Huddersfield Local History Society: Newsletter 4 (1986) by various

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Huddersfield

LOCAL eS SOCIETY

rl (90003) Fp 12049 tes

Letter

No.4 1985

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LASCELLES HALL

Despite lending its name to a small village on the eastern outskirts of Huddersfield, Lascelles Hall is one of the district's least well know "historic This apparent neglect can be attributed to various factors, including the lack of famous residents, outstanding architectural merit and the location of the Hall itself on a secluded hillside between Lepton and Kirkheaton. Even the narrow village road dips into a tree- lined cutting and the house can only be seen properly from a distance. What can be seen is a plain, rather severe, late Georgian facade, sadly lacking in the multiple gables, mullioned windows and ornate stonework that usually suggest a local house of great age. Indeed there is little to suggest that this is not just another mill owner's mansion of no particular significance. Yet history there is, for although Lascelles Hall is not a Woodsome or Whitley Beaumont, it does have a history stretching back into the Middle Ages. The purpose of these notes is to outline that history - with the excuse, if one is needed, that few such houses now fulfill their original purpose and plain No. 80 Lascelles Hall Road is fortunate to have survived long enough to warrant a belated acknowledge- ment in the Schedule of Listed Buildings.

Sources for the Hall's history are numerous, but fragmentary. No single family lived here for unbroken centuries leaving behind a rich deposit of plans and correspondence. There is some Beaumont documentation, but most sources are from secondary material and the most notable of these is the work of Leigh Tolson. He was the only real historian of Lascelles Hall and his account in the monumental "History of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton, Yorkshire and annals of the Parish" forms the basis of any research, but has to be treated with caution as it draws on some documents no longer available.

It is often difficult to separate the Hall itself from the village of the same name in many sources, but it is as a place name that the earliest references appear. In the 12th century Simon de Lascelles held three Knights fees of the Honour of Pontefract and by 1287 Cecily and Agnes de Lascelles were holding land in Lepton. By the 15th century the place name was established although the whereabouts of the actual Hall are a mystery. This is significant, for the Lascelles family connection was already coming to an end. John Lascelles had no sons and his estate was divided among three daughters. One of these, Joan, married Henry Beaumont of Whitley, thus linking Lascelles Hall to one of the most powerful families in the district.

Not that the Beaumonts were the only important family, for among their neighbours was a branch of the Ramsden family and John Ramsden's construction of another hall in the late 16th century provided an unusual twist to the Hall's history for, as Tolson explains

"There were then two Lascelles Hall's adjacent to each other with only a lane between them and surrounded by intermingling stables and farm buildings: the Old Hall belonged to the Beaumonts and the New Hall to the Ramsdens”.

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Contemporary documents confirm this dual presence. Thus "William Beaumont of Lacell Hall" appears in a conveyance of 1583, while Ramsden of Lacelhall" is involved in a settlement of titles in 1605. A little later in the 17th century, the Ramsdens appear to have acquired both halls. Sir John F. Ramsden writing three centuries later, referred to a deed of 1611 as "the first mention of the acquisition of Lascelles Hall from the Beaumont family". Yet the Ramsden tenure was relatively brief, for John was succeeded by both his son and grandson in the space of two years and the estate was divided again, The Old Hall reverted to Beaumont ownership until the early 18th century, while the New Hall was divided into two separate dwellings, the Overside and Laverside Halls. These were described in a contemporary document which ascribed the 'West end of the New Hall" to Mr. Thomas Wray and ''ye east end of ye New Hall to Mr. Henry Portington. They were, respectively, the husbands of Elizabeth and Ellen Ramsden.

Laverside Hall passed, eventually through various hands to the Walker family”. while its twin enjoyed a brief period of local fame as the home of the Rev. Christopher Richardson.

Installed by Parliament at Kirkheaton Parish Church, the Rev. Richardson had wisely retired at the Restoration, apparently purchasing the Overside Hall for £720. Not that this meant an end to preaching, for the great hall at Overside was so well used that it became known as "the preaching room", and its enthusiastic owner was called to account by the magistrate Sir John Kaye of Woodsome. This incident is recalled in the diary of the Rev. Oliver Heywood, a friend of Richardson's.

Other insights into life at the Overside Hall are provided by another cleric diarist, the Rev, Robert Meeke of Slaithwaite, a colleague of Richardson's son - also named Christopher. His life appears rather more genteel with at least one visit to the "Knaresborough Spaws", possibly to counteract the effects of a rapidly growing family - one of whom had the misfortune to be named after the place of his birth, 'Lassell'! Subsequently the family moved away and a series of transactions brought the Overhall into the ever acquisitive hands of the Walkers.

