Discovering Old Lepton and Kirkheaton (1993) by George and Enid Minter

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Second Edition



Gordon and Enid Minter.

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Ten years after the first edition of this book was published the owners of much of the

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Gordon and Enid Minter

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Joyce Jill and and Jane Neil

and for the new generation of walkers:

Christopher and Richard Sophie and Anna Nicholas and Rebecca

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FOREWORD INTRODUCTION PREFACE TO 2nd EDITION WALK 1 (MAP P.3) 3% miles WALK 2 (MAP P.17) 4 miles WALK 3 (MAP P.38) 3% miles WALK 4 (MAP P.56) 3% miles WALK 5 (MAP P.70) 3% miles WALK 6 (MAP P.86) 3% miles SOURCES & REFERENCES ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS





15 37 55 69 85 103 104


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In Leptone Gerneber held 3 carucates of land to be taxed and 2 ploughs might be used there. Now

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FOREWORD - By Dr. George Redmonds

The Lepton tutorial group, run jointly by Leeds University and the Huddersfield W.E.A., startedin 1979 and ended in 1982. In September of that year an exhibition was held at the Church School, of material collected and written up by the class in their final year, and this was so successful that it then went on display at the Tolson Museum for five weeks. In

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In September 1982 we were involved in an exhibition of Lepton's past which was held in the village and which consisted of a display of work of a number of students who had studied the history of Lepton in a W.E.A./Leeds University tutorial class under the tutelage of Dr. George Redmonds. The exhibition was a great success and over and over again we were asked if we would put it all into a book. It soon became obvious that such a task was impossible - much of the exhibition material did not lend itself to book form. However, it occurred to us that the exhibition was largely concerned with history on the ground, that is buildings, roads, railways, industrial sites, hedgerows and woodlands, all of which can be seen today. We therefore decided that it would be possible to write a book which would direct the reader to such remains and provide a commentary on their history. To this end we devised six circular walks using modern road and old footpaths which would cover most of the Lepton area and venture into two neighbouring townships. Whilst the walks themselves are animportant part of the book we do not pretend that this is a book for the dedicated walker.. The routes are only three or four miles in length and the going is generally easy. Rather we have hoped to provide a book which will be of interest to all who live in the area who have some interest in the past or at least some curiosity about how the past has helped to shape the village of today. People who have lived in the area for any length of time will not even need to do the walks as most of the sites and buildings we mention will be familiar to them. Despite this we hope many people will decide to walk as we live in an area of great beauty and there is no substitute for getting out into the field and seeing for oneself. Walkers will also fulfil another function, that of keeping open many of the ancient footpaths which are now rarely walked. However, if you, the reader, do decide to walk, may we recommend that you read each walk through before you set out as, in many of the routes, there is rather more history than walk. Pre-reading will therefore give you chance to decide your particular interest and be ready for it as you come across it. As some of the history we write about occurred within living memory we are quite prepared to be told we have got our facts wrong and we would in fact be delighted to hear from any reader who can put us right or add more to the story. As our book is intended to be of general recreational interest rather


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than a scholarly work we decided not to footnote our writing as we felt that this would perhaps confuse the historical commentary. We have instead included a list of sources and references which we hope will be of use to anyone who feels like pursuing a particular interest. We have tried to keep our walk directions simple and we have provided maps for each walk should help to make the route clear. Should the walker wish to follow the routes on the current O.S. Maps, sheets S.E. 11 and S.E. 21/ 31 in the 1:25000 series cover the whole of the walks. We have choosen to give directions for a section of the walk, then to to comment on things of interest in that section. In this way we hope to avoid the confusion which might arise from mixing history and directions together. On last thing remains to be said. Each of these walks has something different to offer in every season of the year, so we recommend that you do not confine your walks to the summer season. We have found, for instance, that it is possible to see more detail during the winter months when the undergrowth has died back and the trees have shed their leaves. Also frost hardened ground can make footpath walking much easier. So, to all who read our book, we hope you enjoy the history and we wish you happy walking!

J.G.M. E.M.M.


In the decade since we first published Old Lepton' several things have changed in the Lepton and Kirkheaton areas - buildings have disappeared or changed their function, fences have been erected, walls have fallen down, watercourses have been removed, footpaths have been re- aligned, hedgerows have been cut and trees have grown. Therefore, in the summer of 1993 prior to the publication of this second edition we set out to carefully revise each walk and to bring up to date both walk directions and historical commentary. In so retracing our steps four things struck us. The first is the number of 'private' signs and ‘beware of the dog' signs that have sprung up on public rights of way as well as the disappearance of some public footpath signs. The reader should not be deterred. If there is a stile or a series of stiles there is a

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right of way. The second thing is the number of features that are impossible to see in July and August - the time of climax vegetation. For instance, we

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WALK - 1 -

Lepton Church, Green Balk Lane, Little Lepton, Lepton Lane, Moor Lane, Linfit Lane, Paul Lane, Lepton Highlanders, Lydgate, Lepton Church.

Taking in the southern corner of Lepton and crossing into Highburton for half its length, this walk makes use of two of Lepton's ancient lanes and then in the Highburton section follows the long Linfit Lane with its two large mills and its many weaver's cottages reminding us of the area's once flourishing woollen industry. Towards the end of the walk the route crosses the common land of Lepton and itis here, amongst the abundant gorse, that Belden Brook, the ancient boundary dividing Lepton and Kirkburton, has its source. Of particular interest in the early part of the walk are the extensive views, for the first 2 mile follows the 600' contour. At Little Lepton the route descends 200' to the attractive valley of Beldon Brook and then immediately climbs back to 550' in Highburton. Unless the weather has been exceptionally dry it is advisable to have waterproof boots or shoes as surface water chooses Lepton Lane as a convenient descent into the valley. The walk starts at the junction of Rowley Lane with Green Balk Lane. (O.S. Ref. 199152)

Walk along Green Balk Lane to the Church gates on the left.

LEPTON CROSS Where Green Balk Lane joins Rowley Lane there once stood the Lepton Cross which, it has been suggested, could have been a preaching cross used by priests on their way from the mother church of Dewsbury to Kirkburton and Almondbury. Another, perhaps more likely, explanation of the cross is that it was simply a guide post set here to mark the parting of two important routes which led across what must have been a lonely and difficult terrain. The shaft of the cross has long since disappeared but the base is preserved near to the porch of Lepton Parish Church.

GREEN BALK LANE This lane is an ancient way, its name reminding us of the time when Lepton's agricultural life was based on the open field system. In medieval times each tenant held, of the Lord of the Manor, a number of strips of land in various parts of the town fields, some of which he cultivated for himself and

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some for the lord. The green the strip of land left uncultivated (green) at the head of the field to allow for the turning of the ploughs.

THE PARISH CHURCH The Church of St. John the Evangelist was built on land, given by Mr. Henry Frederick Beaumont of Whitley Hall, which had once been part of Little Lepton's common fields and which was known as the Broomfield. The Church was consecrated on 28th November 1868. Prior to the building of the church, services were held in a cottage at Town Bottom (see walk No. 4) and, after 1860, in the newly built National School, but Lepton people had to make the long journey to Kirkheaton Church to be baptised, married and buried. The opening of Lepton Church put an end to this and, in fact, the first baptism in the new church, that of Louisa Rose, took place on 29th November 1868, the day following the consecration. The first person to be buried in the churchyard was Ann Mallinson on 26th December 1868 and the first marriage was that between John Moorhouse and Hannah Newsome on 29th July 1869. The Church tower was originally capped by a steeple but around 1920 this was removed when necessary repairs proved too expensive. A fund was started at this time to raise the estimated £350 needed to replace the steeple but by 1929 only £100 had been raised and so the scheme was abandoned and a newcrenellated added to the tower in that year. The clock was placed in the tower in 1920 as a memorial to the men of Lepton who fell in the First World War and their names, together with the names of those who fell in the last war, are recorded on a tablet near the main door. In recent years many of the old gravestones have been removed from their original positions and the graveyard has been levelled and grassed. The stones now stand round the boundary wall. The Vicarage was built in 1880 at a cost of £1,600 and ceased to be used as a Vicarage in 1982.

