgarth Falls, Leyburn and Middleham for picnic tea, thence by Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds. In type of excursion and beauty of the places visited, the outing was the best of the series, and was favoured with glorious weather."

There will be many readers who prefer not to regard these events as "history"" just yet, but in the last twenty years three new schools have opened in Meltham. In 1951 the Convalescent Home was re-opened by the West Riding County Council Education Committee as a residential school for senior girls who were slow learners. It had closed as a Convalescent Home in 1940 and had been used for a few years after that as a home for old people who came mainly from the Lowestoft district.


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In 1962 the old parish church schools of Meltham and Meltham Mills amalgamated and opened as one school in new buildings on Holmfirth Road, (a week late like its predecessor of 100 years before). In 1971 a further new school was opened in Birmingham Lane. In both these cases several sites were debated, over a number of years, before the final positions were decided upon.

Already the new Church school has contributed to the story of Meltham. In two years a Committee of parents and teachers organised a series of events, supported excellently by the public, which raised over £7,000 to construct an indoor heated learner swimming pool. This is an achievement of which Meltham can be proud. When the time comes, if it does, for Meltham to become part of a larger authority there will be many enterprises and achievements to which local people can look back with satisfaction. The present generation of Melthamers have clearly inherited that spirit in which their predecessors started the Co- operative Movement over a hundred years ago, built their first school over 200 years ago, built their own Church over 300 years ago and scraped a hard living on the slopes and summit of West Nab way back in prehistoric times.


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Court Roll 1297

Thomas of Meltham gives sixpence for an Inquisition as to whether Gilbert of Austonley and Adam of Cartworth were pledges for William le Parmenter for 22 shillings on account of cattle sold to him. An inquisition finds that they were not.

1317. Thomas, son of Richard of Meltham fined twelve pence for using a false stroke at Burton Church.

Conveyance of Land

Six messuages and three cottages with lands and a fourth part of the Manor of Meltham from Robert Rookley and son and wife to John Waterhouse, James Waterhouse and John Armitage. (1572)

MELTHAM. From Dodsworth's Yorkshire Notes. Described by the late J. A. Roebuck as "the happy valley". 1484. Richard Sims and Hugh Boseville, Rafe Dodsworth and Rafe Barnby gave to Robert Burton the fourth part of the Manor of Meltham which they had of the gift of John Burton, the father.

1588. Bartholomew Tregott of South Kirkby sold to Richard Beaumont all his part of the Manor of Meltham.

West Riding Sessions Roll (13th year of Charles I)

Mary Armitage of Meltham. Whereas John Walker of Lingards in the parish of Almond- bury did marrie Mary Armitage of Meltham in the same parish, which Marie was worth in personall estate the summe of 20 marks and brought him one child onely. And now the saide Walker hath spend the saide estate and yett hath a farme and some abilities of his owne :- Itt is thought fitt and soe ordered that the saide Walker shall keepe the said child

att his proper chardges and the parish to be discharged thereof.



Armitage, B. Helme Eastwood, J. Meltham Armitage, J. G. Thick Hollins Eastwood, Joshua - Meltham Bastow, J. Benty-Lee Garlick James Meltham Beever, J. Blackmoor Garlick, John Meltham gmni, JJ h Solcegbrow Garlick, John Jr. _ Meltham ooth, John ey-Green f Booth, Joseph Meltham 11:11??? 1812211 grow Bottomley, J. Meltham H a"gh’ T NFIHW t Bottomley, G. Chapel Hill, Meltham H Ugh, > illmoor top Bower, J Meltham aigh, J. Crosland Edge Bower. E. Meltham Harrison, D. Crosland Edge Brook, Jonas Meltham Mills E'rlSt’ Jgsgph fillsélaw Brook, Chas. Jr. _ Meltham Mills Holroy a' B Roy q Brook, James Blackmoor bottom Holroy Fre Roy q Brooksbank, J. Hilltop, Crosland olroyd, A. oy Butterworth, J. Grange Ash Johnson, J. Lane Dike Crowther, C. Blackmoor-foot Jones, L. Ing House Dyson, G. Golcar-brow Kenworthy, J. Bunkers Hill Dyson, Timothy Meltham Mills Kilburn, J. Millmoor Dyson, N. Millmoor Kilburn, W. Millmoor Dyson, John Thongs-greave Kinder, J. Gill Birks Earnshaw, G. Bridge House Kinder, W. Meltham Eastwood, W. Meltham Mellor, R. Spark Green


Page 90

Mellor, L. Mitchell, J. Moorhouse, J. Myers, D.

Oldfield, G. Oldfield, T. Oringe, W.

Pogson, F. Pogson, J. Pogson, John

Rawcliffe, J. Redfearn, C. Redfearn, D. Redfearn, J.

Sharp, A. Shaw, T. Shaw, E. Shaw, J. Siddall, John Siddall, Jonas Sykes, Joseph Sykes, John Sykes, James Sykes, Joseph Sykes, George Sykes, James Sykes, John Sykes, Thomas Sykes, Adam Sykes, James Sykes, John

Chapel Hill Mill Moor Millmoor Benty-lee

Lower Hall, Crosland Lower Hall, Crosland Helme wood

Colders Sunny bank Golcar Hill

Harewood cottage Bunkers Hill Meltham Mills Helmet

Crosland Edge Meltham Heady fields Heady fields Meltham Meltham Owler bars Owler bars Owler bars Owler bars Cop Wash Blackmoor Blackmoor Lower Edge Helme Helme

Sykes, John Birdley Brook Sykes, Walter Luck Lane Taylor, David Millmoor Taylor, James Golcarbrow Taylor, James Wearley

Taylor, John Royd Taylor, Joseph Royd Taylor, George Royd

Taylor, George Pinfold Taylor, James Pinfold Taylor, George Middle ridge

Taylor, John Taylor, Jonas

Spark Green Spark Green

Taylor, John Pickhill brow Taylor, James Meltham Taylor, James Thorn Taylor, James Dud Taylor, Jonas Pan Taylor, Joseph Meltham Taylor, Crispin Meltham Taylor, John Meltham Taylor, George Meltham Taylor, Edmund _ Pinfold Taylor, Joseph Luck Lane Thorp, James Meltham Wood, John Bent house Woodhead, John _ Bridge House Woodhead, Matthew Meltham Woodhead, John _ Meltham

Woodhead, Charles Croft House Woodhead, Isaac - Meltham Woodhead, Amos Rough nook

These people had property in Meltham but didn't live in Meltham :-

Battye, George Brook, Thomas Brook, James Brook, Wm. Lee

Dyson, John

Fairbank, Humphrey

Hanson, Charles


1864 Directory

The Brook Family

Dean House, Honley Leytonstone, Essex Thornton Lodge Thornton Lodge


South Crosland Royton

Ridgeway, T. West Parade, Huddersfield Sykes, Wm. Crosland Moor Sykes, Joseph Lingards Sykes, Benjamin _ Lingards

Waterhouse, John - Slaithwaite


1850 Directory of Huddersfield

Omnibus to Meltham daily at 9 and 6 from the Boot and Shoe Inn. Carriers from The White Lion Tuesday at 6 p.m. (Siddell)

Charles Brook at Healey House. Charles Brook, Junior at Meltham Hall. Edward Brook, Bent House.


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The Rev. Charles Edward Bagshaw at Meltham Mills. (Curate) Edward Collis Watson at St. Bartholomew's Parsonage. (The Rev.) The Rev. John Scott Ellis Spencer at St. Mary's Parsonage. The Rev. Edward Cumming Ince at St. James's Parsonage. Thomas Allen Haigh, Surgeon, Certifying Surgeon under Factories Act, and District Medical Officer of the Unions. Samuel Coldwell, Schoolmaster and Insurance Agent, Commercial and Mathematical Academy.