By the early 19th century, the Walkers had become the dominant family at Lascelles Hall, the culmination of a process begun in the mid-18th century. A wool merchant from Cowlersley, Joseph Walker (I) had purchased the former Beaumont Hall from the Denton family - the Beaumonts having sold out in 1714 - around 1750. It is possible that he carried out building works, for the stables (now cottages) carry a datestone with the initials of Joseph and his wife Sarah. A more ornate memorial was provided in Kirkheaton Parish Church for the couple, who died within 20 days of each other in 1774,

The new owner, Samuel, was the head of a family busily establishing itself in local society. Following in Beaumont footsteps, Samuel became a governor of King James Grammar School. His sister Sarah married George Armitage "Th' Justice" of Honley and a niece married into the Huddersfield banking

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family of Dobson and Co. There was sufficient prosperity for further building work to be undertaken - virtually a complete rebuilding in effect, but a lack of evidence obscures this vital development. Tolson states firmly that Samuel, who died in 1809, was the builder of the main part of the house, the Schedule of Listed Buildings keeps to a vague "late 18th century". A study of contemporary maps shows little change in the overall pattern of buildings from 1780 to the present day, but there was a major landscaping exercise between 1821 and 1837. This created a tree~fringed park around the Hall and appears to move the line of the road, perhaps to give greater privacy. The house-front itself is rather plain, enlivened only by a recessed entrance and pediment, but has a commanding view which must have been very pleasant before the advent of I.C.I. in the valley below. Internally the layout of rooms is rather unusual; particular features being the lack of a main staircase or entrance hall and the increasing height of the ground floor rooms along the length of the house. In common with many other houses rebuilt at this time, an older wing, housing the kitchen and servants quarters, was left standing, tucked away at the back. This building is of the same style, and probably age, as the stables and barn, with which it forms a harmonious and attractive setting.

The gentleman for whom this formed a suitable residence was Joseph Walker (ITI) county magistrate, governor of King James' and benefactor of local charities. His daughter, and ultimate heir, Amelia, was suitably educated at Miss Wooller's School, Rue Head where she studied with the goddaughter of her aunt Frances, Charlotte Bronte. Frances Walker's husband, the Rev. Thomas Atkinson of Hartshead was a close friend of the Rev. Patrick Bronte and the family connections eventually brought Charlotte and her sister Anne to Lascelles Hall in the summer of 1836. Charlotte came reluctantly but found her day with the Walkers not too unpleasant. Amelia lived up to her status, being "utterly spoiled by the most hideous affectation" and brother William turned out to be "an incorrigible booby”. Still it was better than the longer holiday envisaged by her father.

In fact the Walkers were soon to leave Lascelles Hall for the kinder climate of Torquay and the house was let to a succession of tenants. Most notable among these were the cricketing Hirsts, two sons of the family played for both the village and county teams.

William Walker predeceased his father and the death of Amelia, still in Torquay, in 1892 brought the Hall onto the open market. The auction at the Queen Hotel, Huddersfield in 1893 split the estate into 16 separate lots and precipitated the Old Hall into a new era of rapidly changing ownership. Half a dozen owners in little more than half a century have ensured a major change in circumstances. The drawing rooms, billiard rooms, wine cellars and accom- modation for half a dozen servants have given way to self contained flats. The once entensive gardens, now only remembered in aerial photographs, have given way to ‘executive’ housing the barn is likely to be transformed into country cottages. But the Hall itself has survived, escaping the fate of the ‘Ramsden' Hall, which as long ago as 1882 was "uninhabited and fast falling into decay surrounded by cottages of a very humble character, but even in ruin distinguished by certain architectural features which stamp it as

having been the residence of a family of position”. Keith Brockhill

NOTE: A more detailed version of this account, with references, is available in the Huddersfield local studies library. I

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LASCELLES HALL FROM THE SOUTH, SHOWING THE ONCE EXTENSIVE GARDENS, IN 1949. THE PRESUMED SITE OF THE OTHER HALL IS TO THE LEFT OF LASCELLES HALL ROAD. I THE SMALLER PHOTO SHOWS THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH Wood)

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ag eS

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EARLY MARSDEN MILLS

This study is an exploration of the origins of the industrial revolution in Marsden, a small township in the Pennines at the head of the Colne Valley. The identification of the various stages in the birth of the woollen mill and cotton factory is fraught with problems deriving from the inadequacy of the evidence. Marsden, unlike its neighbour Slaithwaite, is not described in detail on estate Terriers and therefore we have to rely on a number of diverse sources in order to reconstruct an approximate picture of the rate of industrialisation. The pitfalls of this will become apparent.

