Discovering Old Huddersfield: Part One (1993) by Gordon and Enid Minter

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Gordon and Enid Minter

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Front cover:- Bay Hall, Birkby. Back cover:- Market Cross, Highburton

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Gordon and Enid Minter

Illustrations by J. R. Beswick

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This book is dedicated to the memory of Charles Robert Beswick 1946-1991 whose love of the area and its history was as great as ours.

IBSN 9524747

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Page Introduction 1 Tour No. 1 - The Old London Road 1 Tour No. 2 - Mansions and Mills 68 Illustrations Clough House, Birkby 26 Lych Gate, Kirkburton 65 Huddersfield Hall 76 Rawthorpe Hall 83 Fancy Cross, Whitley 89

Old Longley Hall, Almondbury 106

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In Odersfelt Godwin had six carucates of land for geld where eight ploughs can be Now the same has it of Ilbert but it is waste. Wood pasture one league long and one wide. In the time of King Edward it's value was 100 Shillings. Huddersfield, Domesday Book, 1086

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Over the years several excellent books have been published dealing with the history of the Huddersfield area or some aspect of it and they offer a wealth of information to the interested reader. It occurred to us though that very few of them are specifically aimed at those people who, like us, have a mild curiosity about the past and who might like to go out to see for themselves just how the concerns, needs and even whims of their ancestors have formed the landscape they see today. As a convenient way of presenting the history of the roads, railways and canals, the rivers, streams and bridges, the woods, parks and fields and the houses, churches and factories that make up the Huddersfield area we have devised two routes, one linear, one circular, both starting in St. George's Square, neither of any great length and both of which may be undertaken wholly by car or in parts on foot. The resulting work is not chronological, nor is it scholarly, nor is it exclusive but by pointing out on site that, for example, a particular road has followed its present course for a thousand years or more, or that an old bridge stands on the remains of one very much older, or that a mill stands on a particular site because of a bend in the nearby river, we hope we have provided a historical immediacy that will be appealing to the reader. In setting out the tours we have chosen to give the directions for the whole route before the historical commentary in order to avoid the confusion that might arise if we mixed the two together. However, each feature discussed in the commentary has been given a reference number which appears in the appropriate place in the directions and which should help to locate it. For example, in tour two, Oakes Fold will be found as Townend Lane No. 46. We have not confined our commentary exclusively to existing features. Several things of past importance have now disappeared but their sites may be identified and when we pass such places we tell the story. For instance, Bradley Spout was, until the nineteenth century, a vital water supply for the townspeople. All traces of it are now gone but, at the beginning of tour two, as we pass its approximate location we note it and tell its story. We have tried to make our directions clear and easy to follow. Where there might be somme difficulty we have either provided small maps or given the precise distances involved - and we have used miles rather than kilometres because signposts and most car mileometers do the same. As the routes are divided into short measured sections you, the reader, might like to find a parking place and tackle some of the sections on foot. In certain places where we know that it is possible to park we have suggested this


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with the symbol (P). Occasionally, to see some particular place of interest, it is necessary to leave the car and walk a short distance, Such places we have marked (P.W) but we leave the matter entirely to your discretion. In both directions and commentary instead of using compass point directions we have used left hand and right hand sides and these should, of course, be taken to refer to the direction in which you are travelling. It is worth bearing in mind that travelling the routes in winter, spring and autumn is easier than in summer when the vegetation might well obscure certain features mentioned in the directions. In undertaking the tours it is important to remember the difficulties and dangers of following an unfamiliar route by car as well as stopping, suddenly perhaps, to look at the various places of interest. In towns and on busy main roads traffic moves quickly and sites are passed before they are noticed. In the country slow driving along narrow lanes is sure to irritate other drivers. With this in mind we suggest that you carefully read through each tour before setting out. This will not only give you some idea of where you are heading but also allow you to locate anything of particular interest and be ready for it as you come across it. Of course, those familiar with the area may prefer merely to cover the journey in their imaginations from the comfort of their armchairs. It was our original intention to include six tours in one book but it soon became apparent that, if we were to keep the book to a manageable size, the number would have to be reduced. Consequently, this book of two tours we have designated part one and we hope to produce parts two and three at some later date. As our book is intended to be of general recreational interest rather than a scholarly work we have not provided footnotes but we have included a list of sources and references which we hope will be of interest to anyone who might wish to pursue a particular interest. It is undoubtedly true of any guide book that some information given in it will be out of date by the time the book is published. Buildings are demolished, new ones are built, roads are realigned, hedgerows are removed, trees are cut down: the environment is in a state of perpetual change as, of course, it has been throughout history. In the face of such changes, whether small or large. we cannot even say that our routes are accurate at the time of going to press, only that they are as we found them the last time we travelled them. Few books can be produced without help from others and we would like to thank Kathryn Beaumont, Michael Sharpe and Sue Cottrill for their cheerful and courteous help and Mike and Cynthia Beaumont and Dr. Jane Minter for checking directions. Neil and Elaine Hughes also deserve special thanks for their extra zeal in checking the routes in the dark.


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In the year 1675 a surveyor, John Ogilby, published a series of maps showing the country's principal routes, one of which led from London to Oakham in Rutland and continued northwards to Richmond in Yorkshire. Nearly three hundred years later W.B.Crump in his 'Huddersfield Highways Down the Ages discussed a section of Ogilby's London road as it runs through our district between Kirkburton and Elland. It is this route that we follow in the second part of tour No.1. The first part of the tour takes us from Huddersfield to Cowcliffe and through Grimescar Wood on the turnpike road opened in 1777 to replace the more difficult route over Cowcliffe Hill. Because we thought that Kirkburton Church would be a suitable place to end the journey, we chose to travel in the opposite direction to that take by Ogilby and his surveyors who travelled from south to north. Of course, we do not concentrate exclusively on the old highways as the route passes many other interesting features such as churches, houses, factories, woods, parks and streams all of which, whether they pre or post date the road, are discussed. DIRECTIONS Section 1. The tour starts in St. George's Square (1.2.3). Leave the Square passing the George Hotel on the left and turn left at the lights into John William Street (4). Continue straight on under the railway viaduct to join St. John's Road (,.9) and follow this across the ring road to St. John's Church on the left (10). Continue straight on to the traffic lights at Blacker Road and go straight ahead into Wheathouse Road (11,12,13.14) At the top of the hill carry on straight ahead into Grimescar Avenue. After crossing Grimescar Dike (15) in the valley bottom the route veers right into Alwen Avenue to join Halifax Old Road. This 1s 1.3 miles from the starting point. Section 2. From Alwen Avenue turn left into Halifax Old Road (16) and follow the road through (irimescar Wood (17.18) for about 1.6 miles to a T junction (19). Turn right into Brighouse Road (20) and follow this for a mile to the motorway

bridge. Immediately after the bridge take the first left into Pinfold Lane (21). This is 2.7 miles from Alwen Avenue.

Section 3. At the end of Pinfold Lane turn right into Dewsbury Road (B6114) (22). Follow this to the traffic lights by the Sun Inn and go straight across New


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Hey Road into Clough Lane. In about half a mile turn right into Lightridge Road (23) and, shortly after the entrance to the golf club on the right, take the right fork into Cowcliffe Hill Road (24,25). At the bottom of the hill the route passes through the ford at Ochre Hole (26,27.) and then climbs up to the Shepherds Arms at the top of Cowcliffe Hill (28,29). Descend the steep hill ahead (30) and, near the bottom, follow it (ignoring Clough Road) as it turns sharp right to join Halifax Old Road (31,32) see map in text p25. Turn left into Halifax Old Road. This is 2.9 miles from the beginning of Pinfold Lane. Section 4. As the next section of the tour runs along busy roads it is difficult to suggest convenient stopping places and we have, therefore, decided to give directions for rather a long stretch to Almondbury Bank. As there are a good many things of interest in this section it might be possible for readers, should they wish, to find their own stopping places. Follow Halifax Old Road (33,.34,35,36,37,38) and at the second set of traffic lights go straight across Bradford Road (39) into Willow Lane East. Follow this under the railway viaduct into Hillhouse Lane (40,41,42,43) and at the next lights turn right into Leeds Road, A627, (44,45,46,47,48). In about half a mile (49) turn left at the lights into the ring-road and follow this through three more sets of lights (53) to the roundabout and lights at Shorehead (54,55) which should be approached in the left hand lane. Follow the signs left for Wakefield, A642, (56.57,58,59,60) and at the third set of lights after Shore Head be prepared to turn right into Almondbury Bank, s.p. Almondbury, (61). This is 2.2 miles from the bottom of Cowciliffe Hill. Section 5 Follow Almondbury Bank (62) to the top of the hill (63) and continue straight on along Town End (64). After the junction with Somerset Road our route follows Northgate (65.66) to Almondbury Church (67,68,69). N.B. beware of traffic calmers. Shortly after the church fork left into Fenay Lane and immediately fork right into the steep St. Helen's Gate (70,71,72,73) and follow this past the school (74,75) for half a mile to a T junction by a green triangle. At the triangle turn left into Woodsome Road, s.p. Kirkburton. This is 1.7 miles from the bottom of Almondbury Bank. Section 6 Follow Woodsome Road (76,77) for one mile to its junction with Penistone Road, A629, (78). Turn right into Penistone Road (79,.80,81,82,83,84) and after half a mile fork left. s.p. Scissett. (B6116) up the hill (85,86) towards Kirkburton. This is North Road (87) which should be followed into the village


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passing the Liberal Club on the left and the Royal public house on the right (88,89,90). From the Royal follow the road (91) round and up the hill (92) passing the church (93) to a car park on the left which is the terminus of the tour. This is 2.7 miles from the junction of St. Helen's Gate and Woodsome Road and 13.5 miles from the tour's starting point in St. George's Square.


ST. GEORGE'S SQUARE. (1) Before departing on the tour allow a few moments to admire the open aspect of St. George's Square which has been much improved in recent years. Note also the buildings around the Square, the earliest of which is the railway station. The foundation stone of the station was laid by Earl Fitzwilliam on 9th October 1846. It was built at a little distance from the Market Place on part of a large close of land called Great George Close. To provide a connection between the two. John William Street was constructed and this was followed by the carefully planned development of the land around, with new streets being laid out and elegant buildings erected. The Ramsden family and their agents and architects were much concerned in the new development but their original intention to divide the space in front of the station into building plots was abandoned following vociferous arguments from Joshua Hobson, a local Radical, who pointed out the aesthetic advantage of an open square which would allow an uninterrupted view of the undemably handsome station. For many yvears a statue of Sir Robert Peel stood in front of the station. The Peel Monument Movement came into existence in 1850 when there were forty- four members on the committee During the first successful year many subscriptions were raised. When the time came to chose a sculptor, however, there were many dissensions which put a stop to all proceedings for seventeen years. The movement was revived on 20th June 1868 when it was discovered that there were only ten surviving members of the original committee, five of whom had left the town. A new committee was formed and, in a push towards a completion of the scheme, the town was divided into wards and collectors appointed to call on the people in their respective wards in the hope of increasing the £450 held by the original committee. On 2 1st October, 1869 the committee announced that they had accepted the model of a Mr Theed for the Peel statue which was to be in Sicilian marble, nine feet high on a granite pedestal, ten feet high. The cost would be £950 with £56 for extra bronze reliefs on the pedestal.


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On 17th January.1873 at a meeting of the committee it was announced that neither Sir John Ramsden nor the railway company would allow the statue to be erected in the Square. Consequently and in desperation, the committee decided to erect it on an open space in Upperhead Row. However, the authorities soon relented and later the same year the statue was unveiled in front of the station. It stood there until 1949 when, because the stone was deteriorating, it was removed and, as no-one now knows its whereabouts, presumably it has been destroyed. Before the secret ballot was introduced St. George's Square was often the scene of much excitable and rowdy behaviour during general elections. For instance, on Thursday, 13th July 1865 a wooden polling booth was set up in the Square to which the voters came to record their votes verbally. The candidates were E.A.Leatham, Liberal, and T.P.Crosland, Conservative, and supporters of both men soon made their presence felt. Towards noon, feelings were running high and street fighting broke out, shop windows were smashed and cabs and omnibuses bringing voters to the Square were attacked in John William Street. The local police were unable to restore order and, eventually, the chairman of the magistrates, George Armitage, came to read the Riot Act. He then wired for police reinforcements from Halifax. Wakefield, Dewsbury, Bradford & Saddlewoth as well as a troop of horse soldiers from Manchester and a troop of infantry from Salford. By two o clock the unrest had subsided although the infirmary was kept busy all afternoon treating broken bones and broken heads. Fewer than two thousand people were eligible to vote and in the end Crosland won with a majority of 232. The result was unsuccessfully challenged in April, 1866 when a special committee rejected allegations of bribery, threats and undue influence made by the Liberals against Col. Crosland and his supporters.

THE TITE BUILDING (2) . Looking from the Square towards the station notice the building on the left. This is the Tite Building, built in 1856, and so named after its designer Mr.(Later Sir) William Tite. It deserves a little study for it is a rather splendid building. Tite was a great advocate of the neo-classical style of architecture and his interest is apparent here in the semi-circular arched openings to the ground floor with their rebated, stepped voussoirs which reflect the Italian style and in the pediments over the first floor windows which reflect the Greek. The building was originally used as warehouses and offices by local woollen manufacturers.


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THE LION BUILDING (3) The first building to be seen by visitors coming to the town by rail is the Lion Building which faces the station across the Square. It was built by Samuel Oldfield and designed by James Pigott Pritchett who was also responsible for the railway station, the Parish Church and the college in New North Road. Pritchett's original designs were submitted for approval to William Tite, the Ramsden's architectural consultant, who disapproved and suggested certain amendments. Work started on the building, to Tite's amendments, in 1852 and was completed in 1854. It would appear that both builder and architect resented Tite's interference for the latter comments in a letter to the Ramsden's agent: 'I wonder that Pritchett and Oldfield are being Later m the same letter (quoted by D.J.Wyles in 'The Buildings of Huddersfield®) Tite says: 'I am sure, without vanity, they are greatly indebted to me for putting a very crude design into shape and proportion" Faced with an attitude like that it is hardly surprising that the two men felt aggrieved. When finished, the building was opened as shops, offices and storerooms. The orginal white lion atop the building which was modelled by John Seeley began, after a hundred and twenty years of weathering and environmental pollution, to crumble and it was replaced in 1978 by a fibre glass replica. As to the building itself, we must leave it to our readers to decide for themselves whether it compares favourably or not with the other buildings in the Square.

THE EMPIRE CINEMA . (4) Soon after turning left into John William Street notice on the right, at the top of Brook Street, a large white building. This was once the Empire Cinema which opened on the 8th March 1915. Although other cinemas were operating in the town by that time they were mainly located in converted buildings and only the Picture House in Ramsden Street preceded the Empire as a purpose-built cinema. The building that once stood next to the Empire in John William Street will, for tragic reasons, still be remembered by some of our readers. The wholesale clothing factory of H.Booth and Sons Ltd. stood five storeys high with timber floors and panelled walls throughout. On the morning of the 31st. October, 1941, just after the day's work had started and whilst the main doors of the building were still open, a fire broke out. The timber interior offered little resistance to the flames which, fanned by high winds, soon engulfed the building. By the time the fire brigade arrived all five storeys were alight and many people were trapped and beyond rescue. In all, forty-nine employees - one third of the workforce - lost their


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lives. The youngest victim was fourteen year old Joan Doughty who had only started work on the previous day. After a moving and harrowing ceremony, forty- three of the dead were buried in a mass grave in Edgerton Cemetery whilst the other six were buried privately.

ST JOHN'S ROAD . (5) Although St. John's Road dates back as a properly laid out road only to the second half of the nineteenth century it nevertheless follows, for part of its length, a much older route. This was a footway which started near the Parish Church, ran northwards across a number of agricultural closes to the present-day St. George's Square area and then continued on its way to Bay Hall and Birkby. The first part of this old route, from the church to St. George's Square, was lost in the 1850s when land development to the north and east of the church resulted in a number of new streets including St. Peter's Street, Byram Street, Northumberland Street, Brook Street and John William Street all of which cut across the line of the footway. However, the major part of the old route to Birkby was preserved when St. John's Road was laid out on the same line.

BATH STREET AND THE HALL OF SCIENCE. (6) Shortly after passing under the railway viaduct notice Bath Street on the left hand side of St. John's Road. Maps of the mid 1820s show that there were public baths here at the side of the road leading up the hill to Newhouse and Highfield. In 1839 the building on the left hand side of Bath Street (now occupied by a decorator ) was built as a Hall of Science and thereafter a good deal of mainly residential development went on. By 1850 there were nineteen families living in Bath Street and their occupations, which include manufacturers, merchants, drapers, agents and clerks, show that this was, at that time, an area for the so called professional and muddle classes. Some of the houses in 1850 had quite elaborate ornamental gardens. __ The name Bath Street was not used until 1880. Before then all the buildings here, including the Hall of Science, were known collectively as Bath Buildings and, apart from their numbers, this was their only address. Incidentally. renumbering seems to have gone on at the same time as the name was changed with the even numbers being transferred from the south (left hand) side of the street to the north and the odd numbers from the north side to the south. Doubtless this led to a great deal of confusion for a time. The Hall of Science was built by the local disciples of Robert Owen 'for the education of the ordinary people" The Socialist principles behind its building


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were regarded by a large part of the community with suspicion and mistrust. An example of this is found in the Constitution of the Huddersfield Choral Society where Rule 28 states: 'No person shall be a member of this society who frequents the Hall of Science or any of the Socialist By 1847 the Owenites were finding the upkeep of the Hall too costly and m that year it was let to the Unitarians for use as a chapel. Six years later the Umitarians moved out and local Baptists, who were by then anxious to open a meeting place in the town, bought the Hall and reopened it in 1855 as a Baptist Chapel, a purpose it served for the next twenty-three years. In 1878 the Baptists moved out to a new chapel in New North Road and subsequently the Hall was acquired by James Conacher & Sons, organ builders, who operated an erecting shop and saw mill there for some twenty years. In the 1920s and 30s the Hall was used as a warehouse by Grist Bros, shoddy merchants.

NEWTOWN. (7) The modern retail and industrial estate on the right hand side of St. John's Road is built on land that was first developed between 1797 and 1825. Among the earliest buildings here was a terrace of dwelling houses called Newtown Row. An early example of high density housing, the Row was made up of seven yards each of which was surrounded by between ten and fourteen houses, some of them back to back. Nearby was Newtown Mill with its large dam which, according to Hardy's Plan and Commercial Directory of Huddersfield, was, in 1850 , operating as a corn mill. It is likely that the mill provided employment for at least some of the inhabitants of Newtown Row. The name Newtown suggests, perhaps, that the early builders hoped that the area would see much more industrial and residential development and that, indeed , a small new town would grow up on the empty land all around. If so, they were to be disappointed for Newtown grew hardly at all during the nineteenth century and by the early years of the twentieth the mill stood empty, soon, along with Newtown Row, to be demolished. In 1899 the Midland Railway Company was empowered by an Act of Parliament to build a new main line to the north through Bradford, with branches to Huddersfield and Halifax. The new line into Huddersfield was to run from Mirfield through Deighton, Fartown and Birkby to Newtown which was seen as an ideal site for a goods yard, sidings and a station. The five mile length of line was completed in 1910 and opened to goods traffic but, owing to the outbreak of war in 1914, plans for a passenger station at Newtown were abandoned. After the war, because of the amalgamation of various railway companies, the original grand scheme was dropped. The line continued to carry goods traffic until 1937 when it


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was abandoned, although the sidings at Newtown Yard were maintained until the 1950s. Subsequently the site was cleared and redeveloped in the modern style we see today.

ALBANY PRINTING WORKS. (8) Notice on the left hand side of St. John's Road a handsome and ornate single storey building with a shield on the centre gable. In the shield is the monogram A.J. The building was erected in 1891 by Alfred Jubb as a printing works. Four years previously, Mr. Jubb had bought the premises of the Huddersfield Collegiate School which stood on the right hand side of Clare Hill The school which opened in 1838 was administered by the established church and took both boarders and day boys. In 1887 the school, which had been in difficulties for many years, merged with Huddersfield College and thus the premises became available to Mr Jubb. His business was very successful and many people who handle old books and pamphlets appertaining to Huddersfield will be familiar with the legend 'printed by Alfred Jubb &Sons Ltd His success led to the building of the printing works in front of the school which then became the Albany Hall to commemorate the visit of the Duke of Albany to Huddersfield in 1883. Many of our older readers will remember the Albany Hall which, after a brief spell as a roller skating rink, became a venue for various social gatherings. The hall was demolished in the late 1970s.

ST JOHNS CHURCH. (9) A local author, Charles Hobkirk, writing in 1868 praises the "pleasing aspect' of St. John's Church and describes it as being 'situated almost in the country, surrounded by pasture land and backed to the north by Fixby Hills and Grimscar Woods' In the intervening years the pasture land has given way to concrete, brick and stone and the pleasant aspect is changed indeed. Nevertheless, the present surroundings should not detract attention from the impressive lines of this typical Gothic-Revival church. It was built for the Trustees of Sir John Ramsden who appointed the architect William Butterfield to design the building. Work started in 1851 and was completed in 1853. Butterfield was famous for his use of variously coloured brick and he must have felt some little frustration here when he found he was expected to use local stone. The builder was Joseph Kaye (see tour 2 No.9) who demanded of his workforce the highest standard of workmanship. However, perfectionists are not usually the speediest of workers and Kaye's rate of progress certainly displeased Mr. Butterficld who said in a letter concerning the church that ©..he (Kaye) has but


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one pace and that is a very slow one...the tower is rising at the rate of four inches a week' Butterfield obviously made no allowance for the fact that Joseph Kaye was in his eighth decade at that time.

Others though were kinder. William Tite, for example, was said to have a high opinion of the masonry and general character and detail of the whole building. St. John's Church is regarded by some as Kaye's masterpiece and a hundred and forty years after its building, during which time the stonework has needed few repairs, we can still appreciate the quality of the workmanship which was the man's hallmark.

In 1820 an Act was passed for 'lighting, watching and cleaning the town of For the purpose of the Act the town was deemed to be all the land within a radius of twelve hundred yards (1090 M) from the Market Cross. This: artificial boundary was reinforced by the Improvement Act of 1848. Four years later St. John's Church was built twelve hundred yards away from the Market Cross and, consequently, right on the boundary which ran diagonally through the church from north east to south west.

BAY HALL. (10) (P.W. - at discretion)

To see Bay Hall which stands to the right of St.John's Road and a little further on than the church it is necessary to leave the car to look over the wall on the right (opposite a bus stop ). As this involves crossing a busy road we leave this option to the readers' discretion.

Bay Hall is one of only three timber framed buildings in Huddersfield that are recognisable as such - in other words with the timbering still exposed externally. The black and white gabled section is obviously the oldest portion of the building and it would be this that was referred to as Bay Hall in the sixteenth century.

The first reference to Bay Hall is found, according to Dr. George Redmonds, in 1565 when John Brook, who was a tanner, lived either in the hall or near to it. It is mentioned again in 1599, when Queen Elizabeth I sold the manor of Huddersfield to William Ramsden, as 'all our (The Queen's) capital messuage or tenement called Bay Hall or lately in the tenure of occupation of John Brook' The fact that Bay Hall is the only building mentioned by name in the deed of sale adds weight to the suggestion made by some local historians that it was built as an estate office for the use of the agent of the lord of the manor and, as such, in its earliest days it served as an official building rather than a private residence. 9

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Philip Ahier, the local historian writing in the 1930s, puts forward another interesting suggestion about Bay Hall. He says that it might have been used as the Chantry Chapel of our Lady which was connected with the Parish Church of Huddersfield but which was described in 1534 as distant from it. It is not known with any certainty where this Chantry was situated but Ahier backs up his argument by pointing out that in the early part of the nineteenth century there were some old confessional boxes to be seen at Bay Hall and, about the same time, a font was unearthed in the garden. These, he points out, could be relics of pre- Reformation times and therefore, contemporary with the Chantry. The name Bay Hall is an unusual one and there are several theories as to its origin. We believe that the name comes from the design of the building. When a timber framed building was erected the space between the frames was termed a bay. Buildings with as many as eight bays survive in some parts of the country but here there are just two timber frames, one at the front and one at the back of the house. Thus this is a one bay building, hence the name Bay Hall. The name of course spread to define the area around the Hall. For example, Bay Hall Common would be so named soon after the Hall was built. This is largely the area bounded today by Birkby Hall Road, Birkby Lodge Road, Blacker Road and Crescent Road. Similarly, the stream flowing near to the Hall would soon become Bay Hall Dike. In the 1850s there was a Bay Hall Fields Chymical Works situated about a third of a mile south of the Hall and by the 1890s Bay Hall Works and Bay Hall Mills had been built at the side of Bay Hall Common Road.

WHEATHOUSE ROAD. (11) Wheathouse Road is a continuation of St. John's Road and it was built to run across Bay Hall Common to connect Blacker Road and Birkby Hall Road. Like St. John's Road it follows the line of the old footway to Birkby. Virtually all the buildings here post-date the laying out of the road which takes its name from the one building that pre-dates it, a house called Wheathouse, which stands on the right hand side of the road just beyond the junction with Blacker Road. The splayed end of Wheathouse, which is the main feature visible from the road, dates back only to 1932 when part of the house was pulled down to allow for the widening of Wheathouse Road. Unfortunately, the quoin stones and recessed windows which reveal this to be a house of the early eighteenth century cannot be seen by the passer-by as they are at the back. One eighteenth century resident of Wheathouse was John Starkey, father of the Starkey brothers who had mills at Longroyd Bridge and built St. Thomas' Church there.


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BRITANNIA WORKS. (12) On the left hand side of Wheathouse Road the huge Britannia Works cannot be missed. These are the premises of Messrs Hopkinson, known more familiarly to all Huddersfield people as 'Hops' In the 1840s the founder of the firm, Joseph Hopkinson, began to manufacture safety mountings and valves for mill boilers in a workshop in Lockwood Road and by 1853 he had patented the compound safety valve. Fame and fortune followed and in 1871 the firm moved to larger premises in Viaduct Street. Soon Hopkinson's reputation spread world-wide and their valves played a part in the industrial development of many countries. More patented inventions led to further expansion and in 1904 the Britannia works was opened. It was unusual at that time for a town-centre firm to move to the suburbs but the location at Birkby offered the opportunity of further expansion if and when it became necessary. Later, the firm extended their activities into electrical valve control and for many years they were one of the foremost employers of labour in the town - so much so that most local people have either an ancestor, a relative or a friend who worked at 'Hops' Immediately after Britannia Works notice Macaulay Road on the left. This has a connection with our next subject.