Public Houses. The Rose and Crown. The Waggon and Horses. The King's Life Guards. The Swan. The Golden Fleece. Butchers - 5 Pork Butchers - 2 Woollen Mills - 7 Shop-keepers - 14 and John Creaser Plasterers and Painters - 2 Straw-bonnet makers - 1 Milliners - 1 Tailors - 5 Drapers and Grocers - 7 Corn Dealers - 1

Confectioners - 1 Optician - George Creaser Plumber - 1

Tinners - 2 Provision Dealer - 1 Beer Sellers - 3 and Nimrod Earnshaw Earthenware Dealer - 1 Machinery Maker - 1 Boot and Shoe Makers - 7 Photographer - 1 Foundry - 1 Joiners - 3 Gardener - 1 Co-op - 1 Clogger - 2 Blacksmith - 1 Printer - 1 Hairdresser - 1 Chemist - 1

From the Huddersfield Directory and Year Book

1867. Carriers by road from Huddersfield. Meltham. William Pickles from The Packhorse on Tuesdays. Jonas Eastwood from The Horseshoe on Tuesdays. Joseph Eastwood from The White Lion on Tuesdays and Fridays.


The "Meltham Inclosure Award" is probably the item in the Town Hall archives which arouses most interest. For anyone with the time and inclination to study it, it is a mine of information about Meltham at the beginning of the last century. It is rather heavy going, though. What follows is an extended summary for easier reference.

SECTION 1. ROADS The Commissioners were empowered to review all the existing roads and where necessary to make new or close old roads, with the exception of the turnpike roads, and to widen existing roads up to 30 feet in width.


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1. The Meltham Mills and Austonley Road, 30 feet wide. From the porter's lodge at Meltham Mills belonging to Joseph Green Armitage extending westwards along Acre Side Road, including part of the north end of two old enclosures called The Acres, to the top of Acre Side. Then along to where Thick Hollins Road crosses Acre Side Road, thence to the guide post on Thick Hollins Moor, then across Great Gutter to the boundary of the Manor of Meltham, leading into the township of Austonley near to Snape House.

(This road was not shown by Jeffreys but the guide post had been there since 1761, so this new road probably followed an existing foot-path.)

2. The Holt Head Road, 30 feet wide. Starting at Mean Bridge, going northward, then north-westward over the Common to the west corner of a field called The Clot, in the occupation of John Hirst.

(There are still Hirsts farming at Holt Head.)

3. Netherthong Road. 30 feet wide. Beginning at Thick Hollins Lane End, going south- westward over Thick Hollins Road to Greave Dyke. (Again, probably a foot-path followed this route.)

4. Mill Bank Road. 30 feet wide. Going from Thick Hollins Lane End going northwards to the north-west corner of a close called Pickle owned by Timothy Dyson.

5. Wilshaw and Holmfirth Road. 30 feet wide. From Netherthong Road near Green Lane top across Thick Hollins Moor to Wilshaw.

6. Royd Road. 30 feet wide. From Netherthong Road at the south end of Thick Hollins Road south-westwards over the north-west corner of a field belonging to Uriah Tinker called Upper Meal Hill, to Reynold Royd Nook and thence over the Commons in a south then north then west direction to the south-east corner of a field called the Black Earth owned by John Holroyd.

(This field features in one of the wills of the Taylors of Royd.)

7. - Mill Moor Road. 36 feet wide. Commencing at the north-east corner of Meltham Chapel Yard, going westwards over Mill Moor to the south-east corner of an allotment awarded to James Dawson.

8. Blackmoorfoot Road. 30 feet wide. Branching out of Holt Head Road at a place called The Slack of the Moor Post, going northwards to the junction of Deer Hill End and Slaithwaite Road, near Cop End, thence eastwards to Wash, thence northwards to the old turnpike road near Blackmoorfoot.

9. - Huddersfield Road. 30 feet wide. Branching out of the Holt Head Road at the south-west corner of a close called The Intake, going north-eastwards to Helmes Lane Gate.

10. _ Netherthong and Bradshaw Road. 30 feet wide. Commencing at the west end of a public highway recently set out under the Netherthong Enclosure, near Child o'th'Edge going south- westwards to the boundary between Meltham Manor and the Graveship of Holme near Wheelsbrook.

11. Wash Road. 30 feet wide. Branching out of Blackmoorfoot Road near Wash, going eastwards along the present highway to the west end of Pearson's Lane.


Thick Hollins Road. 24 feet wide. From Netherthong Road near Calf Close Well, eastwards to the Meltham Mills and the Austonley Road near Thick Hollins.

Harding Hill Road. 24 feet wide. From Royd Road a little to the east of Royd Bridge, south to the boundary.

Harding Moss Road. 24 feet wide, From the Black Earth southwards over Harding Moss to the boundary.


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The Royd and Bradshaw Road. 24 feet wide. From the end of Royd Road past Upper Royd to the south-east corner of a close of old enclosed land, the property of the Devisees Land of the late Charles Radcliffe, called the Great Knowl, then south-westwards to the boundary.

Kaye's Stone Quarry Road. 24 feet wide. From a point 40 yards from the end of the Royd and Bradshaw Road going west to Kaye's stone quarry.

The Hebble Road. 18 feet wide. Branching out of the Royd Edge Quarry Road near to a certain barn, the property of the Trustees of the Curacy of Meltham, across the north-west corner of a close of old enclosed land called the Great Calmlands, south-westwards to the Royd water course, then south-eastwards to Royd Road at the bottom of Fox Lane.

Fox Royd Green Bottom Road. 18 feet wide. From Fox Royd Green in Royd Road, a little to the north of Royd Ridge, going northwards to the Royd water course and across the same to old enclosed lands.

Woodheads Road. 18 feet wide. Branching out of the former to a dwelling-house of Matthew Woodhead.

The Royd Edge Quarry Road. 18 feet wide. Branching westwards out of Thick Hollins Lane at the east end of an old occupation road there called Calmlands Lane, going westwards through the old enclosed lands to a stile in a close called Colders. Thence over the common on the south side of Royd Edge Stone Quarry to the Meltham and Wessenden Head Turnpike road on High Moor.

Green Slack Road. 18 feet wide. From Bedlam along the west side of the old enclosures across the Turnpike road over Green Slack joining Brow Grains and New Bridge Roads.

Brow Grains Road. 24 feet wide. From above junction westwards to the bottom of Brow Grains Hill.

The New Bridge Road. 30 feet wide. From the same junction northwards over New Bridge to Wearley Moor and Deer Hill Bents Road.

Wearley Moor and Deer Hill Bents Road. 30 feet wide. From Holt Head Road opposite Huddersfield Road going westwards to the bottom of Deer Hill.

Hassocks Road. 24 feet wide. Branching out of Holt Head Road going west and then north- wards to the Black Moor and Deer Hill End Road.

Black Moor and Deer Hill End Road. 30 feet wide. From the junction of Blackmoorfoot and Slaithwaite Roads going westwards across Holt Head Road to or near White Hill Bottom.

Golcar Hill Road. 18 feet wide. Out of Holt Head Road at Hey Nook westward to the north- east corner of Golcar Hill Quarry allotment, thence northward across the Wearley Moor and Deer Hill Bents Road to Holt Head Road.

Golcar Hill Quarry Road. 18 feet wide. Out of Golcar Hill Road on Golcar Hill and extending on the south side of the public quarry there in a westward direction.

Owler Bars Road. 18 feet wide. From Mill Moor Road opposite Mill Moor Head Road northwards to the beck then eastwards to Golcar Hill.

Colders Hill Bottom Road. 30 feet. From Mill Moor Road at Greens End southwards for 20 yards then westwards to Colders Lane Bottom.

Colders Lane Top Road. 18 feet. Commencing at the top of Colders Lane, westwards on the north side of the old enclosures to the Green Slack Road.

Shambles Road. 36 feet wide. Branching out of Mill Moor Road southwards to Colders Lane Bottom Road.

Mill Moor Head Road. 18 feet wide. Branching out of Colders Hill Bottom Road, westwards along the north side of the old enclosures to Mill Moor Head then to Mill Moor Road.


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Hey Road. 18 feet wide. Out of Huddersfield Road northward to the old enclosures to a close called the Spark.

Ball Bents Road. 18 feet. Out of Holt Head eastwards to the west end of a lane leading to Joseph Eastwood's house.

Little Moor Road. 18 feet wide. From Holt Head westwards and northwards alongside of old enclosures to an ancient highway extending from Holt Head to Blackmoorfoot.