The First Mills

In many cases the earliest woollen mills were adaptations of already existing fulling mills or sometimes corn mills. A document dated 1709 describes the first proposals to establish a fulling mill since the "hamlet and Manor of Marsden is destitute of a fulling Mill and that it would be a public convenience and advantage to the Inhabitants thereof." Fourty-two of these signed their support for the planned mill which was to be exempt from all dues and rates except those to the Lord of the Manor({1) The initiator of the project, Robert France of Edgend, may be the same R. France who appears as signatory to an agreement on working practices and prices between owners and occupiers of fulling millers in 1707 and was perhaps already involved in the fulling trade (2) Whether he received financial backing from local clothiers is not known but there is some evidence that the scheme was successful. I

The author of "Bygone Marsden" writing in the 1930's in his chapter on mills draws much evidence from oral tradition for the origin and siting of early mills. He claims however that he has traced the fulling mill referred to above in the Land Tax Returns (for 1717 and that its site was at Hey Green, later occupied by a corn mill, Topographicaly this seems likely as the site is almost a mile above Marsden which, given the absence of competition for water power at this period, would have been the logical location for a mill, both as the focus for local trackways and because of its proximity to the main transpennine route. If for some reason Hey Green was the best or only choi¢g¢, we are faced with the problem of its absence on Jeffries Map of 1770.

This map depicts two watermills, one a little Below the confluence of the Colne and the Wessenden and another about half a mile downstream. Which then, are the mills represented here?

It is clear from several references in the Parish Registers for the 1780's that one of these, referred to as Marsden Mill or simply Mill, was occupied by William Schofield who is described as a corn miller. 5) It seems safe to assume that this can be identified as the 01d Corn Mill which was converted to cotton by 1806 and which appears as a woollen mill on the Ordnance Survey map of 1854. This being the case it would be the higher of the two mills on Jeffries map.

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At the assizes officials called Cloth Searchers were appointed to check the quality of the cloth fulled at particular mills. (6) From the lists of these from at least 1743 to 1780 we are certain “hse there was only one fulling mill in Marsden which must therefore be the second of the mills on the 1770 map, which is certainly not Hey Green. By 1804 however the Burial registers do contain an entry for John Dowse of "Haigh Green Mill", who we know from other sources was a corn miller. The siting of Hey Green mill upstream may therefore reflect its late origins and it may also have been established with a view to the benefits of canal transportation. Even if it did start life as Robert France's fulling mill in 1710 that role must have been short lived.

Whinny Hill Wood Mill

As we have seen from the cloth searchers lists there was only one fulling mill in Marsden by the 1740's and a will of 1748, in which John Kaye of Gatehead left property to his eldest son John of Edgend, including "the Whinhill Wood with the house and fulling mill in the wood bottom in the tenure of John Berry.", makes identification clear.(7) By 1771 it was occupied by James Hirst who appears on the Land Tax Returns for 1782 as a tenant of Mr. John Plowes on land assessed at 9s.4d, with an explicit reference to a "Milne". Plowes, a Leeds merchant, acquired the property by marriage to Ann the sister and heir of Joseph the only son of the younger John Kaye. His mill was insured for £1,000 in 1794 and was advertised "To be LETT" in the Leeds Mercury two years later giving us our first detailed view of Whinny Hill: Wood mill.

In addition to fulling the mill also now contained scribbling and carding machinery and there was an adjoining chipping and rasping mill for the preparation of dyewoods, a dyehouse, warehouse and "sundry COTTAGES lately erected". Power was supplied by two water wheels, "one of which has Nine Feet Fall and being constructed in the best manner the Power of it is very great". A house, barn, stable and a few closes of ground were also available. The premises were stated to be "extremely suitable for a Capital Clothier or for a Merchant who chooses to manufacture his own goods", with the advantage of being, "nearly upon the Intended Line of Navigation from Huddersfield to Manchester". Unfortunately we do not know who the mill's tenants were at this time.