Leaving the church gates behind continue to walk along Green Balk Lane to the right angled turn in the road.

Soon after the church there may be seen, on the left hand side of the lane, the remains of an old causey. These large slabs of stone now much overgrown must have been placed there to allow dry passage when the road was wet and muddy. On both sides of the old lane hedgerows are a rewarding sight in most seasons with oak, ash, hawthorn, elderberry, holly and black- berry being well represented. The number of species in the hedgerow probably indicates that it is of ancient origin and it is rather sad that our local


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council has seen fit recently to despoil a beautiful and important part of Lepton's history with indiscriminate machine cutting which has robbed the hedge of much of its natural charm. Hopefully all the trees and shrubs will re- establish themselves and grow back to their former beauty. When this happens we must hope that those who have such precious things in their charge will have developed a better understanding of, and sympathy with, our heritage. In the past, preservation was seen to be important and the keeping of hedgerows was an important part of estate business. The Whitley Beaumont records for the eighteenth century include frequent references to the weed- ing, cleaning and valuing of hedgerows and the payments for further planting of trees and quick-wood (hawthorn). After the houses on the right of the lane have been left behind the views to the south west become panoramic and it is worthwhile spending a few minutes picking out some of the landmarks. Immediately below the fields is the top of Lepton Great Wood and from the bend in the road may be seen the spoil heap of the Victoria colliery and the remains of the tramway (see walk No. 5). Across the valley stands Woodsome Hall, the ancient home of the Kayes, surrounded by its beautiful parkland which was planned and laid out by the famous Capability Brown, and which has been altered only slightly by the golf club which now owns it. Tothe left there is Highburton and to the right can be seen the imposing building of the Huddersfield Infirmary with Lindley, Outlane and the M.62 beyond. From this height the defensive advantages of Castle Hill, realised by Bronze Age settlers and Normans alike, may be appreciated. On the far horizon the immense scarp of West Nab above Meltham may be seen lying almost equidistant between the masts of Pole Moor and Holme Moss.

Continue along the lane passing Great Oak Barn to Little Lepton. In Little Lepton continue straight on past Low Fold Farm then with a sharp turn right begin the descent of the valley side down Lepton Lane. The lane is tarmacadamed for the first 200 yards but after passing Fourlands Farm, on the left, the surface becomes rough and often wet.

FOURLANDS FARM The building on the left, near the top of the lane, is Fourlands farm. The name probably dates back to the time when the tenant farmed the four ‘lands’ or fields adjacent to the house. The house was built prior to 1798, probably by David Malison who, as well as Fourlands field, held the adjacent Little Close


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and Little West Field. In all he held 14 acres for which he paid an annual rent of 12 guineas.

LEPTON LANE I Lepton Lane is the ancient way between Lepton and Highburton and its surface provides a good example of the state of most roads up to the early part of the present century. A close look at the surface will show that various methods have been tried to provide a dry route. Large stones and red bricks have been laid and cart loads of smaller aggregate surfacing have been tipped. Here and there youwill find a green marble-like stone. called dross and it is waste from the smelting forges. Children are often intrigued by these attractive small stones and like to collect them. An old rhyme recited by children, circa 1890, shows that they may have put them to other uses:-

At the cross, at the cross, Where I picked up a dross And I threw it at an old woman's door, She said she'd gie me a wiggin And she hit me with a piggin, So I said I wouldn't do it anymore.

Near the top of the lane on the right hand side the ground shows evidence of quarrying and further down on the same side there is a small sewage disposal plant which deals with the waste from Little Lepton. As on Green Balk Lane, the hedgerow here is of interest containing, as it does, mature oakand sycamore, holly, hazel, blackthorn, whitebeam, wild rose and blackberry. Such an abundance of species indicates a hedgerow of considerable age. Typical woodland plants in the hedge such as bluebells, ferns, bracken and dog's mercury may indicate that the nearby Lepton Wood once extended to and possibly beyond the lane. There are many gateways into the surrounding fields and it is worth stopping for a few moments at each of these to take in the slightly differing views and perhaps to spot the odd cylindrical gatepost, being the last resting place of old stone rollers which were once agricultural implements. A glance to the left into the valley bottom will reveal the once imposing buildings of Manor Mill with its large dam, built in an age when water was the only means of powering mill machinery.

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At the bottom of the valley the route crosses Beldon Brook by means of a substantial stone bridge and starts the climb up to Highburton.

BELDON BROOK The first documented reference to Beldon Brook a Court Roll of 1578: 'no fotewaye through the closes of Robert Bayldon unto Burton Broke'

Robert Bayldon farmed the land from Little Lepton into the valley, and the stream which had been known as Burton Brook took his name. The stream, from its rising on Lepton Common toits confluence with Fenay Beck, has for centuries formed the boundary between Lepton and Kirkburton and carved into the coping stone of the left hand buttress of the bridge a boundary

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Lane. This next section of the walk is on medalled roads and Linfit Lane should be followed as far as Linfit Fold (where we take a short diversion).

At the bottom of the hill beyond a row of cottages on the left is the entrance to Manor Mill. It is possible to walk along this path towards the mill for a short way but it is impossible to see the mill at close quarters as the path soon becomes a private road.

LINFIT MILL On the other side of Linfit Lane stands another large industrial building. This is Linfit Mill. Builtin 1815 on

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and, interestingly enough, a Chelsea Pensioner. A little way up the hill a seat on the right provides a convenient resting place. Sit here a while and admire the view and also notice that the flat area around the seat has been formed by levelling a coal spoil heap. This place was once the terminus of a pit tramway which ran across the fields from here in a south easterly direction to a small day hole.

A little further up the hill on the left hand side, a short diversion into Linfit

Fold will prove rewarding.

LINFIT FOLD Most of the houses in the Fold are typical of the 18th and 19th centuries but evidence that the settlement is older than this is provided by the large house on the left which has some characteristically 17th century features. Lintels dating back to the same period may be seen built into one or two of the other houses.

Walk through the fold past the cottages to the fence at the end. N.B. Despite ‘beware of the dog' signs there is a right of way through and beyond the Fold. We would ask the reader not to be deterred by the signs (or the dogs) for this is as effective a way as barbed wire of keeping people off public footpaths which, after all, were established long before the dog owners bought their properties and which they must have known were there.

From the end of the fold there is a magnificent view over the fields to Little Lepton and a single house, recently renovated, in a beautiful if lonely setting may be seen. This is Lower House once the home, in the 1860's, of Joseph Tatterson, Surgeon, one of the first managers of Lepton National School. After his death the house was occupied by Dr. William Owen, a medical practitioner, who had married Mr. Tatterson's niece. The houseis still called 'th' old doctors

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House and emerging into Tinker Lane and hence to Pond Lane near Little Lepton, a fine section of countryside walking.

To continue our walk return through the Fold to Linfit Lane and walk up the hill for half a mile to the junction with Paul Lane.

The mature, many specied hedgerow on the left gives some indication of the age of Linfit Lane as do the causey stones which may be spotted in the undergrowth nearer to the top of the hill. As the high ground is regained the view once again is magnificent and it is possible, on a clear day, to pick out the twenty or more windmills on the hills above Hebden Bridge.

Turn left on Paul Lane and walk for about 250 yards past the Dartmouth Arms and a row of cottages and immediately after the cottages turn left and descend through a stile into a field. Follow the faint footpath running diagonally to the right across the field to another stile in a small valley. After crossing this stile the footpath across the common becomes more defined. Follow the path crossing three more Stiles into the sports field.

The land over which you are now walking is Lepton Common once, as the name suggests, part of Lepton's common land. Centuries of digging here for such minerals as coal and ironstone have resulted in a ground surface that is unusually rough and uneven and quite unlike any other area in the locality. It is here among the abundant gorse that Beldon Brook rises. It is interesting to know that this area is known locally as Clayton Waste, presum- ably from some association with the Claytons who built the nearby Lepton Square (see walk No. 4). The sports ground belongs to Lepton Highlanders, surely an aptly named club, and the ground has been the home of Lepton cricket for many years.