BIRKBY BREWERY. (13) The building on the right at the corner of Wheathouse Road and Birkby Hall Road once housed a brewery which was owned and worked in the early nineteenth century by a Thomas Wilson. In 1842 Wilson sold the brewery to Thomas F Macaulay great great grandson of Alexander McAulay (sic) who came to Huddersfield from Scotland at the beginning of the eighteenth century and whose name is perpetuated in Macaulay Street in the town. owned land adjacent to the brewery and it seems likely that when Macaulay Road was laid out sometime between 1893 and 1905 it was so named in his memory. Macaulay died in 1874 and his obituary describes him as a brewer so it would seem possible that brewing went on here until that time. However, when his property was sold shortly after his death, it was described as the Birkby Old Brewery Estate and 'old' in this context implies past rather than present use. By 1893 the property, still called Birkby Old Brewery , had been partitioned into separate houses and soon the old name was replaced by the rather uninspired Ingle Nook

BIRKBY. (14) Until the late nineteenth century there were few houses and little industry in

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the Birkby area. It was the demand by a rising population for new housing and the concomitant dawning of the tramway era that led to the suburban development of the empty fields of Birkby. The steam trams which, by 1892, were running along St. John's Road and Wheathouse Road allowed people for the first time to live at some distance from their workplace. By 1895, new roads with long terraces of Victorian houses had made their appearance in the Bay Hall area and to the east and north east of Wheathouse Road. But as late as 1907 there was still a good deal of empty land to the north and north west (i.e. in front and to the left of Wheathouse Road) although encroachment of the area had started with the laying out of a short stretch of Grimescar Avenue as far as Storths Road. As the century progressed the tall Victorian terraces gave way to houses of a more modern age, red brick, pebble dashed, semi-detached, and these filled in much of the land down to Grimescar Dike. The demand for housing was, no doubt, stimulated by the building of the Britannia Works. In addition, Birkby was perceived as a desirable suburb, within easy reach of the town but far enough away from the worst of its smoke and pollution. Two churches and a Baptist chapel catered for the spiritual needs of the new suburb whilst for recreational needs, Norman Park was opened in 1896 and there was the Huddersfield Cricket and Athletic Club nearby. In addition, pleasant Sunday walks could be taken through the Grimescar Valley which remained undeveloped until the 1980s.

GRIMESCAR DIKE AND CLOUGH HOUSE MILLS. (15) (P) At the lowest part of Grimescar Avenue, just past Norman Road, stop briefly by a low brick parapet on the left. A small bridge is marked here on the 1893 O.S map and, although at that time there was no road leading to it from Birkby, there was a footway leading from it up the hillside to Halifax Old Road. This would later be developed as Alwen Avenue. The stream flowing beneath the bridge 1s the Grimescar Dike which once supplied water to three dams belonging to Clough House Mill over on the right. Until the nineteenth century the Dike meandered on its time-honoured course through the fields of Birkby, Bay Hall and Hillhouse to join the River Colne about one third of a mile upstream from Bradley Mills In the Hillhouse area the stream, which for centuries was the boundary between Huddersfield and Fartown, is called the Hebble Beck. Originally, however, it was known as the Town Brook and it is tempting to think that from this important watercourse came the surname Brook which is, and always has been, numerous the Huddersfield area. This idea 1s reinforced by the fact that four


Page 21

Brooks, Henricus, WilleImus, Johannes and Ricardus have their surname recorded as By-the-broke in the Huddersfield Poll Tax returns of 1379. During the nineteenth century the stream was culverted in the Bay Hall and Hillhouse areas but nevertheless, with the aid of an old map, its course may still be followed to its confluence with the River Colne. In 1896, Grimescar Dike became a pleasant feature in the newly laid out Norman Park. The stream was dammed to form a small lake below which the water cascaded over four or five stepped ponds before disappearmg into a short culvert. An ornamental fountain, the sad remains of which may still be seen, was placed near the centre of the lake. Although today the stream still mmns through the park, sadly, lake, ponds and cascades are gone. As already stated, the dike supplied water to the dams of Clough House Mill which stood on the site of the now empty supermarket on the right. In winter the largest dam, which covered most of the area now occupied by the supermarket car-park, was often used by skaters who illuminated the scene by placing candles in the snow. All three dams were stocked with a wide variety of fish including gudgeon , chubb, perch, trout and dace and must have been an angler's paradise! The mill is said to have been built circa 1820 although it may be earlier, as the 1797 map shows two small buildings on the site. In its early years it was worked by a large water-wheel, the water being brought from the largest dam along a short goit. The spent water was thrown off the wheel into a paved and walled tail-race. In 1854 the water wheel was replaced by a beam engine. For thirty-five years, from 1854, the Scholes family of Clough House (see were in business at the mill as woollen and angora spinners and they added considerably to the premises. After the Scholes left in 1889 the mill was acquired by Messrs Armitage and Clelland, fine cloth manufacturers, whose business failed five years later. In 1895 the premises were bought by Messrs Middlemost Brothers, fancy woollen manufacturers, who continued at the mill until 1971. Subsequently it was purchased by the Lodge family who demolished most of the old building to make way for Huddersfield's first hypermarket which was built in the lamentable tin and plastic style of the 1970s. At the same time the dams were filled in to provide that most necessary adjunct to modern life, adequate car-parking space. Later, the hypermarket was taken over by Asda who remained

there until 1993 when they removed to a new site in Bradford Road. At present (1994 ) the building is vacant.


Page 22


HALIFAX OLD ROAD. (16) Until the late eighteenth century all traffic leaving Huddersfield for Halifax and the north went by way of Leeds Road, Hillhouse Lane and Cowcliffe Hill Road to Elland Upper Edge and so on to the river crossing at Elland. This route involved two very steep gradients, at Cowcliffe and Elland Upper Edge, which must have caused considerable difficulties to travellers, especially in winter. Consequently, in the 1770s 'Blind Jack' Metcalf was employed by the Huddersfield and Halifax Turnpike Trnstees to cut an entirely new road which would provide an easier route to Halifax . The new turnpike, which was opened in 1777, started near the Clough House at the bottom of Cowcliffe Hill and reached Elland Bridge via Grimescar Wood and the Ainleys. At the same time another new road was cut across the fields from the Beastmarket in Huddersfield to Willow Lane which, by avoiding Leeds Road, provided a more direct route from the town to Cowcliffe and the new route to Halifax. Because it was superseded by an even newer road to Halifax, the New North Road, Blind Jack's road through Grimescar Wood remains much as it must have been in 1781 when a visitor to these parts from Essex praised the 'distinct and picturesque views" he saw whilst riding along 'the new road from Huddersfield to Ealand® Until as late as the 1950s the road through the wood was regarded by many as an ideal route for a sedate Sunday walk but, alas, the excessive speed of modern traffic has put an end to this pleasant pastime.

GRIMESCAR WOOD. (17) (P.W.) Whilst driving through the wood, notice how Blind Jack contoured his road round the deep valley formed by the small tributary of the Grimescar Dike and look out for the small bridge he built to carry the road across the narrowest part of the valley. Twenty five yards before the bridge a piece of rough ground on the left of the road provides a convenient stopping place to allow a view of the head of the stream, the valley floor, the bridge and the wood itself which, incidentally, is at its best in May when the bluebells are in flower. Despite the beauty and tranquillity of the scene today Grimescar Wood was, in the past, undoubtedly an area of much industrial activity because of the exploitation of its natural resources. The abundant trees provided timber for building and coppiced wood for tools, fences


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and fuel as well as bark for the tanning industry and charcoal for the local iron forges. We know charcoal burners were at work here in the sixteenth century for there is a report, written in 1590, of colliers working in Grimescar in Fixby framing a pit to burn the charcoal' Another clue to past industrial activity is in the tortured ground surface, a result of delving for stone which, among other things, would be used for the bnidge and the retaining walls of Blind Jack's road. The earliest industry in Grimescar of which there is any record is Roman. If time allows, leave the car and walk to the bridge (but beware of the traffic!) and look over the parapet nearest to the rising hillside. It was in this area of the wood, by the side of the steeply descending stream, that the Romans built a kiln to manufacture tiles for the local forts of Slack, three miles away to the west and Castleshaw, ten miles away over the Pennine watershed. Centuries later the long abandoned kiln was discovered by the 'certain colliers' mentioned above. They described it as °... a certain work in the earth of most fine brick... most cunningly walled and having upon the top a very broad band of brickstone..with round edges wrought upon it and wherein were written divers Roman characters...". The site of the tilery was lost again until 1955 when archaeological excavations revealed that the kiln had been built on a flat area about half way down the slope. All the raw materials necessary for production were at hand; nearby were bands of fireclay and sandstone, the former providing material for firing, the latter the blocks of stone needed in the construction for the kiln. The plentiful trees provided fuel for the kiln whilst the adjacent stream would also play a part in the manufacturing process. Artefacts found at the site indicate that the tilery was operating in the early part of the 2nd century A.D. The clay beds exploited by the Romans appear to have continued as a valuable resource into later centuries along with the underlying coal seams. Nearby fields called Brick Fields suggest the extraction of brick clay in the past and there was certainly a brick kiln at work on the valley floor in the mid-nineteenth century. All traces of this, save for a few cinders, are gone but there is still evidence down there of another extractive industry. Walk back to the car from the bridge and, on the way, look over the wall into the bottom of the valley. Those of our readers with sharp eyes will spot a rectangular iron fence standing on the valley floor, near to the stream. (N.B. it is only visible in the winter months before the trees are in leaf). The fence was put up to guard a shaft some fifty feet (15M) deep. Along with a few spoil heaps the shaft was. until recently, all that remained of the Grimescar Colliery which probably started work at the turn of the nineteenth century during the early days of mining for coal as opposed to gathering it from shallow day holes. The colliery, like its


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neighbour the brick kiln, was still working in the 1850s but once the seams were exhausted, work ceased and by 1890 all the buildings had been removed. The shaft which was lined with glazed bricks was, however, only filled in in 1989. Grimescar then, over the centuries has been a source of tile and brick clay, coal and stone. Its trees have provided building materials and fuel and the raw materials for a number of local industries. To us, today, it is a place of arcadian beauty but to the past inhabitants of the area it was something very different for they were the industrialists of their day and Grimescar was the source of their livelihood. N.B. Today the accepted spelling seems to be Grimescar rather than the older Grimscar.

GRIMESCAR ROAD. (18) Please note that at the bridge Halifax Old Road becomes Grimescar Road. Just beyond the wood there is further evidence of coal getting in the area. Look out, on the left hand side of Grimescar Road, for a patch of thistles which, in the summer months, blooms brightly amongst the more mundane vegetation. When soil is disturbed a new plant species will quickly colonise the area of disturbance and such anomalies are worth checking on an old map. Here, the 1854 O.S map shows a small coal pit, abandoned, presumably, when the narrow seam was exhausted. After abandonment the thistles moved in and still today, more than a hundred and forty years later, they mark a scene of past industrial activity which, without their presence, might have gone unnoticed. A little further along Grimescar Road look, over on the left, for a group of farm buildings near the valley bottom. Beyond them a triangular piece of rough ground marks the site of the workings of Burn Colliery which was operating here in the mid nineteenth century. By 1890, the colliery had closed and soon its underground passages were forgotten. Then, in the late 1980s. there was a dramatic reminder of their existence when, in a field near to Grimescar Road, there was a land collapse and a hole some ninety feet (27M) deep suddenly appeared. Coal Board officials who came to inspect the hole decided that the collapse ocurred because the old timbers supporting the roofs of the underground passages had rotted away. They also suggested that the fault could lie a hundred and eighty feet (55M) below ground level. It was lucky indeed that the collapse occurred in a field and not under a house. The area was made safe by filling the void with concrete. Half a mile after the bridge, Grimescar Road is crossed by Brian Lane and whilst approaching the crossroads notice, to the left, the small settlement of Stone. Among the buildings is a recently converted house built at right angles to Brian


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Lane. This was once Stone Mill, a woollen mill operating here in the nineteenth century, which doubtless employed some of the inhabitants of the small settlement. On the right hand side of Grimescar Road the field running up to the top half of Brian Lane was once the tenter field for Stone Mill. Tenter-posts supported horizontal rails from which were suspended pieces of cloth secured to the rails by tenter-hooks. In this way the cloth was stretched and then it was left in the open air until it was dried and bleached. Those of our readers who remember walking through Grimescar as children will also remember the sweet shop. This was a small wooden hut which stood at the junction of Grimescar Road and Brian Lane in the corner of the former tenter-field. It was run by an old woman who sold sweets and 'pop to passers-by who, having walked from Birkby, were, doubtless, eager for refreshment. The shop was demolished after the Second World War but its site is marked by a short stretch of dry-stone wall, newer than the rest.

THE OLD ROAD TO HALIFAX. (19) At the T junction, just before turning right into Brighouse Road from Grimescar Road, notice the alignment of the road opposite, also called Grimescar Road. This was the way the 1777 turnpike took to Ainley Top. From there it descended to the river crossing at Elland and reached Halifax by way of Salter Hebble Hill. Just beyond the last section of Grimescar Road the old route 1s now lost under the motorway.

BRIGHOUSE ROAD. (20) When the M.62 was built in the 1970s a great deal of new road building went on in this area whilst old routes were discontinued or re-aligned. The first quarter-mile of our route along Brighouse Road is new but look out for a road coming in from the left, just after a sign for the Nag's Head public house. From this point Brighouse Road, although it has been upgraded, is following the line of the Outlane and Rastrick branch of the Huddersfield and New Hey trust road which was turnpiked in the early nineteenth century. However, the line of the road may be much older for some historians believe that the Romans came this way when they built a road to link their forts at Manchester and Ilkley. The ornate building on the right hand side of Brighouse Road is the West Lodge of Fixby Hall. Just after the lodge the road runs along Fixby Ridge where the land to the left drops away steeply to reveal extensive views over Elland and Halifax to the hills above the Calder Valley. About half a mile past West Lodge


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look out for Cote Lane running up the hillside on the right. Before the motorway, this was the continuation of Pinfold Lane and will be referred to shortly.

PINFOLD LANE. (21) (P) At the end of Pinfold Lane the tour will at last join the route Ogilby described in 1675. However, there was an even earlier route from Elland Edge to Huddersfield and to see part of this, stop just before the right-angled bend in the lane. It will be immediately obvious that Pinfold Lane was realigned when the M.62 was built and that the original route of the lane followed approximately the line of the footbridge over the motorway. It then climbed the hillside by way of the previously mentioned Cote Lane on its way to the hamlets of Upper Cote and Lower Cote. But, more importantly, at the top of the hill a stile admits to a footpath which takes a direct line across Fixby Park and emerges at the other side into Cowcliffe Top. From there the footpath continues straight down the hillside to end near the bottom of Cowcliffe Hill Road. Because of the directness of the route it is very likely that this was part of the original highway from Elland to Huddersfield which was re-routed to take it away from Fixby Hall when the land was emparked. Considering that, for centuries, it has run through private parkland the highway's survival, albeit as a mere footpath. is remarkable and clearly demonstrates the power of right of way attached to such old routes. The pinfold which gave the lane its name stood on the left hand side just after the bend but all traces of it are now gone.


DEWSBURY ROAD. (THE OLD LONDON ROAD). (22) After turning right from Pinfold Lane into Dewsbury Road our tour, at long last, joins the route described by John Ogilby in 1675. A way to the capital was of growing importance in the seventeenth century because of the increase in traffic to the fairs and markets there. Ogilby was probably tke first person ever to produce a route map which he did by showing roads in a strip fashion, indicating the turns by illustrated compass points. As well as towns and villages Ogilby marked rivers, bridges, hills, woods, commons, important houses, corn mills, churches and branch roads and, at every mile, the distance from London. The maps on the next page, which are based on Ogilby's, show his route between Elland and Kirkburton and give some idea of the amount of information available to travellers in the seventeenth century. Although W.B Crump in his 'Huddersfield Highways Down the Ages calls Ogilby's route the Old


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London Road it was not, of course, a purpose built highway. Rather it was a succession of pre-existing local lanes leading to local places which Ogilby arbitrarily linked to provide a convenient north-south route. If Ogilby could once more travel along the road he surveyed he would have difficulty in recognising it,

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as great changes have occurred in the three hundred years between his time and ours. For example, the road has been widened, surfaced and probably straightened in places and shops, churches, factories, and hundreds of houses have appeared along its length together with street lights, post and telephone boxes, bus shelters and hoardings. The sad but unavoidable result of all this is that the Old London Road, despite its age, displays few signs of antiquity. It 1s worth remembering that old routes were not exclusive and often, in the past, part of one route could become part of another. This certainly happened with the Dewsbury Road section of the Old London Road which, nearly a hundred years after Ogilby's survey, was turnpiked following an Act of 1759 'for the repairing and widening of the road from Dewsbury to Ealand' The two routes ran contiguously to Fixby where the older road turned towards Cowcliffe whilst the turnpike went forward towards Dewsbury by way of Fixby Road & Bradley Road. In the past a great many wagon loads of stone must have rumbled along Dewsbury Road. During the building boom of the nineteenth century there was a great demand for the Elland Flag sandstone which outcrops at the top of the steep scarp slope at Elland Edge and several quarries were at work in the area. For example, to the north (left hand side ) of the road between Pinfold Lane and New Hey Road, in an area roughly half a mile square, no fewer than eight quarries were being worked in the 1850s, some of them of considerable size as the name of one of them, Five Acre Delf, implies. The stone, which could easily be split into the so called grey slates, was used principally for roofing. Shortly after crossing New Hey Road look out on the left for Slade Lane which Crump identifies as a branch road to Colnebridge marked by Ogilby as 195 miles from London. Near to Slade Lane is the appropriately named Round Hill which is an outlier of the Elland Flags. It is thought that in the distant past such isolated hills were used as lookouts where a warning could be sounded in times of danger and they were known, appropriately enough, as toot hills. Unfortunately, there is no record that Round Hill has ever been used as a toot hill and the fact that there is an area called Toothill only two thirds of a mile away must be regarded as a coincidence.

LIGHTRIDGE ROAD. (23) Near Fixby, the Dewsbury turnpike and the London Road part company as

the latter swings right into Lightridge Road to make its way southwards towards Cowcliffe and Huddersfield. On the 1854 O.S map Lightridge Road is called Eyes


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Lane, a somewhat peculiar name which may possibly be explained by the fact that several adjacent fields are called Heys. On the right hand side of Lightridge Road look out for the East Lodge of Fixby Hall, now the entrance to the Huddersfield Golf Club.

FIXBY PARK. (24) (P) A little further down the hill, after the fork into Cowcliffe Hill Road, stop by the electricity sub-station on the left. Fromm here it is possible to see, with a little neck craning, Fixby Hall and its park, now a golf course. From the East Lodge to the top of Cowcliffe Hill the route skirts Fixby Park but, as mentioned earlier, a more direct route runs across the park and this, rather than the road through Ochre Hole, may have been Ogilby's London Road. Certainly in 1501, an area within the park, called Shepcott, is described as being on the side of the road from Elland to Huddersfield. Landowners, when they emparked their land would often re-route roads that ran inconveniently close to their doors but whether this happened before or after Ogilby came this way is a matter for conjecture. Unfortunately, the scale of his map is too small and the details too sparse to settle the matter but it is worth mentioning that he shows the hall very close to his road rather than at some distance from it. Also, in the region of the hall, the map shows the road running in a south easterly direction towards Huddersfield, which is what the footpath does, whilst the Lightridge Road- Cowcliffe Hill route, which Crump identifies as Ogilby's road, runs due south. The old footpath still survives and may just be made out (binoculars would help ) running in front of the hall beyond the bunkers, greens and fairways of the golf course.

FIXBY HALL. (25) Fixby Hall was once the home of the Saville family and, later, the Thommhills but its greatest claim to fame comes through its association with that tireless champion of factory reform, Richard Oastler. Oastler worked as steward to Squire Thomas Thommhill and was resident at the Hall. In September 1830 Oastler wrote a letter to the Leeds Mercury which was published under the title 'Yorkshire Slavery'. In it he described the plight of ©...the innocent victims at the accursed shrine of avarice who are compelled, by the thong or strap of the overlookers to hasten, half dressed to those magazines of British infantile slavery - the worsted mills in the town and neighbourhood of Bradford! The letter impressed a number of men of like mind who formed the Huddersfield Short Time committee and who called on Oastler at Fixby Hall to invite him to assume


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committee and who called on Oastler at Fixby Hall to invite him to assume leadership of the group. He was an ideal choice. His skill with both the written and the spoken word and the force of his commanding personality easily drew people to the cause and soon Fixby Hall was at the centre of the Ten Hour Movement. By 1832 Oastler was ready to demonstrate the strength of his support. On 24th April he organised a pilgrimage to York which was attended by thousands of people from all over the West Riding. Oastler marched all the way, surrounded by his most devoted followers who were known as 'Oastler's Own He made a passionate speech in the Castle Yard and then marched all the way back again and. after four days of walking, held another public meeting in the Market Place in Huddersfield. It was during this campaign that Oastler was nicknamed 'The Factory So strong was the feeling, so great the agitation that some sort of change was inevitable. Three Factory Bills were debated in Parliament between 1831 and 1834 the last of which became law. This made illegal the employment of children under the age of nine and limited the working hours for those under thirteen to forty-eight per week. Those under eighteen would be allowed to work no more than sixty hours with no night work. Although the Bill went a little way towards the Movement's demands it was not the Ten Hours Bill they had hoped for, and, in fact, thirteen years were to pass before ten hours finally became law. Oastler stood for Parliament twice as a Tory Radical, surely a most unlikely political alliance. He had great support among the voteless working classes who frequently ensured that the meetings of his Whig opponents ended in chaos. At this time, in the late 1830s, Oastler had channelled his energies into opposing the Poor Law Amendment Act. which was designed to replace the old method of outdoor parish relief with the new and inhumane workhouses. a system that was greatly resented in the north. In the General Election of 1837 Oasler who stood, he said. 'for alter, throne and cottage , lost by fifty votes. A year later, in the election called after Queen Victoria's Succession, he lost again, this time by only twenty two votes. In that same year Oastler was dismissed from his post as steward of Fixby Hall by Thomas Thornhill who supported the new poor law. Later. Thormmhill accused Oastler of misusing the estate finances and insisted on bringing him to trial in London. On the 10th July 1840 he was sent to the Fleet prison where he stayed for three years. On his release, which came after many deputations and much publicity in the press. Oastler returned to Huddersfield to be greeted, it is said, by ten thousand triumphant people. Thereafter, apart from an occasional foray into


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public life whenever the Ten Hours Bill issue re-emerged, Oastler lived a quiet life until his death in 1861.

OCHRE HOLE. (26) (P) If possible, stop in this picturesque little hollow to admire the delightful woodland scene, the setted ford and the waterfall on the left where the stream tumbles abruptly into a deep narrow valley in Dick Wood. Crump describes the road at Ochre Hole as ° of the finest examples of an unturnpiked and secluded coaching road now remaining - Although the road surface has been much improved in recent years, the ford, the gradients and the line of the road can be little changed since 1675 and if Crump is right and this, rather than the footpath across Fixby Park, is the road surveyed by Ogilby then it is one section of his route he would have little difficulty in recognising. The source of the stream which runs through the small wooded hollow of Ochre Hole is a spring which rises 300 yards ( 275 M) away from the ford, in Fixby park. Ochre Hole is more colloquially known as 'th' Ocker 'Oyle"' and it may be that this pronunciation gave rise to a somewhat fanciful explanation of the name. - It is said that, m the days before religious toleration, a Roman Catholic priest named Hocker ministered in secret to his flock in the Huddersfield area. A price was put on his head by those who opposed his faith and he sought and received succour and concealment at certain houses in the district whose occupants remained faithful to the Catholic cause. These houses, of course, were as well supplied with secret panels and underground passages as legend demands such houses should be. One day, after several years of escaping the law, Hocker's luck ran out. He had left Newhouse Hall at Sheepridge and was travelling along a quiet lane to Fixby Hall when he was caught and murdered by a small band of soldiers. It has been suggested that the dire deed happened at the ford and that thereafter the small valley took the name of the priest which, of course, would be pronounced in these parts without the aspirate. Another, much more mundane, explanation of the name is that it comes from the colour of the water which, it is said, at times of flood has a redish tint although this is something we have never seen. From the waterfall the stream is called Allison Dike. It leaves Dick Wood in the Netheroyd Hill area and continues, culverted in parts, to join Black House Dike at Fartown Green. Whilst travelling up the hill out of Ochre Hole notice on the right at the side of the road and about a metre above its surface, a few large stones among the vegetation. These are the remains of a causey laid here to provide a dry passage

when the road was muddy. Causeys probably began to appear in the sixteenth century when the increasing use of packhorses led to a demand for a hard surface


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which would be negotiable all the year round. Here at Ochre Hole the causey is on a raised bank and it may have been so laid. But it is equally likely that the road surface gradually sank over the centuries as a result of people and their carts and horses using the full width of the road in dry weather and so wearing it down. This process would, doubtless, be accelerated when the road became part of a north- south route. Raised causeys are to be found at the side of many of our old lanes, especially those with steep gradients, and their presence usually indicates a route of some antiquity. Where causeys stetched for some distance, the highways they bordered would become known as causeyways and still today the pavements flanking our modern roads are referred to as causeways, certainly by the older members of the community.

COWCLIFFE HILL ROAD. (27) About a quarter of a mile past the ford look out for a large field just past the modern houses on the left. This was once the site of a sizeable quarry called Delves Fold which was working here in the 1890s. At the edge of the field nearest to the houses a row of trees marks the boundary between Fixby and Fartown. Although the trees do not look particularly old, interestingly enough, trees are shown growing along the boundary on the 1854 O.S. map. Until recent years the boundary was marked at the road side by an old stone inscribed 'Here Parts Fixby and Firtown The stone is now preserved in Ravenknowle Park behind the Tolson Museum.

THE VIEW (28) (P) Just past the Shepherd's Arms stop at the top of Cowcliffe Hill to take in the view which encompasses much of the town and spreads beyond to two of Huddersfield's best known landmarks, the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill and the television mast at Holme Moss. As with all views from the hills overlooking the town, there 1s far more to be seen than we have space to discuss so we will leave the rest to our readers discernment - with a little help from the following diagram.

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EDGERTON CEMETERY. (29) From this altitude there is an excellent overview of Edgerton cemetery (see diagram ) with its tower and twin chapels and this is a good a place as any to tell its story. By 1850, the graveyard at the Parish Church was full. It was estimated at the time that more than thirty-eight thousand bodies had been buried there and there was many complaints about the awful stench from rotting corpses and the disgusting scenes which were witnessed at every new interment. There was much agitated discussion about what could be done until, in October 1850, Joshua Hobson a local Radical, who had become Clerk to the newly formed Board of Works and who was much concerned with sanitary improvement in the town, published a recommendation that a new municipal cemetery should be created at Edgerton. The site, he said, was central for all the existing burial places and it was away from the main streets. He also suggested that the cemetery should have two chapels, one for anglicans and one for non-conformists. Perhaps his most persuasive argument, however, was that the new cemetery would be in a place where the prevailing winds would carry any emanations away from the town and not into it. What the inhabitants of Birkby, Bradley, Deighton, Dalton, Kirheaton and Mirfield thought about that, we are unable to say. Edgerton Cemetery was opened in 1855 and Huddersfield was saved any further embarrassment.

COWCLIFFE HILL ROAD. (30) Whilst driving down Cowcliffe Hill Road try to imagine the difficulties this steep gradient must have presented to travellers in the past, especially in winter. This hill was one of the factors that led to the construction of a new road to Halifax in 1777.

Near the bottom of the hill be prepared to follow the road as it swings right to join Halifax Old Road (see map below).

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CLOUGH HOUSE. (31) (P) Immediately after turning left into Halifax Old Road stop in front of the Victorian houses to consider the site of Clough House which stood at right angles to the road and much nearer to it than the present houses. Describing the house in 1885 G.W.Tomlinson writes of °... a charming old building with four gables looking upon an old fashioned garden with grass terraces, full of solemn yew trees and sweet smelling flowers. Over the door is a tablet with the date 1697, and the letters, A.M. and F. above, over the tablet is a sundial numbering only summer hours'


It is thought that Clough house pre-dates 1697 by a considerable number of years and that the stone tablet was put up to record some alteration or extension carried out by Abraham and Mary Firth when they resided there. The first mention of a Clough House is found in a conveyance of 1549 and. although no location is mentioned. it seems likely that it was the house here at Birkby to which the document referred. Thereafter, the house is mentioned in a number of documents including the Hearth Tax of 1664 when Richard Hirst of the Clough House was


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taxed on five hearths. This, at a time when the majority of people payed tax on only one hearth, gives some idea of the size and importance of the house. Clough House, over the years, was to be the home of several well known Huddersfield families including the Brooks, the Hirsts, the Firths, the Macaulays, the Rhodes and the Scholes. Richard Oastler paid several visits to the house when the Rhodes family was living there and, on 25th August 1838, on the occasion of Oastler's final departure from Fixby Hall they demonstrated their sympathy and support by decking the house with bunting and banners and by giving him a tremendous ovation as he passed by, on his way to Huddersfield. John Scholes, the last owner of Clough House, was one of a prolific family who had long been resident in the Fartown and Sheepridge areas. He bought the house in 1868 fourteen years after he and his father, Alderman George Scholes, had commenced business at Clough House Mills During the course of two marriages he fathered fifteen children, five boys and ten girls. When he left Clough House in March, 1894 he made determined efforts to find a buyer who would preserve the old house but he was unsuccessful and in November,1897 the house and the estates were sold by auction to a building developer. In April, 1898 the first two villas were built in the old garden and in January, 1899 the house was demolished to allow for the widening of Halifax Old Road. Before leaving the subject of Clough House notice, over the wall on the right hand side of the road, the now empty supermarket which stands on the site of the previously discussed Clough House Mills.