If we could assume that the land of Plowes assessed at 9s.4d included the mill itself then the tenant from 1789 to 1794 was a clothier, Edward Greaves and his successor until 1801 was a Mr. Richard Brown. In that year there is an entry for William Dyson but subsequently either the own- ership of the land or the value of its assessment changes and we lose track of this tenancy in the Tax Returns. However a reference in the 1793 Parish registers to "John Wood of Whinnel Wood Mills" throws doubt on this interpretation of the tax returns or points to the existence of undertenants. (9) We are also confronted with the problem of why and to whom the mill was leased in 1796.

Another possibility is that the mill was managed by an employee and this seems the case with Arthur Hirst of "Whinnel Wood Mill" who is mentioned in the burial registers for 1804 on the occasion of a son's burial. (10)

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From later sources we know him as the "carding engineer" who fortified the mill against the Luddites.(11) By 1816 we encounter John Barber of "Whinny Wood Mill, Fulling Miller." (12) who may have been the last occupant before the mill was acquired by Enoch and Joseph Armitage. From the 1848 trade directory we know that the latter of these carried on fulling and scribbling at "Wood Bottom Mill" until his bankruptcy in the following year when his Marsden estate appears for sale - including a mill at Whinny Hill Wood. (13) This is important confirmation of more recent historians who equate the two and is also compatible with the identification of the lower mill on Jeffries map as Whinny Hill Wood, alias Lingards Wood Bottom.

In the light of this we know something of the mill's history after 1801 as it was advertised for sale in the following year, when its occupants are named as John Haigh and John Moore. The mill may have been rebuilt since 1796 for it is now described as "Newly Erected", three storeys high and 164 yards by 10 yards containing 4 scribbling engines, 3. carders, 2 billies a teazer and fulling stocks "all in good Repair being completely fitted up for Milling of Cloth, Scribbling Carding and Slubbing of Wool (constantly employed) and might be very easily converted into a Cotton Mill..." Apart from a never failing supply of water the advantages of the site included, "being in a populous Neighbourhood and where plenty of Hands may be had at much lower Wages than at most other places..." and proximity to the turnpike road and canal. I

Plowes appears to no longer have owned the mill as Mr. James Roberts of Linthwaite and Mr. Ainley, attorney of Delph were dealing with particulars of the sale. Evidently the Mill was bought by its occupant John Haigh since in 1806 following his bankruptcy, his assignees were again trying to sell the premises. The machinery now included "six excellent Throstles for the Spinning of Cotton nearly new", reflecting its former owners interests in that trade. (14)

Haigh's Factory

Sykes, the Colne Valley historian, describes how child labour was brought from the Foundlings Hospital in London to serve in Haigh's cotton factories at Marsden. £15) Local pauper children were employed too. An entry in the South Crosland overseer’s accounts for 22nd June 1802 records "My gate and expenses with two children to Marsden Cotton Factory". Our earliest mention of this establishment is even more tragic coming from the record of a burial on 19th February 1801 of "John Marsden of Scout who was accidentally shot in Mr. Haigh's Factory. (16)

In fact, from the property sold by his assignees in 1806 we know that Haigh had two cotton factories,

One of these is described as being "where a Corn Mill lately stood" and can be safely identified as the Old Corn Mill of the 1854 0.S. map. It consisted of three storeys 64 by 33 feet and with a 16 foot diameter waterwheel 12 foot broad and turned by 14 foot fall of water.

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The other must be that referred to in later sources as "Warehouse Hill factory" or the "silk factory" pointing to identification with the Upper End Mill of the 0.S. map which spun silk. These premises were leasehold with a 999 year lease beginning in 1792 which may also mark the inception of building. This was much larger than the former building being four storeys high and apparently built on an incline as the top two storeys were 129 feet long, the second floor 108 feet and the ground floor 70 feet, all by 30 feet wide,

As well as a water wheel a "nearly new" Patent Steam Engine with a 27} inch cylinder was installed, probably in an auxiliary capacity to the wheel. The buildings appear to have been planned for a steam engine as the advert- isement emphasises that the coal cellars adjoin the canal.

The premises also consisted of a house, large garden, stables and hay loft and a four storey warehouse plus garret. Unfortunately we do not know what machinery the factory contained as the details of these were publicised on a separate handbill. (17) Being within a couple of hundred yards of each other these premises were probably run as one factory by Haigh. His short lived success was a result of a cotton boom in 1802 which led to the widespread erection of cotton factories and the conversion of woollen mills to cotton production.

At least four were working at Slaithwaite, one at Steps Mill near Honley and a large complex at Meltham Mills by 1805. 1 Besides Haigh's cotton factory Marsden possibly had two others by now.