Linthwaite Cross Quarry Road. 18 feet wide. From the ancient highway near Linthwaite Cross, southwards and westwards along the side of Linthwaite Cross Quarry.

Slaithwaite Road. 30 feet wide. From Linthwaite Cross southward to Cop End.

The Cop Road. 30 feet wide. Branching out of the ancient highway across Blackmoorfoot Road to Cop Gate.

The Helme Road. 24 feet wide. From Blackmoorfoot Road near Cop End going south and east to the ancient enclosures at Dunnock.

Sun Royd Road. 18 feet wide. From Royd Edge Quarry Road along the northward boundary of old enclosures at Sun Royd, west across Swinsher Dyke then south-east and curving across Royd Wood to an allotment on Madge Know!.

Royd Edge Road. 18 feet wide. Out of Hebble Road on the westward side of old enclosures at Royd Edge, extending westwards.

Mill Bank Bottom Road. 15 feet wide. From Netherthong Road on the north side of Thick Hollins Bridge going east.

Calf Close Well Road. 15 feet. Westward from the junction of the Netherthong and Thick Hollins Road to Calf Close Well.

Mill Moor Bottom and Badger Gate Road. 24 feet wide, and 12 feet. Northwards from Mill Moor Road across the rivulet through an ancient enclosure to Badger Gate, then in a westward direction and afterwards in a northward direction along the said Badger Gate to Golcar Hill Road.

Bridge Houses Road. 15 feet wide. From Mean Bridge (Mesne) going northwards to the west end of a lane running through old enclosures there commonly called Mean Lane.

Pick Hill Brow Road. 10 feet wide. Branching out of Holt Head Road eastwards to the south end of a lane leading through ancient enclosures to Pick Hill.

Hey Green Road. 10 feet wide. Eastwards from Holt Head Road.

Cop and Helme Road. 18 feet wide. From the south end of Cop Road south-east and south to the top of Helme Wood and south-west through the wood, then south to the ancient road leading from Helme to Cop Side.

NEW FOOTPATHS (a.f. = ancient footpaths.)

1. From Blackmoorfoot Road near the houses, going south, west of an allotment of Adam Sykes to an old enclosure of Joseph Pearson's, joins an a.f.

2. From an ancient enclosure near Dunnock, going south-west to the south-west corner of an allotment of Walter Whitwam, joining Helme Road and going along it to the north-east corner of an allotment of Joseph Green Armitage, and through it to join the a.f. over an old enclosure of Jonas Dawson.

3. - (only 3 feet wide) From Pick Hill Road southwards along the east of an allotment of James Garlick to the Holt Head Road.


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4. From Hebble Road going south over John Taylor's allotment to join an a.f. in an old enclosure of John Taylor.

5. From Royd Edge Road, at the north-east of John Johnson's allotment going south across those of George Crosland, George Taylor, then west through those of John Taylor and George Crosland, over old enclosures of the Trustees of Charles Radcliffe, joining an a.f. leading to Royd in an old enclosure called the Old House Intake.

6. - From the south-east corner of an old enclosure belonging to Richard Henry Beaumont at Sunroyd called the Intake, going east then south then east over allotments belonging to Richard Henry Beaumont and the Trustees of Charles Radcliffe to a stile in an old enclosure called Bottomley's Lane at North Royd, joining an a.f. leading to North Royd.

7. From Royd and Bradshaw Road from an allotment of the Trustees of Charles Radcliffe, going north to join an a.f. leading to North Royd in an old enclosure called the Great Knowl.

8. From Royd and Bradshaw Road going north over an allotment of Mary Woodhead to an af. in ancient enclosures at Royd. 9. From Owlers Bars Road at Joseph Eastwood's allotment going east to a public well. All of these footpaths with one exception were 5 feet wide, exclusive of fences and ditches.


1. Fox Royd Green Spring. Rising at Fox Royd Green in an allotment of the Harrisons, going east across Fox Royd Green Bottom Road, across Woodhead's occupation road, then south through the Meltham Curacy allotment to join the water course in an allotment of George Taylor in Harding Clough.

2. Wilshaw and Snape Dyke Water Course. Commencing in an allotment of Honley Curacy on Thick Hollins Moor across the Meltham Mills and Austonley Road, then west into Snape Dyke.

3. Harding Moss and Harding Clough Water Course. Commencing on Harding Moss in the Harrisons' allotment going east across Harding Moss Road into Harding Clough Water Course.

4. Harding Moss and Ramsclough Water Course. Commencing on Harding Moss in George Oldfield's allotment going north-west across the Royd and Bradshaw Road into Ramsclough Water Course.

5. Woodhead's Spring and Water Course. Rising in James Taylor's allotment at Binns going north-east then north across Royd and Bradshaw Road to enter its ancient course at Royd.

6. Sun Royd and Royd Edge Spring and Water Course.

Rising at Bannister's Spring on High Moor in Richard Henry Beaumont's allotment, going south-east under and across Fernnook's and Colders Water Course across the Sun Royd Road, then east along the side of the road into ancient enclosures at Sunroyd, along the south side of this same ancient estate, going east across the Royd Edge Road, across the Royd Edge Bottom Road in old enclosures at Royd Edge.

7. Fernnooks and Colders Spring Water Course. Rising at Fernnooks in Richard Henry Beaumont's allotment going north-east over two small water courses, over Bannister's spring or water course in a stone channel, across Royd Edge Quladrry Road, across Green Slack Road into its ancient course in old enclosures at Upper Colders.

Hill and West Fields Water Course. From out of a certain other water course at the back of High Moor flowing into the little dyke from a place called Waterhouse Hill Slack going east to a public watering place or trough adjoining the Meltham and Wessenden Head Turnpike Road, then north, then east across the Green Slack Road to join its ancient course in old enclosures of Matthew and Robert Hirst.


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9. Oldfield Hill Slack and Half Roods Water Course. Commencing at Oldfield Hill Slack in an allotment awarded to John Sykes and George Sykes and there taken out of another water course rising at Waterhouse Hill Slack and flowing thence into the previous water course running thence east across Green Slack Road to enter its ancient course in old enclosures at Half Roods.

10. Half Roods Spring and Sykes's Water Course. Arising in the Half Rood's enclosures north-east into a stone trough 18 inches square and 12 inches deep, in an allotment of Thomas Shaw, thence into a leaden pipe fixed in the bottom of the said trough of $ inch bore across the Mill Moor Road into another stone trough 2 feet long by 18 inches wide by 18 inches deep in John Sykes's allotment, close to the fence of Mill Moor Road, thence in a leaden pipe of 2 inch bore fixed within 1 inch of the top of the trough, southwards across the road into John Garlick's allotment, then flowing out of the pipe into the ancient water course there.

11. Dyson's Spring and Greens End Water Course. Rising in Nathaniel Dyson's allotment flowing east, then along the south side of Mill Moor Road through old enclosures, then east across the road into a stone trough in the north fence of Colders Lane Bottom Road, then north-east across the Shambles Road to the Colders Lane Bottom Road then falling out of an iron pipe into the said road for the use of the public.

12. Golcar Hill Spring and Water Course. Rising in Jonas Brook's allotment going east and south across the Golcar Hill Road, then southward to and across the Golcar Brow Road into a trough in John Pogson's allotment 2 feet long by 18 inches wide by 18 inches deep, then into ancient enclosures of Joseph Green Armitage at Golcar Tree Hill.

13. - Slack o'th' Moor and Golcar Hill Spring and Water Course. Rising at the Slack o'th' Moor in Joseph Green Armitage's allotment, going south-east to the Hassocks Road running along the north side then crossing south-eastward then south then west then south then east then south then south-east along the north side of Deer Hill Bents Road till it falls into its ancient course then across the road to fall into the rivulet there.

14. Intake and Spark Green Spring and Water Course. Rising in Charles Radcliffe's allotment on the west side of the Intakes, going south and joining another spring where a stone is fixed for diverting such part of the united streams as will pass through an aperture of an inch and half diameter, made in a stone fixed for that purpose and which part of the stream where so divided flows in a south direction, then east then south then west then south then east then south then west then south then east then south then south-east then east across the Huddersfield Road to fall into its ancient course in an old enclosure of Jonas Siddall.