Continue along the side of the sports field into Wakefield Road (A642)

The small building on the right, where the path from the sports field joins Wakefield Road, was once a smithy operated by Walter Kay.

THE WHITE HORSE On the opposite side of the road stands the White Horse public house. The present building dates back to the 1930's but the site is much older. The


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The Old White Hoese

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fact that it was built on the Wakefield - Austerlands Turnpike and near to the toll gate suggests that the original was a coaching inn. It predates the 'new of 1820 by at least 40 years for it is shown on the Lepton Township Map of 1780, set in a semi-circle of land with the building at an angle to the road. The Lepton Field Book of 1798 mentions George Wood, Innkeeper, as a tenant of 17 acres of land. Whilst his Inn is not named it is possible to deduce that it was the White Horse because the fields where his holdings were i.e. 'Rugh Royd’, ‘Square Royd' and 'New

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Continue along Wakefield Road passing Lydgate, on the left (see walk No. 5).

THE RED LION Sixty yards past Lydgate on the leftyou will pass the gable end ofa house set back from the road. This once was Lepton Post Office but its main interest is that it stands on the site of yet another old coaching inn, the Red Lion. A reporter writing in the Huddersfield Examiner in 1930 describes the Red Lion as being ‘about five hundred years old’. In one of the rooms he goes on ‘is an interesting old settle on which are engraved the names William and Alice Kaye whowere either the builders or the original tenants’. We have been unable to confirm such antiquity for the inn and feel perhaps there was some slight exaggeration for in 1813 the buildings are variously described in the Lepton Rental as very good and excellent. Interestingly enough the tenant's name in that year was Thomas Kaye and the Kaye connection with the area goes back at least 300 years for there is mention of the Kayes of Ligitt (Lydgate) in

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Society. Built for a cost of £1,200 the school was opened in 1860 and had a managing body of eight of the local gentry each of whom had to contribute at least twenty shillings a year to the school funds. The school was enlarged in 1873 and 1876 and again in 1963 and 1967 when the hall and new block of classrooms were built. The first Master was Mr. G.H. Milnes who served until 1872. He was succeeded by Mr. R. Mitchell who had his sister, Hannah, as assistant teacher, and who stayed at the school for some forty years. In the 1890's the then Boardman (modern term, Attendance Officer) and Mr. Mitchell did not get on and there are several acrimonious accounts in the

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(now a private house) being in Town Bottom. The siting of these two stores clearly demonstrates that at the time of their building in the 19th century the bulk of the population of Lepton was on the north side of Wakefield Road which is where it had been since the earliest settlement.

Turn left into Rowley Lane and return to the starting point of the walk.

ST. JOHN'S COURT The seventeen modern houses in this small development stand on the site of the old Parish Institute which was opened in 1913 and was used as a convalescent hospital during the First World War. Later, in 1962, a Parish Hall was built on to the old Institute at a cost of £10,000 most of which was collected at the rate of one shilling (Sp) per week from hundreds of parishion- ers. After demolition in the late 1980's a smaller hall was built near to the church. But the main interest of this site is that it retains in shape and extent the outline of a farmstead named Cross or Lepton Cross. In 1813 the premises here were two stone and slate buildings of two low rooms, one with a chamber over, which were occupied by a Hannah Senior and her son. The farm had a barn and a mistal and a jinny (engine) shop adjoining. The farmstead took its name from the old cross or waymark mentioned at the beginning of this walk. As there was a John del Crosse listed in the Lepton Poll Tax returns in 1379 we may conclude that the settlement site is old indeed.


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WALK - 2 -

Quarry Lane, Yew Tree, Lascelles Hall Cricket Club, Gawthorpe, Gawthorpe Lane, Lane Side, Levi Mill, Whitley Willows, Houses, Long Tongue

Scrog, Lane Side, Beaumont Arms, Kirkheaton Church Yard, Waterloo Road, Tandem and Quarry Lane.

Place name evidence suggests that on the land to the north of Lepton there was a Scandinavian settlement between the Anglo Saxon 'tons' of Lepton and Kirkheaton and it is in this area that the second walk is located. There is much to see of the area's industrial past on this walk, as it passes the remains of stone and clay quarries, old coal pits, defunct chemical works and dyeworks. The woollen industry's pastis also to be seen in the shape of cottages and old mills, with their dams and water races. Such sites however are small and separate and between them there is much to please the natural historian for the route follows many footpaths, including the delightfully named Long Tongue Scrog Lane and at its highest point affords in all directions many pleasant and interesting views. The route offers easy walking, much of it being on level or gradually descending paths. The uphill gradients are not difficult and come in three stages at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the walk. As most of the route follows footpaths it would be wise to wear waterproof shoes or boots, as some of the paths may be rather muddy.

The walk starts at the junction of Quarry Lane and Lascelles Hall Road (O.S. Ref. 181168) where a car may be parked. Walk 50 yards down Lascelles Hall Road to a lane leading to the right, walk on this lane to the end. If the large gate one third of the way along the path is closed, do not be deterred, it is there to keep horses in rather than walkers out, and it is easy to scramble through it.

YEW COTTAGE and Sir Charles Sikes In the house on the right there lived in 1841 a gentleman who at his baptism some 60 years earlier had been given the rather unusual Christian names Shakespeare Garrick. Perhaps his parents had been devotees of the arts and hoped that their son would tread the boards. Ifso they

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lished in a professional career. The third child, Charles, started working for the Huddersfield Banking Company in 1833 as a Clerk and was promoted to Cashier in 1837. By 1851, after the death of their father, Charles Sikes and his brothers and sisters had left Yew Cottage and were living at Cowms Villa. About this time, Charles published a pamphlet entitled 'Good Times or the Savings Bank and the Fireside’. This led to a series of letters being sent to Sir George Cornewall Lewis, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer in Mr. Gladstone's Government, urging the securing of savings from the working classes. From these beginnings the Post Office Savings Bank was started in 1860. Charles Sikes became the holder of the first Post Office Savings Bank Book, Huddersfield Number One, which is now preserved in the Tolson Museum at Ravensknowle. In recognition of his efforts in introducing the scheme he was knighted in 1881 and in the same year he became Managing Director of the Huddersfield Banking Company. Some time after 1851 he took up residence in a house in Spring Street, Huddersfield, which for many years bore acommemorative plaque. The house still stands but the plaque has disappeared. Sir Charles Sikes died, unmarried, in 1889. Near the end of the lane on the left the small single storey building was once used as a club but little is known of its history.

At the end of the lane turn right, cross the stile and follow the footpath up the fields (keeping the field wall on the right) to a stile at the side of the cricket pavilion.

THE QUARRY To the right of the footpath can be seen the deserted workings and spoil heaps of a once sizeable quarry, long since worked out. Three impressive worked stone gate posts mark the entrance to the quarry, their size and quality perhaps indicating the importance of the workings. From alittle higher up the path the depth of the quarry face can be seen, a quiet and rather beautiful place now, where Nature has come into her own again. This quarry is just one of several in the area and, in fact, stone has been quarried or delved in the Township for hundreds of years. In an area so rich in stone it was perhaps inevitable that it would early replace timber as the primary building material and by the 16th century already existing timber houses were being

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stones out of the common land. One has only to look at the miles of dry-stone walls in our area to realise how much stone the earth has yielded. With the coming of the turnpikes many small fields were quarried by the Commission- ers of the Roads to provide a local and convenient source of stone for surfacing. In the 19th century about 7% of the male population in Lepton was Occupied in quarrying, such men describing themselves as either delvers, stonegetters or quarrymen. And yet, although there were some sizeable quarries in the Lascelles Hall area no man here so described himself in any census return, and in fact, between 1841 and 1881 only five men made a living from stone and they were stonemasons.

RESERVOIR FIELD After passing through an open gateway the field on the right is Reservoir Field (see map). The small reservoir itself was approximately in the middle of the field and could have been used as a source of water for Lascelles Hall. The field itself was the first official field used by Lascelles Hall Cricket Club before moving to its present home in 1866.