Clough Lee Mill

In 1810 "Cloughley Mill", a three storey cotton mill was advertised "To be SOLD or LET by Private Contract the Water Wheel of which lately turned 3,200 spindles; three large Carding Engines and all other prepar- ations for the Cotton Business..." Its owner was John Parkin or Marsden an innkeeper, who was perhaps having trouble disposing of the mill at a suitable price, since it was not for sale by auction (as was more usual),

and the buyer had over five years to make payments after a deposit of £200 £19)

Eventually there were two mills at Clough Lee and we are not certain which one this refers to. 'Bygone Marsden" records that the lower mill near the Parsonage (rebuilt in 1841 and still standing) was also called Heywood Mill. This may be derived from William Heywood who was the former occupant of the mill advertised in 1810. Another Heywood, John, was also in the cotton spinning business according to a notice in the Mercury in 1802, terminating his partnership with John Marsden, drysalter. (20) The earliest reference to "Clowley Mill" appears in the burial register for 1792 with an entry for the son of "John Hall, scribbler" and two years later Lawrence Stansfield of Cloughlee, a cotton spinner, is mentioned. (21) Again, whether these were occupants of the mill, employees, or simply residents in the vicinity requires further research, but if John Hall worked at the mill it must have originated for wool scribbling.

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Ottiwells Mill

South of and almost adjoining the turnpike road stood Ottiwells mills, renowned for its associations with William Horsfall, agassinated bY Luddites. In 1792 James Grime of "Ottywells, scribbler" had a daughter baptised and in the following year the burial register mentions a John Smith also of “Ottywells, scribbler". If these were occupants or workers at the mill there then the entry for 1788 of "James Grime of New Mill" gives us our earliest date for Ottiwells Mills. "Ely Mitchell of Ottywells, Fulling Miller", appears in the register of 1796 indicating that the mills were built for both fulling and scribbling. He also gives us interesting evidence for change of occupation as galy four years earlier he is described as a clothier of Gatehead. (23

In February 1800 when the property was auctioned it was advertised as two water mills, one fulling the other scribbling. The occupants were Luke Campinot & Co. (he was a clothier wealthy enough to give £200 to Marsden Chapel in 1792), and the owners were E. & J. Ogden, machine makers of Rochdale. The adjacent George Inn also comprised one of the lots and was in the occupation of William Dyson who retained the tenancy after the sale though no longer using it as an Inn. He also entered the lower of the two mills.

The property was acquired by Silvester Sikes a Huddersfield banker , but following his bankruptcy was again up for sale the following year. Both mills were now described as combining fulling and scribbling and Luke Campinot was still the tenant of the upper one. (24) The purchasers this time were wealthy merchant-manufacturers, Abraham and John Horsfall the father and brother respectively of William who ran the mills as a partner. It was he who turned the mills into a woollen factory where the wool was not only prepared but manufactured into finished cloth using the gig mills and shear frames so detested by the cloth dressers. He had so little respect for customary practices that he even went so far as to employ a woman fine-drawer though it was claimed at thé grial of his assassins that he was much respected by his workpeople.

Early Industrial Marsden

All the above mills and factories were thus concentrated within less than a mile of each other by 1805. Marsden's population at the 1801 census was 1,958 of which 802 were engaged in trade and manufacture. If we also consider Lingards these figures increase by 642 and.320 respectively. On the information available it is impossible to estimate what proportion of these worked in mills. A scribbling and fulling mill would employ anything from a dozen to forty people while a small cotton spinning works could have around 100, the majority in both cases being children. Three hundred people, that is at least a quarter of themanufacturing population (or more if we exclude Lingards) does not seem too high an estimate.

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William Horsfall was said to employ 400 people, which assuming that they were even all in Marsden, must include outworkers who spun and wove at home for the manufacturers. The mention of cotton weavers shows that this system also applied to that industry to some extent, unless weaving too was already done in the factories. (26) Consequently the number of people dependant on the factories for employment must have been a sizable proportion of Marsden'’s inhabitants. This appears to be reflected in later directories which show a far less number of small woollen manufac- turers than in other townships with a comparable or even smaller population The availability of plenty cheap ''Hands" alluded to in the advertisements reveals the existence already of un- or underemployment in the domestic sector of traditional manufacture and the profound effects of industrial- isation.