15. White Hill Bottom and Gin Dyke Water Course. Commencing at White Hill Bottom going south across the Wearley Moor and Deer Hill Bents Road discharging into Gin Dyke.

16. Mill Moor and Meltham Water Course. Rising in Charles Brook's allotment on Mill Moor near the Mill Moor Head Spring running north to the Mill Moor Road where it falls into a stone trough, then east then south-east to a pipe at Greens End where it falls into a course of the water flowing there.

17. Mill Moor Head Spring and Water Course. Rising in Charles Brook's allotment on Mill Moor going south-east under a water course called Dyson Spring and Greens End water course to the Mill Moor Head Road then east along the north side of the road, to a public watering trough called Mill Moor Head watering place, then east to join Dyson Spring and Greens End Water Course. Subject to the right and privilege of James Garlick his heirs and assigns to have water from the said Mill Moor Head Spring in and by a pipe of an inch bore into a stone trough furnished with a stop cock into an allotment at Mill Moor to be there used for domestic and agricultural purposes only and not for any manufacturing purposes and not to be allowed to run waste.


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18. Brow Grains Water Course. Taken out of Round Thorns Hill Water Course, the back of Round Thorns Hill about 50 yards south of the Brow Grains Road, thence north-east to the road, then along the south side then across the road to John Butterworth's allotment then east then north to the water course in George Taylor's allotment.

"And we do hereby award, order and direct that the present and all future owners and occupiers of the allotments through which the said several water courses or any of them respectively run, shall at all times for ever hereafter when necessary open, scour, cleanse, repair and amend the said several water courses and keep the same open, scoured, cleansed, and in good repair."

WATERING PLACES 1. Royd Bridge, where Hebble Road crosses Royd Dyke.

2. Mill Bank, on the south side of the road to the water course at the south-west corner of Timothy Dyson's old enclosure.

3. Greens End, situate at the ancient spout on Greens End.

4. Mill Moor Bottom, at the south end of James Waterhouse's allotment near Mill Moor Head.

5. Lane Bottom, in Colders Lane Bottom Road at the south of William Eastwood's allotment.

6. Mill Moor Top, on the south side of the road, adjoining George Moorhouse's ancient enclosure.

7. Little Dyke Bottom, on the side of Brow Grains Road at Little Dyke Bottom, adjoining an allotment awarded to the churchwardens and overseers of the poor.

8. - Mill Moor, at the north end of Charles Brook's allotment. 9. Mean Bridge, in the beck on the west side of Mean Bridge near a place called the Goit.

10. - Goit, on the north side of Holt Head Road at the ancient goit to a mill, the property of Charles Radcliffe.

11. Middle Ridge, on the north side of Meltham and Wessenden Head Road, near a place called Middle Ridge, at the south end of James Taylor's allotment.

12. - Stoneley Car, where the Scope Spring water course crosses Brow Grains Road.

13. Maggleden, on the south side of the Royd and Bradshaw Road adjoining George Oldfield's allotment.

14. - Blackfriars Bridge, in the rivulet running from Snape Dyke on the west side of Nether- thong Road near Thick Hollins Bridge.

15. Calf Close Well, for domestic purposes only, in Snape Dyke near Mill Hill Estate.

16. Thick Hollins Bridge, supplied by pipes from a water course in Thick Hollins Quarry to a trough opposite the west corner of the Mill Bank Road.

17. Thick Hollins Moor, at the cross roads of the Meltham Mills and Austonley Road and the Road leading to Netherthong.

18. Thick Hollins, near Thick Hollins Gate at the north-west corner of Joseph Green Armitage's allotment.

19. Wash, at the junction of Edge End Road and Blackmoorfoot Road. 20. - Cop Side, on the north side of an old enclosure called Hey Head, adjoining the Helme Road where it enters the old enclosures.


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21. Red Mary Dyke, on Wearley Moor and Deer Hill Bents Road at the south side of an allotment awarded to John Brooksbank.

22. Holt Head, on the east side of Holt Head Road near the south-west corner of a field called the Clots, the property of Joseph Green Armitage and Philip Tinker.

23. Hassocks, on the south side of Hassocks Road adjoining John Taylor's allotment (John Taylor of Manchester).

24. - Swinshire Slack, on the north side of Royd Edge Quarry Road at the south end of James Sykes's allotment.

25. - Wham, for domestic purposes only, on the north side of an allotment awarded to Joseph Eastwood on Mill Moor.

26. Royd Dyke, on the Royd Dyke at the south end of George and John Taylor's allotment. It was the job of the Surveyor of Highways of the township of Meltham to clear them out.


For the purposes of digging and getting stone, slate, gravel and other materials, for the making or forming and repairing the highways and roads, public and private, and for the use and benefit of all owners and tenants within the manor, for building or repairing any messuage or tenement, outhouses or other buildings and erections, walls or fences or otherwise improving their said estates within the said manor, but not to be given away, sold, exchanged or elsewhere or otherwise used, applied or disposed of. When all the stone was used up the land was to be auctioned by the Surveyor of Highways and the purchase money applied by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor to the repair of the highways.

Royd Edge Quarry. 4 acres. Sold. Thick Hollins Hill Quarry, now known as Woodside. 1 acre. Sold in 1956. Snape Quarry. 2 roods. Royd Bridge Quarry. 1 rood, sold in 1873. Known as Chad. Kaye's Quarry. 1 acre. Maggleden Top. 1 acre. Sold. Golcar Hill Quarry. 3 roods. Now known as Golcar Brow. Linthwaite Cross Quarry. 3 roods. Sold in 1956. Lawnd Quarry. 2 roods. Near Wills o'Nats Pub. 10. Top o' th' Moor Quarry. 1 acre and 1 rood. Now called Holt Head Quarry. Sold in 1955.

o 9 ~ A jpop f bom

ENCLOSURES Section 1 Awarded to the Lords of the Manor, in right of soil, one sixteenth part.

1. Joseph Green Armitage. Fleak Moss. 118 acres, 2 roods, 21 perches.

2. Richard Henry Beaumont. Belle Monte and Scope Moss. 252 acres, 3 roods, 21 perches. Also to Richard Henry Beaumont, Fleak Moss and Fernnook - 191 acres, 2 roods and 10 perches. 3. Timothy Dyson, Corn Miller. Harding Moss. 20 acres, 2 roods, 24 perches. 4. Joseph Eastwood, Cloth Merchant. Deer Hill Moss. 80 acres, 2 roods, 34 perches.

The Trustees of Charles Radcliffe, late of Smith House in Hipperholme. Deer Hill Moss. 117 acres, 1 rood, 15 perches.


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6. Thomas Shaw, Gentleman. Scope Moss. 156 acres, also Mean Bridge End, 1 perch, also

Fox Royd Green, 1 rood, 38 perches.



Sarah Armitage Sarah Armitage Benjamin Armitage John Batty John Batty John Batty Abraham Bates Joseph Beaver Matthew Booth Matthew Booth James Booth Joseph Booth John Booth John Booth John Booth Edward Bower Edward Bower James Bower Charles Broadbent James Brook James Brook of Huddersfield James Brook of Huddersfield Thomas and Charles Brook Charles Brook of Healey House Joseph Brook Joseph Brook Joseph Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook Jonas Brook James Bulmer James Bulmer James Bulmer James Bulmer George Crosland George Crosland Francis Crowther Jonas Dawson James Dawson James Dawson James Dawson Nathaniel Dyson Nathaniel Dyson Nathaniel Dyson Joseph Eastwood William Eastwood


Boll Bents Boll Bents Boll Bents Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Blackmoorfoot Blackmoor Bottom Hey Green Dryclough Golcar Hill Golcar Hill Spark Green Wearley Moor Hey Green Wearley Moor Golcar Hill Mill Moor Wearley Moor Blackmoor Bottom Harding Bugh Harding Bugh Harding Clough Mill Moor Top Mill Moor Mill Moor Wham Top Mill Moor Wearley Moor Snape and Dry Clough Blackmoor Wearley Moor Wilshaw Maggleden Top Maggleden Top Dryclough Blackmoor Bottom Blackmoor Bottom Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Royd Edge Royd Edge Blackmoor Goit Millmoor Millmoor Rough Nook Half Roods Mill Moor Top Wearley Moor Mill Moor Mill Moor