LASCELLES HALL Beyond Reservoir

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Humphrey de Lacelles of Lacelles Hall. Assoon as they in the area and built themselves a house near the Church (Kirkheaton Church was probably established at this time) the Lacelles started granting land to the Knights Hospitallers. In the Poll Tax of

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1828) was the finest cricketer the Hall produced. He was the first official century maker for Yorkshire and _ it was he who introduced his nephew Ephraim Lockwood into the Yorkshire side. Together they made an opening stand of 176 against Surrey at the Oval, a record they were to hold for 38 years. John Thewlis had a shock of white hair and he would not go to school for fear of ridicule from the other children. Instead he taught himself to read and write at home as well as learning the skills of hand loom weaving. He learned to play cricket with a home made bat and ball and for stumps used the bushes edging the roadside. Lascelles Hall village was once described as the Village’ and being such a small and close knit community the hereditary influence in cricket is easy to trace as many of the cricketing families intermarried, thus producing a second and even a third generation of first class players. The decline of the great cricketers at Lascelles Hall has been attributed to the introduction of the power looms. Before their coming the majority of the Hall cricketers were fancy hand loom weavers, a craft which required that perfect co-ordination of hands, eyes and feet so necessary in a good cricketer. There are many more interesting facts, stories and characters con- nected with the club but lack of space precludes their inclusion in this book.

Continue through the stile and cross the lane to the one opposite. After this stile the field wallis on the right. At the top of the field the path crosses another stile in the wall and then turns diagonally left aiming for yet another stile with a gate

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The houses of Gawthorpe today occupy much the same sites as they have done down the centuries but much of the character of this old settlement has gone. Traces of old Gawthorpe can be seen in the barns and other farm buildings but of the five houses here in 1780 only two remain and their character has largely been disguised by In the middle of the 19th century only three family names appeared in the census of the area - the Lees, the Stringers and the Mallisons. All were descendants of tenants who held and farmed landin

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exactly when operations there ceased but the firm was still in existence in the early 1930's. Considering the size of the works

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fine buildings which we can identify today is the Star Inn at Fenay Bridge. There were also several rows of cottages built by Sheard in Lepton and let to undertenants. Levi Mill is another example of an industrial site in the area, all traces of which have now completely disappeared. It was built in the mid 1790's, a small scribbling mill worked by awater wheel. For afewyears Sheard operated the mill himself for in 1797 there is reference to Levi Sheard, miller. However by 1800 the mill was probably let to tenants for Sheard is then described as a mason. The mill in 1813 is described as a stone and slate building containing three low rooms and two chambers with a fine engine house and a detached warehouse. It was worked by both a steam engine and a water wheel together until at least 1822. The location of the old mill seems to have been on the roadside a few yards below the weir of the mill race which runs alongside Gawthorpe Green Lane. The spent water was culverted under the road and emerged in the field opposite, the bridge abutment still being identifiable. The old mill probably became a warehouse after extensive building during the 19th century. The new buildings were built some twenty yards further along Lane Side and were of considerable size and extent, being L shaped, fronting onto the road where the sub-station now stands and extend- ing along the dam side. A photograph of circa 1900 reveals a 4 storey building with a tall chimney on the corner nearest the dam which was then a stretch of open water with two small islands in the middle. In the period between the mill being demolished and today the site has become overgrown with many species of vegetation and indeed some rather mature sycamore trees growwhere once the mill stood. The demolition team must have been extremely thorough for it is quite remarkable that an industrial site of the size of Levi Mill has completely disappeared leaving not even an outline of its foundations, let alone remnants of the stones and bricks of which it was constructed. There is an interesting anecdote connected with Levi Mill which reflects the difficulties experienced by spinners in the 1830's when the spinning mule superseded the spinning jennies. Joe Newsome, a local Meth- odist Preacher and spinner, who was born at Kirkheaton in 1783, worked at Levi Mill and he was strong in his condemnation of the masters who he said were, 'takkin' bread out o' t' childer's mouths and clamming men and women to death’. A master (unfortunately there is no record of his name) asked him one day, "Now Joe, how art tha' getting on?" Joe replied, "Nobbut middling for thou art takkin my meat off my plate by the devilment tha'st gotten put up at Levi Mill. But I shall be a better man than thee at th' finish. Thou cannot clam me to death nor nobody else either - and thou'lt come to nowt at last".


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Tradition has it that his prophecy came true for the master eventually failed in business whilst Joe's reputation as a preacher grew throughout the district.

Continue walking up the track and where it bends to the left take the stile on the left of the first gate (straight ahead). Take the field path with the hedgerow on the left and pass through the next stile at the corner of the field.

THE DYEWORKS To the right of the path can be seen the old brick chimney stack and remains of a factory which was the Gawthorpe Green Dyeworks. The architecture which may be described as Victorian Gothic and the fact that red brick rather than the usual stone was preferred as the building material makes this a rather interesting site to anyone interested in Industrial Archaeology.

Once through the stile walk with the fence on the right passing and ignoring a Stile through this fence. Continue walking with the fence still on the right to another stile in the corner of the field. Do not cross this stile but stop here to consider the large mill on the right.

WHITLEY WILLOWS MILL or THE LITTLE MILL The first reference to the existence of a mill on this site is found on the Lepton enclosure map of 1780 which shows a goit and a dam and a very small building on the Lepton side of the stream. A survey of 1793 calls the mill a ‘tumming

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Tolsons as partners. As well as Whitley Willows, Tolson & Beaumont operated another larger mill, called Rods Mill (see walk No. 4) about a mile away on the same stream. This may explain how Whitley Willows Mill acquired the nick name locally of the 'the Little Mill’. In 1857 a fire at Rods Mill lost the partners, who were uninsured, nearly £1,000 in machinery. Asa result John Beaumont returned to his work as a designer and he finally became head of the newly emerging Textile Department of the Yorkshire College (later Leeds University). The Tolsons, now fully insured, continued to run the Little Mill until 1879 when the tenancy again changed hands, the estate rentals recording the fact that Tolson's executors gave up the cottage and gardens at Whitley Willows Mill to Kilner Bros. The Kilners were at the mill until 1928 operating for most of that time as Yarn Spinners and at different times they also ran Sheard's Mill at Gawthorpe Green and Fold Head Mills in Mirfield. One of the best known characters at Whitley Willows at this time was Harry Bates, the Engineer, who was born at Lascelles Hall and who was the brother of Billy Bates, the Y orkshire and England cricketer. Harry joined the firm as a young man in the 1880's and remained with them all his working life. He was responsible for many innovations at the mill, not the least of which was supplying, by means of a Pelton Wheel, electricity to both the mill and his cottage long before the area generally enjoyed this amenity. The cottage where the

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and, in fact, for several generations just two families both called Beaumont lived there. By the mid-nineteenth century there were thirty families living in the hamlet, mostly engaged in hand loom weaving or coal mining. There was

also here, at this time, an unusually large percentage of people receiving Parish Relief.

Turn left in Houses Hill and walk past the fine row of three decker weavers' cottages noticing the weaving chamber with its many lights. At the end of the houses the route joins a well defined footpath which descends the hillside diagonally. This is the quaintly named Long Tongue Scrog.

THE HAGG Before proceeding along the Scrog, notice to the right across the field, a derelict group of buildings. This is the Hagg and here in the early years of the last century lived Mr. Sike Sykes, one time Constable of Kirkheaton. At that time (1813) the house itself was in bad repair but it had a dyehouse with a weaving chamber over built four years previously.

LONG TONGUE SCROG A scrog, or more properly ashrogg, is the local dialect name for an area where shrubs, bushes and underwood grow together and the Long Tongue element refers to the field we asked you to note from Gawthorpe Green Lane which is roughly triangular and can be said to have the shape of the beast's tongue. The Scrog joins Lane Side at the tip of the Long Tongue's triangle so giving rise to a name which is much more quaint and attractive than the alternatives: Houses Lane or Upper Lane. The causey stones which will be seen at the side of the Scrog indicate that this was once a fairly important route. Soon after leaving Houses Hill the lane passes through a small wood called Hobson's Scrog and here it is bordered by woodland plants such as bluebells, bracken and dog's mercury. The hedgerow is well established with hawthorn, holly, wild rose and elder amongst the species represented and there are many mature trees, oak, sycamore, ash and hazel being among the most common. The lane itself can be muddy and sometimes difficult to negotiate but it is a fine example of an

ancient path and the walker who attemptsit will be well rewarded by its natural beauties.