NORMAN PARK. (32) (P.W) Whilst in the Clough House area, readers might like to take a short walk in Norman Park which may be reached through an entrance to be found directly opposite the bottom of Cowcliffe Hill Road. Here, a number of stones from Clough House were preserved in a quiet arbour to the right of the gate. They included the date stone, the sun dial and a number of capstones and finials all of which are shown quite clearly in a photograph taken in the 1930s. Sadly, the picture is very different today. The capstones and finials are gone the sundial has fallen (or been pushed) over, face down, and the date stone is so badly weathered and overgrown that it is only with the greatest difficulty that the date, 1697, can be made out. It is sad indeed that these few relics of an interesting old house were not deemed worthy of better protection. Laid out in 1896 Norman Park was, in less sophisticated times, a popular amenity in the neighbourhood. Gone now are the local folk, dressed in their 'Sunday best' who would stroll decorously along the walkways to admire flowers,


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trees and shrubs and lawns kept pristine by the many, always heeded, 'keep of the grass" signs. No more do bands perform for appreciative audiences on summer Sundays, no longer does the ornamental fountain play over the small lake into which, it was said, every child in Birkby fell, at least once. Gone are the children of those bygone days to whom the park offered limitless opportunities for such exciting games as hide and seek, cowboys and indians, cops and robbers, tag and tin-cat-squat. Gone too is the park keeper, universally known as 'Parky , whose retribution, if the children trespassed on the grass, could be swift and painful. Today, alas, the park is run-down and somewhat neglected. However. flowers and trees remain and a short stroll around the walkways (and even across the grass ) offers a chance at least of spotting something of the park's former glory.


HILLHOUSE METHODIST (or TEAPOT) CHAPEL. (33) About a third of a mile after the bottom of Cowcliffe Hill Road stop to consider the chapel, Wasp Nest Road and King Cliff Road. Hillhouse Methodist Chapel was founded as a Free Wesleyan Society in the carly 1870s by a breakaway group from the Brunswick Street Chapel in Huddersfield. From 1907 onwards small independent societies began to form themselves into the United Methodist Church and. as far as can be recalled. Hillhouse became part of this organisation towards the end of the First World War. The chapel is generally known as t' Teapot and there are two explanations for this wonderful colloquial name, the first and most obvious of which is that it derives from the ornamental urn still to be seen on the gable. The second is that a great deal of money for the chapel was raised by that most ubiquitous of institutions the chapel tea. Whatever the reason, the members of the chapel were known throughout the district as 'Teapotters' There are so many chapels on the route of our tour that it would be impossible to find space to detail the history of each one. However, 't" was so much a part of northern life that we felt we must include the 'feel' of one of them and as we have the reminiscences of a 'Teapotter , Mr. Harold Reynard, we feel we can do no better than quote a little of what he has to say: 'The activities at Teapot were considerable for in addition to the Sunday services, Sunday school and mid-week meetings both music and sport were available for all members and friends. In summer the Teapot Tennis Club occupied much of our time. We had two grass courts near Cosy Nook Farm at the bottom of Grimescar Wood. We had no water laid on at the club and the first


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job after opening up on a Saturday afternoon was to fetch water from the farm and then get the old primus stove going. In the evenings, when it became too dark to play, we fetched fish and chips from Birchencliffe whilst other members laid tables and lit candles on the veranda. Sheer bliss! The Whitsuntide treat was normally held at the Tennis Club but in the event of inclement weather we used Hillhouse Council School yard and held the races down Mead Street. In winter, the Young Men's Club met in the Sunday school where we all fancied our chances at snooker, billiards, darts and table tennis. These activities took place four nights a week. Friday was the caretaker's night when he cleaned in preparation for the week-end. As far as music was concerned one big musical production (in addition to t' Messiah) was performed each year between the wars. I recall three 'Quaker Girl', 'The Girl Friend' and 'Betty in Mayfair. All very corny but marvellous fun to be involved in.' Mr. Reynard's memories sum up so well the part played in the community by the local chapel. Religion, education, conversation, debates, meetings, bazaars and sales of work, entertainment, dances, choral societies, all these and more were available and freely enjoyed in those far off and less sophisticated days. But times change and, although its early members would have found it mcredible, Teapot Chapel lasted less than a hundred years, finally closing its doors in 1962. Since then the building has been re-opened as an Islamic centre.

WASP NEST ROAD. (34) More or less opposite the chapel notice Wasp Nest Road which is probably the start of a branch road marked by Ogilby as 'a lane to Rastrick' This is of some interest as, before Bradford Road was built, it was the original way from Huddersfield to Rastrick and Bradford. In its first section Ogilby's branch is followed by modern roads and goes by way of Fartown and Woodhouse Hill to Wiggan Lane at Sheepridge. From there it continues as a bridle path, significantly named Old Lane, through Fell Greave Wood to Bradley Road and by path again (Shepherds Thorn Lane ) through Bradley Wood to Huddersfield Road at Toothill. From there once more in its twentieth century guise the road descends the steep Toothill Bank to the old bridge at Rastrick and so on to Bradford. For anyone interested in following old highways this route is clearly shown on the 1854 0.8 map of the area which may be consulted at the Local History Library in Huddersfield.


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KING CLIFF. (35) The place name King Cliff, to be seen on a house on the right of Halifax Old Road, is interesting because of a slight possibility that it may have endured for a very long time indeed. The second element of the name is easy to explain. Behind the houses the land falls away sharply and "cliff was a word used by the Angles who settled in our area to describe such steep banks. The more intriguing first element could have developed from the Old English word 'cyning' which means chieftain and if so then, more than a thousand years ago, this area might have been the stronghold of an Anglian warlord. However, it must be said that 'King Cliff does not appear on maps of the area before 1854 and, although a name may survive verbally for many centuries, it seems more likely that the hill was known in the past as The Mount. This much more prosaic name is shown on the 1854 map alongside King Cliff. Incidentally, someone in the late nineteenth century must have had a different idea about King Cliff for when a new road was constructed near to the base of the hill it was called Beacon Street.

THE MIDLAND BRANCH LINE. (36) Two hundred and seventy five yards (250m) after King Cliff the road passes over a deep cutting dug at the turn of the century to bring the Huddersfield branch of the Midland railway towards its terminus at Newtown (see No.7.). This line which was the last to be built in the Huddersfield area was the first to be closed.

THE OLD LONDON ROAD AT HILLHOUSE. (37) Shortly after the railway cutting, Halifax Old Road (and our route) veers slightly to the right towards the traffic lights at Bradford Road. It is likely that this short section of road was constructed when Bradford Road was built, in 1840, and that the original London highway went straight ahead along Hillhouse Lane all the way to Leeds Road (See map on page 31).

SHEARING CROSS. (38) ~ Before crossing Bradford Road at the lights notice the triangular piece of land on the left, bounded by Halifax Old Road, Hillhouse Lane and Bradford Road. This small area which, in the 1890s, was the site of more than thirty houses, was called Shearing Cross, a name that is now little used.


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BRADFORD ROAD. (39) In 1838 an entirely new road was cut to provide an easier and more direct route between Bradford and Huddersfield. It was built through Wibsey, Low Moor and Brighouse to Hillhouse where it joined the 1777 road from Huddersfield. Opened in 1840, this was the last turnpike road to be built in the Huddersfield area. Crump, in his description of the Old London Road, says that it approached Huddersfield by way of Bradford Road and Northgate but as those roads did not exist in 1675 we feel this cannot be so. It is much more likely that Ogilby's road approached Huddersfield by way of an old highway which ran across the fields to the north east of the town and which was later to become part of the Huddersfield to Birstall turnpike - the Leeds Road of today (see tour 2 No.8)

HILLHOUSE LANE (40) To reach Leeds Road from Hillhouse the London road must have followed the line of the present day Hillhouse Lane which was later to be crossed by the routes of two other modes of transport, a railway and a canal.


The railway which crosses the road by means of a high viaduct is the main line into Huddersfield from Heaton Moor which was opened in 1847. In 1879 the London and North Western Railway Company received new powers to double its


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lines in the Huddersfield area and the date 1880 prominently displayed in the stone work of the viaduct probably commemorates the time when this work was carried out.

THE HEBBLE BECK. (42) (P.W. - at discretion) After the railway, Hillhouse Lane runs very close to the Hebble Beck which we first encountered as the Grimescar Dike at Birkby (see No.15). The stream flows along an open culvert at the far side of a piece of rough ground on the right hand side of the road. Here, in its lower reaches , it takes its name from the Hebble Bridge in Bradford Road but it seems likely that this is the water course called the Town Brook which is well documented in the history of Huddersfield. The Town Brook plays an important part in confirming the antiquity of this part of the route. On Oldfield's estate map of 1716 the brook is shown running parallel with and very close to a road which can only be the present day Hillhouse Lane and as this was then the only north - south road in the area it must surely have been the way taken by Ogilby in 1675 If a parking space can be found, stop in Hillhouse Lane to take a short walk over the bridge and down the steps to the canal bank. Just a few metres from the steps look for a gap in the buildings on the opposite bank through which it is possible to see the Town Brook as it enters the culvert which takes it underneath the canal. It is interesting that, despite being culverted for much of its length and despite the enormous changes that have taken place in the intervening years, the stream and the important junction of Hillhouse Lane and Leeds Road still lie as close together as they did when Oldfield drew his map nearly three hundred years ago.

THE CANAL. (43) In 1774 an Act of Parliament authorised the construction of a canal from the River Calder at Cooper Bridge to a terminus near the King's Mill on the River Colne. The work, which was completed in 1780, resulted in a broad canal just over three and a half miles long with a total rise of ninety three feet through nine locks. The Sir John Ramsden Canal (so called after its sponsor) joined the Calder and Hebble Navigation through a storm lock at Cooper Bridge and so gave Huddersfield a waterway link with Wakefield, Leeds and the Midlands. Unlike the Huddersfield Narrow Canal the Ramsden Canal has always remained navigable along most of its length and in the 1970s it underwent something of a renaissanas a result of the growing popularity of pleasure boating. The present-day bridge which carries Hillhouse Lane over the canal was built in 1905. Despite the all pervasive


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influence of Kirklees the bridge is still embellished with the Coat of Arms granted to the Borough of Huddersfield in 1868. In the mid nineteenth century, between the canal and Leeds Road, there was a colliery on the left hand side of Hillhouse Lane and a dyeworks on the right. The names of these, Lane Colliery and Lane Dyeworks (later Lane Mills) suggest that Hillhouse Lane was orginally simply the Lane. If so, this is another confirmation of antiquity for when it was the only route in the area, no other identification would be necessary.

LEEDS ROAD. (44) In 1765 a new turnpike road was constructed along the Lower Colne Valley to provide Huddersfield with direct access to Cooper Bridge and thence to Birstall and Leeds. However, there is no doubt that the first mile of the new road followed the route of a pre-existing footway that left Huddersfield by way of Lower Head Row and petered out in the fields to the north east of the town (see tour 2 Nos. 8 & 15). Oldfield's map clearly shows that the present day Hillhouse Lane joined the old footway about halfway along its length and so it is fairly safe to say that here, at the junction, the old London Road turned right to take a route into Huddersfield later followed by the present Leeds Road and Old Leeds Road.

THE MARKET TAVERN. (45) Whilst turning right into Leeds Road notice, on the left, the Market Tavern. This was once called the London Tavern or the London Town but the fact that it stands at the side of the old road to London is purely coincidental.

THE BUS DEPOT. (46) The large red brick building on the right hand side of Leeds Road was built as an extension to the tramway depot in Great Northern Street. It was constructed by the Local Authority and opened in September, 1928 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the formation of the Borough. Prior to its building buses were stored at the Longroyd Bridge tram depot and in the fairground in Great Northern Street. It may be appropriate here to mention that Huddersfield Corporation was the first local authority to operate its own public transport service which began on the 11th January 1883. From modest beginnings, using steam powered tramcars, the service grew and by 1900 covered thirty mules of track. A year later work began on the electrification of the system and soon, most of the outlying districts of Huddersfield could be reached by a cheap tram ride. However, as time went by trams were perceived to be noisy and cumbersome and the permanent way a nuisance to other road users and so, during the 1930s, they were gradually phased out and replaced by quieter and more pliable trolley buses which themselves were


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made redundant in 1968. Thereafter, all areas were served by motor buses which had been operating on some routes since the 1920s.

BEAUMONT STREET. (47) Just after the bus depot notice the now blocked off Beaunont Street which was once the route taken by the engine and coal trucks of the Huddersfield gasworks railway. The track of this small railway, which was opened in 1922, ran for approximately three quarters of a mile from the gasworks in Leeds Road, along the centre of Beaumont Street and across Bradford Road to the Newtown sidings. In the twenty-five years of the railway's existence a small steam engine hauled some five million tons of coal from Newtown to the gasworks and. of course, an equivalent amount of coke on the return journey. The engine, which was affectionately known as the 'Beaumont Street Flyer', was always preceeded by a flag man who would make sure that the line was clear of pedestnans and traffic. At the time of writing (1994) the lines of the old railway may still be seen in the centre of Beaumont Street.

OLD LEEDS ROAD. (48) (P at discretion) Whilst driving up the new section of Leeds Road towards the ring road look out, on the left, for the entrance to Old Leeds Road which was the way Ogilby's Road took into Huddersfield and towards Shore Head. Because of modern building and road realignment this section of the old route is lost and so, briefly, the tour must follow more modern roads to rejoin the London Road at Shore Head. However, Old Leeds Road is an excellent place to stop so, if time allows, drive along it as far as Quay Street and stop there to consider, with the help of the map below, the roads as they used to be in this area. N.B. This option is a small diversion and not part of the tour as given in the directions.

Street map of 1907 A/S’Z

C.rU’D$ChUI‘\.R 6

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It is important to remember, when considering Ogilby's route, that Northgate was not a through road until 1777 and before that, traffic approaching Huddersfield from the north followed the line of the present day Hillhouse Lane, Leeds Road and Old Leeds Road. A glance at our map will show that there was a direct connection between Old Leeds Road (Lower Head Row ) and Shore Head via Castlegate and, as the connection is shown as early as 1717, it seem likely that this 'bypass' was part of Ogilby's route to the south. After 1777, Northgate provided a more convenient access to the town but until 1932, when Southgate was built, there was no direct connection between Northgate and the Shore Head junction and through traffic would continue to use the old route along Castlegate. Alternatively, travellers leaving the town itself for the south would approach Shore Head by way of Kirkgate, which name, until quite recent times applied to the whole stretch of road from the Market Place to Shore Head. The system of roads in this area has been drastically altered in recent years. The lower part of Northumberland Street has been replaced by a new section of Leeds Road on roughly the same line. Castlegate has disappeared as have the roads that gave access to it from the town, Denton Lane and Rosemary Lane, although the latter is remembered in the address of the Huddersfield Hotel, 1, Rosemary Lane. And along with the streets have gone the courts, folds, yards and terraces and the mutitude of houses, shops, factories, workshops and inns all of which made the Northgate, Southgate and Castlegate thoroughfares one of the most densely populated areas of the town. It has been suggested by some local historians that the suffix 'gate', found in several of Huddersfield's street names, denotes antiquity as the word derives from the Old Norse word 'gata' , meaning street. However, whilst some streets so named are undoubtedly old it is doubtful that their 'gate' names date back to any earlier than the last decade of the eighteenth century. For example, on a map of 1778, Kirkgate, Northgate and Westgate are called Church Street, North Street and West Street respectively. Castlegate is called Low Green and the present day Oldgate is described as Bridge or Mill Street. It may be, of course, that at the time the map was published an attempt was being made to modernise the names of these streets but as there are no 'gate' names in earlier references to them it seems more likely that they were re-named to give them a feeling of age at a time when several new streets were being built in the town. Two other gate names are definitely modern. Southgate dates from 1932 and Queensgate came into being with the construction of the ring road. At the time of writing, Kingsgate, which threatens to


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destroy more of the old layout of the town, is still in the future. Before leaving the subject of 'gates' we should mention that one old name. Castlegate, has been revived and, for some reason best known to the planners, transplanted to quite a long stretch of the ring road at some distance from its original location. N.B Those who took the Old Leeds Road option should now return to Leeds Road and the route of our tour as it turns left into the ring road. (s.p. M.1, Oldham, Sheffield, and Wakefield A642).

THE INSTITUTION. (49) Before turning left at the lights notice, straight in front, at the bottom of Northumberland Street, the now defunct Friendly and Trades Club. This building started life as the premises of the Huddersfield Mechanics' Institution which, from its beginnings in the town as the Huddersfield Young Men's Mental Improvement Society, had provided an elementary education for youths and young men. By 1843, when the name Mechanics' Institution was adopted by the society, there were a hundred and eighty two students attending classes in reading, wniting, arithmetic. grammar, drawing, design, geography and French. ' After twenty years of using rented rooms in various parts of the town the Institution finally opened its own purpose built premises in Northumberland Street in 1861. In that year there were over seven hundred active pupils taught by twenty paid and twenty five voluntary teachers. Twenty years later. the Institution, with the co-operation of the Chamber of Commerce, established the Huddersfield Technical College in Queen Street South and the building in Northumberland Street was occupied by the Friendly and Trades Club which was opened in 1886.

NORTHGATE. (50) On turning left at the lights, the tour follows the route of Northgate as far as the Beastmarket. Unlike the so called Castlegate stretch of the ring road. this section has no road signs to tell us whether the planners have retained the old name or changed it and, unfortunately, even the Kirklees Street by Street map is less than clear on this point. So - this part of Northgate may now be Southgate but for the purposes of the tour we will refer to it by its original name. When the 1777 turnpike to Halifax was built it incorporated a pre-existing lane which ran from the Beastmarket area and petered out after about three hundred metres in the fields to the north of the town. The present day Northgate follows much the same route as the old lane which, in its early days. was called Norbar or, occasionally, North Barr. Such a name suggests the bar houses of the Turnpike Era but, in fact, there are references to Norbar two hundred years before


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that time and,. in his 'Old Huddersfield Dr. George Redmonds suggests that the North Bar was originally a barrier erected to prevent animals straying on to the town fields. As early as 1716 Norbar was a residential area, for the map of that year shows houses on both sides of the lane. After Norbar became part of the turnpike to Halifax the name was changed to North Street and after about 1800 to Northgate although, doubtless, the old name would continue to be used orally for many years. On the right hand side of Northgate notice the building at the bottom of St. Peter's Street, part of which is now a bookmaker's. This was once the Northgate Infant School which was set up under the aegis of the National Society.

TOMLINSON'S YARD. (51) A little further on, also on the right, Tomlinson's Yard was for many years the site of Hayley's shoeing forge which started trading in the yard in the 1860s and continued until well after the turn of the century. Like many of Huddersfield's once thriving yards Tomlinson's is empty now and rather desolate and the only remnants of the once flourishing business are the flagged floors and draimmage channels of the forge and stables.

THE BEAST MARKET. (52) In 1671, King Charles II granted to Sir John Ramsden a Charter to hold ' market in the town of Huddersfield on Tuesday in every week for ever, for buying and selling of all manner of goods and merchandise...". At first, the general market was held in the newly laid out Market Place at the top of Church Street (Kirkgate) but as time went by, speciality markets developed elsewhere. The corn market, for example, was located behind Tomlinson's Yard in the area bounded on the cast by the present day St. Peter's Street, on the west by Kirkgate and on the north by the wall of the Parish Church graveyard. The establishing of the corn market led, naturally enough, to the residential and industnal growth of the area and by 1778 there were a number of houses, barns, inns, stables, workshops and warehouses clustered round the small open space where the market was held. By that time also the town's cattle market was located in the same general area and it may be that this came to be more important than the corn market as the place name Beast Market has survived to the present day. A hundred years later the area had become a warren of yards and alleys although the buildings adjacent to the church yard had been removed to make way for Lord Street. A number of nearby inns and beerhouses provided hospitality for visitors to the market and adequate stabling for their horses. These included the


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visitors to the market and adequate stabling for their horses. These included the Spotted Cow, the Royal Oak, the White Horse, the Boy and Barrel, the Shears and the Bull's Head. The latter, incidentally, may be seen from Northgate although its old name, incised in stone over the entrance, is somewhat eclipsed by more modern sign. The Beast Market ceased to be used as such in 1881 when a new cattle market was opened in Great Northern Street. Owing to clearance in recent years the area is once more an open space although one old house remains, the address of which is The Wells, Beast Market. The name Well or Wells is frequently mentioned in Huddersfield's history and it probably goes back to the earliest days when, long before the markets were established here, this was the site of the small town's original water supply.

SOUTHGATE. (53) At the bottom of Kirkgate the tour joins Southgate, the construction of which, in 1932, led to the demolition of a great deal of old property in Rosemary Lane and Denton Lane. Until 1932 the way to Shore Head from the town lay along Kirkgate (the present day Oldgate) or Castlegate and between these two streets there were a number of yards, the best remembered of which is Post Office Yard. As the name suggests this was the site of Huddersfield's first post office where, in the days before the penny-post. the post mistress, Mrs. Murgatroyd, marked the price on each letter which had to be paid on delivery. Mrs. Murgatroyd was assisted by a Mrs Broadbent whose job it was to attend to all deliveries. The post office was moved to more convenient premises in New Street in the 1830s. Post Office Yard was also the site of one of Huddersfield's first theatres, the New Theatre, which flourished there, between 1816 and 1836, in a large converted barn. A great favourite with audiences seems to have been Barnum's Circus which performed there several times during the theatre's twenty year life. During the second half of the nineteenth century Post Office Yard and several other vards and courts on both sides of Castlegate became notorious for their overcrowded lodging houses where the poorest members of the community, many of them Irish immigrants, lived in appalling squalor. As an example, one small two-roomed house in this area was occupied by two married couples, their fathers, three young men and five children - and perhaps they counted themselves lucky for other families lived out their days in a single room or even a cellar. Poor ventilation, inadequate drainage, open cesspools and communal privies ensured a high incidence of disease and epidemics of scarlet fever, small pox, cholera and typhoid were not uncommon.. In 1914 an attempt at improvement was made when


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the Kirkgate tenements were built to replace the older meaner houses in Post Office Yard but the slum dwellings on the other side of Castlegate remained until the 1930s. Today, of course, Southgate runs through the site of Post Office Yard and it is now difficult to pinpoint its exact location but, relating its position to the blocks of tenements on the right hand side of the road, the entrance to the yard was somewhere in the region of the second block.

SHORE HEAD. (54) Approaching the roundabout at Shore Head we are nearing the point where we regain the London Road which came in along the now lost Castlegate and joined Southgate roughly in the area of the present day petrol station on the left. Two other roads joined the London Road at the Shore Head junction which, because of the destination of one and the name of the other, must date back to Huddersfield's earliest days. One of these, which followed the present day Oldgate, was the way out of the town to the manorial corn mill at Shore Foot. The other took a route which is roughly followed by the ring road as far as the new market hall and then by Ramsden Street and High Street to Outcote Bank. From there it aimed for the river crossing at Longroyd Bridge and ultimately for the road over the Pennines at Marsden. From Shore Head to the top of High Street this old road was called Back Green and the 1716 map shows it running along a broad strip of uncultivated green land between a number of long, narrow agricultural closes which, from their shape, could well have been remnants of Huddersfield's open- field system. If this is so, then Back Green, in the days before enclosure, would have been the balk where the ploughs working up and down the communal strips were turned. Green balks were a common feature in open-field farming and, because they remained uncultivated they were often used as a convenient route across large stretches of agricultural land. By 1825, much of the area had been developed and Back Green had become Ramsden Street and High Street although the old name continued to be used for a short section of the road near Shore Head for another quarter of a century. In the early years of the nineteenth century a new road was constructed along the line of an old footway from the Shore Head junction into the town. This was King Street which, together with the slightly earlier Cloth Hall Street, provided a direct and impressive approach to the Cloth Hall. In recent years Shore Head has been subjected to many alterations. Roads have been realigned and widened, old buildings have been demolished and new ones built and now a large roundabout and traffic lights control the road junction where,


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in earlier centuries, travellers from north, east and west joined the only local highway that led to the south from this side of town. Today the most tangible link with the old days 1s, perhaps, the name Shore which has remained , virtually unchanged, for at least four hundred years. 'Shore probably shares a derivation with the word sewer, used in the sense of an open drain. It is first recorded locally as le Schoyr in the mid-sixteenth century and the definite article, together with the fact that there was a 'head" and a 'foot' reinforces the idea that the Shore was a linear feature such as a culvert or ditch which was an important enough landmark to give rise to a lasting place-name.

SEED HILL. (55) Once the site of a large tenter field, Seed Hill was probably so named because of its proximity to the manorial corn mill. Because of the changes that have occurred in the Shore Head area it is difficult now to designate precise locations but it is fairly safe to say that Seed Hill is the area now largely occupied by Sainsbury's supermarket and car-park. It was in this area that St. Peter's School, the first elementary school in Huddersfield, was opened in 1818 by the National Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. The school stood on land rented from the Ramsdens, the rent being "one red rose at the time of roses if one be During the first half of the nineteenth century one or two sizeable houses made their appearance on the empty land behind the school. These were surrounded by ornate, tree lined terrace gardens and the area must, at the time. have been regarded as one of the fashionable quarters of the town despite its close proximity to the Castlegate slums. By 1905 only one small garden remained and the area had declined, a process accelerated, no doubt, by the building of a large laundry nearby. Since then Seed Hill has seen a number of businesses come and go including that of Norman Hopkinson - known locally as 'the pot man' - More recently, Brockholes car showroom was swept away to provide space for the supermarket, one of several of these temples of the late twentieth century that have been built in or near to the town. At the same time the road was widened and Seed Hill lost its separate identity.


After negotiating the lights at Shore Head we are once again on the route of the London Road and it is in this area that Ogilby marks a water mill on his map. This was Huddersfield's manorial corn mill at Shore Foot which stood on a site now covered by the University car park.