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Area in Roods

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Page 100

William Eastwood William Eastwood William Eastwood William Eastwood William Eastwood William Eastwood John Garlick John Garlick James Garlick James Garlick James Garlick John Haigh's Devisees John Haigh's Devisees John Haigh's Devisees Joseph Hall David Harrison David Harrison David Harrison John Hinchliffe's Devisees Matthew Hirst

Jonas Hirst and Abraham Holroyd

John Johnson John Johnson John Johnson John Johnson John Kenworthy John Lancaster John Lancaster John Lancaster John Lumb John Mellor Adam Mellor Adam Mellor Richard Mellor George Mitchell Joseph Mitchell Joseph Mitchell Abraham Moorhouse Abraham Moorhouse William Orange John Pogson, Senior. Heirs John Pogson, Junior John Pogson, clothier Charles Radcliffe's Trustees Charles Radcliffe's Trustees James Redfern James Redfern James Redfern James Redfern James Redfern Christopher Redfern James Shaw Jonathan Shaw John Sykes, Devisees John Sykes, Devisees John Sykes of Blackmoorfoot Samuel Sykes Thomas Sykes


Mill Moor Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Mill Moor Top Goit Mill Moor Pickhill Brow Gledhill Stones Mill Moor Hey Nooks Wearley Moor Boll Bents Blackmoor Wearley Moor Royd Edge Wearley Moor Spark Green Spark Green Royd Edge Blackmoor Bottom Wearley Moor Blackmoor Golcar Hill Mill Moor Mill Moor Blackmoor Blackmoor Bottom Hey Green Black Moor Linthwaite Cross Spark Green Hey Green Mill Moor Top Wearley Moor Snape Wearley Moor Black Moor Bottom Golcar Hill Golcar Hill Wearley Moor Goyt Goyt Mill Moor Spark Green Spark Green Wearley Moor Wearley Moor Golcar Hill Hey Green Pick Hill Brow Mill Moor Owler Bars Black Moor Bottom Little Moor Black Moor


Area in Roods Perches

34 20 16

©00-O0000m-wO00000o-NNncoccwn-O0-0O0000-O0on-wiNNowo--O0O0ONONOON-NO D LJ

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Area in

Name Place Acres - Roods Perches 111. Joseph Taylor, John Taylor, and James Taylor's heirs Golcar Hill 1 17 112. James Taylor Pick Hill Brow 5 113. James Taylor Golcar Hill 12 114. James Taylor Wearley Moor 4 115. Crispin Taylor Spark Green 4 1 34 116. Crispin Taylor Moor Ford Hill 13 7 117. John Taylor Pick Hill Brow 7 118. John Taylor Pick Hill Brow 6 119. John Taylor, Red Lane Spark Green 1 5 120. John Taylor, Red Lane Wham Top 36 121. John Taylor, Red Lane Wearley Moor 1 122. John Taylor of Greave Harding Slack 19 3 24 123. Abraham Taylor Wearley Moor 3 2 16 124. David Taylor Mill Moor 1 22 125. David Taylor Gledhill Stones 1 2 31 126. John Wrigley Mill Moor 38 127. John Wrigley Mill Moor 1 23 128. James Waterhouse Mill Moor 2 20 129. John Woodhead Pick Hill Brow 7 130. - John Woodhead Pick Hill Brow 6 131. - John Woodhead Wearley Moor 12 30 132. John Woodhead Linthwaite Cross 10 1 10 133. Amos Woodhead Little Dyke Bottom 4 1 30

ALLOTMENTS TO THE POOR To the Churchwardens and the Overseers of the Poor Little Dyke Bottom 4

Encroachments made during the previous 20 years were to be deemed part of the commons. Lords of the Manor retained the right to coal mines, also all rents, liberties of hawking, hunting, coursing, fishing and fowling, and all goods and chattels of felons and fugitives, and all minerals in the ground.

THE REST OF THE COMMONS were shared out amongst the land owners and their tenants as follows:- 1. Joseph Green Armitage. Copside 1-0-16; Spark Green 5-3-21; Mill Bank 0-0-30; Golcar Hill 0-3-1; Green Side 0-1-34; Royd Edge 0-1-31; Greens End 0-0-4; Royd Edge 0-0-5; Town Slack 12-0-20; Slack o'th' Moor 36-0-29; Wilshaw and Thick Hollins Moor 79-2-34; Gill Birks 4-0-37; Thick Hollins Hill and Shivering 6-0-24; Thick Hollins Hill 5-1-35; Harding Clough

15-3-34; Thick Hollins Moor, Dry Clough and Harding Hill 141-3-6; Fleet Moss, Madge Know] and Maggleden 124-0-37.

2. Sarah Armitage, Widow. Black Moor Top 0-0-12; Lawnd 1-1-4; Black Moor Top 0-0-12. 3. George Batty. Middle Ridge 1-2-25.

4. Richard Henry Beaumont. Royd Thorus 33-3-15; Royd Wood 55-2-16; Royd Edge 0-0-24; Black Moor Bottom 5-0-8; Wash 0-0-33; Wash 3-1-5; Spark Green 2-2-38; Black Moor Bottom 6-0-18; Deer Hill Bents 35-3-10; Pick Hill Brow 0-0-2; Hey Green 0-0-6.

5. George Bottomley. Harding Clough 1-0-2; Thick Hollins Hill 0-0-9. 6. - John Bower and John Hiram Taylor. Towns Slack 3-1-1. 7. James Bower. Towns Slack 4-1-32. 8. Jonas Brook. Harding Hill 3-0-33; and 1-1-12; Snape Whams 8-2-23; Leygards 6-0-18.


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9. James Brook and Joseph Brook. Mill Bank 0-1-26. 10. Benjamin Bradshaw. Child o'th' Edge 4-0-16.

11. John Brooksbank and Nancy his wife. Wearley Moor 13-2-10; Wham 0-0-1 ; The School (encroachment) 0-0-6; Wham 0-0-4.

12. John Butterworth. Coal Pits 4-2-25. 13. The Earl of Dartmouth. Lawnd 1-2-15. 14. Timothy Dyson. Mill Bank 0-0-1 and 0-0-30; Acre Side 2-0-18; Wilshaw Slack 22-1-30.

15. Nathaniel Dyson. Black Moor 8-2-7; James Dyson's Heirs - Black Moor Bottom 11-1-14.

16. John Dyson. Cop Side 0-3-16; Cop End 9-2-35; Black Moor 4-3-38. 17. William Dyson's Heirs. Lawnd 12-1-6.

18. Joseph Eastwood. Deer Hill End and Haighs Slack 52-3-38; Black Moor Top 22-2-39; Harding Clough and Fox Royd 18-1-25; Harding Moss 4-2-26; Little Moor 0-0-25; Fox Lane (an encroachment) 0-0-3; Greens End 0- 0-10 0-0-1 ; Snape 0-1- 35 Golcar Brow 0-2 2; Wham 0-0-5; 0-0-1 and 0-0-11.

19. Luke Eastwood. Wearley Moor 0-0-32. 20. John Eastwood. Towns Slack 9-2-16; and Haighs Slack 2-2-29. 21. William Fairbank. Black Moor 2-0-0 and 6-2-5. 22. James Garlick. Brighouse 0-0-2$ and Thick Hollins 0-0-1214.

23. Benjamin Holroyd and Hannah his wife. Towns Slack 8-0-27 and Colders Lane Top 0-0-9 and Bedlam 0-1-22 and 0-0-33 (encroachment).

24. John Haigh. Black Moor Top 4-2-13. 25. Joseph Haigh. Wearley Moor 3-0-0; Badger Gate 0-1-30; Hey Brook 0-0-8. 26. Jonas Haigh. Wearley Moor 2-2-31. 27. Thomas Haigh. Wearley Moor 2-2-31. 28. Joseph, Jonas and Thomas Haigh. Mill Moor Bottom 0-1-13. 29. Joseph Haigh of Almondbury. Wearley Moor 11-0-11; Towns Slack 14-2-20. 30. - John Halliley. Middle Ridge 2-2-8.