Associated developments, the building of mills and the canal also made Marsden a boom town attracting delvers, quarrymen, navvies, miners and masons. This in turn stimulated the growth of shopkeepers and tradesmen, carriers and watermen. Marsden soon had its own machine making and engineering works at Taylors’ foundry which also owed its existence to the spin off effect from the mills,

As we have seen most of the mills were privately owned and on land which was either copyhold or on long term lease at a yearly rent plus payments for water privileges to the Manor. This contrasts with neighbouring Slaithwaite where the mills themselves were rented from the Dartmouth estate on short leases and the Lord provided some of the capital for their construction. Nevertheless both townships followed a similar course of development making the upper Colne Valley one of the leading centres for the industrial revolution in the Huddersfield area, especially in the field of cotton production, This was undoubtedly partly due to its geographical position; between Huddersfield and Manchester and the advantages offered by the canal. Did Marsden therefore attract capital from outside, or were there more rich clothiers like Luke Compinot who invested their wealth at home and if so - what was the origins of their prosperity? It is these factors, not the technological form of the changes, which lie at the root of the industrial revolution and the birth of Marsden's mills.

Alan Brook

References

(1) Barrett, A.R. "Ye Chapell of Marsden" - P.39 (2) Tolson Museum, Huddersfield D.146 (3) Whitehead, L.B. "Bygone Marsden" - pp.82-90 (4) Jeffries map - copy Huddersfield Local History Library (5) Almondbury Parish Registers. Christenings 25/12/1787 and 14/3/1784 (6) West Yorkshire Record Office. Quoted in Dickenson, M. "Yorkshire Woollen and Worsted Industry 1689-1770" Nottingham Ph.D. thesis (7) Marsden Wills No. 120 Borthwick Inst. (kindly supplied by Dr. John Addy) (8a) WYRO Registry of Deeds, Vol. DG, p.261 (8b) Insurance record references from Jenkins, D.T. "Yorkshire Woollen Inds." Append, IV (8c) Leeds Mercury (LM) 5 Mar. 1796

well.

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(9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17)

(18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23)

(24) (25)

(26)

Marsden P.R. chrstg 26/5/1793 Ibid. Burs. 25/12/1804 Whitehead op. cit. Marsden P.R. chrstg 4/2/1816 Slater's 1848 Trade Directory: LM 10/2/1849 LM 27/11/1802; LM 14/6/1806 Sykes, D.F.E. "History of the Colne Valley" p.173 Quoted in Barrett op. cit. LM 22/2/1806. Haigh's cotton factory also included the mill known as Frank Mill or New Mill, LM 18/11/1809 Dartmouth 1805 Estate Terrier LM 10/2/1810 LM 25/12/1802 Marsden, P.R. burs. 2/7/1792. ibid. chrstg 10/2/1794 Factory Commissioners Report Supplement pp.1834 (XX). Mill No. 206 Marsden P.R. chrstgs 17/1/1792 ibid. burs 15/1/1793 " chrstgs 5/1/1788 " chrstgs 10/4/1796 " chrstgs 12/1/1792 LM 1/2/1800; LM 7/2/1801 1806 Parliamentary Inquiry into State of Woollen Industry. Account of Special Commission at York 1813. Marsden P.R. Chrstgs 17/1/1805.

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ANNUAL EXCURSION

The absence of notable monastic ruins on the lines of a Fountains or even a Kirkstall, did nothing to deter a pleasingly large number of people from joining Dr. Redmond's monastic trail around Huddersfield; the somewhat unusual subject of this year's June excursion. Favoured with that rarity, a glorious summer evening the excursion covered a wide arc of countryside encircling Hudderstield from Blackley in the north-west to Grange Moor in the east. Its subject was not, ot course, monastic architecture, but monastic land management as seen in the development of granges the outlying farms set up by the parent houses to exploit their far-flung properties.

The monks ot Fountains Abbey were major landowners in this area

and their grange at Ainley was the first objective. No building remain, but medieval field boundaries and ridge and furrow are still visible only a few yards from the M62. From the bleak hills

of Blackley and Elland we moved to the lusher pastures of the Calder Valley and the suggested site of Bradley Grange, before taking to the hills again for a stop at Hartshead. Here an inspection of the Walton Cross provided an opportunity for gentle exercise before the final leg to Grange Moor, through rolling countryside positively crammed with houses of previously hidden interest.

In offering thanks, it would be no slight to Dr. Redmond's fascinating commentary to also add a word of appreciation for the dexterity of the coach driver and a word of sympathy for the bemused residents. As is usual after our visitations, they must have wondered about the sanity of this strange new breed of tourist advancing slowly, but purposefully, through their pleasant by-ways. Two hours passed all too quickly, but the monastic ghosts should not rest too easily, we might well be back on their trail next year!

KEITH BROCKHILL


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