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In feudal times a mull probably existed in every manor, ereeted by the lord of the manor, or his agent, close to the main stream. To build a mill was an expensive job involving the carting and dressing of building stone, the use of special timbers and much skilled civil engineering of goits and sluices as well as the provision and dressing of the mill stones themselves. Feudal owners, therefore, came to insist that the manorial mill ground for the whole district at a definite charge and, further, that the tenants should be responsible for repairs to the wheel and the dam. Thus the manorial mill was a profitable investment for the lord of the manor and of some benefit to his tenants as it saved many tedious hours of hand grinding. However, transport to the mill from remote parts of the manor was difficult and the fees charged were expensive and the lord's monopoly was often a cause of deep resentment. Although it is known that a corn mill was working in Huddersfield some eight hundred years ago it is impossible to be sure that the original mull was at Shore Foot. Dr. Redmonds has found references in the early sixteenth century to the "mull at the so there can be no doubt that the site is of a certain antiquity. It is thought that in its early days as well as grinding corn, the mill also worked fulling hammers and in later centuries was probably concerned with other aspects of the textile industry. Certainly, for a good many years towards the end of the eighteenth century the Akinson family ran the mills as they ran several other textile mulls in the area including Bradley Mills (See tour 2 No.17) and Colne Bridge Mills where, in 1818, a disastrous fire killed seventeen young girls. Shore Foot Mill continued to grind corn until circa 1915 and although, because of its position, its demolition was inevitable, it is rather sad that its presence is now largely forgotten as its past importance is undeniable and its story of some interest. The mill was built at some distance from its only possible source of power, the River Colne, and its working was made possible by the digging of a goit or head race some three hundred yards long (273 metres) to bring water from the river to the mull wheel. The head of water necessary to feed the goit was provided by the building of a large weir across the bed of the river and the flow was controlled by sluices at each end of the goit. Another slightly longer goit was dug to carry the spent water across Aspley Common to rejoin the river about a quarter of a mile downstream. The initial work involved in all this must have been considerable, as must the subsequent maintenance and rebuilding of the weir and goits which were more than once damaged by floods, and it is gratifying that the weir and part of the head race remain to this day to remind us of one of the town's great enterprises. Near to the site of the mill, on the right hand side of the road, there still stands a building of some antiquity. This was a woollen warehouse and it was probably once associated with the mull as it was tenanted in the 1780s by a member of the Atkinson family. For several years, during the 1970s and 80s, the building

stood empty and there was much debate about its future, whilst all the time its


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condition deteriorated, and it seemed likely that it would be left to tumble down into ruin. Then, in the late 1980s, along came a developer who sympathetically

converted the warehouse into dwelling apartments and in so doing saved what must be one of the oldest industrial buildings in Huddersfield.

ASPLEY COMMON (57) After Shore Head the London Road made its lonely way across Aspley Common towards the river crossing at Huddersfield Bridge. The name Aspley means a clearing in the aspen trees but although a clearing implies agriculture the area, in 1675, was probably uncultivated common land. It was also empty of buildings when Ogilby came this way and it was to be another hundred years

before Aspley began to be developed, a process that owed a great deal to the building of the canal basin.

ASPLEY BASIN. (58) The Ramsden Canal was brought through to its terminus near the King's Mill in 1780 and subsequently Aspley Basin was developed in an advantageous position near to the town. With its wharves, docks, warehouses, cranes and weighing machines the Basin was for many years a scene of bustling activity where horse drawn barges were loaded and unloaded. Coal, lime, stone, timber, slates, corn, machinery and textiles, all these and more were carried along the canal, and although transport was slow by modern standards it was much easier, and cheaper at one shilling and sixpence (7%p) a ton, than carrying goods over the difficult roads of those times. The importance of the Basin was increased when, in 1811, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was finally opened through the Pennines to link up with the western waterways and ports thus putting Huddersfield at the centre of a cross country trade artery. Activity at Aspley Basin continued for some hundred and fifty years although, of course, the railway and, eventually, the improved roads took an ever increasing amount of business away from the canals. Shortly after the Second World War the Narrow Canal was abandoned and although the Ramsden Canal continued to be navigable, albeit with some difficulty, there was no longer any trade and the wharves and warehouses at Aspley were left to decline. Then, in the late 1960s, the growing popularity of pleasure boating as a leisure activity encouraged the refurbishment of the Basin and the concomitant improvement of the Ramsden Canal was largely due to the efforts of those canal- boat owners who regarded reaching Huddersfield by water as something of an adventure.


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More recently, the Huddersfield Canal Society, formed in 1974, has lobbied long and hard for the restoration of the Narrow Canal and their labours were rewarded here at Aspley when the channel beneath Wakefield Road, which provided a link between the two canals, was cleared and restored.

The scene at Aspley Basin is now dominated by a restaurant and by an unfortunate bridge which owes more to the style of Japan then to that of the West Riding. The restaurant, which was built in the mid 1980s on the site of some old coal bunkers, was opened as an "American Diner' Since then it has passed through Italian and French phases but not yet a Japanese phase which, in view of the bridge, might be more suitable.


When Ogilby reached the river Colne he marked it as a brook crossed by a wooden bridge. This was the bridge shown as Hothersfield Bridge on the 1634 map of Almondbury. Presumably it was of frail construction and built low down near to the water as it seems constantly to have been in need of repair. For example, it was repaired by the Wapentakes of Agbrigg and Morley in 1638 and yet, only four years later, it was reported that ° Huddersfield Bridge beinge a very useful and necessary bridge for the countrye is through the violence of the water decayed and quite taken away.' At that time £30 was made available to Sir John Ramsden who was required to see the money 'husbandly bestowed" for repairing the bridge.

In 1699 the wooden bridge was replaced by one of stone and when John Warburton surveyed the road in 1719 he described a stone bridge of three arches over Huthersfield Water. This seems to have been a narrow humped structure built, like its wooden predecessors, at a low level and it, too, needed rebuilding after being damaged by floods in 1744. It was decided at that time to reduce the number of arches from three to two to allow the water to have a freer course and save the bridge from the worst buffeting of the water. Subsequently the width of the bridge was increased from twelve feet (3.64 metres) to twenty-two feet (6.66 metres) and the parapets were raised.

By the mid nineteenth century the bridge, which was once described as 'looking as near as possible and not very much wider than an elephant's back', was having to carry much more traffic than was ever intended. The approaches were very steep and the gradients made the driving of vehicles across the bridge quite dangerous. The footpath over the bridge was very narrow and was often encroached when two or more vehicles attempted to cross at the same time.


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By 1860 moves were afoot to replace the old bridge and on 6th. January 1864, at a meeting of the Improvement Commussioners, Mr. Clough, the clerk, reported that on the previous day at the Wakefield Sessions he had succeeded in getting a True Bill against the inhabitants of the West Riding for the nuisance in respect of the Long Bridge at Aspley, which gave the Magistrates power to make it imperative that the bridge should be widened. He stated that thirteen hundred vehicles passed over the bridge in one day together with eighty four omnibuses and ten thousand pedestrians. However, nothing seems to have been done until after the Incorporation of the town when the new borough, in the Improvement Act of July 1871, received power to take down and remove the bridge over the River Colne known as the Long Bridge of Huddersfield and construct a new bridge also to be called the Long Bridge of Huddersfield. The county authorities were to contribute £3000 out of the county rate and the Council persuaded Sir John Ramsden not only to give the land necessary for widening the approaches but also to contribute £1000 towards the cost of the new bridge. Early in 1872, under the direction of Mr.J.H.Abbey, the borough surveyor, work began on pulling down the old structure. A temporary wooden bridge was erected for use during the alterations. The foundation stone of the new bridge was laid on 20th September 1872 by the then Mayor, Alderman Wright Mellor, and on the 4th October 1873 the keystone was fixed by Mr. James Jordan, the chairman of the Bridge Committees. On that day it was decided to change the name to Somerset Bridge to honour Lady Guendolen Ramsden, daughter of the Duke of Somerset, who had agreed to open the bridge. The new bridge contained only one arch which spanned seventy feet (21 metres) and rested on the springers of two abutments. The height of the arch from the bed of the river was twenty feet (6 metres) and the roadway. which was perfectly level, was thirty feet (9 metres) wide. The bridge was provided with foot paths nine feet (2.7 metres ) wide on each side and the handsome parapet of Newry granite was four feet (1.2 metres) high. In true Victorian fashion the opening, on 25th May 1874, was one of great celebration and the streets leading to the bridge were elaborately decorated with flags and bunting. A grand procession composed of public bodies, fire brigades, volunteers and yeomanry paraded from the council offices to Aspley. At the appointed time, with all the dignitaries in position, Lady Ramsden released a bottle of champagne to smash against the parapet and declared the bridge open. After the opening, the proceedings seem to have deteriorated into something of a farce. It had been intended that Sunday school scholars and some


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members of the Choral Society should sing three hymns to the accompaniment of a brass band in Greenhead Park. However the day was rainy and the musical director, Mr. Stocks, was told that the procession might not reach the park so he directed his singers to St. Georges's Square. The procession did not reach there either which was, perhaps, fortunate as only a few children turned up. Consequently, the hymn singing was abandoned. Mr. Stocks, however, did not give up easily and later he conducted the Choral Society as they sang in Greenhead Park. Unfortunately, by this time spirits had been completely dampened and there was no audience Nevertheless, the Society sang several glees in the rain which, it was reported, fell in a most uncomfortable misty manner all day. Many local people will remember Somerset Bridge which lasted as built until the road improvements carted out between 1964 and 1967. It exists still at the core of the present day budge but its appearance is completely disguised although some of the old footings may still be seen among the more modern work by anyone who cares to view the bridge from below. Incidentally, Ogilby, in 1675, gave the distance between the bridge and the top of Almondbury Bank as nine furlongs. The term furlong was, for centuries, used to describe an eighth part of an English mile (220 yards) and our readers might find it interesting, three centuries later, to check the accuracy of Ogilby's measurement. Soon after the bridge, notice Somerset Road on the right. On the 2nd January 1867 a meeting was held at Moldgreen to consider Sir John Ramsden's proposal ® make a new road to Almondbury called Somerset Road which would save the steep ascent of the old road up Almondbury Bank' Despite some opposition, the scheme was adopted and eighteen months later the Trustees of the Almondbury based Nettleton's charity voted a sum of £200 towards the new road which was completed in 1870. At the bottom of Somerset Road and facing on to Wakefield Road there once stood the Lyceum Cinema. It is difficult now to pinpoint its exact position but it is likely that the right hand side of the road runs through the general area of the front stalls.

THE GATES. (60) Shortly after Somerset Road look out on the left for the large wrought iron gates at the entrance to Shaw's Pickle Works. These once guarded the entrance from Victoria Street into the old market hall and were preserved here after the market was demolished in 1970. The Coat of Arms on the wall is that of Charles II who, in 1671, granted Sir John Ramsden the right to hold a market in Huddersfield.


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About a quarter of a mile after the gates be prepared to turn right at the traffic lights into Almondbury Bank (s.p Almondbury).

GREEN CROSS CORNER. (61) It was at Green Cross Corner that the London Road swung right to begin its ascent to Almondbury by way of Almondbury Bank. Today, roads are easy to follow as they are surfaced, edged and lit. In earlier centuries when they were little more than rough trackways running across long stretches of empty countryside they must have been difficult to follow, particularly at night or when obscured by snow or fog. If follows, therefore, that waymarks would have a very important part to play in guiding travellers. A waymark was often called a cross - there are several names to be found along old highways in the Huddersfield area - and the name Green Cross suggests that such a waymark once stood here on the Green of Moldgreen to point the way up the lonely hillside. Almondbury Bank was still the obvious outlet for southbound traffic when the earliest turnpike in the area, the road between Wakefield and Austerlands, was completed in 1759. Thus road which ran locally through Marsden, Huddersfield, Almondbury and Lepton followed the route of the London Road for the short section from Shore Head to Almondbury. It was not until 1820 that a new route was provided to avoid the steep slopes between Almondbury and Lepton. This third phase of the Wakefield to Austerlands road ran from the bottom of Almondbury Bank through Moldgreen and Greenside to Lepton where it joined the older route at the top of Rowley Lane. A new stretch of Wakefield Road, constructed in the late 1980s, clipped off part of Almondbury Bank and bypassed the 1820 route between Green Cross Corner and the Junction at Moldgreen. As a result of this new work the old road alignments at Green Cross are much altered and although the old stretch of road remains, and is designated Old Wakefield Road, it now leads to nowhere in ' particular. Before turning right notice, ahead and slightly left, the modern premises of the Moldgreen United Reformed Church. It was the road widening scheme that led to the erection of this new, easily run chapel, partly on the site of its 1865 predecessor and partly on the site of the Regal Cinema. Opposite the chapel, the building with the central gable was opened in 1875 as branch number two of the

Huddersfield and District Co-operative Society to replace their older premises dating from 1860.


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ALMONDBURY BANK . (62) One or two place names in Almondbury Bank are of interest and although the first one we mention, Hole Bottom, now seems to be extinct we are fairly sure that it was the area on the right now occupied by Merlin Motors. Hole Bottom is first referred to in the 1584 survey of the Manor of Almondbury which, among other things, delineates the boundary of the manor. In this area the boundary is described as running * the south side of two little pig hills called the Lime Pighills and the highway on the east and so by the little river southeast until against one house called Hole Bottom..' Pighills were small enclosed fields and they are long gone. The 'highway on the east' was Almondbury Bank and the 'little river' was the stream which was later known as Penny Dike or Penny Spring Beck and which is now culverted down to the river Colne. The 1634 map of Almondbury shows a parcel of land, measuring 8 acres 3 roods 34 perches, bounded on the east by the Penny Spring Beck (unnamed on the map) and divided into three closes designated Robert Hole banck close. Rob Hole Bottome and Rob Hole Banck close. At the edge of the latter, near to the stream, the map shows a solitary house, presumably the one referred to in the recitation of the bounds. The name Hole Bottom seems to have fallen into disuse towards the end of the nineteenth century. A little higher up the Bank notice, also on the right, Kidroyd Lane which leads to the small settlement of Kidroyd beyond Somerset Road. There are several place names in Almondbury with the suffix royd, which means a clearing, and it is thought that they represent woodland clearances made in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries at a time when a growing population led to a demand for new agricultural land. Some of the royds took the names of people who carried out the clearances and the name Kyde has been found in the Almondbury Rentals of 1340. The survival of the place name has, doubtless, been helped by the fact that part of the Kidroyd later became a settlement site and whilst it is not certain when the first houses were built, entries in the Almondbury Parish Registers make it clear that a branch of the Ramsden family was living there in the second half of the sixteenth century. Forest Road on the left hand side of the Bank runs just below a narrow strip of woodland called, on the 1854 O.S. map, Radical Forest, a name for which we can offer no explanation. The old township boundary crossed Almondbury Bank just above Forest Road and its line may be discerned in the splayed end of the house at the junction of the two roads. From here, the boundary ran up to the high


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ground described at the end of the 1584 recitation of the bounds as ©...the said Ravens Knoll Hill where the said boundary first began.

BANK END LANE. (63) At the top of Almondbury Bank, on the left, is Bank End Lane. This is almost certainly a branch road marked by Ogilby as leading to Colne Bridge. From Bank End Lane the branch followed Greenhead Lane (formerly Lockwood Lane), Dalton Green Lane, Nettleton Road and Dalton Bank Lane to the river crossing at Colne Bridge. As an outlet to the northeast this would be a route of

some importance to those travellers and traders whose business was in Leeds rather than in Huddersfield or Halifax.

TOWN END. (64) (P) About 100 yards (90m) after the road levels out stop briefly to consider the strangely unsymmetrical old house on the right. On the 1634 map of Almondbury a house is shown at this point standing in a croft owned or tenanted by a Thomas Snape. The building as we see it today has obviously been partitioned and somewhat clumsy attempts have been made in the past to alter or 'modernise® the external appearance of the left hand side. Despite this. we feel there is enough architectural evidence left to date the house to the seventeenth century. The deeply recessed windows, the projecting string course at first floor level and the label mould over the first floor windows were all methods used at that time to try to prevent water penetration and it seems likely, therefore, that this is the very house shown on the old map. On his excellent map of Almondbury, the late Clifford Stephenson marks the house at Town End as the 'Monastery® and we have, on several occasions heard it referred to as either the monastery or the abbey. Unfortunately, we are unable to account for this intriguing name although one possible explanation is that it was, at

one time, wrongly associated with a house belonging to the lost Chantry Chapel of St. Nicholas in Almondbury Church.

NORTHGATE. (65) From Town End the old road follows Northgate to Almondbury Parish Church. Whilst there can be no doubt about the age of the road it seems likely that the name Northgate, although it sounds appropriately ancient, dates back only to the beginning or the early nineteenth century as there are no identifiable references to it before that time. Before it became Northgate it was probably simply referred to as the Town Street for in 1723 there is a report that 'The King's Highway


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between the towns of Wakefield and Huddersfield namely that part called Fenay Lane and Almondbury Town Street which leads from Fenay Beck to Aimondbury Bank is very ruinous and in great decay At the beginning of Northgate notice, on the right, the junction of the old road with the much more modern Somerset Road and, on the left, Southfield Road which, although a road of the present century, may preserve in its name the location of one of AImondbury's open fields. A few metres past Southfield Road look out, on the left, for the old blue, 'Dr. Who style police box. Until a few decades ago such telephone boxes were a common sight on our streets but more modern methods of communication have made them redundant and the survival of this one at Almondbury is rare indeed. (N.B. Just past the police box be prepared for the traffic calmers.)

THE ALMSHOUSES. (66) On the right hand side of Northgate, just beyond the bus terminus, a notice points the way to Almondbury's almshouses, the earliest of which, six three roomed houses. were built at a cost of £600 and completed on the 28th March 1864. A stone tablet gives the details but as it is difficult to read without appearing to gaze into someone's window we give the inscription below : 'These almshouses were built by the trustees of the late Robert Nettleton, in the year 1863, for the permanent relief of the poor of Aimondbury. The money was granted out of charity funds at the annual meeting of the trustees on the 20th January 1860. Joseph Armitage. chairman. The land was given by Sir John William Ramsden, Baronet." Nettleton's Charity started with Robert Nettleton who, shortly before his death in 1621, settled his estate in trust for charitable purposes. A notable part of the Charity was the poor maid's grant which was a small sum (fifteen shillings in 1864) given to all women born within the township provided they did not produce a child within nine months of their marriage.

THE PARISH CHURCH OF ALL HALLOWS. (67) (PW.) As the church at Almondbury has received so much meticulous and expert attention from other writers it is not our intention to give anything more than a very brief account of the exterior. Nevertheless, if possible, leave the car in the layby on the left hand side of Northgate as a short stroll through the churchyard will allow a closer view of some of the features we mention. Readers may also like to walk a little further to view the Aimshouses.


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On its elevated site the church stands close to the old north-south highway as do other churches in the area (Elland, Huddersfield, Kirkburton) and it is interesting to speculate whether the churches were deliberately placed near to an already existing route, which would provide comparatively easy access, or whether it was the position of the churches that influenced the development and route of the road. The earliest recorded date in connection with the church is found in 1231 but most writers favour the idea of a small church on the site before that date built, perhaps, by the de Lacis at the same time as they built the castle on the hill (see tour 2 No.66). It is believed that the earliest church occupied the site of the present chancel and that parts of the Early English church, including the lancet windows in the present sanctuary, were incorporated in the new building when the church was rebuilt at the end of the fifteenth century. Although we should be aware of alterations made in the nineteenth century much of the fabric of the present building, including the tower, belongs to the church built between 1470 and 1520. It is thought that work started on the nave in 1470 to be followed by the aisles and the tower until the Early English church was replaced by a church built in the Perpendicular style. The square tower is massive, seventy feet (21 metres) high, surmounted by four battlements and supported by buttresses of five heights The clock in the tower which has faces to the north and east was installed in 1823 by Titus Bancroft of Sowerby Bridge at a cost of £250. Until the clock was electrified in 1977 the weights had to be wound up by hand every three days. The porch was designed and built in the nineteenth century but the Early English inner doorway is much older and could have been re-set at the time of the fifteenth century rebuilding. A close look will reveal two much weathered heads, one on each side of the door and, on the right hand side, still preserved, is a stoup for holy water. Stone heads are undoubtedly a feature of the church and whilst most of them are of fairly recent origin the sculptors followed the old fashion and made some of them saintly and others grotesque. Other carved heads, particularly those of animals, may predate the nineteenth century restoration and certainly the griffins on the tower are shown on a drawing of the church made in 1818. In 1870, three years after the Rev. C.A. Hulbert was appointed to the living, the decision was taken to restore and renovate the church. Work began on the nave in September, 1872. Externally, this involved placing new pinnacles and battlements on the roof of the nave and on the tower and erecting a handsome new Gothic porch to replace the old one. At the same time the churchyard was partially lowered, drained and paved, the walks were widened and a new entrance to the


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churchyard was opened up at the east end of the chancel. Internally, of course, great architectural improvements were made and the comfort of the congregation was not forgotten as new pews were provided, extra gas fittings installed and a new floor of Morton's eucanatic tiles was laid over the old stone flags. Work on phase one was completed in eighteen months and on Wednesday, 25th March 1874 to the rmging of the church bells a procession of clergy and laity paraded to the church for a sevice of thanksgiving and dedication during which it was announced that £1000 was still needed for the restoration fund. Later, Canon Hulbert presided over lunch for a hundred and tea for a hundred and fifty which jointly resulted in £19 profit. As soon as the celebrations were over work started on phase two, the restoration of the chancel which was completed in November, 1876. The total cost of the enterprise was £8500. Writing about the restoration in 1975 the Rev. D.H.Boyling says, 'Since that day there has been little change. In due course additions were made but only in accordance with Canon Hulbert's today can therefore see the Archbishop's church of the 15th century restored under the inspiration of Charles Hulbert, and they will wish to thank God that there have been such men who can realise in terms of wood and stone something of the beauty of holiness." About the modern extension we find we have nothing to say.

THE CHURCHYARD. (68) When a new cemetery was opened at Almondbury in 1860 the old churchyard was closed by Act of Parliament, except for burials in old graves. Gravestones were a seventeenth century innovation but, although one or two survive at Almondbury from that period, most date from the eighteenth century and later. Notice the large number of graves clustered together on the south side of the church. This has to do with the practice that persisted until the mneteenth century whereby the virtuous and godly received burial on the sunny side of the church whilst wrongdoers, criminals and strangers were consigned to the shadowy north side. Some of the gravestones have been broken and reused for paving and walling whilst others, like those in the north-west quarter, are forlorn and seldom visited but whatever their condition they offer an immense amount of information about the past inhabitants of the parish. By the west gate are the old village stocks which. after many years of disuse, were discovered in Wormall Hall and re-erected in 1903, Also within the churchyard are four old stones (two with imtials ) which were probably boundary stones brought to the churchyard at some time for safe keeping. An appropriate


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end to our account of Almondbury church is to be found on the old sun dial on the south wall with its timely reminder : 'Ut hora sic Vita" (as the hour, so flies life). Leave the churchyard by way of the south gate (opposite the porch) and walk back to the car by way of Westgate.

WORMALL HALL. (69) Wormall Hall, on the right hand side of Westgate, is a rare survival in the Huddersfield area where not many old road-side houses escaped the zeal of Victorian developers. The initials L W.M in the fine carved lintel over the door are those of Isaac Wormall and his wife, Mary, but the date 1631 should not be regarded as the building date. Rather it commemorates the year when the Wormalis improved an already old house by encasing the ground floor in stone. Clues to the age of the building may be seen in the jettied first floor, in the spacing of the box frames and in the herring bone pattern of the bracing which is of a type used mainly in the north and west of the country in the sixteenth century. The name Wormall Hall is not recorded in early documents and it was probably invented in the nineteenth century by the trustees of the Wormall Charity who wished to commemorate the one known home of an ancestor of Israel Wormall, the founder of the Charity, who died in 1737. The Charity initially provided a stipend of £5 for the schoolmaster and apprenticeship for poor children to 'any of the lower sorts of Trade and Manufacture or Husbandry On the way back to the car notice, on the corner of Westgate and Northgate, the handsome memorial dedicated to the men of Almondbury who fell in two world wars. This last decade of the twentieth century must mark the centenary of the birth of most of the brave men whose short lives ended eighty years ago on the killing fields of France and Flanders.

ST. HELENS GATE. (70) Once past the church the London Road begins its descent, by way of St. Helen's Gate, to the lower parts of Almondbury and, ultimately, to a bridge over the Rushfield Dike. Today, St. Helen's Gate branches to the right out of Fenay Lane, a much more modern route constructed circa 1840 by the Battys of Fenay Hall. For centuries the top part of St. Helen's Gate has been known as the Hell Hole or, more colloquially, th' 'oil. In his 'Almondbury Places and Place Dr. Redmonds suggests that a possible explanation of the name Hell Hole is to be found in the nature of the road which, with its sharp, shadowy plunge down the hillside, could have been seen as imitative of a descent to the bowels of the


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earth. Another theory is that Hell Hole is a corruption of St. Helen's well which was located near the top of the hill. First recorded as St. Elynwell in 1561, the town well is likely to be much older than that date and probably goes back to the earliest days of settlement. It was quite a common custom in early Christian times to dedicate wells to St. Helen (there is another at Honley) and as a well may be described as a hole it is not too difficult to see in St. Helen's well the possible origin of Hell Hole. The well is no longer in use but its position may be discerned in the shape of an arched recess, now walled up, in the high wall on the left hand side of the road.

CHAPEL YARD. (71) Where the road turns to the left notice, on the bend, the house called Kirk Royd. Until the nineteenth century the site of the house was known as Chapel Yard and it is thought to have been the location of an old chantry chapel associated with the church. In 1547 an Act was passed ordering the confiscation of the lands and revenues of all chantry chapels and most of our local chantries disappeared at that time. However, great efforts were made to preserve the one at St. Helen's Gate probably because it acted as some sort of school. John Kaye of Woodsome writing retrospectively in 1583 in his Commonplace Book obligingly tells us what happened: 'Where his (John's father, Arthur) Auncestors buyldid a chapell of old tyme on the Lone end above ye Butts at St. Elynwell......He and I dyd shyft yt and by concent of the parishe dyd translate the same into the Scole Howsse that now is. ' The date of the was 1547 and it would appear that, in order to save the chapel from the attention of the King's Commussioners, John and Arthur Kaye pulled it down stone by stone and re-erected it to serve purely as a school. The

new site was undoubtedly that of the present school a quarter of a mile away down the hill.

DARK LANE. (72) Soon after Kirk Royd notice Dark Lane coming in to St. Helen's Gate from the left. The pattern of highways in this area as shown on the 1634 map is of some interest. John Kaye describes the 'chapell of old tyme' as being at the Lone (Lane) end and it is easy to see that the lane could have been thought to end at the chapel, its ultimate destimation. From Kirk Royd (Chapel Yard) St. Helen's Gate aligns with Dark Lane, a route of some antiquity which, according to the map, ran


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eastwards by way of Thorpe to the township border at Quarry Hill. Crump and others believe that the London Road followed the route of the present day St. Helen's Gate southwards to Rushfield Bridge but there is no such road shown on the map. This leaves us in something of a quandary when trying to determine the route taken by Ogilby. It may well be that, even as late as his time, the London Road followed Dark Lane for a short distance and then struck off south across the fields to reach Woodsome by way of Birks and, indeed, the map seems to show such a route. On the other hand, Rushfield Bridge is certainly shown on the 1634 map and a bridge without approach roads seems unlikely. It is possible, therefore, that the route favoured by Crump did exist in 1634 but was unrecorded because it ran across free and common land of no interest to the Ramsdens. One further piece of evidence in favour of what might be called 'Crump's route is found in a reference made in 1610 to land around the grammar school abutting "upon a horse gate there on the east." Interestingly, the school which stood on 'four acres of the waste', is not shown on the map either. With all this in mind it seems likely that in following St. Helen's Gate down to Rushfield Bridge we are indeed following the road taken by Ogilby in 1675 (albeit in the opposite direction).

THE BUTTS. (73) In the extract from his Commonplace Book quoted above, John Kaye says that the chapel at Lane End was above the Butts. When found as a place name element the word 'butts', in almost every case, is part of the terminology of the medieval open field system. However, the reference is to the Butts and because of the use of the definite article another explanation is possible. Almost certainly there would be archery butts in Almondbury in John Kaye's time as, in 1543, a statute was revived which made practice at the town butts obligatory in every town and village in the country. If indeed the butts were in this area, their exact site is long forgotten but with a little effort of the imagination it is not too difficult to picture the men of the village making their way down the hillside on Sundays, highdays and holidays to take part in the statutory practice, some, no doubt, happy at the thought of sport, others grumbling at wasted time.