31. David Harrison and Richard Harrison, Crosland Edge. Black Moor 18-0-0; Haighs Slack 20-1-10; Fox Royd Green 2-2-11; Hardmg Moss 11-3-2; Royd Edge 1-0-19; Bunkers Hill 0-0-14; Royd Edge (an encroachment) 0-0-20.

32. Heirs of Matthew and Robert Hirst. Colders Lane Top 4-0-34; Stoneley Carr 30-3-27.

33. Abraham Holroyd. Middle Ridge 1-0-26; Fox Royd Green 2-1-19; Thick Hollins Hill 0-0-6.

34. - Curate of Holmfirth. Lawnd 2-0-20. 35. John Johnson. Harding Clough 2-2-19. 36. Elizabeth May. Golcar Hill 0-0-16. 37. - Meltham Curacy. High Moor 0-3-36; Greens End 0-0-3 (an encroachment).


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38. Trustees of Meltham and Honley Curacies. Mill Moor Road 0-0-10. 39. Trustees of Meltham Curacy. Swinshire Slack 12-3-33; Wilshaw 8-0-0. 40. - Trustees of Honley Curacy. Wilshaw 19-3-17.

41. Meltham Curacy. Royd Edge 0-0-19; High Moor 16-0-1; Hassocks 19-3-18; Harding Hill 8-1-9; Harding Clough 17-1-12; Fox Royd Green 1-2-24; Meal Hill 1-1-34.

42. George Oldfield. Maggleden Edge and Royd 35-3-22. 43. James Parkin. Black Moor 1-3-18 and 6-3-9. 44. - Charles Radcliffe's Trustees. Intake 15-3-24; Cop End 8-3-21; Deer Hill 36-3-26; Black Moor Top 22-3-25; Lawnd 13-2-0; Holt Head 36-1-0; Binns 0-1-8; Rams Clough 45-2-29; Harding Moss 49-1-17; Brighouse 0-0-22; and 0-0-7; Holt Head 3-3-33; Linthwaite Cross 0-2-22. 45. James Rawcliffe's Heirs. Middle Ridge 4-1-25; Snape 7-1-29. 46. Christopher Redfern. Golcar Brow 0-0-3. 47. John Roberts. Black Moor 2-0-23.

48. Thomas Shaw. Leygards, Bracken Hills and Scope 250-2-0; Slack o'th' Moor 22-0-11; Green Slack 4-0-19; Mill Bank 1-1-14; Half Roods 1-2-22; Royd Edge 0-1-33; Thick Hollins Hill 1-2-21; Lawnd 'g-1- 5;.

49. - John Siddall. Hey 0-0-13; Lawnd 2-0-37. 50. Jonas Siddall. Hey 0-3-0. 51. Samuel Siddall. Hey 0-1-31; Lawnd 5-3-1; Hey 0-1-3 and 0-0-32. 52. Joseph Sykes and John Sykes. Owler Bars 0-0-31; Coal Pits 4-2-26. 53. George Sykes, Joseph Sykes and John Sykes. Bunkers Hill 0-2-33. 54. George Sykes. Coal Pits 2-3-0. 55. Christopher Sykes's Heirs. Black Moor 12-0-8. 56. Adam Sykes. Cop Side 0-1-9. 57. +A Devisee of James Miller. Wash 0-1-33. 58. James Sykes. Wash 3-2-8; and 0-1-10 (an encroachment). 59. Elizabeth Sykes. Black Moor Top 3-3-18. 60. - George Sykes. Black Moor 9-2-33; Top of Black Moor 19-3-8. 61. Sarah Sykes. Black Moor 5-3-13. 62. John Sykes. Black Moor 8-0-26.

63. James Sykes. Black Moor 10-0-23; Black Moor Top 1-1-0; also Black Moor Bottom 9-2-19; Wash 3-3-36.

64. - James Sykes and Mary his wife. Swinshire Slack 12-0-7.

65. John Taylor of Royd. Royd 0-0-12; Royd Edge 1-0-30; Royd Green 0-0-3; Royd Edge 0-0-16; Harding Clough 3-0-24.

66. Joseph Taylor of Royd. Royd 0-2-24; Binns 6-0-7. 67. George Taylor of Royd. Binns 4-3-12; Harding Clough 3-0-25; Royd Edge 0-1-22.


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68. John, Joseph and George Taylor. Harding Moss 3-1-22. 69. Hannah Thorpe. Brighouse 0-0-4. 70. Sarah Taylor. Uppershaw and Deer Hill Bents 38-3-25.

71. - George Taylor's heirs. Thick Hollins Bridge 1-2-17; Mill Bank 0-1-37; Meal Hill 2-1-30; Royd Edge 0-1-14; Harding Clough 1-2-16; New Brldge 1-2-26; Deer H1“ Bents 53-2-13; Deer Hill Moss and White Poles 9-2-16.

72. James Taylor of Thorne. Middle Ridge 1-3-0.

73. James Taylor of the Middle of Meltham. Lane Bottom 0-0-6; Mill Moor Head 0-0-1; Lane Bottom 0-0-15; Mill Moor Head 0-0-2.

74. James Taylor of Dud. Brackbed 2-2-8. 75. John Broadhead Taylor. Wearley Moor 23-2-25. 76. John Taylor's heirs. Fox Royd Green 0-1-8. 77. Jonas Taylor. Brackenbed 2-2-8. 78. Joseph Taylor, James Taylor and the heirs of John Taylor. Middle Ridge 8-0-7. 79. - John Taylor of Meltham. Calmlands Bottom 0-0-7. 80. George Taylor of Meltham Mills. Middle Ridge 3-1-8.

81. - Philip Tinker. Holt Head 6-3-9 and 2-0-25; Fox Royd Green and Harding Clough 5-0-18; Harding Clough 1-0-10; Snape Dike Bottom 2- 201.

82. Uriah Tinker. Blackfriars Bridge 1-0-17; Meal Hill 0-2-11; Thick Hollins Moor 0-1-38; Harding Clough 0-1-20; Thick Hollins 0-1-30; Thick Hollins Hill 3-3-9; Harding Clough 18-0-3; Harding Moss 12-2-37.

83. Christopher Whitwam. Dunnock 1-0-6.

84. - Mary Woodhead. Fox Royd Green 1-3-33; and 0-0-22; Royd 0-1-6; Binns 6-0-2; Harding Clough 2-0-20; Harding Moss 3-1-32.

85. John Woodhead. Middle Ridge 2-2-1; Royd 0-0-10; Fox Lane 0-0-5; Upper Royd 0-0-8; Fox Royd Green 1-1-26; Binns 5-3-0; Harding Clough 5-2-16; Harding Moss 7-0-10.

86. Matthew, John, Charles, Isaac and Amos Woodhead. Deer Hill Bents 16-2-18. 87. Isaac Woodhead. Towns Slack 4-1-33; Near Intake 2-1-6; Slack o'th' Moor 7-3-38. 88. Joseph Woodhead. Brighouse 0-0-2.


1. Deer Hill. Begun in 1870, full in 1875. This catches water by means of a conduit from the streams which flow down the western slopes of West Nab and Shooters Nab.

2. Blackmoorfoot. Begun in 1871, full in 1876. This catches water from the north side of Shooters Nab, from the eastern slopes of West Nab. The main drain begins near Royd Edge at 850 feet above sea level, crosses over to Brow Grains, joins the other conduit at Lawnd and passes below Meltham Cop to the reservoir. At Brow Grains it is 875 feet above sea level, and at Blackmoorfoot it is 831. Yet the water appears to be running uphill. At Brow Grains a series of bore-holes running along the line of a fault supplement the water collected from the streams. The first few hundred yards of the catch-water near Royd Edge have never caught anything, there being nothing to catch, but as the Huddersfield Waterworks Undertaking had obtained permission to dig their drain that far, dig it they did! This invasion of the Manor of


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Meltham by its largest neighbour was first suggested in July 1853 by Mr. George Crowther, engineer to the Commissioners who reported that "as the town is fast increasing in size and population it is reasonable to infer before the lapse of many years, other districts and sources for a supply of water must be had resource to . . . . I have fixed on Meltham as the legitimate district from which Huddersfield ought to have her supplies and I beg most respectfully yet strongly to urge you to take formal possession of that district by fixing a rain gauge on the hill west and south-west of the village of Meltham."