Where the Scrog joins a track coming down the hill from Carr Mount, bear left to join Lane Side. Walk straight on towards Kirkheaton as far as the allotments


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on the right.

LANE SIDE This road which is a continuation of Gawthorpe Lane leading to Kirkheaton takes its name from the farm buildings on the left called Lane Side. The hedgerow contains eight different types of bushes and trees including hawthorn, wild rose, holly, elder and larch. On the left hand side of the lane look out for a Victorian post-box, one of only a very few remaining in our district.

KIRKHEATON BRICKWORKS On the right can be seen a huge brick clay quarry once the site of the now defunct Kirkheaton brickworks. This extensive industrial site, provides a good example of the conjunction of brick clays with the coal measures which, as we have seen, were extensively worked in the Gawthorpe area and which run progressively deeper in a north easterly direction towards Wakefield. It is likely that bricks have been made in the area for about two hundred and fifty years. In 1738, for example, William Wood was paid one shilling for the carriage of bricks to Whitley and in 1756 Abraham Sheard (Levi's father) was awarded £1.19s.0d. ‘for damages in getting clay and making bricks for building at Hoyle Bottom' (Hole Bottom).

Opposite the allotments leave the road and bear left down a lane which leads into the meadows where a footpath runs alongside Ox Spring Beck (the area to the right is Hole or Hoyle Bottom). Follow the footpath crossing four stiles to the Beaumont Arms.

THE BEAUMONT ARMS The Beaumont Arms, standing hard by the church in Kirkheaton, is, because of its long and ancient association with the church, probably one of the most interesting buildings in the area. Still known familiarly to local people by its old name, the Kirk Steele or Stile, the building played an important part in the affairs of the Parish, as did many Church Houses in many other Parishes all over the country. When Samuel Pepys visited Walthamstow in 1661 he records that ‘we all went to the church stile and there did eat and drink’. The old custom of drinking ale atthe expense of the parish hadits origin in the days when the church authorities provided hospitality for parishioners at a distance from the church and whowere thus unable to make the long journey home between services. The place would be in the charge of a


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minor church official who probably found, in time, that itwas more profitable to cater for the potential thirst of the worshippers rather than their spiritual needs. When, early in the 19th century, the Church House became licensed premises, the attitude of the Church to a practice which it had hitherto encouraged, admittedly with attendance at divine service as the prime motive - changed to one of hostility. In Kirkheaton the practice of the churchwardens' meeting at the Kirk Stile Inn on the pretext of discussing church business, but in actual fact consuming liquor at the parish expense, was the subject of numerous resolutions passed at vestry meetings. All of these declared that the actions of the churchwardens

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were made to accommodate two offenders, the detention lasting usually six hours. A description of the Kirk Stile written in 1813 tells us that it was then a stone and slate building with four rooms on the front and two on the back with four good cellars. A Brew house and Wash house adjoined with a chamber storey consisting of one large room 33 feet long and 18 feet wide. Another adjoining cottage had one low room and two chambers which were, in that year, occupied by soldiers. This is a reminder of the turbulent Luddite years when there were no fewer than a thousand troops in Huddersfield, about thirty being billeted at almost every inn and public house. Doubtless many organisations and societies have used the inn as a meeting place over the years and two, at least, are worthy of mention. The Kirkheaton Prosecution Society was formed in the year 1797 when some inhabitants of Kirkheaton became alarmed at the increase of crime in the village and decided to seek more adequate protection than that which was afforded them by the magistrates and constable. The meetings of the Society took place at the Kirk Stile, the business being conducted by a committee of four members with the secretary and treasurer. The subscriptions of the members were fixed in proportion to the value of their respective properties and varied from two shillings and six pence to thirty two shillings. The Society worked to a strict set of rules the chief of which was that each member should be responsible for 'the apprehending and prosecuting of persons guilty of felony, trespass or misdemeanour upon or against the persons or property of any member of the

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men in the village formed the habit of regularly meeting in the Long Chamber to enjoy asong orsome other musical entertainment. The party regularly went out carolling at Christmas and each member wore an evergreen leaf in his button hole. Because of this they became known as 'The Green Leaf Party’. One Christmas when the lads returned to the Kirk Stile with the proceeds of their carolling the then landlord, Richard Thornton, offered to add a sover- eign to the sum collected if the members would agree to use it for an old folks treat. This offer was readily accepted and for a number of years the treat, eligible to all persons of seventy or over and resident within one mile of the church, was held at the inn. The conveyance of the old people to the treat was in those days a formidable task and a small wagonette bearing the proud name

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a close association with the church and its parish nor has any other building such a fund of interesting stories to be told.

Walk past the front of the Beaumont Arms, enter the church yard through the gate opposite and leave by the gate in the front of the church.

KIRKHEATON CHURCH YARD To anyone interested in local history a walk round a grave yard can be a fascinating experience and if time

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the oldest being that of John Horsfall who died in January 1624. We believe

this to be the oldest surviving outdoor gravestone in the district. The inscrip- tion reads:-

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between a high wall and house gardens. Follow the path under the railway arch and walk along the beckside to a narrow wooden footbridge. Cross the bridge and at the end turn right following the

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Turn back to the bridge and follow the path to the right between the house gardens and the watercourse. After about a quarter of a mile the footpath appears to end with a wooden fence but look to the right to find a narrow footway leading to Waterloo Road. Before taking this look upstream to a small weir. This is very near to the site of the large stepped weir that once provided a head of water for Lepton corn mill. In Waterloo Road turn left and walk to the junction with Wakefield Road.

ROUND WOOD The steeply rising land to the right of Waterloo Road is aptly named for itis indeed a round wooded hill. One or two local historians have, in the past, suggested more with hope than with reason that such a land formation must be man made and have compared it to Silbury Hill in Wiltshire. However, whilst the latter has been proved to be the work of man, there is no such evidence for Round Wood and it is now generally agreed that it is a natural formation. Round Wood was part of the Beaumont land holdings in Dalton and was known then as Batley Heights. There is reference in the Beaumont documents to a Batley Bridge and it seems likely that this was the bridge built over the nearby beck.

Turn left at Wakefield Road and walk up the hill to Quarry Lane.

WATERLOO BRIDGE In 1991 the bridge at Waterloo was completely rebuilt but an old inscribed stone preserved in the right hand abutment tells us that the original bridge was built here in 1819. It was built to carry the new turnpike over the Fenay Beck and was named Waterloo Bridge to commemorate the battle of 1815. Aninn built at a later date was also called Waterloo. However the name Waterloo does not appear on any O.S.

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WALK - 3 -

Coldroyd, Kirkheaton Village, Town Road, Cockley Hill, Bellstring Lane, Carr Mount, Footpath to Stafford Hill Lane, St. Mary's, The Old School, Foothpath to Coldroyd.

Starting just in Dalton our third walk quickly passes into Kirkheaton and for the remainder of its length stays wholly within that township. Kirkheaton is a widely scattered village with many quiet and interesting comers which offer a variety of architectural styles. Lepton has close ties with Kirkheaton as, together with Dalton and Upper Whitley, it was for centuries part of the large Kirkheaton parish, so we feel that it is not inappropriate to include a walk through the Mother Parish in a book that is closely concerned with Lepton. Like Lepton, Heaton was an Anglo Saxon settlement and also like Lepton its traditionalindustries have beenagriculture, textiles, fancy weaving and quarrying. Reminders of all these may be seen on this walk and the route also takes in part of the ancient highway from Elland to Barnsley. The walk involves a steady climb from 300' at the foot of Coldroyd to almost 600' at its highest point on Bellstring Lane where there are interesting and extensive views in all directions. Much of the route involves road walking but the inclusion of field paths from Carr Mount to Stafford Hill and from the school back to Coldroyd calls again for the walker to be well shod. The walk starts at the bottom of Coldroyd Lane (O.S. Ref. 173174) which is

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mon cases and the patient's home had to be thoroughly fumigated after his removal to hospital. It was only with the discovery of modern drugs to control and immunisation to prevent such diseases that the need for an isolation hospital ceased and Mill Hill changed its function.