KING JAMES GRAMMAR SCHOOL. (74) The school house, on the right, stands on or near to the site of the 'chapell of old tyme' which was 'shyfted' here in 1547 by John Kaye and his father. For the next sixty years the school was supported by the local gentry but. by the turn of the seventeenth century, as it had no fixed endowments it had declined to little more


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than a delapidated cottage. Consequently, in a move to procure an official status for the school, six local men, Robert Kaye of Woodsome, William Ramsden of Longley, Richard Appleyard of Over Longley, Nicholas Fenay of Fenay, Robert Nettleton of Almondbury and George Crosland, vicar of Almondbury, petitioned King James I for the provision of a free grammar school. In 1608, Letters Patent from the King granted the petitioners' request and established 'That hereafter there shalbe forever within the saide Towne and parishe of Almondburye one Grammar Schole for the teaching instructing and bringing up of children and youth in Grammar and other good learnyng as aforesaid which schole shalbe called The Free Grammar Schole of King James in Almondbury' The grammar was Latin and Greek and the children were, of course, boys. King James® Grammar School is the oldest surviving school in the district and in its long life it has seen many changes. Over the years it has been a boarding school, a day school, a selective school, a sixth form college and presently it is a co-educational high school. Sadly. the word grammar has been dropped from its title because, in fairly recent years, grammar schools came to be equated with selective education and that was regarded as elitist. Should anyone wish to know more about the school and the part it has played in the history of the area the full story is told in the excellent book ° A History of King James's Grammar School in Almondbury' by Gerald Hinchcliffe

RUSHFIELD BRIDGE. (75) From the grammar school the old London Road continues its descent towards Rushfield Bridge which it reaches shortly after the junction with Arkenley Lane. The development of the easier turnpike routes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gradually led to the abandonment of the old route and by 1826 both road and bridge had fallen into disuse. About that time there was much unemployment among textile workers and in an effort to provide work to relieve their distress various public schemes were considered, including the widening of what was described as the almost impassable lane leading from Almondbury to Rushfield. In his 'Glossary of the Dialect of Almondbury and Huddersfield® the Rev. Alfred Easther gives an account of a meeting, called to discuss the project, which makes it clear that then, as now, the spending of public money gave rise to dissent. The meeting had just approved the sum of £15 to improve Rushfield Bridge when a voice from the floor yelled, 'Yo're all a pack 0° fooils together, fiftheen paands for Rushfield Brigg - Fifteen shillin's sadly too mitch for that, for


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t'road lead nowaher but to Nah-wills' at t' wood." 'Nah-will at t' wood" was John Nowell who lived in a house called Farnley Wood about a quarter of a mile beyond the bridge. Despite the vehemence of the opposition the proposal was passed and Rushfield Bridge which, according to Easther, was little more then a plank at that time was improved. Unfortunately, it is impossible to see the bridge from the road but the descent to it from both sides must have been very steep and a glance over the right hand parapet will reveal how much the level of the road has been raised since its original construction. SECTION 6

THE LONDON ROAD IN WOODSOME PARK. (76) Just after Rushfield Bridge we must briefly leave the route of the old London Road to follow Woodsome Lane towards the bridge over the Fenay Beck. Woodsome Lane was not constructed until 1826 and we have to imagine travellers in 1675, and later, making the steep climb up from Rushfield Bridge and continuing to climb, across the line of the present Woodsome Lane, on a route which would take them though Birks Wood and across Woodsome Park. The construction of Woodsome Lane led, as it was intended to, to the abandonment of the public road through the park but, more than a hundred and fifty years later, its line may still be discerned as it turns at forty-five degrees to climb up through the wood. Such links with the past are of great interest and it is well worth a short stop to try to pick it out and to wonder that this narrow sunken track was once the main highway to the south. A building in Woodsome Park, called the Armoury, was the headquarters of the Woodsome Company of the 34th West Riding Volunteers and frequently, during the mid-nineteenth century, the entire battalion of amateur soldiers met in the park to spend a week under canvas, to parade and to practice riding, shooting and drilling and other such military type pursuits. On the Sunday afternoon of each camp week the Volunteers marched to afternoon service at Almondbury Church and this is the way they came, down the old road which was specially opened for the convenience of visitors to the camp. In her book, 'Records of Woodsome Hall, Miss Ferrand of Almondbury, who must have been an eyewitness, describes the church parade in glowing terms:

'Down this romantic defile the volunteers marched ...... and formed a

remarkable and beautiful sight with their arms and musical instruments gleaming in the rays of the noontide sun'


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Perhaps, standing at the bottom of this old abandoned road, those of us with a romantic and vivid imagination will picture the scene and hear faintly, so very faintly, the echo of a martial tune floating on the wind. About three quarters of a mile after turning into Woodsome Lane look out on the right for a white gate. This is where we meet the abandoned road again as it descends the hillside towards the present day Woodsome Lane. Because it has been maintained as a private footpath this section of the old road is much more distinct than the short section in Birks Wood. From here the London Road turned abruptly right towards the bridge over the Fenay Beck on the same line as that followed by the modern road. (N.B Further details about Woodsome Road and its places of interest may be found in tour 2 Nos. 56 -62)

WOODSOME BRIDGE. (77) There can be no doubt that the river crossing here is more than three hundred years old as, just after Woodsome Hall, Ogilby marks 'a Rill and Wooden bridg." However, it is likely that the crossing was an old one even in Ogilby's day as the nearby manorial corn mill (see tour 2 No.58), which dates back to the thirteenth century, was probably deliberately sited near to an already existing bridge in order to provide access from the Lepton side of the stream. Soon after the bridge the London Road turns right to run southwards towards Kirkburton.

PENISTONE ROAD. (78) As we have seen, old roads were not exclusive and for the short stretch to Spring Grove the route of the London Road became part of the later Huddersfield to Penistone road which was improved following the construction of a new turnpike from Waterloo to Fenay Bridge in 1824. This new valley route to Penistone replaced the more difficult hilly road through Almondbury and, doubtless,

stimulated the road improvements that went on in Almondbury and Farnley two years later.

DOGLEY LANE. (79) Between Woodsome Bridge and Kirkburton, Ogilby marks just two place names, Dudgley Gate and Smithin Land. The first of these is now Dogley Lane. About a quarter of a mile after the bridge notice, on the left, the one time premises of Dogley Lane Congregational Church now divided into a dwelling house and a workshop. Opened in 1816 the church survived until the 1960s when a dwindling congregation inevitably led to its closure.


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A little further on, the large factory on the right, now occupied by Messrs Schofield & Simm, the publishers, was once Dogley Lane Woollen Mill which dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century.

THE KIRKBURTON BRANCH LINE . (80) Whilst travelling along Dogley Lane notice an embankment (more easily seen in winter than in summer) running behind the buildings on the left, more or less parallel with the road. This was the track of the Kirkburton branch line, built by the London and North Western Railway Company, from Huddersfield through Deighton, Kirkheaton and Fenay Bridge to a terminus at Kirkburton. On the 30th March 1865 a dinner to celebrate the commencement of the line was given by the contractors, Messrs Eckersley & Bayliss, at the George Hotel, Huddersfield. Speakers at the event expressed confidence that the line would eventually go to South Yorkshire and would also connect Halifax and Huddersfield. Only five days later the Court of Referees met to consider the Midland Railway Company's Barnsley to Kirkburton Bill which would enable the Company to make an extension railway, twelve miles and thirty-three chains long, from Barnsley to Kirkburton. The Lancashire and Yorkshire and the Manchester Sheffield and Lincoln companies opposed the Bill. The matter was finally settled in June of the same year when the L. & Y. company gave the Midland running power from Penistone to Huddersfield, in perpetuity, for all traffic via Barnsley and Sheffield and station accommodation at Huddersfield. At the same time the M.S.&L. company agreed to give running power to the Midland, in perpetuity, from Sheffield to the junction of the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway at Penistone. Thus no extension was ever built from Kirkburton. The line was opened on Monday, 6th October 1867 when a decorated tank engme hauled the first train from Huddersfield to Kirkburton. For many years the passenger traffic on the line was operated by 'motor' engines on the pull and push system - the 'Burton Dick" of popular memory. Passengers continued to be carried on the line throughout the 1920s but the development during that decade of a reliable bus service led to a loss of custom and the passenger service was withdrawn in July 1930. Goods trains continued to use the line until 1965.

FAR DEAN. (81) About a quarter of a mile past the chapel and immediately before the White Swan inn on the left notice Far Dean leading up the hillside to Highburton. It seems likely that the relationship between Highburton and Kirkburton is similar to that between Upper Heaton and Kirkheaton (see tour 2 No.33) whereby


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Highburton - the Burton on top of the hill - was the original settlement whilst Kirkburton - the Burton near the church - developed after the church was built circa 1200. There can be no doubt that Far Dean was once an important route as it led directly from Highburton to the manorial corn mill and, according to the 1753 township map, passed fairly close to the market cross, the village pinfold and the old hall. Incidentally, the market cross, thought to be a seventeenth century shaft resting on a much older base, still stands about a quarter of a mile up Far Dean marking the possible site of a imarket known to have been flourishing in the fourteenth century.

BURTON MILL. (82) Just beyond Far Dean, on the right hand side of the road, the site of Burton's manorial corn mill is now covered by a large modern house which, as it stands near to the bottom of the valley, is difficult to see from road level. The mull is shown quite clearly on the 1753 map when the Mill Holm - the land between the beck and the head race - was tenanted by a Richard Jackson. After grinding ceased in the second half of the nineteenth century the building seems to have been left to tumble down into ruin and decay. Until recent years this was a splendid site to visit as the sizeable remains of the mill lent themselves to easy interpretation. It was possible, for example, to pick out the wheel chamber, the wagon entrance and an extension which probably housed a steam engine. The quoins, jambs and mullions in the oldest part of the building were typical of the seventeenth century and one old window was partly below floor level. Water to turn the wheel was brought along a head race from the Fenay Beck about three hundred yards (273 metres) upstream. Although long abandoned the course of the goit can still be picked out, which is fortunate as it is all that now remains to remind us of this historical mill, the site of which must date back to the early days of the Burton township. N.B The goit is not visible from Penistone Road.

WOODSOME LEES LANE. (83) Beyond the mill, Woodsome Lees Lane on the right runs down to another Woodsome Bridge built over the Fenay Beck near to its junction with the Range Dike. The latter stream, which divides the townships of Farnley and Thurstonland, approaches the Fenay Beck through a small valley once called Deadman's Clough. It is difficult to account for such a name but it might just be possible that a dead man, possibly a stranger, was once found in the vicinity. Coincidentally, there was


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a story prevalent in the mid nineteenth century that many years previously a man had buried his wife, after her natural death, in the nearby woods in compliance with her request that her last resting place should be in the woods where she had loved to walk. Naturally, in those superstitious times, such an unorthodox burial

provoked great fears among the local people that she would continue to walk after death.

SPRING GROVE. (84) The location of Smithin Land, marked by Ogilby near to 'Dudgley Gate , cannot be seen from the road as it lies some eighty yards (73 metres) beyond and behind the Spring Grove Tavern in the bottom of the valley on the far side of the stream. The name, which suggests that some time before 1675 there was some kind of forge at work, was preserved until fairly recent times as Smithy Place but now seems to have fallen into disuse. Just beyond the Spring Grove Tavern the old road to Penistone and the London Road part company with the former going straight ahead towards Penistone by way of the Thunder Bridge Valley, Shelley Bank and Shepley and the latter turning left up the hillside to Kirkburton.

NORTHFIELD PARK. (85) Northfield Park on the left hand side of the hill leads to a 1970s housing development built over the site of Kirkburton Station. It was to this station on Monday, 9th November 1874 that a squad of seventeen policemen was sent by the 2.30 p.m. train from Huddersfield to stop a serious fight that had broken out between the people of Skelmanthorpe and the navvies working on the Clayton West linc. The squad promptly marched to Skelmanthorpe only to find on arrival that the riot had already been quelled by the local policeman Sergeant Battye. Surprisingly, perhaps, in view of our received knowledge of navvies, the police had no hesitation in attributing the riot to the ®...repeated insulting and brutal conduct of the Skelmanthorpe people towards the navvies."

SLANT GATE. (86) Just beyond Northfield Park, Slant Gate, the old direct route between the two Burtons, turns up the hillside to join Far Dean at the Market Cross. The

double fronted house at the bottom of Slant Gate was once the Rose and Crown Inn.


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NORTH ROAD. (87) The main road into Kirkburton from the north runs along the flank of a hill known as the Dean or Burton Dean. On the 1753 map there are just two instanees of the name, Dean Close and Dean Well, both near to what the map describes as the High Road from Huddersfield. A hundred and forty years later there were no fewer than nine Dean or Dene names including Dean Bottom, Burton Dean and Dene Dye Works below the road and Dean Top, Dean Brow, Dean side and Dean View above. Of course, Far Dean marks the northernmost limit of the area. In the mid nineteenth century Burton Dean quarry was one of four small quarries at work on the hillside above the road, all providing sandstone, probably for local use. Settlement began to spread along North Road during the early part of the last century and, happily, the pleasant jumble of terraces, cottages, houses, clubs, shops and workshops, built in the varying styles of the Victorian Age, still survive.

HALLAS ROAD. (88) Hallas Road, on the left, is shown on the 1753 map as a footway to Lepton which led directly across the fields to Moor Lane and on to Lepton via Lepton Lane and the old crossing of the Beldon Brook. In 1753, the path ran along the edge of two large fields both called Great Hallows Close which must surely be the derivation of the present name.

BULL STAKE GREEN. (89) In days gone by many villages had an open space reserved for the cruel sport of bull baiting and Kirkburton seems to have been no exception. The 1753 map shows a small area called Bull Stake Green near to the road from Huddersfield. It is difficult now to decide exactly where the Green was, as the area has been built over since 1753, but measurements taken from the church on the old map (scale 20 inches to the mile) when adjusted to the modern 25 inch map indicate that it was just past the bottom of Hallas Road near the Royal public house. Interestingly, in just that area there is still a small island (now built on) surrounded by roads which might just have been the Green. On bull baiting days bulls were brought in procession to a village and tethered to stakes on the Green. Bets were placed and successive bull dogs were released by their owners to try to bring a bull down by biting and worrying its nose. If a dog failed after three attempts it was succeeded by another. Naturally, the bull in its agony became enraged and it was quite common for dogs to be tossed, much to the delight of everyone except their owners. It is gratifying to learn that occasionally a bull broke lose and attacked the crowd. The Rev.Alfred Easther tells of one particular builbaiting where an old acquaintance of his °... was


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thrown in the air and thus was seen a long way off, he came down on his head and was for a long time insensible Fortunately this barbarous pastime was made illegal in 1835 along with

dog fighting and cock fighting.

RILEY LANE. (90) Just past the Royal, Ruley Lane on the right is the old route from Kirkburton to Penistone. It drops down sharply to cross a small stream, climbs up to the hamlet of Riley, continues along Causey Foot and crosses the modern Penistone Road to reach Penistone by way of Thunder Bridge and Shepley. The route is of great antiquity as a Kirkburton deed of 1313 mentions a highway leading through the town of Riley.

LOW GATE. (91) Just before the church, on the right, a short road called Low Gate is more familiarly known as °t" Treacle 'oil This colloquial name, so old residents say, dates from the time when a number of barrels of treacle fell off a cart at the top of the hill, rolled down to the bottom and smashed open, much to the delight of the locals who gratefully filled as many utensils as they could with the unexpected bounty. Just past the entry to t' Treacle 'oil, in a prominent position where several roads join, stood the village stocks appropriately near to that later guardian of law and order, the police station. Our journey along the London Road is almost over and, as a finale, readers might like to drive a short distance along Huddersfield Road to a convenient car park, on the left, and take a short stroll through the churchyard.

THE VICARAGE. (92) On the left hand side of Huddersfield Road, opposite the church (and before the car park), is the site of the vicarage which was the home. at the time of the Civil War, of the Rev. Gamaliel Whitaker and his wife, Hester. An interesting entry in the parish register of January, 1643/4, records the death of 'Hester Whitaker wife of Gamalel Whitaker viccar of Kirkburton who was slaine the XIIth day att night January instant and buried the XVth day." The Rev. Whitaker, who had been at Kirkburton since 1615, was a great champion of the Royalist cause and his words and deeds were regarded with suspicion by his parishioners who, for the most part, supported Parliament. When, on that January night, a party of Parliamentary soldiers came to arrest Mr.


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Whitaker tradition has it that was shot on the staircase of the vicarage by one of the soldiers. It is not now known whether the shot was fired accidentally or in response to some resistance put up by the vicar and his friends. Mr Whitaker was duly arrested and taken to prison in Manchester where he died, it is said, of grief and ill-usage just over two weeks later on the Ist. February.

THE PARISH CHURCH OF ALL HALLOWS. (93) As with all old churches there is far more to be said about Kirkburton Church than can be included m a work of this kind, consequently we intend to comment only very briefly on the history and architecture of the church and to highlight one or two of its more interesting events and customs. The history of Christianity in Kirkburton goes back a long time before the first recorded church was built. Evidence of the antiquity of the site came to light last century when, during repairs to the chancel walls, a stone cross (more properly a crucifix) was found. The cross, ascribed by experts to the mnth century or earlier, is thought to have been a preaching cross set up to mark the place where itinerant priests sent out from the Mother Church at Dewsbury preached the Gospel aud celebrated the Mass. Although there is no mention of a church at Burton in the Domesday Book this does not rule out the possibility of a rudimentary church existing in the eleventh century which would have been built, initially, as a small shelter near to the cross. If such a building did exist it would, in due course, become a chapel of ease within the Dewsbury parish and, as such, it would be unendowed with glebe land and, therefore, overlooked by the Domesday Commussioners. Many years ago, Canon Raine published a theory in the 'Archeological Journal that the first church at Burton was dedicated to All Hallows. If this is so it seems likely that the church was rededicated to St. John the Baptist when it was rebuilt in the twelfth century by William de Warrenne 2nd Earl of Surrey whose father had died on St. John's day, June 24th, 1088. Whatever the truth of the matter, the church remained St. John's until comparatively recent times. The church was built on a fine, elevated site and, like the churches at Almondbury and Huddersfield, it stands at the eastern extremity of its large parish by the side of the old north-south highway. The Norman church is thought to have been rebuilt during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and there is an interesting legend connected with the rebuilding which was still common in 1861 when Dr. Moorhouse published his 'History of the Parish of Kirkburton' Apparently, when the rebuilding was proposed a new centra site was chosen at Stocksmoor for the convenience of the


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people living in the western part of the parish. When building materials were taken to the chosen spot it was found that what had been taken each day was by some miraculous means removed to Kirkburton each night. In the end, the parishioners, presumably accepting God's will, gave in and accepted the traditional site. Was it a miracle or was it a touch of sharp practice by the people of Burton" Whatever the truth, a chapel of ease was soon provided in Holmfirth to minister to the needs of the western parts of the parish. A great deal of alteration and renovation has gone on at the church in the centuries since the rebuilding and not much that is obvious now remains of the Early English church although the handsome west door in the tower, with its dog- tooth ornamentation is thought to be of that period. However, the door must have been re-set at some time as the tower is of a later date. It is seventy eight feet (24 metres) high and it was built in two stages with diagonal buttresses to the first stage which was originally a small belfry with a single bell. A glance up at the eastern face of the tower will reveal that the roof of the nave was once much higher than it is today. The chancel was rebuilt from the foundations to the roof in 1872 and if the lancet windows on the south side are, as is thought, Early English then

they must have been reset at that time. If time allows, readers might like to follow the path across the churchyard to the steps leading to the lych gate in the western boundary wall. The word 'lych is derived from an Old English word meaning corpse. The distinctive covers of lych gates were put over entrances to churchyards to provide shelter for the burial parties whilst they waited for the priest, without whom they were not allowed to proceed, to conduct them into the church. There are few genuinely old lych gates to be found in our area today but a close glance at the construction under the canopy, which is fastened with wooden pegs, easily reveals the age of this one.

The lych gate at Kirkburton was the terminus of a so called corpse way which led across the fields from the edge of the township. Because of a once widely held belief that the passage of a corpse across private land automatically created a right of way, it was considered vital by landowners that funeral processions followed a set and customary path, hence corpse ways. Such routes traditionally approached the church from the east for the dead must never be carried against the sun. If a route approached from another direction, the burial party would circle the church in order to come in from the east. Bearers from distant parts of the parish would carry the shrouded body along the corpse way in relays and they would always carry it feet first - a custom meant to discourage the spirit from returning to the house.


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It is unlikely that the corpse way would see much funereal ceremony during the autumn and winter of 1587/88 although the death rate at that time was shockingly high. From January to September 1587 the average monthly burial number was five: between October and the following January eighty one people were buried. The reason for this high mortality rate was, of course, the plague. After the Black Death of 1349, which decimated at least twenty percent (some estimates put the figure as high as fifty percent ) of the population, sporadic outbursts of the disease occurred all over the country until it finally died out in the eighteenth century. The most notable of these outbreaks was the virulent epidemic which killed thousands of people in London in 1665 but in terms of grief and suffering the epidemic in Kirkburton in 1587 must have been just as catastrophic to the people involved and, perhaps, even more so as the parish had suffered similarly in 1558, only one generation previously. During a visitation of the plague, priests were not eager to meet funeral processions at the lych gate in the usual way, so victims of the pestilence were.


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more often than not, buried at night by their relatives without any of the customary rites and ceremonies. Some were not even buried in the churchyard for when whole families were stricken it would be impossible for them to carry their dead to the church and it is unlikely that any volunteers would come forward to do the carrying for them. Consequently, bodies were hastily committed to mass grave-pits or to individual graves dug in gardens, orchards and fields. But wherever the burial occurred the names of the dead were noted, probably retrospectively, in the parish register. Between the 24th October and the 10th December 1587, whilst the epidemic was at its height, forty-one burials are the only transactions recorded in the Kirkburton register, with one exception. Surprisingly, in December, in the midst of all the misery, one couple came to the church to be married. The entry in the register is brief: "Henrie Kay and Jennet Hunchonson were maried the III day. Happily the two survived the plague. Their first child was born in November, 1588 and they had four more children, all of whom survived beyond infancy. They shared fourteen years of marriage until Jennet died in March, 1601. Why the couple took the risk, and risk it probably was, of marrying on that sad December day will, unfortunately, never be known.

Kirkburton churchyard is a large one and, fortunately, no attempt has been made to 'improve it by removing the stones and grassing it over. Thus we see the churchyard as it has evolved through the centuries of its existence. The only slight drawback to this is that it can be positively dangerous to leave the paths in the summer months when the undergrowth conceals or contains such dangers as holes, hollows, tree roots, grave kerbstones, stinging nettles and brambles. However, the gravestones may easily be inspected in winter. Note the large number of cumbersome table or chest tombs near to the south side of the chancel, the preferred place of burial. Such tombs were favoured by the well-to-do as their tops always remained above the level of the weeds and they were certain to be noticed among the more mundane headstones. Elsewhere, the draped urns, angels, shells and garlands of high Victorian monuments contrast sharply with the simple incised stones of an earlier age. The gravestones, of course, commemorate only a fraction of Kirkburton's dead as, until recent times, the poor were interred in common or paupers' graves. But even if the last resting place is unknown, all achieved a kind of immortality in the parish registers, albeit a brief one: they were baptised, they married, they bore children, they were buried.


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Perhaps now, at the end of the tour, we should turn from death to life and the reputation Kirkburton Church once had for longevity among its servants. In January, 1876 the Rev. R. Collins who had been at the church for thirty-eight years was eighty-two. Johnathan Fitton, parish clerk, was seventy-five, John Armitage, sexton, was eighty-four and James Hoyle, verger, was seventy-six. All were still active at their posts. Spoiling the record somewhat was Abraham Horsfall, school teacher, who had recently died aged seventy-eight. These interesting statistics inspired a twelve verse rhyme, part of which runs:

What a long lived Parish Must Kirkburton be! Instances are rareish Of such longevity. In a rhyme tis hard to state years Sexton chants a merry hymn But there's a vicar who, Though it be a bore. Surviving thirty eight years Some boys must some day bury him, Has reached eighty-two. He's only eighty-four. Parish clerk is younger, Verger who has listened Still he is alive Three score years and ten With a healthy hunger To vicar who has christened For fees at seventy-five. Babies, now old men. Verger keeps in order Pace grows quick and quicker, Schoolboys at their tricks. Old ways youth eschew Close on four score borders But give me the old vicar, Being seventy-six. Hale at eighty-two.

It is from the churchyard that we take our last look at the Old London Road as it continues on its way towards Shelley, Skelmanthorpe, Barnsley, Wombwell, Mansfield, Nottingham, Oakham and London. From here, we ask our readers to make their own way home, whichever way that takes them, and whilst domg so to reflect on the complexity of the old highway system and, perhaps, to rejoice that today our journeys are so much easier.


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Our second tour starts and finishes in St. George's Square and passes through the ancient townships of Dalton, Kirkheaton, Lepton, Farniey and Almondbury. In parts it follows roads made in the Turnpike Era and later whilst in others it follows the old lanes of a much earlier time. The tour passes four old halls and the site of another, all of them, in their time, the homes of the local gentry. A most important part of manorial life was the corn mull and three of these with their attendant water courses are passed and discussed. At Kirkheaton and again at Almondbury the tour climbs to the high ground and it is worth taking a little time to study the panoramic views for at both places it might truly be said that all Huddersfield is at one's feet!


SECTION 1. Leave St. George's Square, passing the George Hotel on the left. Turn left into John William Street (1,2) and then first right into Brook Street (3), right into Byram Street (4) and left down Northumberland Street (5.6.7) to the traffic lights. Go straight on at the lights then take the first right into Old Leeds Road, (signed Sports Centre) (8) and left into Quay Street (9). This is 0.7 miles from the starting point. SECTION 2. Cross the bridge (10) over the canal (11) and go straight forward for about 100 yards then turn left in St. Andrew's Road (12,13,14). Continue along St. Andrew's Road through one set of lights and then turn left into Thistle Street (sp Leeds). At the lights at the end of Thistle Street turn right into Leeds Road(15). In about a quarter of a mile look out for a working men's club on the right and soon after this turn right at the lights into Bradley Mills Road (16,17). Follow this as it bears left to climb up the hill (18,19,20) to Rawthorpe. This is 1.7 miles from Quay Street. SECTION 3. From the top of the hill at Rawthorpe (21) keep on Bradley Mills Road passing the shops on the left. Soon, the road becomes Rawthorpe Lane (the name changes opposite Netherhall Barn 22). Follow Rawthorpe Lane passing a church (23) on the left and Rawthorpe Hall (24) on the right.