In 1861 this gentleman led a deputation of the Waterworks Commissioners to Meltham to look for suitable sites for reservoirs. Their suggestions were accepted, and an application was made to Parliament to legalise this act of piracy! In 1865 Colonel T. P. Crosland said to the Parliamentary Committee - "We intend to go to Meltham for an increased supply of water. We find that with the 1,584 acres which we have, after giving compensation to the mill-owners of Huddersfield and Meltham we shall have sufficient." In 1866 on May 3rd the Select Committee of the House of Lords met to consider the Huddersfield Waterworks Bill. This was opposed by the mill-owners of Longwood and the Colne Valley. The Holmfirth Flood of 1852 which resulted in the loss of 81 lives due to the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir was still fresh in people's memories. A more recent tragedy in Sheffield when 250 lives were lost had reinforced this fear. The Bill did not succeed. In 1869, by which time Huddersfield had received its charter, permission was granted.

APPENDIX VI PUBLIC HOUSES IN MELTHAM A HUNDRED YEARS AGO Name Place 1. The Antwerp David Buildings, Meltham Mills 2. The Life Guard Higher Bent Ley 3. Jenny Johnson's Acre Side 4. Smith's Thick Hollins 5. The Loose Pulley Bank Buildings 6. The Brown Cow Bower Hill 7. The Black Horse 8. The Waggon and Horses 9. The Cherry Tree 10. The Rose and Crown Market Place 11. The Swan Market Place 12. The Victoria At the bottom of Wessenden Head Road 13. - The Skylark 14. Th' O' Cot at Wentworth House 15. The Bell 16. . Th' Owd Pig Etherd Fold 17. The Cat Inn 18. The Kitten Wesleyan Chapel 19. The Fleece (Victoria Hotel) 20. The Bog and Rat Brighouse Fold 21. The Traveller's Rest Meltham Moor 22. The Lamb Inn Holthead 23. Wills O' Nat's and Henry Francis Blackmoorfoot 24. The Black Goose Spark Green 25. Lucky 26. The Stiff Shackle Greensend 27. Bob Hoile Greenside

28. The Railways Hotel

In 1915 a King's Pledge Crusade was organised in Meltham by the Wesleyan Chapel. Every house in the village was visited and 300 signed the pledge. The church was disappointed in not being able to get more non-abstainers to sign, but was "pleased to find who were abstainers where we had not expected to find them, and that such a number were anxious to impress upon us the little they took." Originally Methodists were not teetotal and even in 1820 beer was still being brewed for the older people at the Whitsuntide chapel celebrations.


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The old chapel was sandwiched between two of the public houses in the above list. This was an embarrassment and keen Methodists must have regarded the building of the new chapel on the site of one of these public houses as a good omen for the future. It was about this time that the Baptist Church voted to discontinue the use of fermented wine at the Lord's Supper and substitute unfermented. During the nineteenth century, drunkenness was increasingly seen to be a social menace.


1861 - 2 Brook, C. 1945 Haigh, A. 1863 Hirst, J. 1946 Miss H. B. Haigh 1864 - 5 Brook, C. 1947 Woodhead, R. F. 1866 - 72 Gooddy, E. 1948 Quarmby, A. 1873 - 80 Kilburn, J. 1949 Hollingworth, J. W. 1881 Lawford, T. H. 1950 Stead, H. 1882 - 3 Sykes, J. 1951 Hirst, H. 1884 Battye, J. 1952 Greenhalgh, E. 1885 Earnshaw, N. 1953 Kaye, M. H. 1886 - 7 Armitage, J. 1954 Quarmby, E. V. 1888 - 98 Mellor, R. 1955 Hollingworth, J. W. 1899 - 1900 Durrans, J. 1956 Stead, H. 1901 Preston, J. H. 1957 Hirst, H. 1902 Brook, S. 1958 Dawson, F. E. 1903 - 5 Moorhouse, J. 1959 Taylor, E. 1906 Quarmby, J. S. 1960 Bastow, H. 1907 Moorhouse, J. 1961 Steel, J. 1908 - 9 Redfearn, G. 1962 Dearnley, H 1910 - 11 Quarmby, J. S. 1963 Ashton, R. C. 1912 - 14 Mawdesley, J. R. 1964 Fisher, H. 1915 - 17 Brook, W. 1965 Battye, W. 1918 Dixon, W. 1966 Mrs. J. R. Kirby 1919 - 21 Quarmby, J. S. 1967 Bastow, H. 1922 Gledhill, A. 1968 Dearnley, H. 1923 - 28 Quarmby, J. S. 1969 Ashton, R. C. 1928 - 30 Hirst, H. J. 1970 Fisher, H. 1931 - 33 Woodhead, R. F. 1971 Battye, W. 1934 - 36 Hirst, T. W. 1972 Taylor, L. 1937 - 38 Quarmby, E. 1973 Stott, Rev. C. 1939 - 42 Butterworth, A. L. 1974 Rowley, R. 1943 Woodhead, R. F. 1975 Jollans, Mrs. J. 1944 Matthews, P. 1976 Roberts, J. W.


8,000 B.C. - 5,000 B.C. Hunters of the Middle Stone Age on West Nab. 3,000 B.C. (approx.) New Stone Age Farmers. 1,000 B.C. (approx.) Bronze Age Potters. 500 B.C. - 1,000 A.D. The Ancient Britons in Meltham. 641 A.D. Meltham part of the Kingdom of Mercia (the settlement?) 654 Meltham part of Northumbria. 1086 Domesday Book. 1300 (approx.) First mill at Meltham Mills. 1379 Poll Tax of Richard II. 1523 Levy of Henry VIII. 1651 First Church. 1664 Hearth Tax Returns. 1669 Parish Registers begin.


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1677 Court Roll. 1689 onwards - Robert Meeke's Diary. 1715 First Schoolmaster. 1730 - 1745 Diary of Arthur Jessop. 1737 First school. 1743 Archbishop Herring's Visitation Return. 1761 Guide Stoop on Thick Hollins Moor. 1770 Thomas Jeffreys' Map of Meltham. 1774 William Brook came to Mcltham. 1786 Second Church. 1801 First Census. 1814 First mention of coalminers in Meltham. 1816 - 1832 The Enclosures. 1816 First Baptist Chapel. 1819 First Wesleyan Chapel. Turnpike road begun. 1823 Second school. 1826 Jonas Brook founded the country's first Co-Op at Meltham Mills (closed 12th July 1969). 1835 Church Tower and transept. 1836 Church Bells. 1839 Meltham Vicarage. 1840 Silk Mill. 1841 Meltham Hall. 1845 Meltham Mills Church. 1849 Mechanics Institute. 1851 Oddfellows Hall. 1851 Joseph Hughes began writing his History of Meltham. 1855 Gas Works. 1856 Meltham Mills school. 1858 Helme Church. 1859 Meltham Mills Vicarage. 1860 Meltham Local Board elected. Mains water. 1864 Second Baptist Chapel. 1867 First train. Joseph Hughes Memorial School opened. 1870 Durker Roods built by Arthur Calrow Armitage. 1871 Helme Vicarage. Convalescent Home given by Charles Brook, Junior. 1873 .Helme school. 1874 Meltham became an independent parish. 1877 Abolition of pew rents in the Church and the building of the chancel. 1878 Carillon given by Edward Brook. 1884 Second Wesleyan Chapel. 1887 Recreation Ground given by Edward Brook. Cotton Spinning Mill started by the villagers. 1891 The Carlile and Mechanics Institute given by J. W. Carlile. 1894 Urban District Council elected. 1897 Town Hall given by Edward Brook.