COLDROYD A little way up Coldroyd Lane notice on both sides the abutments of a bridge that carried the Kirkburton branch railway line over the lane. A closer look will reveal that many of the massive stones have mason's marks. Settlement at Coldroyd goes back to at least the 17th century when a family named Brook was living there. By the mid 19th century there were ten families living in the area all of whom were fancy hand loom weavers. During the next 30 years this traditional pattern of employment changed and by 1880 handloom weaving had ceased altogether although some families were still engaged in textiles, working as operatives in the mills. At this time also about a third of the working population of Coldroyd were stone masons or quarrymen and near to the top of the lane the remains of a large quarry can be seen showing us, perhaps, where these men plied their trade.

At the top of Coldroyd Lane bear right and walk on to Bankfield Lane passing Kirkheaton Cricket Club on the left.

KIRKHEATON CRICKET CLUB 1983 saw the centenary of Kirkheaton Cricket Club's move toits present ground and as we understand a booklet was produced to commemorate the event we feel that it would be circumspect to include here only brief details of the club's history. The club itself is believed to have been formed in 1871 when it was known as the Kirkheaton Beaumonts. They played first at Kirkheaton Moor and then in the late 1870's moved to Hole Bottom. The change of name came about in 1880 and the club moved to its present ground, then known as Fletcher Croft, in 1883 for which they paid an annual rent of £7. In 1921, whilst George Herbert Hirst was president, the club bought their ground for £375.

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see such talent again. In a brief reply the Editor intimates that all might not be lost as he believes there are two promising youngsters playing with Kirkheaton who might go on to greater things. The two ‘promising youngsters’ George Herbert Hirst and Wilfred Rhodes did go on to greater things and became legends within their own lifetimes. Much has been written about these two great players but we feel that as this walk passes the club with which they were so long associated, a brief account of their careers would be appropriate. George Herbert Hirst was described by Lord Hawke as the greatest county cricketer of all time. He played for Yorkshire for thirty years and fouteen times performed the double, scoring 1000 runs and taking

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Kirkheaton Cricket Club in 1954 after the death of George Herbert Hirst and served the club in that capacity until his own death in 1973 at the age of 95. Hirst and Rhodes - the names are

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proved that there was not sufficient water pressure in the area to meet the needs of the Fire Service. A little further up the road a carpet shop now occupies another old co- operative store. Unlike Field Head the building is not of any great architec- tural interest but its position close the centre of Victorian Kirkheaton is significant. Many co-ops in many villages have today changed their function but for one reason or another they are usually easy to identify. In this case the two loading doors, cathead and pullies and the cellar entrances can clearly be seen. At the top of Town Road stands an 18th century house whose massive stone roof comes down almost to the level of the road. It is most unlikely that roof and road were intended by the original builder to be so close and therefore it seems probable that the road was built after the house or at least that the road surface has been raised. Additional corroboratory evidence for this theory may be seen in the now blocked up windows at road level.

KIRKHEATON If Kirkheaton can be said to have a centre then Town Road is as near as we Can get to it today. But it is not quite as simple as that for, like Lepton, Kirkheaton has grown and spread away from the original settlement. The reason for this in Lepton's case was a road but in

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At the top of Town Road at Town Top bear right into Cockley Hill Lane and follow this road to its junction with Bellstring Lane.

COCKLEY HILL LANE Near to the junction of Cockley Hill Lane with Heaton Moor Road (where the surgery now stands) was Kirkheaton's Pinfold, all traces of which have now, sadly, disappeared. A little higher up the road on the right hand side, the Square will be easily recognised. This development is a mixture of early and mid Victorian houses whose inhabitants in the 19th century, apart from a few labourers and miners and one Artillery Chelsea Pensioner, were engaged in the textile trade. As this section of the walk involves a steady uphill climb the walker may care to take advantage of a seat placed conveniently halfway up the hill on the right hand side. As well as providing a resting place the seat offers the walker chance to study the interesting and beautiful landscape visible from this altitude. From here parts of all four townships that were part of the old Kirkheaton Parish can be seen. Prominent on the other side of the valley is the tower of Lepton Church and nearby is the clump of poplar trees on Thurgory Lane which can be seen from so many vantage points in the area. Below them the neatly enclosed fields of Lepton slope gently down to that township's boundary with Kirkheaton. Hard to the left the houses of Upper Whitley can be made out whilst below much of Kirkheaton is revealed with the tree covered slopes of Round Wood in Dalton beyond. Both the cricket fields of Kirkheaton and Lascelles Hall are prominent from here, the latter being taken out of two larger fields known as St. John's Flat. From here also Castle Hill, marred perhaps by its Victorian Tower, stands out proud and true and as impressive as any Bronze or Iron Age hill fortin the country, whilst the vast escarpements of West and Shooters Nab above Meltham and Marsden provide a suitably magnificent backcloth.

At the junction of Cockley Hill Lane with Bellstring Lane bear right along the latter (passing Three Gates Farm) and follow this road as far as the Freemasons Arms on the left.

BELLSTRING LANE Bellstring Lane was, according to W.B. Crump, part of an important and ancient highway leading from Kendal in the north to London tothe south. Locally, it passed through Elland, Bradley, Kirkheaton and Flockton. Much of this old route has survived to become part of the modern road network and,


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consequently, it is easy to follow it today. After leaving Bradley the old road crosses the river Colne at the ancient crossing of Colne Bridge and ascends Dalton Bank to Heaton Moor. There, opposite the Blacksmiths Arms at an important cross-roads there is an old guide stoop dated 1738 which directs to Barnsley 12 miles to Halifax 6 miles and to Huddersfield 6 miles. From the Blacksmiths Arms the road continues as Highgate Lane then, at the junction with Cockley Hill Lane (the point where our walk meets it), it becomes Bellstring Lane. The names Highgate and Bellstring, Crump be- lieves, indicate the nature of this section of the old road, that is an upland way used by strings of packhorses headed by a bell horse. Unlike Lepton's Highgate Lane this highway was never turnpiked and it retains today all the characteristics of an ancient upland way, a contour road in this section, skirting the ridge that divides Kirkheaton and Lepton from Hopton and Mirfield. We must say here that there is something of a mystery about the name Bellstring. Since 1984 several people have contacted us to tell us that the Bellstrings they remember from childhood is some distance away from here, in the area of Lane Side. They all speak of playing on t'Bellstrings near to Kirkheaton cemetery. Whilst it is obvious that some local name transference has occurred we have been unable to find out why or when this happened. We can only say that we have consulted the O.S. maps back to 1854 and they all refer to the road between Cockley Hilland the Freemasons Armsas Bellstring Lane and none mentions a Bellstring in the Lane Side area.

At the Freemasons Arms find the path on the opposite side of the road leading down to Carr Mount. Our route follows this path to a Stile just past the houses on the right.

CARR MOUNT The settlement here is a characteristic mixture of 18th century build- ings. Look for the blocked up windows that once lit the old weaving chambers which clearly indicate the principle occupation of the original tenants. Inevitably in such a settlement one would also expect to find some evidence of farming and, indeed, the end building was once a barn with the arch springers in the wall showing the position of the doorway. The datestone on one cottage bears the legend R.I.M. 1799, but this does not indicate the initial building of Carr Mount as some of the houses have characteristics belonging to the earlier part of the 18th century.