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Two hundred yards after a working mens club turn left into Ridgeway (25) and follow this to the bottom. Turn left into Long Lane (26,27,28) and after two thirds of a mile follow the road as it veers right and becomes Crossley Lane. At the T junction turn left into School Lane and in one tenth of a mile stop to inspect Kirkheaton Church (292) the Beaumont Arms (30) and the school (31). This is 1.7 miles from the top of the hill at Rawthorpe. SECTION 4 From the church continue up the hill towards Kirkheaton by way of St. Mary's Lane (32) which eventually becomes Shop Lane. Turn right in the village into Town Road (33) and then right, by the surgery, into Cockley Hill Lane (34). Follow this for about half a mile then turn right at Highgate Lane which soon becomes Belistring Lane (35). This is 1.3 miles from Kirkheaton Church. SECTION 5. Follow Belistring Lane for about three quarters of a mile, turn sharp right into Healey Green Lane (36) and follow this for three quarters of a mile to cross a small bridge (37) at the bottom of the hill (38) into Addle Croft Lane. After passing Whitley Willows Mill on the right (39) and Addle Croft Farm on the left (40) turn left into Botany Lane (41,42.43.44) which,. after two thirds of a mile, enters (ireat Lepton (45) and becomes Townend Lane. Follow this beyond the village (46) to where the road becomes Pinfold Lane (47). This is 2.8 miles from the end of Cockley Hill Lane. SECTION 6. At the top of Pinfold Lane turn right into Wakefield Road, A642. (48,.49,50). After a quarter of a mile turn left into Rowley Lane, B6433, (51,52,53,54). At the mini roundabout (by the Sun Inn) continue straight on down the hill to the T junction with Penistone Road A629.(55) Turn left and in one eighth of a mile turn right into Woodsome Road,(s.p Woodsome Hall Golf Club), (56,57.58,59,60.61.62). Follow this for about two miles to the Golden Cock at Farnley Tyas (63.64). Turn right into Honley Road. - This is 3.7 miles from the end of Pinfold Lane. SECTION 7. As. at the time of writing, many of the road signs in the next two sections are missing, we include two small maps (with location numbers) which we hope


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will clarify our directions. From the Golden Cock follow Honley Road, Hey Lane and Ashes Lane round Castle Hill to the top of Longley Lane. This is 2.4 miles from the Golden map below).

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SECTION 8. Turn left (just after bus shelter) down Longley Lane. At the bottom of the hill as the road swings right look out for the Baptist Chapel and turn left opposite this to follow Hall Cross Road into Dog Kennel Bank (not named). At the bottom of the hill turn left into Somerset Road and almost immediately left again into Maple Street. At this point the University buildings and the spire of


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St. Paul's Church will be in sight. At the T junction turn left into Kings Mill Lane and at the lights turn right over Kings Bridge. This is 1.6 miles from top of Longley Lane, (see map below).

SECTION 9. After crossing King's Bridge take the first turning left into Colne Road (87.88). Turn right at the next traffic lights and follow the road to the top of Chapel Hill (89,90). Turn left at the lights, taking the right hand lane, and follow the ring road (91) to the second set of lights, turn right into Market Street. After two more sets of lights follow Market Street (92) as it veers left and go through two more sets of traffic lights into St. George's Square (93) where the tour began. This is 1.1 miles from King's Bridge and 17 miles from the starting point of the tour.


Page 80


BRADLEY SPOUT. (1) St. George's Square was once part of a huge field called George Close and it was somewhere here, beside a footway to Bay Hall, that the Bradley Spout once bubbled to the surface. This everlasting spring was onc of the town's most important water supplies and it continued in use well into the nineteenth century. It was always in great demand, with several people waiting at all hours of the day and until late at night for their turn to fill their cans. Because of its unfailing supply the demand for spout water was even greater during a drought. In 1844, for instance, when other supplies had dried up people from the outlying districts brought carts loaded with barrels which they filled and carried away, much to the displeasure of frequent users. Scuffles and fights broke out between out-of towners and townees and the police had frequently to be summoned to restore order. In 1848, when the spring was overlapped by the new railway, the water was piped to a convient place for public use in the newly built John William Street. The trough which held the water was set in a recess in the railway retaining wall and was a foot or two below the road surface. It is tempting to think that an arched cavity to be seen in the wall under the railway viaduct is a remnant of this important water supply, but Woodhead in his 'History of Huddersfield Water' says that the trough was opposite Brook Street. There is no sign of a cavity of trough there today so it seems likely that it was lost during road lowering works earlier this century.

THE RAILWAY VIADUCT. (2) Just before turning right into Brook Street from John William Street notice the railway viaduct, straight ahead. The railway line mns into the town from Heaton Moor two miles away to the north-east. The whole of the double -track line, including the constrnction of this forty-five arch viaduct, was completed in just under two years in August, 1847. This was a remarkable achievement considering that the line runs for most of its length through cuttings and over embankments.


After turning into Brook Street notice, on the left, a building proudly displaying the words Marble Works and the date, 1863. The latter is formed,


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appropriately enough, from regularly shaped pieces of marble. These were the premises of L & T Fisher & Dyson, marble masons and ironmongers, who traded here until 1891, when, having lost the Dyson member of the firm, Fishers moved to premises on the corner of Northumberland Street and Friendly Street. Thereafter

they are variously described as marble masons, sculptors or modellers. Fishers are still trading today as wall and floor tilers.

THE WHOLESALE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE MARKET. (4) Built in 1888 the handsome building on the left hand side of Byram Street served as the town's wholesale fruit and vegetable market until 1979. The use of iron and glass in its construction ensured a maximum amount of space and light.

After closure the building was carefully restored and now houses the town's four weekly retail markets.


The first post office in the town was situated in a yard off the present day Oldgate. Around 1830 a new office was opened in New Street but, as postal business increased in the town over the next forty years, this became inadequate and, in 1874, new and larger premises were erected on an empty plot of land on the north side of Northumberland Street. This is the building now occupied by Messrs Dugdale Bros. and a Christian Bookshop. It was erected here in the face of some opposition from the Chamber of Commerce who suggested building on the site of the then recently demolished Swan Yard in Kirkgate. This, the Chamber thought, would be more convenient, being nearer to the business centre of the town. The proponents of the Northumberland Street site argued that the position of the railway station and the new buildings near to it would cause the town centre to shift northwards and, more importantly, their site was cheaper. Their argument won the day. As we now know the town remained centred on the Market Place but the building in Northumberland Street served the town as a general post office until

1914 and, further, its position must have been considered satisfactory for its successor was built in the same area.


A new general post-office was built opposite the old in 1914 and still

serves the town today. But it is the plot of land on which it was built that is of most interest.

On a birds-eye view illustration of the town centre, circa 1900, a large building described as the Empire is shown standing on the site of the present post


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office. Before the Empire was built, however, the site had been proposed for the construction of a Town Hall. After several heated meetings where protesters objected to a Town Hall 'being buried behind the Lion Arcade , the scheme was abandoned on the 17th November 1854. Subsequently, the site was used for the town's May Fair in 1858 and by various circus companies, some of whom stayed for several weeks. The first building on the site, a temporary timber structure, was erected as a theatre by a Mr. F Ginnet in 1861. On the opening night, the house was literally brought down when the whole of the gallery collapsed. Fortunately, there were no casualties and shows continued in the building until 1865. In that year a six week visit by Myers Great American Circus and Hippodrome led to the erection of what was described as a monster wooden building which was illuminated by some eight hundred gas jets and was wind and water-proof - The local police were in attendance at every performance to rigidly enforce order and decorum. Twenty three years later, in 1884, this temporary 'monster' building was replaced by another more permanent timber structure. The new building was built towards the St. Peter's Street end of the site, on an area now occupied by the post office van park. Some three thousand people could be accommodated in the new theatre and there were enough exits to allow the whole to be evacuated, in case of fire, in just five minutes. Three years later, after alterations and repairs, the building reopened on Monday 22nd August 1887 as Rowley's Varieties. John Weldon Rowley (1847-1925) although a Bradford man by birth spent most of his life in Huddersfield and is one of her lesser know celebrities. After having worked in a coal-mine in Drighlington from the age of seven he came to Huddersfield in 1859 to learn the trade of a whitesmith with Benjamin Shaw & Co. at Rashcliffe. From an early age he was stage-struck and he worked hard to perfect an act as a comedian, singer and acrobat. He gave his first public performance at a Lodge meeting of the Order of Oddfellows at the Albion Hotel in Buxton Road. Soon after that he decided to make the stage his career and made his first professional appearance in Wakefield. _ Rowley bought the Empire in 1887 and during his ownership most of the great stars of the times performed there. One of these, Miss Ella Dean, who was described as ° the double voiced vocalist' must have made quite an impression on Rowley for soon, despite having a wife elsewhere, he was living with her at his home called, appropriately enough, 'The Nest' in Swallow Street. off Upperhead Row. The theatre continued as Rowley's Empire until 1897 by which time it had lost some £25,000 - and, comedian though he was, not even Rowley thought that


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was funny and so he sold out. His career, however, was far from over. He continued to tour the country and came back frequently to Huddersfield with Ella Dean to perform at the Hippodrome and the Theatre Royal, where they made their last appearance in 1923. At the height of his career Rowley was reputed to be earning £4000 per year, a tremendous sum at the time. At the age of sixty-five he appeared at the Royal Command Performance at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. He was much admired for his ability to sing one hundred and three songs, from memory, m one evening, and always ended his performance with his signature tune, 'A Starry Night', the first verse of which went thus:-

'A starry night and a beautiful girl, A shady lane and a flowery dell, A silent hour, oh, isn't bliss A rosy bower and a sweet little kiss."

This song is still well remembered by some of Huddersfield's older inhabitants. At the end of the song the audience would invariably shout, 'over and he would oblige by turning backward somersaults off the stage. He was still performing this feat at the age of seventy-seven. J.W.Rowley died at the age of seventy-eight in 1925 and he is buried in Edgerton Cemetery. And what of the Empire? Rowley sold out to the Robinson Brothers who operated it for seven years when it had to close because the local magistrates refused to renew the licence. The last performance was on the 11th June 1904.

OLD LEEDS ROAD. (8) This was the way that the Birstall to Huddersfield turnpike road of 1765 entered the town - However, there can be little doubt that the road here is much older than the Turnpike Era as the 1716 map of Huddersfield shows it as a lane running between two crofts called Tinker Croft and Hall Croft. In his 'Old Huddersfield 1500 - 1800° Dr. George Redmonds says that in a bye-law of 1690 a Henry Collingwood, who 1s described in the parish registers as 'of Huddersfield Hall', is warned not to hinder or stop the ancient way through his croft called Tinkeler. So, it would appear that the lane was 'ancient' in 1690. Dr. Redmonds suggests that a house shown on the 1716 map standing on the western edge of Tinker Croft could be Huddersfield Hall. Certainly, an old half timbered house stood in this area until it was demolished earlier this century. In its later years it had been partitioned and a part of it was used as an inn called The Shears.


Page 84


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On the opposite side of the lane from the Hall, in Hall Croft, a row of cottages built between 1601 and 1716 was called the Raw. Subsequently, this became Lowerhead Row a name that continued into the present century and which, presumably, was influenced by Upperhead Row on the top side of the town. From Lowerhead Row the road entered the town by way of the Beast Market but modern buildings and road realignments have obscured the route beyond here.

QUAY STREET. (9) (P) Stop here to take a look at the remarkable locomotive bridge and the industrial and canal side scene. At the top of Quay street on the left-hand side (on the site now occupied by John Brierley's car park) there once stood a brewery owned by one of Huddersfield's most distinguished sons, Joseph Kaye. He also owned offices, warehouses and five hundred and seventy four square yards of land in the Quay Street area. Kaye was a builder as well as a brewer and many of his fine buildings still stand, in or near to the town. Here, near the site of one of his important


Page 85

enterprises, is as good a place as any to consider the life and career of this remarkable man. Joseph Kaye was born circa 1779 and died in 1858. During his lifetime he would see a great increase in the population of the town and an equally great upsurge in commercial ventures, both of which led to a demand for new buildings in the shape of houses, churches, chapels, warehouses, factories and public buildings. One of his first endeavours was the house called Thornton Lodge (which still stands today). Kaye was a great church builder. Among his parish churches still standing are those at Linthwaite, South Crosland, Paddock, Lindley and Golcar. He built Holy Trinity at Greenhead, St. Paul's at Huddersfield and St. John's at Birkby and for the Nonconformists, Queen Street Mission (now the town's new theatre) and Ramsden Street Congregational (on the site of the present library). St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church was also his work. He was also responsible for one third of the new housing in the town at that time, for Folly Hall Mills, the Huddersfield Infirmary in New North Road and the Railway Station, the Britannia Buildings and the George Hotel all in St. George's Square. At the height of his building career Kaye employed eleven hundred men and, conveniently enough, he owned stone quarries in the Marsh area. Kave took over the brewery here in Quay Street in 1823 and used it to supply the many inns he owned in and near the town. These included the Woolpack in New Street, the George and Dragon in Manchester Street, the Mechanic's Arms in Castlegate, the Unicorn, the Bull and Mouth and the Victoria all in Victoria Street, the Commercial at Folly Hall and the Jacob's Well Inn at Honley . In February, 1803 Joseph married Hannah Rigg and they produced eight children, four daughters and four sons, of whom one daughter and two sons died in infancy. The two surviving sons are supposed to have been a disappointment to their father. Certainly, he made no provision for them in his will. Hannah died in 1836 and in 1841 Joseph married Eliza Aspimall, a widow some twenty-six years his junior. His second marriage was childless. As well as his private business ventures Joseph Kaye played an important part in the public affairs of the town for he served on the committees of the Dispensary and the Infirmary he was an Improvement Commussioner, a Turnpike Trustee and a member and sometime chairman of St. Peter's Vestry meeting. After a long, busy and useful life Joseph Kaye died in 1858 at his home, 22, Buxton Road, Huddersfield, of what was described as 'gout of the stomach This cannot be unconnected with the fact that he was to be found, according to his


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obituary in the Huddersfield Chronicle, 'in his accustomed place by the inglenook of the Woolpack every night for fifty years or more" In his will, which was made largely in favour of his two surviving daughters, Kaye directed that his building and quarrying interests be sold but that his Quay Street Brewery was to be kept for the benefit of his grandson, Lewis William Armitage, who at the age of twenty-one was to be in the brewery" To his wife, Eliza, he left an annuity of £150, providing she did not remarry, and he directed that she be allowed to keep the furniture she had 'bought with her own money' - Joseph Kaye was buried in the graveyard of St. Peter's Church, Huddersfield, where his tombstone may still be seen. The brewery was eventually put up for auction in 1885 when it was described as 'Huddersfield Old It failed to attract a buyer because the plant was old and out of date. Consequently, the business was closed and the site was cleared and sold in 1888.

SECTION 2 TURNBRIDGE. (10) The locomotive bridge which carries Quay Street across the canal at Turnbridge is a wonderful device of wheels, chains and counter-weights and is surprisingly easy to operate by hand and windlass. It is not, however, this bridge that gave its name to the area. The first bridge was actually a turning or swivel bridge and is so marked on some early maps. - It was replaced by the lifting bridge as long ago as 1865, yet the old name has persisted to the present day.

THE CANAL. (11) Here Sir John Ramsden's canal has left the last of its nine locks behind and the pound stretches away southwards to the nearby Aspley Wharfe and beyond towards the old terminus near the King's Mill. Between the bridge and Aspley basm stands an old canal warchouse, now nicely renovated and extended. The warehouse would be used for storing goods awaiting transhipment down the canal to the junction with the Calder and Hebble Navigation at Cooper Bridge and hence to the eastern waterway system. (For more on the canal see tour 2 Nos. 43 & 58)

ST. ANDREWS ROAD. (12) Built sometime between 1854 and 1894, St. Andrew's Road provides a direct connection between Wakefield Road and Leeds Road. Its route took it, at the time of building, through tenter fields, a rope walk and Charter's nursery gardens. Interestingly, near to the gas works it also passed through or near to a close of land


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called Goosepudding, a name that has disappeared today and for which we can offer no explanation. However, the name was certainly known in Huddersfield for

more than a hundred and ten years as it appears on maps drawn in 1716, 1797 and 1826.

REID HOLLIDAYS AND BRITISH DYES. (13) In St. Andrew's Road look out on the right for the old entrance to British Dyes (the name can just be made out over a large stone gateway). In 1830, Reid Holliday rented a site in Leeds Road where he began to distil ammonia for use in wool scouring. In 1839 he moved to this site nearer to the gasworks where he could take advantage of one of their by-products, coal tar. By distilling the tar Holliday produced naphtha and creosote oil. This was the start of the chemical industry in the town. Later, Holliday played a pioneering role in the production of dyestuffs from chemicals. During the Boer War the firm started to produce picric acid and because of the explosive nature of the product (picric acid is the base component of lyddite) the picric acid sheds were sited on the other side of the river from the main factory. This proved to be a wise move for in May, 1900 there was a massive explosion which destroyed one of the sheds. In 1915, Hollidays merged with Levinsteins of Manchester under the name of British Dyes. Shortly afterwards the company expanded to a new site between Dalton and Leeds Road where. during the First World War, they concentrated once again on the production of explosives. Further amalgamations in 1926 resulted in the nationwide Imperial Chemical Industries, certain branches of which now trade as Zeneca.

THE GAS WORKS. (14) The gas holders on the left hand side of St. Andrew's Road mark the site of the Huddersfield Gas Company formed in 1821. This continued as a private company until 1871 when it was bought by the Corporation for £130,000.


In 1765 an Act was passed for the amending and widening of the 'road from the sign of the Coach and Horses in Birstall to the Turnpike Road at Nunbrook and from Bradley Lane to the Town of Huddersfield." The map of 1716 shows a footway leaving the town by way of the later Lower Head Row and running for about a mile to the Town Ings, one of the town's old open fields which, despite a good deal of enclosure all around, was still being cultivated in strips. Presumably it was this ancient route that was amended and widened in 1765 and extended to run along the lower Colne Valley to provide a completely new route to


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Cooper Bridge. 1765 was unusually early for a new valley route to be cut as most of the first turnpikes merely improved and straightened already existing routes and these tended to run along the tops or sides of the hills, thus avoiding the difficult marshy terrain of the valleys. The new road in the valley was very soon followed by the canal and seventy years later by the railway. All of these played a part in the subsequent development of the lower Colne Valley. Whilst travelling along Leeds Road note the working men's club on the right at the corner of Bradley Mills Lane. This was once Bradley Mills School, origmally built in 1855 and rebuilt in 1914. Very soon after the club our route turns right into the new Bradley Mills Road.

BRADLEY MILLS ROAD AND HUDDERSFIELD TOWN AFC (16) Following the demolition of the famous Leeds Road football ground and the erection of the new stadium the roads at Bradley Mills are presently (September 1994) undergoing great change. Over the years, at least three roads have given access from Huddersfield to the river crossing at Bradley Mills and, soon, there is to be a fourth. The first of these, in use before Leeds Road was built in 1765, was a footway which left the town near to the present Turnbridge area, skirted the close of land called Goosepudding and ran across the fields near to the river to approach Bradley Mills from the north west. All traces of this old route are now lost. The second, Bradley Mills Lane, appeared shortly after 1765 and provided a direct connection between the bridge and the new Leeds Road. This is shortly to become a cul-de-sac. The third, Bradley Mills Road, was built towards the end of the nineteenth century and soon became a convenient access road for the football ground and a terminus for the - special trams. This is shortly to be relegated to a mere access road into the new trading estate presently being built on the site of the football ground. A new, fourth, road to the bridge, between Bradley Mills Road and Lane, is now under construction. The football ground stood on the left hand side of Bradley Mills Road between Leeds Road and the river. It was the home of Huddersfield Town A.F.C. which was formed in 1908. The playing surface was laid out on land that had once been a tenter field and originally ran parallel to Leeds Road. Two years later the team joined the second division of the football league and, at the same time, the ground was re-positioned to run parallel to Bradley Mills Road. At that time also, the team's colours were changed from the original salmon pink shirts to white shirts with a blue neck ring. After ten seasons, the team was promoted to the first division by which time the familiar blue and white stripes were in use. Great days


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were to follow. Between 1921 and 1938 Huddersfield Town won the F.A. cup once and were losing finalists three times. They were first division champions for three successive seasons and three times runners up. Since then, the fortunes of the club have slumped but supporters can at least hope that the move to the new stadium will spark off a revival and that the glory days will return again to Huddersfield Town. Meanwhile, the site of the famous Leeds Road football ground is to be turned into an estate of retail outlets of no architectural menit whatsoever.

BRADLEY MILLS. (17) The first mill here, probably a fulling mill, was built in 1679 on the Dalton side of the river, by a William Bradley, hence the name of the area. Because the fall of the river is only slight in this area a great deal of endeavour was needed to bring water to the mill wheel. A weir was constructed two thirds of a mile away upstream on an arc of the river and sluices were installed to control the flow of water along a correspondingly long head race dug along the foot of Kilner Bank. This was called, simply, The Goit. Traces of this feature may still be seen from the stadium's car park, although it 1s likely that they will soon disappear. In the ind eighteenth century Joseph Atkinson, who originated in Cumberland, bought Bradley Mill and, in time, his sons and grandsons added to the premises until all the processes of the woollen industry were carried out on the one site. One of Joseph Atkinson's grandsons, Thomas, was a great opponent of the Luddites and he took an active part against them. Shearing frames were introduced at Bradley Mills as early as 1800 and were working there from 1803. It was only after their use spread into other mills that serious discontent was felt which was to culminate in machine-breaking and murder in 1812. There is a report that Bradley Mill was attacked by the Luddites in April, 1812 although this is unconfirmed. It is certain though that Thomas Atkinson's life was threatened, as a letter received by Mr Justice Radcliffe of Milnsbridge and signed General Snipshears states that *..... those who are among our greatest persecutors, Mr Horsfall and Mr. Atkinson will soon be numbered among the dead." The letter was received on the day before William Horsfall was murdered. Thomas Atkinson was spared. By 1850 a large complex of buildings, a mixture of industrial premises and dwelling houses, had appeared on both sides of Bradley Mills Lane between the river and the steeply sloping Kilner Bank. Over the years, industrial pollution

from the mill. and from other industry in the lower Colne Valley, killed most of the vegetation on Kilner Bank and it appeared for decades as a gaunt treeless cliff.


Page 90

Thirty or so years ago the bank was replanted and now the trees are growing tall its appearance has been pleasantly softened. Before leaving the Bradley Mills area note the bridge over the river Colne which has recently been cleaned and repaired. It is possible that the bridge was built merely to provide access to the mull from the Huddersfield side of the river. However, it seems more likely that the mull was built by an already existing bridge which was part of an old route from Huddersfield via Rawthorpe, Dalton, Kirkheaton and Mirfield to Dewsbury.

BRADLEY MILLS ROAD. (18) On the left hand side of the road notice two large stone gateposts built into the wall (find them opposite the row of terrace houses on the right). This could once have been an entrance, albeit a steeply sloping one, to two houses which stood behind the premises of Bradley Mills, called Pigeon Court and Cumberland House. The latter was built in 1754 by Thomas Atkinson and so called to remind him of his home county. Both houses are now gone.

DALTON GRANGE. (19) On the left hand side of Bradley Mills Road, Dalton Grange stands on or near the site of a house which, in 1854, was called View Cottage and which, in the early 19th Century must indeed have had a splendid view northeast over the lush water-meadows of the Colne to the wooded hillside of the Fartown and Sheepridge areas. Dalton Grange was built on the site in 1870 by Henry Brook of J. H.Brook & Sons of Bradley Mills. In 1916 it was bought by British Dyes for conversion into a recreation club for their employees, a purpose it serves to the present day.

PARADISE HILL. (20) (P) At the top of the hill, stop to take in the view over the lower Colne Valley which, of course, is much more easily seen in winter than in summer. Up to 1850 this area was called Paradise Hill and, indeed, the view over the lower Colne Valley must have been beautiful with the river and canal gleaming in the sunlight and a little used (to modern eyes) country road winding between the two. As late as 1850 there were few houses and no industry in the valley but there was, perhaps,

the first intrusion into Paradise in the form of the new railway line built in 1845. Today, Paradise is lost indeed.

SECTION 3 RAWTHORPE. (21) Rawthorpe is mainly a product of the 1920s and when the large housing estate and the shops were built. Before that time Rawthorpe was no more than a small group of houses in the region of Rawthorpe Hall. On the left hand side of the road, above the shops, there once stood the Pomona Hotel sited there


Page 91

among nursery gardens, one imagines, to take advantage of the idyllic situation - green fields, clean air and that view. Later, on the site of the hotel and gardens, a small reservoir was built, now the property of Zeneca.

NETHER HALL. (22) New road alignment and modern landscaping have completely obliterated the site of Nether Hall and only its fine barn, now used as a riding school, remains to remind us of its presence. The hall ended its days partitioned into a row of small cottages which bore few traces of the building's past importance. The house stood somewhat below the modern 'Holays' road sign at the crossroads of two important highways. One of these ran in front of the house and straight down the hillside to join up with Jagger Lane leading to the village of Kirkheaton. There is no access to the lower part of this route today as it runs through land now owned by LCL. (Zeneca) and it has been shut off by them. The other road, called Lady Lane, ran directly south-east to Long Lane Bottom at Dalton. This route remains today as a footpath.


The church on the left was originally a large private house built between 1860 and 1890 and named Foxlow. It was consecrated as a church at the time the Rawthorpe estate was built and much extended in the 1960s.


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Just past the Church, on the right hand side of the road, stands Rawthorpe Hall. Partitioned into separate houses now, it shows few signs of antiquity but the first reference to it is found in the early sixteenth century when it was described as a timber framed building with a jettied first floor. The timber frame is still at the core of the building which was later clad in stone. On the right hand wing the projecting jetty may be seen, covered now in blue slates.

RIDGEWAY. (25) Despite its ancient sounding name, Ridgeway is a road of the late 1940s. On the right is the area where Huddersfield's first prefabricated houses were erected shortly after the Second World War. The housing estate on the left retains in its street names the age-old names of the fields and closes on which it is built, names such as North Carr, Couleroyd, Harp Ings and Cow Hey.

LONG LANE. (26) (P) As late as the mid-nineteenth century this literally named lane ran for a mile between Moldgreen and Dalton through virtually empty countryside. One

fifth of a mile after turning into Long Lane stop (opposite Tolson Crescent) to view Coldroyd Lane on the hillside ahead.

COLDROYD LANE. (27) On the hillside, to the left of a small wood, a lane may be seen climbing steeply towards Kirkheaton. This is Coldroyd Lane, a fine example of an old sunken way with its still intact raised causey clearly visible at the right hand side. Causeys were originally laid to ease the passage of people and animals, especially pack-horses, over difficult terrain and it is obvious that here at Coldroyd the whole width of the very steep lane could only have been used in the driest weather and that, therefore, a causey would be a necessary amenity. The lower part of Dalton lies in the parish of Kirkheaton, and Dalton people would, therefore, worship at Kirkheaton Church. From the top of Coldroyd Lane footpaths still lead across several fields directly to the church. Should any of our readers wish to interrupt the tour to walk this old lane they will fine the entrance to Coldroyd on the left hand side of Crossley Lane.

DALTON. (28)

The name Dalton aptly describes the township's position as it means the 'tun' or settlement in the dale or valley. Of all the townships in the Huddersfield


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area listed in the Domesday survey of 1086, Dalton was the only one where any activity was going on. Here 2 villeins were working one plough and it was worth ten shillings whilst all the other townships are described as waste and worth nothing.

KIRKHEATON CHURCH. (29) (P.W.) Stop near the church to inspect the graveyard, the Beaumont Arms and the school. The Parish Church of St. John the Baptist was founded circa 1200 A.D but ancient stone fragments found at the church indicate some form of worship on this site dating back to the ninth century. As the church was badly damaged by fire in 1886, much of what we see is Victorian re-building but the tower survived the fire and dates back to the fifteenth century. The Beaumont Chapel which, until the Reformation, was probably a chantry chapel, also escaped the flames. It contains a collection of monuments, brasses and banners all relating to various members of the Beaumont family who were lords of the manor for more than four hundred years. This old chapel dates back to the fourteenth century and the stonework contrasts well with the more regular Victorian work and may easily be seen from the churchyard near to the east gate. The oldest gravestones are near the porch, the oldest one of all being that of John Horsfall who died in 1624. This, we believe, is the oldest surviving outdoor gravestone in the Huddersfield area. In 1859, the graveyard as it then existed was deemed to be full and a new piece of land, to the southwest of the church, called Church Close was consecrated in that year and brought into use to extend the burial ground. Today this 'new' graveyard is overgrown, neglected and desolate whilst the 'old' graveyard is much easier to inspect as, during the last two decades, it has been tidied and, in parts, cleared. In the cleared area in front of the eastern end of the church there may be seen, under a gravestone, the massive stump and extensive root system of a yew tree which in the early 1900s, when it was still growing, was said, credulously perhaps, to be a thousand years old. The gate on the south side of the churchyard is known as Deadman's Gate for it is the gate through which, over the centuries, have passed so many coffins and so many mourners. Near to the East gate, which was traditionally the way brides entered the church, is the most noticeable feature in the churchyard. This is the monument to seventeen girls who died in a fire at Atkinson's cotton mill at Colne Bridge in 1818. The monument tells the full story but don't overlook the girls' gravestone which lies near the foot of the column.