Written over a hundred years ago, Mr. Hughes' book is still indispensable for any serious student of the history of Meltham. Many of his guesses about the earliest history and the pre- history have naturally been proved in the light of later knowledge to have been unfounded and further early written material not available to him has since become available. This present book was undertaken to correct some of those mistakes and to supply some of the lacks. It was not intended as a substitute, but as an introduction which would encourage more people to dig deeper. Some of Mr. Hughes' material has been reproduced, but much has not. There follows here a summary of that earlier book as a handy guide.


Page 108

Chapter One contains traditions about bee-keeping and folklore about outlaws and more information about the Lords of the Manor. It also assumes Roman influence upon the early settlement and its naming, but this we must reject.

Chapter Two tells the story of the building of the first church. I summarise this in my chapter 12.

Chapter Three provides information about the early curates which is reproduced here in chapters 6 and 12.

h Chapters Four to Eight are about Abraham Woodhead and are not reproduced at all ere. ©

Chapter Nine contains much interesting information; extracts from the parish registers and conclusions drawn from them about social conditions, and extracts from Mr. Sagar's 1siccount book and Benjamin Armitage's cash book. Much of this is not reproduced in the text ere.

Chapter Ten gives more of the history of the church and of the earliest schools. The same ground is covered in my chapters 12 and 14.

Chapter Eleven is about industrial growth, building projects, and the Brook family of Meltham Mills. It covers much the same ground as my chapter 7, but adds information about Helme and °

Chapter Twelve deals with the early physical aspect of Meltham and then outlines these 19th century developments - the Baptist and Methodist chapels (as in my chapter 13), the enclosures (as in chapter 8), the roads (as in 9), the railways (also in 9), and some of the works of the Local Board (9 and 10).

¢ Chapter Thirteen I do not reproduce at all. It is about the Radcliffe and Beaumont amilies.

Chapter Fourteen gives more information about the Manor of Meltham and its Lords.

There is an appendix containing more quotations from older books and papers.


First. The East end of one close called Bentylee and from the said Bentylee following the water to Gylloproyd Dyke, and from the said Gylloproyd Dyke unto the East end of old Helme, and from the said East end of old Helme unto Wykenforth ford, and from the said Wykenforth ford following the highway unto Swithen crosse, and from the said Swithen crosse following the old highway unto Nether forde att Brydley Brooke, and from the said Nether forde att Brydley Brooke following the ditch to the stoop att Over Highway, and from the said stoop att Over Highway following the ditch unto the Bowstones, and from the said Bowstones straight to the Bolsterstones, and from the said Bolsterstones straight to Greene Fladheads, and from the said Greene Fladheads following the ditch unto Shyton Nabb, and from the said Shyton Nabb following the ditch unto Rockingstone att Far Croft Nabb, and from the said Rocking stone having waters divided to Blake Gate, and from the said Blake Gate along and after straight to Childe of Edge, and from the said Childe of Edge straight to Wilshaw ford following the water unto Gilbert's Dyke, and from the said Gilbert's Dyke following the water unto Rigge Dyke, and from the Rigge Dyke following the water unto Honley Bridge, and from the said Honley Bridge following the water unto the Miln Bridge, at the said East end of the said Bentylec where this boundary begun.


Page 109



William Brook. Founder of the Meltham Mills branch of the family. Came in 1774 aged 40, built a scribbling mill behind Wood Cottage, then a small woollen mill worked by a water wheel.

James Brook. Eldest son of the founder. Built first Church with school and then Meltham Mills Church.

Jonas Brook. Second son of the founder. Converted the mill to cotton manufacture and constructed the reservoir. Founded the first co-op in Meltham Mills eightcen years before the so-called Rochdale Pioneers.

Charles Brook "The Elder". Youngest son of the founder. Took charge after the death of Jonas and enlarged the works. Built Bent Ley Silk Mill, Meltham Mills School, and then Helme Church in memory of his son Charles John who died at the age of 27. Had five sons and four daughters. Three of the boys became clergymen. He lived at Healey House.

William Leigh Brook. Eldest son of the eldest son. Built further extensions to the mill, workers' cottages, and Meltham Hall. Died of cholera.

Charles Brook "The Younger". Brother of William Leigh. Built Meltham Mills infant school, the Pleasure Grounds, and Bank Buildings.

Edward Brook. Son of Jonas. Gave Recreation Ground, Town Hall and many other pieces of land to the village.

So there were three generations and in each generation the important names as far as the

history of Meltham is concerned were these. In the first generation the founder William, in the second generation his three sons James, Jonas, and Charles, and in the third generation James’shtwo sons William and Charles and their cousin Edward, son of Jonas. The family tree is thus :- f


1. William 2. I James 3. Jonas 4. Charles William Leigh __ 6. Charles 7. Edward


Page 110


Almondbury Almondbury, Vicar of Armitstead, Rev. E., Curate of Meltham

Bamburgh Beaumont, R. H., Lord of the Manor Brook, Charles Charles the Younger Edward James Jonas William . William Leigh Broom, Rev. R., Curate of Meltham

Carter, J., coal miner Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes Castle Hill, Huddersfield Churches in Meltham - Baptist First Meltham Chapel Second Meltham Chapel Meltham Mills Church Methodist Roman Catholic

Climate in Prehistoric Times Coal-mining Court Roll Creaser, Mr. F. Crump, Mr. W. B.

Deira, Anglian Kingdom of Dialects of Northumbria and Mercia Dison Family of Meltham Mills Domesday Book

Edward I Elizabeth I Elmete, Ancient British Kingdom of Enclosures

Folly Dolly

Henry VIII Herring, Archbishop of York Hinchliffe, W., schoolmaster Houses in the Middle Ages Huddersfield Hughes, Rev. J., Curate and Historian of Meltham

Iron smelting in Meltham Jeffreys' Map of Yorkshire Jessop, Dr. A., his diary Jones, Rev. L., Vicar of Almondbury and Curate of Meltham

Kaye, Mr. M.H.


Page 21, 23, 25, 27, 34, 35, 58 34, 35 74, 75

19, 21 53, 56 44, 49 49, 60, 85 49, 60, 63, 69, 70, 76

48 18 15, 16, 17, 18 77, 78, 79, 80 24, 32, 38, 73, 74 38, 48, 49, 74, 75 75, 76, 80 77, 78, 80 80

10, 14 45, 46, 47, 48, 49 27, 29

42, 43, 44 33

19, 21 21 24, 74 23, 25

23 23 19, 21 17, 38, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56

42, 43 25 33, 34 34, 37, 83 25, 26 21, 27, 34, 51, 58, 61, 70 15, 16, 17, 18, 37, 61, 65, 75, 83 16, 18

34, 36, 40 33, 34, 37

75 42, 43, 48, 65

Page 111

Laci, IIbert de, Lord of the Manor Lancaster, Earls of, Lords of the Manor Local Board Lockwood, Mr. M., his will

Meeke, Rev. R., Curate of Slaithwaite, his diary Mercia, Anglian Kingdom of

Northumbria, Anglian Kingdom of Oldfield Hill, excavations at

Parish Registers Place names Population

Railway Richard II, poll tax Richmond, Professor I., Ripley, Mr. W., schoolmaster Roads

Sagar, Rev. R., Curate of Meltham Schools in Meltham Still, Rev. W. K., Baptist Minister Swimming Pool Sykes, Mr. D. F. E., Historian

Taxation Taylor family of Royd Thomas, Rev. T., Baptist Minister and schoolmaster Tilson, Bishop H. and the first Chapel Tolson Museum Tyler, Wat

Urban District Council Village Green

Wake, Mr. H. R. Water supplies Wesley, Rev. John West Nab Woodhead, Mr. W., his will


23 23 60, 61, 65, 66, 67, 68 37, 83

27, 31 19, 21

19, 21 15, 16, 18 27, 28, 29, 36, 42, 45, 48 2

21, 2 24, 25, 27, 34, 57, 58, 61

37, 83 33, 52, 58, 59, 60, 65, 66

34, 35, 36, 37, 74, 77, 83 35, 37, 65, 83, 84, 85, 86 79, 830 86 54 23, 24, 25, 27, 32 25, 27, 28, 32, 38, 40 78, 79, 83 73 16, 33 24

69, 70, 71, 72 34

38 52, 53, 61, 62, 63, 72 77 9, 14, 16, 32, 86 73


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