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After Carr Mount the route follows a lengthy section of footpath which, in summer, is not obvious. We have tried to make our directions as clear as possible and if these are studied together with the map, walkers should not experience much difficulty. 11 yards after Carr Mount take the brick stile through the wall on the right and follow the path over a second brick stile and then through a stone stile into a field. Keep the fence on the right for a short way and then bear left across the field aiming for a timber pole which carries telephone cables. Cross the nearby stile in the field wall and carry on straight ahead down the hill keeping the field wall on the left (following the telephone lines). At the corner of the field turn right and follow the direction of the white arrow waymark. At the bottom of the field, follow another white arrow marker to the left taking a well defined path between the wire fences. This will lead down to a bridge which carries the footpath across asmallunnamed stream which has eroded a pleasant little valley through the soft shale beds. The stark and unlovely bridge has been put here by the quarry owners to replace an old and mellowstone clapper bridge which spanned the stream some sixty yards down stream and which has delighted generations of walkers but which, unfortunately, stood in the way of so-called progress. From the bridge climb up the steps keeping the fence on the left. The path soon follows the rim of a huge brick clay quarry. After about a quarter of a mile cross a wooden Stile. Continue down the hill to a fallen gate post and a nearby large wooden post. Follow the path between these still keeping near to the quarry rim. Continue down the hill to a tarmac path which leads to a cemetery. Turn right (away from the cemetery) and continue along this path which becomes a road and after 100 yards turn right at T junction. Ina short distance note on the left and below the road and at right angles to it a row of cottages. These are the houses of St. Mary's. Walk on to the junction with St. Mary's Lane and turn left (this is the main road from Kirkheaton).

ST. MARY'S A hundred years ago the cottages here housed 21 families, most of whom, predictably, were engaged in the textile industry. There is reason to believe, however, that the plot of land called St. Mary's on which the cottages are built had some ancient and important ecclesiastical function. Leigh Tolson, writing in 1929, says, ‘although nothing is known of its origin the name suggests something more important than its present humble appearance’. He goes on to suggest that it had some association with the Hospitallers who, as we have seen, had considerable land holdings in the parish in medieval times. There may well be also some connection with the Chapel of the Blessed Mary (now known as the Beaumont Chapel) in Kirkheaton church. Such Chantry


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Chapels often had their own incumbent and a certificate of the Commission- ers of Edward 6th issued after the dissolution of the Chantry of the Blessed Mary, states that there was a house with a parcel of land but at that time no Chantry Incumbent. However, the will of Thomas Wood of Heton dated 1543, seems to contradict this as he bequeathed 12 pence to Sir Thomas Wilson, Ladie Priest. It may well be

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Garden and a small piece of Ground from the further Garden Wall to the Water-side, Fold -Stead, water course and a little croft behind the Barn with other conveniences and Easment there- to belonging’.

A later Terrier (1825) gives more details of the Rectory itself describing it as a house 3 stories high, built of brick. It had 5 rooms on the ground floor, six on the second floor and four on the third. All the rooms were 'parted with ceiled with lath and One ground floor room was wainscotted with wood and the others were plastered and stained. All the ground floor rooms had stone floors except that of the drawing room which was wood. All the upper rooms were floored with wood and papered except one which was stained. It was, it seems, a truly fine example of 18th century architecture. At this time the entrance to the Rectory was from the south, the drive way being marked by a line of ancient thorn trees.

The inscription over the door reads: Thomas Clarke Anno MDCCXXIX Nonnobis C. Alderson Renovic

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reasons then only history can be given here and rather than attempt to give a shortened chronological history we have chosen to highlight a few facts, events and customs of the church which we think will be of most interest to the reader. The history of Christianity in Kirkheaton goes back a long time before the first church of which we have any record was built. The existence of a tombstone with Anglian runic lines dating from not later than the 10th century, which is still preserved at the church, provides evidence of the early establishment of the Christian faith in the district. Other pre-conquest remains include stones and a cross (a full sized model of which can be seen in the Tolson Museum) of Anglo Danish style dating from the second half of the 10th century. It is generally agreed that during the Saxon and early Norman dynasties Kirkheaton was within the district visited by the Clergy residing at the Paulinus missionary station at Dewsbury. Dewsbury was the mother parish of all the ancient churches in our area and priests would be sent from there

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monumentto Sir Richard Beaumont (Black Dick) who died in 1631 is the best known. It is thought that in the 15th century the original church was rebuilt as the tower dates from that period and the east window before the alterations of 1823 was of the same period. In 1663 a new north side was built at a cost of £120 the money being raised by contributions from twenty six men including Sir John Kaye £22, Sir Thomas Beaumont £20, Doctor Anthony Clarke £6.13, Robert Lyley £5, Richard Thewlis £2 and Henry Spivie £1. In 1535 Henry VII surveyed the ecclesiastical establishments through- out the country for taxation purposes. The king appropriated the first-fruits and tenths formerly paid by each benefice to the Pope. Kirkheaton Church is valued in the Liber Regis (Kings Book) at about £28 and this sum, being the first year's income, was payable by each new incumbent on his entrance to the living being styled the ‘first-fruits' of the benefice and the tenths were a yearly tax of one tenth of this amount. The parish of Kirkheaton was much concerned in the Civil War. The Rector of the time the Rev. Richard Sykes, had been presented to the living by King Charles I and, like the Lord of the Manor, he was staunchly loyal to the Crown. Consequently when the Parliamentary forces triumphed, the Rector refused to subscribe the Convenant and was therefore fined the enormous sum of £1,000 and forcibly ejected from the living. The use of the surplice and Prayer Book was prohibited and a covenanting minister the Rev. Christopher Richardson was appointed to perform services according to the will of Parliament. In the Parliamentary survey of 1653 Mr. Richardson is described as, ‘A godly man and well Affected Mynister who receiveth the Proffitts and performs the Cure’. He was a very remarkable man being held in high favour in Parliamentary circles and entrusted with more than spiritual authority in the district. He remained in possession until the Restoration when, refusing to conform, he was in turn ejected and, as Mr. Sykes has died, the Rev. Dr. Anthony Elcocke was appointed Rector. Mr. Richardson bought Lascelles Hall for £720 and formed there the first Nonconformist congrega- tion in the Parish. He later removed to Liverpool where he founded the first Presbyterian Church in that city. To his memory a tablet in the church is inscribed:

To the Memory of Christopher Richardson M.A.

of Trinity College, Cambridge and Lassel Hall in this Parish


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Rector of Kirkheaton 1646 - 1661 In which latter year he was silenced. He established the first Presbyterian Church in Liverpool in 1668 and died in that city in 1698 aged 80.

In the 18th century much of the Rector's income came from the Glebe Lands with their messuages and cottages and from tythes of corn and grain, spring woods, hemp, turnips, potatoes, wool, lamb, geese and pigs which were effective throughout the township of Kirkheaton. The other townships in the Parish also contributed to the Rector's tythes although part of the tythe corn in Lepton was taken in kind by the Beaumonts for which they had to pay annually £4 1s.4d. Further income was raised by the Easter dues and Surplice Fees and as these give an insight into an early form of rate paying we quote verbatim from the Terrier of 1743:

'The Easter dues run thus: All the ancient and more considerable Mansion Houses pay one shilling and six pence for their modus of Tythe Hay. Whitley Hall, Lassels Hall, Rawthorpe Hall, Nether Hall, Fleming House and the House where Mr. Pilkington lived, now inthe possession of Michael Sheard, andsome others pay some one shilling some much less according to custom. For every House is paid three half pence. For a Garden a penny. For every Commu- nicant twopence. For every Calf three half pence but if there be two Calves one shilling and eight pence. If ten three shilling and four pence. For every Strip a penny. For Chickens three pence whether there is one or more broods it makes no difference. For Bees a penny a swarm. For a Foal one shilling. For an old Sheep a penny. For a Lamb two pence. The Surplice Fees include The Publication of Banns of Marriage Six Pence. Marriage with License Five Shillings, without License one shilling and six pence: A Burial one shilling and two pence - of a child under seven years seven pence only. For a Churching five pence. For a new grave stone in the Church Yard three shillings and four pence. For a Tomb six shillings and eight pence. For breaking the ground in the Body of the Church six shillings and eight pence. In the Chancel thirteen shillings and four pence.’