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THE BEAUMONT ARMS. (30) The Beaumont Arms, still known locally by the old name Kirk Stile, once had a close association with the nearby church. In the days when parishes were large such church houses offered hospitality to parishioners who lived at a distance from the church and, no doubt, the provision of liquid refreshment soon became an important part of that hospitality. The Kirk Stile was also used by the churchwardens for their meetings during which, it was said, they consumed liquor at the parish expense, a practice for which they were repeatedly censured by the Vestry Meetings. Slowly, the attitude of the church towards its church house hardened and by 1846 church officials were describing it as a public nuisance and a harbor for the idle, the mischievous and the dissolute and in that year the sale of the building was authorised. It was, perhaps, at this time that the Kirk Stile became the Beaumont Arms. For many years the inn was the centre of the social life of the village. Local societies met there. Estate dinners and election meetings were held there and, in the field behind the inn, Kirkheaton's annual fair the "Yetton Rant' continues to be held every Spring Bank Holiday. The inn also played a more sober part in village affairs in that it was used as a court house by local magistrates and its cellars served as a prison. Another connection between church and church house is to be found in the corner of the graveyard nearest to the inn, where two former landlords lie buried in the shadow of the place where they lived and worked.

THE OLD SCHOOL. (31) The first school on this site was a free grammar school built in 1610 by Rey. Alexander Stock and Sir Richard Beaumont for the education of boys in Kirkheaton in good learning. Various bequests over the years ensured the school's survival and in 1844 it was conveyed to the National Society and became an elementary school for the education of the poor in the principles of the established church. In 1913 it became necessary to extend and improve the premises and a

new three story wing was added, paid for by special efforts and private funding. The school closed in the summer of 1982.


The cottages lying to the right of St. Mary's Lane and at right angles to it housed, a hundred and forty years ago, twenty one families who were mostly engaged in the textile industry. The plot of land on which the cottages stand is


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called St. Mary's and it seems likely that the area had some connection with the Chantry Chapel of St. Mary in Kirkheaton Church. Certainly, a certificate issued by the Commussioners of King Edward VI stated that there was a house with a parcel of land connected with the Chantry and it may well be, in view of the name, that it was this land that was used to house and maintain the Chantry priest.


If Kirkheaton can be said to have a centre, then Town Road is as near as we can get to it today. But it was not always so. Heaton means high farmstead and the original Anglo Saxon settlement was probably two thirds of a mile away, to the north of Town Road, on the site of the present Heaton Hall farm at Upperheaton. When the church was built, in a convenient position for the other townships in the parish, settlement would spring up near to it. Thus, there developed two Heatons, Upper Heaton near to the original site and Kirkheaton the Heaton near to the church. Town Road was originally a footway leading through one of Heaton's vast open fields. Kirkheaton today is a pleasant mixture of architectural styles with houses and cottages, yards and folds ranging in date from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.


Look out for a seat on the right hand side of the lane and stop near it to study the extensive and interesting view visible from this altitude. From here parts of all four of the townships of the old Kirkheaton parish are visible.

Hard to the left a few houses lie in Upper Whitley whilst below much of Kirkheaton itself is revealed, with the tree covered slopes of Round Wood in Dalton beyond. Prominent on the other side of the valley is the tower of Lepton Church and below, the neatly enclosed fields of Lepton slope down to that township's boundary with Kirkheaton. The panoramic scene stretches away far beyond Castle Hill to the vast escarpments of West Nab above Meltham and Shooters Nab above Marsden whilst all around much of the Huddersfield district reveals itself for discovery and discussion.

A little further up Cockley Hill Lane look out on the right for the sign for Whinney Close farm. The house itself cannot be seen from the road but it is of some interest in that it was once the home of Alfred Moore who was accused of murdering two policemen on Sunday, 15th July 1951.

Moore had been suspected of committing a number of burglaries in the


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Huddersfield area and, on the night of Saturday, 14th July 1951, a team of ten policemen assembled in the area to keep Whinney Close Farm under observation. Two of the team, Detective Inspector D.A. Fraser and Constable G. Jagger, were posted to cover a footpath leading across the fields below the farm. At about 2 a. m a man walking on the path towards the farm was stopped by Constable Jagger who was immediately joined by D.1.Fraser. When challenged, according to the later evidence of the constable, the man agreed that he was Alfred Moore but when informed that the police wanted him to go with them for questioning he produced a pistol and fired at point blank range at Constable Jagger. Moore immediately turned the pistol on D.L. Fraser and shot him. As Fraser staggered, Moore shot him again and again after he had fallen to the ground. Then Moore made himself scarce. When other members of the team arrived at the scene they found constable Jagger badly wounded and D.1. Fraser dead. Alfred Moore was arrested at Whinney Close Farm, without any resistance, about three hours after the murders. Later that day he took part in an identity parade held at the bedside of Constable Jagger who unhesitatingly identified Moore as the man who had shot D.I. Fraser and himself. At that time Jagger was quite lucid and he went on to make a statement in the presence of Moore and a local magistrate. Sadly, Constable Jagger died at 8.15 a.m. on Monday, 16th July. Alfred Moore was brought to trial at Leeds on Monday, 10th December 1951 when he pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering D.1. Fraser. Although the murder weapon, despite two weeks meticulous searching by the police, was never found, the jury took only fifty minutes to arrive at the verdict of guilty. An appeal against the conviction failed and Alfred Moore was hanged at Armley Jail, Leeds, on Wednesday, 6th February 1952.

BELLSTRING LANE. (35) Belistrmg Lane was once part of an important and ancient highway leading from Kendal in the north to London in the south. W.B. Crump believes the name 'Bellstring' could indicate that this section of the old highway was once used by strings of packhorses headed by a bell horse. This highway was never turnpiked and today it retains all the characteristics of an ancient upland way, a contour road in this section, skirting the ridge that divides Heaton and Lepton from Hopton and Mirfield. The views on either side of Bellstring Lane are worthy of a little contemplation.


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FANCY CROSS,. (36) Two thirds of the way down Healey Green Lane the group of buildings on the left stand on a site with the interesting name of Fancy Cross. Such a place name probably remembers the existence of a waymark, one of several in the area to the east and south east of Huddersfield, and this suggests that Healey Green Lane must once have been a highway of some importance,. To the right, a lane passing a house that was once a Wesleyan chapel leads to the hamlet of Houses Hill and beyond there by distinct footpaths all the way to Kuirkheaton Church. The Beaumonts of Whitley had close connections with Houses Hill, the name referring to houses built on the fringe of their demesne lands.

RODS BECK. (37) The small bridge at the bottom of the hill crosses Rods Beck which, for centuries, has been the boundary between Upper Whitley and Lepton. Once known as Lepton Brook it was this stream that powered Lodge Mill, the Beaumont's manorial corn mill. With the advent of the scribbling mull in the last quarter of the eighteenth century three further mills, Rods, Whitley Willows and Levi were built


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on a half mile section of this small stream. In the field beyond the left hand parapet

of the are the earthwork remains of a dam once used for storing water for Whitley Willows mill.

LODGE MILL. (38) Immediately over the bridge, on the left hand side, a bridleway leads to a house that was once part of Whitley's manorial corn mill. The first documented reference to the mull is found in 1487 : 'a mill held by William Swallow in Whitley and in 1533 there is mention of a Robert Swallow of Swallow MyIn. Seventy years later a Court Roll describes the corn mull as belonging to Richard Lodge. Henceforth the mull was known as Lodge Mill. The mill was still operating as a corn mull in the last quarter of the nineteenth century although by then the miller was also described as a scribbler and fancy manufacturer. Today, the mull has become Whitley Hall Lodge Farm, the name Lodge preserved some 425 years after the family of that name first settled in the area.


First shown on the 1780 enclosure map of Lepton, the mill was described as a tumming mull in 1793. In 1821 new tenants, the Wilkinsons, took over and added carding and slubbing to the original scribbling mill. The tenancy changed again in 1829 when the Tolsons of Dalton moved in and it was during their tenancy that many alterations were made including the demolition and rebuilding of the mill itself and, in fact, the oldest parts of the present mill date back to this renovation by the Tolsons. The Tolson family worked here until 1879 when the Kilner brothers took over. They traded successfully as yarn spinners until the Depression of the 1920s when the mill was closed. It stood empty for many years apart from a brief time during the Second World War when the building housed Italian prisoners of war. Then, in the early 1950s, Samuel Tweed and Co. installed thirty five looms and began the manufacture of blankets, travel rugs and fashion fabrics thus giving the mill a new lease of life which continues to this day.

ADDLE CROFT. (40) The farm buildings on the left stand on or near the site of one of Lepton's carly settlements. The first evidence of it is found in 1329 when it is referred to as Arkel Croft, i.e. the croft of a man called Arkel. This name suggests a Scandinavian settlement, for the name Arkel developed from the Old Norse Arnkell or Armnkettel. As such, it would fit in well with other place name evidence


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suggesting a Scandinavian influence in the area, for nearby are Gawthorpe and Thurgory, both names of Scandinavian origin.

LODGE COLLIERY. (41) (P) After turning left into Botany Lane stop to look over the flelds on the left to a large spoil heap which marks the site of Lodge Colliery in Whitley Woods. The colliery presumably took its name from the nearby Lodge Mill. A coroner's report of 1357 states that 'John Long of Lepton was accidently killed by falling into a colpyte' From this we can see that coal has been mined in Lepton for over six hundred years. There are remains of several small coal pits and dayholes in the area. When these were worked out shafts were sunk to reach the deeper seams as here at Lodge Colliery which was owned by Benjamin Elliott & Sons Ltd. In 1906 a tramway brought coals from the colliery across the fields to a small terminus near the bottom of Botany Lane. Two decaying timber posts may be spotted in the field, one standing and one fallen. These are all that remain of the tramway gantry. In 1929 the tramway was extended to run first by aerial ropeway over the brow of the hill on the right and then by tunnel to reach the coal bunkers in the brickworks, also owned by Elliotts, at Spa Bottom. Lodge Colliery ceased working and the shaft was sealed in 1939.

BOTANY LANE AND BOTANY BAY. (42) The two rows of cottages standing on the left of Botany Lane were built in 1806 to house textile workers. They were named Botany Bay after the penal settlement set up in Australia in 1788. It was once quite a common practice to give names suggesting distance to such outlying settlements and Botany Bay, in 1806, was surely as far away as man could imagine. Botany Lane itself although much older than the cottages, must have been so named at the time they were built. Where the lane levels out notice the fields on the right. These, right up to Great Lepton. were once part of Lepton's open fields where the land had for centuries been cultivated in strips. The 1720 township map shows that large scale strip farming lasted until that time although a few fields were already enclosed. By

1780 almost all the ancient strips were gone and the enclosure of Lepton's open fields was nearing completion.


Where Botany Lane levels out stop and look over to the left where may be seen the parkland of Whitley Beaumont Hall. Around the year 1200, William de Bellamont., the ancestor of the Beaumonts of Whitley, received ten oxgangs of land


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in Huddersfield from Roger de Lacy, Lord of the Honour of Pontefract, and by the fourteenth century the family was established here at Whitley and at Crosland Hall m the Mag Valley, near Netherton. Doubtless, more than one house has stood on the site in Whitley Park but the only one of which there is any record was started by Sir Richard Beaumont who was born in 1574. Over the centuries various heads of the family made alterations and additions to the house which was described in the nineteenth century as an excellent example of an English manor house. Inside, the house was distmguished by many graceful rooms noted for their plasterwork, panelling, decorated ceilings and marble mantelpieces. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the family endeavoured to build up and improve their estates in Lepton, Whitley, Dalton, Kirkheaton and Crosland. The last of the family to live at the Hall was Henry Frederick Beaumont who gave land for the laying out of Beaumont Park near Crosland Moor. By the early years of this century the house stood empty with many of its beautiful rooms dismantled and its grounds lapsing into wilderness. Like so many other landed families the Beaumonts found that the upkeep of their ancestral home was too expensive and so they moved out. Varmous schemes for the future of the house came to nothing and it was eventually demolished shortly after the Second World War when the area was given over to open-cast mining. After the mining the parkland was restored to something approaching its former glory. Unfortunately, an original deciduous wood was replaced by a plantation of spruce trees which, although they grow more quickly than our native broad leaf trees, are less pleasing to the eye. In early June, the hillside is bright with the flowering of that most common of parkland shrubs, the rhododendron and in their vicinity the remains of a walled garden may be made out.

BLACK DICK®S TEMPLE. (44) This stands on the far hillside well to the left of the walled garden. Built at a time when follies were thought to enhance an estate, the Temple is a charactenstically eighteenth century building and was probably used as a summerhouse. It stands some 750 feet above sea level and is a prominent landmark which may be seen from several parts of Huddersfield. Local legend connects the building with Sir Richard Beaumont who is reputed to have been dissolute and who is still known locally as Black Dick. It is said that the family fortunes were gambled away during Black Dick's lifetime. Today there is some doubt about this view of Sir Richard's character but there is no doubt at all that the


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Temple now so firmly associated with his name was built long after his death which occurred in 1631.

GREAT LEPTON. (45) The land between Town End and Town Bottom is probably the original site of settlement in this area. The village was called Great Lepton to distinguish it from Little Lepton half a mile away to the south-east. Contrary to popular belief the 'Lep' part of the name had nothing to do with lepers but is probably derived from the Old English word 'hlep' meaning a steep hill. Great Lepton remained in this position as a fairly isolated hamlet until the twentieth century when extensive new building on the south side of Wakefield Road shifted the eentre of the village from its age-old position. Three houses in Great Lepton are of some interest. In the first row of cottages on the right at Town Bottom is a house where, in the upper storey, services were held before Lepton Church was built. Field Gate House, standing back from the road on the left, was for many years the home of the Sykes family who were farmers and maltsters. The maltings behind the house were demolished in 1940. The name of the house suggests that it was built on the site of, or near to, the gate into the ancient open fields. Quintrel House, now much modernised, was, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, used as a co-operative store.

OAKES FOLD. (46) Just after the modern houses in Townend Lane look out on the left for Oakes Fold. There is little left here to remind us of the past. Now the site of just two modern houses the Fold, a hundred and fifty years ago, consisted of eleven cottages, farm buildings, a mill house, maltings and a small manufactory. The hustle and bustle of everyday life must once have been considerable in this now quiet place.

PINFOLD LANE. (47) Soon after Oakes Fold, Townend Lane becomes Pinfold Lane. At one time nearly every village had a pinfold where stray animals were impounded and released to their owners only after payment of a fine. Lepton's pinfold was on the right of Pinfold Lane where a semi-circle of tall trees borders a small piece of rough land. Ten years ago, although much of the walling had gone, the outline of the pound


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could still be made out. Today, the surrounding vegetation is encroaching and soon all traces of the historic pinfold will have disappeared.


WAKEFIELD ROAD. (48) After leaving Pinfold Lane our route along Wakefield Road and down Rowley Lane to its junction with Highgate Lane is following, briefly, part of the route of the first highway in the Huddersfield area to be turnpiked. In 1758 an Act was passed for the repairing of the road leading from Wakefield through Horbury, Lepton, Almondbury, Huddersfield and Marsden to Austerlands on the Yorkshire - Lancashire border. There it would join up with a route from Manchester which had been turnpiked a quarter of a century earlier thus completing a valuable trade route between the two counties. The early Turnpike Acts required the trustees to repair, widen and improve the surface of already existing routes but rarely, at this period, to construct new roads and it is unlikely that the trustees diverged appreciably from an ancient route then in use. So, in our brief foray along the old turnpike we are following a route first taken by travellers many centuries ago.

LYDGATE. (49) Notice on the left of Wakefield Road the area named Lydgate. The name, which is first mentioned in 1431, is derived from an Old English word meaning a swing gate. Such a gate would be placed here to give access to the moorland grazing on Lepton Edge.

LEPTON. C.E. SCHOOL. (50) A little further along Wakefield Road, on the right, Lepton Church of England School is presently empty and forlorn. Built at a cost of £1200 the school opened in 1860 for the education of the poorer and manufacturing classes in the principles of the National Society. The school was enlarged in the 1870s and again in the 1960s when the new block of classrooms was built to a design that had little sympathy with the older building. In 1991 the school moved to more modern premises in Station Road. In any future development of the property we can only hope that the ecclesiastical style of architecture, so typical of the National School Movement, 1s retained as a reminder that on this site Lepton children were educated for a hundred and thirty years.


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ST. JOHN'S COURT. (51) The small estate of houses near to the top and on the right of Rowley Lane stands on the site of an old farm called Lepton Cross. The cross from which it took its name was probably a waymark, set up hereabouts to point the way to Kirkburton along the present day Green Balk Lane. As there is a John del Crosse listed in the Lepton Poll Tax returns of 1379 it would seem that the cross, and possibly the farmstead, had a long history. The shaft of the cross is now lost but the base is preserved near the porch of Lepton Parish Church. In the early years of this century the farm was demolished and a parish institute was built on the site in 1913. This was extended in 1962 to make a sizeable parish hall but, alas, the upkeep of the hall became a burden to the church officials and it was sold and demolished in the late 1980s.

THE BARHOUSE. (52) On the left of Rowley Lane, opposite the Sun Inn, notice a small single decker cottage. This was once a barhouse on the old turnpike and it is a rare survival. The collection of tolls to pay for the maintenance of the road was let annually to the highest bidder who, in his turn, engaged the occupants of the toll houses whose duty it was to open the gate after collecting the proper tolls. The bow window on each side of the barhouse would allow the toll collector to see traffic approaching both sides of the gate which was often a single bar or From the barhouse the old turnpike road swung to the right along Highgate Lane on its way to Amondbury but our route goes straight on to the bottom of Rowley Lane.

ROWLEY LANE. (53) The lower part of Rowley Lane was known as Woodsome Mill Lane in the cighteenth century, probably because the old mill was the most frequent destination of the road's users at that time. Lepton Great Wood on the left was owned by the Beaumonts of Whitley and for most of its history experienced expert husbandry with some species and patterns of growth being encouraged and others removed. The wood contributed to the income of the estate through coppicing, that is the periodic felling of trees which would be sold for timber or for converting into charcoal. The bark of the trees would also be sold for use in local tanneries. The wall round the wood was built during the decade 1730 to 1740 and replaced an original hedgerow boundary. Towards the end of the nineteenth century two collieries were established in the wood. They were drift mines with passages running underground for about a mile


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and half. Coal was extracted there for some fifty years and remains of this industry may still be seen in the wood.

WOODsSOME PARK. (54) (P) Stop somewhere before the bend in Rowley Lane, from where may be seen on the hillside ahead the old manor house of Woodsome, sitting pleasantly in its attractive parkland. When the Dartmouth family inherited Woodsome in the eighteenth century they, following the custom of the time, set about improving the general layout of the estate and to do the work they engaged the services of that most famous of English landscape gardeners Lancelot (Capability) Brown. Although today the estate is a golf course, the overall scene remains pretty much as Brown must have envisioned it. Woodsome Hall itself will be discussed later in the tour.

PENISTONE ROAD. (55) This road was one of the last to be turnpiked in our area as a result of an Act of 1824 (See tour 1 No. 78).

THE THREE CROWNS. (56) After negotiating the busy turn into Woodsome Lane notice the first house on the road side to the right. This was once the Three Crowns Inn where, for a time, a Jonas Pashley was innkeeper. When he died the tenancy was continued by his wife, Mary. From that time the inn became more familiarly known as Mally Pashley's and, locally, the house is still referred to by that name today.

WOODSOME BRIDGE. (57) The crossing of the Fenay Beck here is likely to date back to at least the thirteenth century as Kaye tenants living on the Lepton side of the stream would be obliged to bring their corn for grinding at the nearby Woodsome Mill. The surveyor John Ogilby, who travelled these parts in 1675, described the crossing then as a wooden bridge over a rill.

WOODsOME MILL. (58) The second house on the right, after the bridge, was once part of Farnley's manorial corn mill. Woodsome Mill was, together with the farm standing on the eminence opposite, in the tenancy of the Redfearn family for some three hundred years until comparatively recent times. The first reference to a mill on this site is found in 1297 and, although in its early days the mill worked fulling stocks, its primary purpose was to grind corn which it continued to do for some seven


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hundred years. Water for the mill wheel, which was twenty feet in diameter, was brought along a goit from the head of a weir built two hundred yards (182 metres) upstream on the Fenay Beck. The water was channelled diagonally under the road and to keep the channel free of obstructions the miller employed men to craw! through and clear it. The used water was thrown off into a tail race which flowed underground to emerge 350 yards (319 metres) beyond the mill and rejoin the stream at a lower level. In the mill, the top floor was used for rolling oats and the first floor for drying corn; hoisting equipment reached from top to bottom of the building. The mill machinery including the wheel and all the cogging and hoisting equipment was removed in 1966. Subsequently the building was used as a barn until the late 1980s when it was sympathetically renovated and extended to make a very pleasant dwelling house. Although the alterations somewhat obscured the lines of the old mill, they did not obliterate them and by looking over the road-side wall to the back of the building, the typical three-storied corn mull with its arched wagon-entrance may be easily recognised.

WOODsSOME LANE. (59) Soon after leaving Woodsome Mill look out on the left for a deep ravine. An old route skirted the ravine up the hillside to run close by Woodsome Hall (it remains today as a private footpath ). In the 1820s the Dartmouths engaged unemployed textile workers to construct a completely new road from the ravine to Farnley Tyas. By so doing they were much praised for their philanthropy. However, it is an inescapable conclusion that they benefited not only the unemployed but also themselves, as the new route allowed them to close the old public road which ran right by their doors and so achieve the privacy they desired.

WOODsSOME HALL. (60) Soon after the ravine may be seen, on the left, the gateway and tree lined avenue leading to Woodsome Hall. This is not the best view of the Hall but it is the nearest we come to it on the tour. The avenue was probable laid out as a new entrance in the 1820s when Woodsome Lane was built. The first recorded owners of Woodsome were the Nottons, about whom little is known. In 1236 the estate passed to the Tyas family and remained in their possession until 1370 when it was transferred to Sir William Fynchenden. After his death his widow granted the manor of Woodsome and Farnley Tyas to her son- in-law, John Cay, and the estate remained in the hands of the Kaye family for the next three hundred and fifty years.


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Some of the fabric of the building is the work of Arthur Kaye, his son, John, and his grandson, Robert, carried out in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. However, there is no doubt that the work done at that time was not new building but rather alterations and additions to a house which already existed. This was a fine timber framed structure which consisted of a hall, probably open to the roof, a kitchen and a number of chambers and parlours. This house still survives at the core of today's building for the fashion in the sixteenth century was for already existing houses to be clad in stone rather than for demolition and rebuilding. The old house was moated and had a drawbridge over the moat but all traces of these features have now disappeared. Over the years new generations of Kayes worked hard at building up their estates in Farnley Tyas, Slaithwaite, Lmgards and Denby as well as extending and altering their ancestral home. The first baronet was Sir John Kaye, created in 1641, whose loyalty to the Crown during the Civil War resulted in him having to pay £500 to Parliament for the redemption of his estates. In 1726, Sir Arthur Kaye, the last of the family in the direct male line, died. His daughter and heiress. Elizabeth, had married Viscount Lewisham, eldest son of the Earl of Dartmouth and so the estate passed into the hands of the Dartmouth family who used the hall infrequently as a country seat or dower house. The last inembers of the family to live at Woodsome were the Ladies Frances, Georgiana and Elizabeth Legge, daughters of the 5th Earl of Dartmouth, who left, reluctantly it is said, in 1910. In 1911 the estate was let to Woodsome Golf Club who subsequently purchased the property and who have done much to preserve both hall and parkland.

FENAY HALL. (61) (P) Just past the entrance to Woodsome Hall stop and look over to Fenay Hall on the right. Although the Fenays of Fenay have been extinct in the male line since 1710 the blood of this ancient family (although diluted) must flow in the veins of many local people, through the Fenay daughters marrying into several local families over the generations. The first reference to the family is found in an undated deed issued some time between 1199 and 1216. From that time the name is found in numerous deeds, in the Poll Tax of 1379 and in various manorial inquisitions, showing that the Fenays continued for four hundred years in the same parish, living on the family land and taking their place among the local gentry. The builder of the oldest part of the present Fenay Hall was Nicholas Fenay who built in the timber and plaster style of the Tudor Age. This low wing is easily distinguished. even at this distance, from the later buildings. The old house continued as the home of the Fenays until about the time of the Civil War when they appear to have left it in the occupation of tenants.


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The last male heir of the Fenays was another Nicholas who died in 1710. He left the estate to his only surviving child, Jane. Jane Fenay's story is a sad one. She had, at the age of twenty-three, become engaged to be married. On the eve of the wedding her betrothed fell into a well near the White Bear Inn at Wakefield and was drowned. Later, Jane, a substantial heiress, received several offers of marriage none of which she accepted. When she died in 1776 she left the Fenay property to her kinsman, Richard Thornton, who directed in his will that it should be sold for the benefit of his two natural children. This was done in 1792 when the North family, who had been tenants at Fenay Hall for fifty years, bought the house and land. The estate soon passed, through marriage, to the Batty family who added new wings to the house and who remained at Fenay until the mid nineteenth century.


In the wooded bank on the left of Woodsome Lane may be seen the remains of several small abandoned sandstone quarnes which would be used as a source of stone during the building of the road. On the hillside way over on the right, and to the right of Castle Hill, the small rectangular wood is named Haigh Spring. This name goes back certainly to 1634 when the wood is shown on Senior's map of Almondbury as Widow Haigh's Spring and it has changed little in size and extent since then. A spring wood was a wood where coppicing activities went on, the word spring coming from the idea of new growth 'springing forth' after trees had been felled. The higher section of Woodsome Lane was once said to be haunted by a one-time steward of the Woodsome Estate, James Rimington, who died in 1697. He is supposed to have been seen galloping at full speed to Farnley where he pulled a nail out of a doorpost at the entrance to the village. Why a ghost should want to do such a thing is not explained but it is such a strange action - even for a ghost

that the story must have its origin in some long forgotten and probably clandestine act.


Fammley means a clearing or meadow among the ferns whilst Tyas is the anglicised version of Teutonicus, the name of the family who held the manor in the twelfth century. It is an interesting village in that, at the time of enclosure, the landowners simply walled or fenced around the old strips. In all the other local villages enclosure led to the formation of compact land holdings with new farm buildings at


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the centre of each holding. In Farnley, the farm houses remain where they have always been, along the main street. The old walled strips remain to this day and may be glimpsed by walking down Field Lane, the entrance to which may be found near to the telephone kiosk.


The inn has stood on this site, name unchanged, for more than a hundred and fifty years.


ST. LUCIUS®* CHURCH. (65) Built at the expense of the fourth Earl of Dartmouth St. Lucius® Church

was consecrated in 1840. The small school near to it was originally a National School.

CASTLE HILL. (66) (P) After the fork on to Honley Lane stop about one tenth of a mile past the de-restriction sign to look over to Castle Hill on the right. Dominating the landscape as it does, Castle Hill is a prominent and distinctive landmark visible from many parts of the Huddersfield area. Indeed, to most travellers returning home to Huddersfield, their first welcome sight of Castle Hill tells them that they are near their journey's end. From earliest times the hill has played a significant part in the history of the district. It has served as a settlement site, a fort, a castle site, a signalling station, a rallying ground, a sporting venue, a picnic area and an exciting playground for those children lucky enough to have been told something of its story. Without doubt Castle Hill is the most ancient historical monument in this part of Yorkshire and so long is its history that, in a work of this kind, its story can only be summarised. Ash from one of the hearths of the first settlers on the hill has been radio- carbon dated to 2151 B.C. As they built no defences on the site, these distant people were probably hunter gatherers who stayed a brief season on the hill and then moved on. After they went, the hill top was abandoned long enough for a layer of soil to form over their hearths. When people came back to the hill their settlement may have been more permanent as they lived within simple defences. An area of five acres at the south- western end of the hill (where the tower now stands) was enclosed by a single bank which, with the exception of the northern portion, was placed at the edge of the


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summit plateau. The gateway was in the northern bank which ran across the summit from north-west to south-east. Like the first settlement this fort too was abandoned and fell into rnin being covered, over a considerable number of years, by a second land surface. Subsequent occupation of the hill became immore and more defensive as tribal warfare spread in the area, with new and complex ramparts being built and ditches dug. About 550 B.C. the defences were extended to surround the whole of the summit plateau within the 875 foot contour and a new gateway was placed at the north-eastern end of the hill. A century or so later the occupants built another rampart and ditch below the summit at the eastern end and they also widened and heightened the existing inner rampart. Clearly, things were hotting up among the tribes living in this part of Yorkshire two and half thousand years ago. A short time after this last upgrading of the defences the ramparts were destroyed by fire. Until recent years it was believed that the burning was a result of the deliberate slighting of the fort by an enemy, probably the Romans who are known to have had several battles with the warlike northern tribes. However, modern dating methods have proved that the burning occurred about 400 B.C. and modern techniques have revealed that the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of the timbers within the ramparts. After the catastrophe the inhabitants fled and the buildings were left to tumble down into ruin and decay. There is no evidence that the interior of the fort continued in use and if the Romans did come to the hill they found the site overgrown and decayed. They did not destroy it. It was to be some fifteen hundred years before the hill was re-occupied. The summit of the hill as we see it today is largely a result of the building of a medieval earthwork with a castle. From this distance it is possible to pick out the layout of a fairly standard type of Norman castle with an inner ward (where the Victoria Tower now stands) separated from a middle ward by a deep ditch. The castle keep would be sited in the inner ward. The middle ward which might have housed a small garrison was separated from the outer ward by another rampart and ditch on the same line as the northern defence of the small Iron Age fort. The castle was granted by King Stephen to Henry de Laci in the 1140s and probably served as an administrative centre for the western part of the Honour of Pontefract. Towards the end of the thirteenth century the function of the castle changed and it became a hunting lodge used, somewhat infrequently, by the de Lacis. By 1340 the castle was no more. It had been deliberately demolished following the defeat of the Earl of Lancaster at the Battle of Boroughbridge in


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1322. Lancaster had previously gained control of the Honour, and the castle, through marriage to Alice de Laci. In 1588, at the time of the Spanish Armanda, the first of several beacons was set up on Castle Hill, part of a countrywide network of beacons which were intended to be lit to give warning of mvasion. After the beacons came the bonfires. The first of these was lit to mark the end of the Crimean War and since then bonfires have celebrated coronations and jubilees and there was a massive one lit on V.J. night in August, 1945. The plateau of the hill has also been the scene of prize fights, cock fights and dog fights as well as public meetings of various societies and organisations including the Chartists in 1848, the Secularists in 1861 and the weavers at the time of their strike in 1883. The first public house was built on Castle Hill in 181 1 and the present Castle Hill Hotel dates back to 1852. As early as 1851 there were moves afoot to erect a tower on the hill but the scheme fell through when the Ramsden's Agent objected to the idea. Nevertheless, the idea lingered and another opportumty presented itself when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee.: Public subscriptions were collected and the corner-stone was laid by Mr. (later Sir) John Frecheville Ramsden on the 25th June 1898. The tower was built one hundred and six feet high which, with the height of the hill, took the top to one thousand feet above sea level. Built in just under a year the Victoria Tower was opened by the Earl of Scarborough on 24th June 1899. And there it still stands, fast approaching its centenary. It cannot be denied that the tower is an intrusion into a site as old as this but it has, over the years, become very much an accepted part of the Huddersfield scene.

FARNLEY PINFOLD. (67) A little further along on the left of Honley Road (near to a public footpath sign) some low ruined walls and a doorway are all that remains of Farnley's Pinfold. Despite its delapidated condition this pinfold is much more recognisable as such than the one passed earlier at Lepton.

HEY WOOD. (68) The wood over the wall on the left of Honley Road is, in May, carpeted with bluebells and the air is sweet with their perfume, surely a sight and a scent worth stopping a car for.

THE ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY. (69) One tenth of a mile after the route forks into Hey Lane look out for a wooden bungalow on the right. In the fields behind the bungalow some buildings


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remain of an anti-aircraft battery set up here at the beginning of the Second World War. Local people who were alive then will remember the search lights and the booming of the guns during air raids and remember too the thrill of locating and collecting widely scattered shrapnel on the morning after a raid.

THE PARK. (70) One tenth of a mile after the wooden bungalow look out on the left for a ditch running down the hill at right angles to the road. Once part of the boundary between Almondbury and Farnley the ditch is dry and, therefore, probably dug by man. Lower down the hillside it connects with a natural ditch which continues the boundary down to the river Holme. But as well as being the township boundary, the ditch also marked the boundary of a Norman deer park established here probably at the same time as the buildings on Castle Hill were being used as a hunting lodge. From the ditch the land on the left, as far as Park Lane, was part of the park which extended down the hillside to the river Holme, its western boundary. A medieval deer park was a venison farm of considerable size (in Almondbury's case, sixty acres) often enclosed by an earth bank and ditch and a deer proof palisade. Deer are notoriously difficult animals to contain and so the palisade would be set up on the outer edge of the ditch. Hunting was an important but nevertheless ancillary activity within a park, the confines of which would be considered too restrictive for a lengthy chase. The primary purpose of a park was the raising and managing of deer which may have been released into the surrounding countryside for the chase but which, above all, ensured a supply of fresh venison for the tables of the local magnates and the honouring of their guests.

STIRLEY HILL. (71) One fifth of a mile past the ditch look out, on the left, for a row of cottages named Stirley Hill. On a map of the area drawn in 1716 the land here was divided into three closes, High Sturlees, round Sturlee and Hay Sturlee, and Styrrleye is mentioned in the 1584 survey of the Manor of Almondbury. The name, though, is likely to be older as the 'ley'eclement, which usually means a clearance made in the woodland, dates back to before the twelfth century. The first element of the name probably referred to steers (young oxen).

CATTERSTONES. (72) Three tenths of a mile after the road swings to the right to become Ashes Lane look on the right for a house called Catterstones. This a name of some antiquity as the land around here is marked as Catterston Banck on the 1634 map


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of Aimondbury. But Dr. Redmonds in his 'Almondbury Places and Place names says that the name may be much older. He suggests that the 'catter' element was the origmal Celtic name for Castle Hill with a meaning simply of 'the hill or 'hill fort'. If this is so, then Catterstones is one of the oldest surviving place names in the area.

THE VIEW. (73) (P) Stop somewhere along Ashes Lane to take in the view to the left. Much of the layout of Huddersfield reveals itself from this altitude and, on a clear day, it is possible to pick out the factories and mills and the roads, canals and railways that contributed to the town's prosperity as well as the houses, churches, parks and gardens that resulted from it. The view extends to Golcar, Pole Moor, Outlane and the busy M62 and beyond these, on the far horizon, Stoodley Pike may be spotted, standing on the hills above Mytholmroyd, some 15 miles away.

THE HOLLOW WAY. (74) Three tenths of a mile after Catterstones look out on the right for a long flight of modern steps leading up to Castle Hill. On the left of the steps, and rmmnning almost parallel with them, a faint hollow way may be discerned. It is thought that this was the entrance to the Iron Age fort.

ASHES COMMON. (75) The buildings on the right of Ashes Lane are aptly named for the land in front of them is Ashes Common. The name is likely to be old and, presumably, it referred to a prominent group of ash trees that once grew here. It is to Ashes Common that Ashes Lane has been leading. The lane is an old one and from its prominent depiction on the 1634 map was important even then. Soon after Ashes Common Farm has been left behind the name of the road changes to Kaye Lane and in that name it continues to Almondbury. Our route, however, turns left shortly after the farm.


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RISHY LEA. (76) The estate of houses in the hollow to the left of Longley Lane stands on what was, in 1634, an area of land with the pleasant name of Rishy Lea. The land was divided into two closes, tenanted by a John North. The lea part of the name suggests an early clearance and, because of the lie of the land, the area would be damp and, therefore, an ideal environment for rushes. It is a pity that such a pretty name was not retained as a street name when the houses were built.

LONGLEY. (77) (P) Stop at the bottom of the hill to consider the hamlet of Longley and Old Longley Hall When George Searle Phillips, Secretary of the Huddersfield Mechanic's Institute, visited Longley in the 1840s he said, 'It is a poor and wretched looking place and all the houses have the appearance of prisons,. How very strange it is, that men should build such dog kennels to live in, when for the same outlay of capital they might erect neat and healthy buildings." Without doubt, some of the houses he saw remain today but surely they no longer merit such a harsh description.

OLD LONGLEY HALL AND THE RAMSDENS. (78) Old Longley Hall (the house behind the bus shelter) is of some importance in the Huddersfield story for it was here that the Ramsdens, longtime Lords of the Manor, established themselves in the area. The house as we see it today has, over the centuries, undergone many alterations. The frontage, for instance, was probably rebuilt in the seventeenth century and later, in the early nineteenth century, two gables and a porch were removed when the house was partitioned into cottages. In 1884 when the house was restored to something like its former appearance some Tudor panelling was revealed and thus it may be deduced that the house the Ramsdens knew still survives at the core of the present building. Before the Ramsden family came, Longley was the home of the Wood family for many generations. There are records of Woods as far back as 1342 and they continued at Longley until the failure of the male line in 1538 when John Wood died leaving three daughters, the youngest of whom, Joan, had married William Ramsden in 1531.


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QLD LOnglay Hi.

William seems to have been an ambitious man and a clever one whose main concern was to raise the status of his family from yeoman to gentry. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries he was an extensive speculator in abbey lands and in 1545 he was appointed Woodward General for Yorkshire. He spent a great deal of time away from home and, perhaps because of this, his marriage was unhappy and childless. In his later years he was plagued by debt and he spent more than one term in the Fleet Prison in London. Having no issue William settled his lands and property on his brother, John, who had been living at Longley during William's absence. John succeeded to the estates after William's death in London in 1580. John Ramsden was a much steadier character than William, content to stay at home and work on extending and improving the estates. In 1577 he built a new house, Nether Longley, half a mile to the north of the original Longley Hall. There is no doubt that his endeavours improved the status of the family and he was rewarded with a grant of arms in 1575. By the time of his death, in 1591, his family was wealthy and well connected and could truly be counted as members of the gentry. John Ramsden was succeeded by his son, William, who further increased the family's land and prestige when, in August 1599, he bought

the Manor of Huddersfield from Queen Elizabeth 1 for £975.0.9d. William's son . another John, was knighted in 1619 and became High Sheriff of York in 1636. In 1627 he bought the Manor of Almondbury and, around the same time, he acquired the Manor of Byram, near Ferrybridge, which was to become the principal seat of


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the family. Sir John was an ardent Royalist during the Civil War and he served a term of imprisonment in the Tower of London in 1644. He died in March, 1646 at Newark Castle, a month before the garrison there surrended to Parliament. In 1671, Sir John's grandson, John, was granted a charter by King Charles II to hold a market in Huddersfield and this, as much as anything, secured the future prosperity of the town. This John was created baronet in 1689, the year before his death. Although succeeding generations of the Ramdens chose to live at Byram they continued to concentrate their efforts on improving their Huddersfield estates. They were involved in supplying the town with its first central water supply in 1743. They provided the Cloth Hall in 1766 and enlarged it in 1780. They were behind the scheme for bringing the first canal into the town in 1774 and they facilitated the building of the railway by allowing it to pass through certain of their lands. The Ramsdens and their kinsman, Earl Fitzwilliam, were instrumental in laying out the town in the mid nineteenth century, providing it with wide streets and handsome new buildings. A Ramsden was among the first Improvement Commissioners and they played a part in incorporation. As landowners and landlords they were not, of course, universally liked and their unpopularity came to a head during the vexatious tenants-rights dispute of the 1850s and 60s. The family's connections with Huddersfield came to an end in September, 1920 when Sir John Frecheville Ramsden, the sixth baronet, after much intrigue and bargaining, sold the estate to the Corporation for £1,300,000.

OAKEN BANK. (79) The name Oaken Bank given to the crescent of houses on the left of Hall Cross Road is one name that has been preserved from the past. The sloping tree- clad land behind the houses was called 'The Oken Banck' in 1634 and it was described as "part of ye warant'. The warren was land set aside for hunting and the rearing of game. An interesting variation of the name is shown on the map of 1716 where the arca is marked Yocking Banck. By 1844 the former open hunting ground had been enclosed and cleared of trees and the Oaken Bank Plantation of today is the result of re-planting.

DOG KENNEL BANK. (80) A quarter of a mile after forking left into Dog Kennel Bank Lane look out for a newly renovated building on the left. On the 1844 map this house was


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named Dog Kennel and it must have been around here that the hunting dogs belonging to Longley Hall were kept. Dogs were an important part of any estate and that importance is reflected by the fact that their presence hereabouts gave rise to the name Dog Kennel Bank for all the hillside.

NEW LONGLEY HALL. (81) A little further down the lane, on the left, is the entrance and driveway to New Longley Hall. When the Ramsdens visited the town from their seat at Byram they stayed at their new hall here at Nether Longley. The original house on the site was built in 1577 by John Ramsden. It was a Tudor style house, probably built four square round a courtyard. Over the centuries various additions and alterations were made and then, in the 1870s, Sir John William Ramsden built the present house on the origmal foundations. Today, New Longley Hall is a school.

LONGLEY PARK. (82) The land over the wall on the left was once part of the demesne of New Longley Hall and was probably emparked during the eighteenth century. At that time, ornamental parkland was intended to emphasize the status and wealth of the owner. Parkland may be described as planned countryside and so the small closes of the demesne land gave way to vast open lawns planted with artfully arranged copses of trees whilst all around new plantations were established. Longley Park is now a nine hole golf course.

SOMERSET ROAD. (83) A comparatively new route cut up the hillside to Almondbury, Somerset Road was opened circa 1870 and named in honour of Lady Guendolen Ramsden, wife of the Lord of the Manor and daughter of the Duke of Somerset. Before the new road was built Dog Kennel Bank Lane went straight ahead to enter Wakefield Road by way of Smithy Lane.

KING'S MILL LANE. (84) (P - at discretion) There are several items of interest to be seen in King's Mill Lane, all to do with mulls and their weirs and water courses. It is a busy lane and parking is difficult except, perhaps, in the evening or on Sundays but if a spot can be found then a short walk to view the various features will be rewarding. The massive weir on the River Colne is called Shore Foot Mill Dam on the 1778 map of Huddersfield. It was built to provide the head of water necessary for turning the wheel of the mill at Shore Foot which was Huddersfield's manorial


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corn mill (See tour No.1 No.56 ). The water was sent along a head race some 300 yards (273 metres) long and the sluices that controlled the flow may still be seen in the wall above the weir. It seems likely that there has been a weir on this site for at least three hundred and sixty years as the 1634 map of Almondbury shows a feature that is probably a weir in just this position. King's Mill Lane, unsurprisingly, takes its name from the King's Mill which once stood near to the bend in the road. Our approach to the site from the north-east end of King's Mill Lane is not ideal as we are going against the flow of the water - that is from tail race to head race - but if this is kept in mind and if the small plan below is studied it will be easy to make sense of what remains of this ancient institution.

THE KING'S MILL. (85) Just after the Shorefoot weir look over the fence on the right to see a much silted up channel running alongside the road. This was the tail race from the King's Mill, the mill itself being built at the head of an arc in the river. The cutting of the channel to carry spent water from the mill wheel to the other end of the arc made a small island of the land between it and the river. Mill, goit and island are shown just so on the 1634 map but the mull and the goit are older than that as the 1584 Survey of the Manor of Almondbury states ©.... her Majesty hath one water mill within the said Manor of Almondbury and sometime had one fulling mill standing on the tayle goit end of the said corn mill which is now utterly decayed" The King's Mill was Almondbury's manorial corn mill. A corn mill was a profitable investment for a manorial lord and it is likely that a mill, built by the de


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All tenants were obliged to grind their corn at the mill and had to pay for the privilege. These payments were often in kind, the fee at the King's Mill in 1584, for instance. being one sack of corn in sixteen. In addition, the tenants had, at their own expense, to keep the mill, the wheel and the dam in good repair. It seems likely that as well as grinding corn the King's Mill, from its earliest days, also worked fulling hammers for there is reference as early as 1340 to a fulling mill in Almondbury. A further connection with textiles is found at the same time in a reference to a dyechouse worth six shillings and eight pence. The name King's Mill dates from the time when the Crown owned the Manor of Almondbury. In 1627 when Sir John Ramsden bought the manor. the mill became

his exclusive property but although the old name thus become inaccurate it was to persist through the centuries.

The King's Mill continued working as a corn mull until 1915 when the water wheel was removed. In 1918 it was sold by the Ramsdens to a Joseph Kay and from that time it was run as a textile mull. The last owners were Kay Brown Ltd., Woollen Manufacturers. The building was badly damaged by fire in the late 1960s and was eventually demolished in 1983. It stood on the right hand side of the road which had to bend to go round it. Thus, today, the bend nicely locates the site of the mill, part of which is now occupied by a small industrial buildmg. On the opposite side of the road new apartments are presently being built on the site of another, much later, mill. Just past the site of King's Mill is a long weir which cuts off the arc of the river and which was built to provide the head of water necessary for turning the mill wheel. A weir is shown in just this position on the 1634 map to which this must be a successor. In 1716 the land opposite the weir was called Damside Close and it was at Damside that a group of men met to survey the King's Mill on the 23rd May 1743. They were the steward and jurors of the manor court and with them were several freeholders and tenants whose bounden duty it was to repair the dam. Evidently there had been some friction and disagreement about liability which had resulted in the dam falling into disrepair. The result of the inquiry led to an important concession for whilst the tenants were to continue with their statutory duty, the lord of the manor was to provide sufficient timber and to allow stones to be taken from the most convenient place in the manor for repairing the dam.


Canon Hulbert. sometime Vicar of Almondbury, writing in 1880 describes the bridge here as being erected near Stile Common. connecting the


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townships of Almondbury and Huddersfield But, as always in history, the question is, how recent is recently? It is known that Joseph Kaye built two abutments and two stone piers for a wooden cart bridge over the River Colne above King's Mill in 1846. As no bridge is shown here on the 1844 estate map it would appear that the cart bridge was the first on this site. At that time the nearby New Ground and Bunkers Kill Collieries were being worked and it may be that the new bridge facilitated the carting of coals to a wharf on the canalside. The bridge is called 'Wooden Bridge' on the 1854 O.S. map but by the time that map was published the waters of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852 had swept it away. The present handsome cast iron bridge with its four shields displaying the Ramsden coat of Arms obviously merited a more impressive name than its predecessor. King's Budge was, because of its proximity to the King's Mill, an obvious choice but it is important to remember that there was no bridge here at the time when the Crown owned the Manor.


COLNE ROAD. (87) Before Colne Road was built, which was probably at the same time as the King's Bridge, the land around here was a series of small agricultural closes. One of these, in 1716, was named Priestroyd and that name is preserved in the nearby Priestroyd Ironworks to be seen on the right, at the junction of Queen Street South and Firth Street. As late as 1850 there were few buildings in this area although industry, in the form of a dyeworks and a mill, had started up on the left hand side of the road near to Folly Hall. By 1900 the industrial development of the area was complete, with factories on both sides of the road including one worsted and two woollen mills, a foundry and a lead works. In fifty years, the nineteenth century

had laid its heavy, dirty but very profitable hand on the former quiet riverside fields.

FOLLY HALL. (88) Folly Hall, the area at the end of Colne Road and the bottom of Chapel Hill, owes its name to the enterprise of one Marmaduke Hebden, a man of property in Huddersfield in the eighteenth century. Duke Hebden was the only Huddersfield man to invest in the new Huddersfield to Woodhead turnpike of 1768. Confident that the new road would extend development southwards from the town centre, Hebden commussioned Blind Jack Metcalf to build a row of four tenements near to


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the bridge over the river. Most people, however, considered it unwise to build so far from the centre of things and soon, probably even before it was finished, Hebden's building was being referred to as 'Folly Hall. The building, which became the Commercial Inn, stood for one hundred and fifteen years before it was demolished in 1890.

CHAPEL HILL. (89) The road at Chapel! Hill, originally Buxton Road, was the way by which the Huddersfield to Woodhead turnpike of 1768 left the town. The names of certain closes shown on the 1716 and 1778 maps of Huddersfield indicate that the sloping land around here was named Bank and when, in 1775, a so called 'Dissenter's was built near the top of the hill it was called Old Bank Chapel. This was the first Wesleyan Methodist Chapel to be built in the town and soon after its building this section of Buxton Road became Chapel Hill. The chapel, which stood on the right hand side of the road, was rebuilt in 1837 and renamed Buxton Road Chapel. It was closed in 1950 and subsequently demolished to make way for road improvements in the area.

THE 'CO-OP' (90) At the top of Chapel Hill notice, on the right hand side of New Street, the impressive premises of the central branch of the Huddersfield Co-operative Society. The Co-operative Movement was new in Huddersfield when the first store was opened on this site in 1860 and, because of the stigma of socialism then attached to the Movement, shopping there was at first considered to be less then respectable. Consequently, business was poor and to encourage trade it was advocated at a meeting that members of the committee should frequently walk in and out of the store to give the impression to the public that there were plenty of customers. This ploy must have been successful for in 1887 an impressive new store was erected on the corner of Buxton Road and Princess Street. Subsequently, three new phases of building extended the store: 1894 the section with the dome, 1905 the section with the clock tower and 1936 the easily recognisable end section built very much in the style of the times. Success breeds success and between 1860 and 1901 the Society built and operated a further twenty-two stores all over the Huddersfield area. No doubt, many of our readers will still be able to remember their 'co-op' number.


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THE RING ROAD. (91) It is difficult now to picture the area around the ring road here as it looked only thirty or so years ago. The land was developed during the late nineteenth century with the building of street upon street of high density housing with its attendant yards and courts, shops, chapels and small workshops. - The redevelopinent of the area in the 1960s which included the building of the land- hungry ring road, swept away South Parade, Charles Street, John Street, Grove Street, Duke Street and Swallow Street, all names which doubtless will revive memories, fond or otherwise, for some of our readers. Incidentally, the name Castlegate, given to the part of the ring road near to the County Court does preserve an old Huddersfield street name but it really has no place here as the original Castlegate was at the other side of town near to Old Leeds Road.

MARKET STREET. (92) On the right hand side of Market Street notice the Imperial Arcade, a partly covered shopping precinct which runs through to New Street. Originally, there were two adjoining yards here, the Queen's Yard at the Market Street end and Hanson's Yard at the New Street end. In 1873 a Mr.J.R. Hopkinson refurbished Hanson's Yard and covered it with a glass roof. Soon afterwards the wall dividing the two yards was deinolished and the resulting new enlarged yard was re-named Imperial Arcade, taking its name from the Imperial Hotel which stood directly opposite the New Street entrance. The building adjoining the left hand side of the Arcade was once the Queen Hotel where, in 1891, a meeting of local cricketers led to the formation of the Huddersfield and District Cricket League. The league was made up of ten clubs: Armitage Bridge, Chffe End, Golcar, Huddersfield United, Holmfirth, Lascelles Hall, Linthwaite, Lockwood , Meltham Mills and Slaithwaite. On the left hand side of Market Street, opposite to Cloth Hall Street, modern shops now stand on the site of Huddersfield's Cloth Hall. Built in 1766 by Sir John Ramsden the hall helped to ensure the town's development as a centre of the textile industry. Constructed, unusually, of red brick the Cloth Hall was a circular building lit from an inner courtyard. In its heyday clothiers came from all the surrounding villages and buyers from as far as Leeds, Manchester and London. With the development of the fancy trade in the mid-nineteenth century the need to keep designs secret led to the clothiers conducting their business from small rooms built for the purpose in local inn yards. Consequently, the importance of the Cloth Hall declined and, in 1876, it was altered and fitted out as a general market, a


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purpose it served for four years until the new market hall was opened in King Street in 1880. The lettings for the stalls in the Cloth Hall were put up for auction on the lst January 1877, the highest bid being £69 and the lowest £9. Bidders included shoe makers, fent dealers, earthenware dealers, oyster sellers, cheap-jacks, milliners and drapers. In 1881, after the market had moved on, the ground floor of the hall became an Exchange and News Room. When, in the late 1920s, the future of the Cloth Hall was considered by the Corporation there were few Councillors in favour of retention. The site was regarded as of more value than the hall and so it was demolished in 1930. There were hopes that a public library would be built on the site but these were dashed when the Corporation announced that the financial climate of the times precluded such a scheme. Subsequently, the site was sold and in 1935/36 the Rutz (later the A.B.C.) Cinema was built. Arguably, the Rutz was the most luxurious cinema in the town and many of our readers will remember it in its heyday when films played to full houses and people were willing to queue to gain admittance. They will remember too the magnificent organ which was played with many fanfares and much flourish during the intervals. In 1984, despite pleas for its retention as a theatre, the cinema was demolished. Once again the value of the site had proved too great to withstand. During its lifetime the Cloth Hall was often criticised for its lack of architectural merit - it was more than once described as downright ugly - and this was one factor that led to its demolition. But, when we compare it with what is on this prime site today the thought cannot be avoided that the Cloth Hall with its historical associations was handsome enough as, for that matter, was the Market Street, which was opened up at the same time as the Cloth Hall was built, was originally called Cloth Hall Road. The name change came about some twenty years later presumably to avoid confusion when Cloth Hall Street was built. Cloth Hall Street with its wide approach to the Cloth Hall must have been considered the more important of the two.

THE ESTATE BUILDINGS. (93) On the approach back to St. George's Square notice the building on the right hand side of Railway Street. This was built in 1871 as an estate office for the Ramsdens and the painted shields along the side are those of the families joined to them by marriage. As an end to the tour, it is worth taking time to pick out the several different species of birds and animals to be seen in the carvings that adorn


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the building and to look also among the carved foliage for the little man displaying his bare bottom. It is said that this was the parting shot of a dismissed mason. He is not easy to find, but he is there.


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Most of the books and documents listed below are available for consultation at the local studies department at Huddersfield Central Library where the unfailingly cheerful and courteous staff are always delighted to

do their utmost to help with genuine inquiries

Books dealing with Huddersfield & District:


Books dealing with specific areas:


Books dealing with specific subjects:



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.................. and .nearly 800 years later:

Huddersfield, one of the principal seats of the Yorkshire woollen manufacture and a rapidly improving market town ..... is the head of a large parish. The town is pleasantly on the crown and declivities of eminence in the picturesque vale of the river Colne. The Municipal Borough of Huddersfield - includes the townships - of Almondbury, Dalton, Huddersfield, Lindley - cum -Quarmby, Lockwood, Moldgreen and Newsome and had 70253 inhabitants in 1871 ..... This part of the country is naturally barren and un productive; but it's advantages for manufacture arising principally from it's coal and waterfalls have raised it to it's present prosperity.

Huddersfield, Whites Directory, 1881


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