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A Terrier of 1817 mentions the Parish Clerk's and the Sexton's dues as follows:

‘The Clerk's dues are according to custom. For every Cottage or Farm House where no plough is kept Two Pence at Easter; but at those Houses where a plough is kept Four Pence. For every Farm is due at Christmas a Wheat Loaf or Two Pence. Fora funeral in the Church or Chancel 3/4d.; if in the Churchyard Seven Pence. For singing a Psalm in the Church or Churchyard One Shilling. The Sexton's dues are - For tolling a Passing Bell Six Pence. Tolling for a funeral per hour Four Pence. Making a grave in the Church or Chancel 3/4d. Ditto in the Churchyard 1/6d., ditto when the deceased is under seven years One Shilling. For taking up and laying a Grave Stone One

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as well as other items of Parish business.

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made it necessary to extend and improve the school premises on a large scale. The alterations and extensions involved the erection of anewwing containing four classrooms, basement, provision of improved cloakrooms and lavatory accommodation, the enlargement of the existing classrooms and the exten- sion of the playground. The cost of the improvements was £2,000, most of which was raised by special efforts including a three day Bazaar and by private contibutions. The result was a school of seven classrooms with a central hall, accommodating 350 children. With the introduction of separate secondary education and later the building of new primary schools at Dalton and in Kirkheaton itself, and with the reduction of the birthrate, numbers on roll began to fall and the school finally closed in the summer of 1982 - a sad end for a site that has been connected with the education of children for some 370 years.

At the top of the steps walk through a stile and follow the path as it crosses two more Stiles to an ash road. Cross this road to another stile into a field. Walk straight ahead keeping the field wall on the right. The route of the walk is now straight, crossing four more stiles. After the last stile turn left along Bankfield Lane to the top of Coldroyd Lane retracing your steps down Coldroyd and back to the starting point of the walk.

It is worth noting that the route between the church and the bottom of Coldroyd Lane was probably the old 'Kirk Way '- that is the route taken to the church by parishioners living in Dalton before Crossley Land and School Lane were built. Certainly the impressive causey up the hillside indicates the one-time importance of this old highway as does the directness of the path across the fields.


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WALK - 4 -

The Temple, Rods Mill, Spittle Royd, Lepton Square, Pinfold Lane, Town End, Botany, Addle Croft, Whitley Willows, The Temple.

The pleasant hillside north north east of Lepton owes much of its present condition to the work of man for it was on the broad plateau of this hill that the Beaumonts built their home, and the hillside formed part of the parkland laid out by them in the 17th and 18th centuries. Since then, further projects in the shape of plantations, coal pits, a mill with its dams and races and, more recently, open cast mining have all left their mark on the land. Evidence of all this industry can be seen on the first half of our fourth walk which descends some 250 feet from the Temple to Rods Beck. The second half of the walk takes in the old settlements of Spittle Royd and Lepton Square, passes through Old Lepton and descends again another 150 feet to Botany Bay and Addle croft. The final part of the walk involves a climb of some 400 feet back to the starting point on the 750' contour. Unless the weather has been exceptionally dry, waterproof footwear is essential for this walk as the footpaths through Whitley Park are wet and in some places very muddy. The walk starts on the Upper Heaton - Grange Moor Road (B6118) at the gate into Whitley Park near Black Dick's Temple (O.S. Ref. 208171). Walk through the large stone style on the left of the gates and along the path with the temple on the left. This path for about

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fortunes suffered during his lifetime. However, contemporary letters refer to him in terms of cordiality and admiration so the

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1 I fl

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Church and the National School and Beaumont Park near Crosland Moor was also his gift. Henry Frederick Beaumont, who, in 1881, lived at the hall with his wife and eight daughters, was the last head of the family to live there. The staff then included two governesses and fifteen servants. However, by the early years of the twentieth century, the house stood empty with many ofits beautiful rooms dismantled and its grounds lapsing

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the right, it takes its name from the Royds which were land clearances made in medieval times. Follow the path across the stream and keeping Rods Cottage on the right walk up the incline, at the top of which may be seen, to the right, a great

depression which was once a mill dam where water was stored for the working of Rods Mill.

RODS COTTAGE Rods Cottage is all that remains of a once sizeable scribbling mill built in 1793. In 1813 the Lepton Rental describes the mill as a two storey building, twenty yards in length and nine in breadth, and in 1822 the upper chamber is said to have contained two scribbling engines, two carding engines and two slubbing billies. At this time the mill was water powered although a valuer had advised that because of the shortage of water a steam engine would be of great advantage. The mill which was owned by the Beaumonts was run for the first sixty years of its history by the Wood family who were sometime resident at Oakes Fold. By 1851 at least a dozen workmen were employed at the mill and a steam engine had been installed. In April 1854 Thomas Wood died and the management of Rods Mill passed to James Tolson and John Beaumont who had recently gone into partnership as fancy manufacturers at Whitley Wil- lows. They ran Rods Mill principally to do the scribbling and carding for their other mill. The new partnership flourished for three years but then, at 8 o'clock on the morning of Friday 30th January 1857, a fire was discovered in the teazer room in the bottom storey of the mill. The workmen tried for some time to contain the flames but the fire started to spread and a messenger was sent to Huddersfield for the Leeds and Yorkshire fire brigade. He arrived in Hud- dersfield at a quarter-to-ten and the brigade immediately started out and incredibly reached the mill in twenty minutes. By the time of their arrival the fire had spread throughout the mill. The brigade, however, managed to save the water wheel, the steam engine and the cottage. The mill itself was completely destroyed. Tolson & Beaumont's loss was estimated at about £900 and they were not insured. Mr. Beaumont decided against rebuilding the mill and, between May 1857 and August 1858, carpenters, builders and a black- smith were called in to repair and enlarge the cottage which by 1869 was being referred to as Rods Mill Cottage or the Gamekeeper's Cottage. The gamekeeper in question was Joe Woffenden. He moved to the cottage in 1860 with his wife, Ann, and their eight children. Atleast five more children were born at the cottage and it is pleasant to stand in this now quiet place and imagine the bustling everyday life of such a large family.


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Continuing along the path look out fora carved stile post and a carved gate post, on the left, perhaps the work of the brothers Joseph and John Lee who were masons for the Beaumonts around 1740 and who were responsible for much of the drystone walling in Lepton, including the boundary walls of Lepton Wood. Soon the path crosses another small stream which was a feeder stream to the mill dam. The stream flows here from its source at Lepton Edge over beds of ironstone and, consequently, in rainy seasons the water has a rusty tint. At both edges of the path, where it crosses the stream, may be seen traces of anarched stone culvert, a common way of piping watercourses before the days of earthenware pipes. Soon after the stream go through a stile to the left of a large metal gate and

then turn left into a narrow lane leading down hill towards the settlement of Spittle Royd.

SPITTLE ROYD In the year 1851 there were five houses where this single 18th century farmhouse now stands on the site of what, according to place name evidence, is a very old settlement. Royd

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Cross over the stile to the right of the house and walk through the field keeping the wall on the left, making towards a group of white buildings.

SQUARE FOLD OR LEPTON SQUARE This group of buildings was originally known as Clayton Square and was built by John Clayton and his father James on the uncultivated common or waste between 1770 and 1790. In the 1822 Rental for Lepton the premises are described as stone and slate buildings one of which was a house of four low (downstairs) rooms and two chambers, occupied by Widow Clayton. A further three cottages on the east side of the fold yard each had one low room and one chamber and a lean- to milk-house. One of these was occupied by John Clayton himself. On the east side of the fold was another range of buildings consisting of a barn, an ashhouse and three cottages each with one low room and one chamber. One of these was occupied by Mark Clayton who was a fence maker. On the south side was

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had a mud floor and

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brother Thomas as Maltsters of Oak Fold, suggesting that around this time further houses had been built. The long tenancy of the Wood family had ended by 1822 when the most prominent families in the settlement were Mallinsons, Elys, Jessops and Hirsts, all names that feature largely in Lepton's history. By this date the premises were quite substantial, consisting of about eleven houses and cottages, farm buildings and a mill house. By 1851 Oakes Fold was probably at the height of its industrial activity with Joseph Hall and his son and grandson carrying on the business of maltsters, started so long ago by the Woods. Matthew Hirst was also there, a manufacturer employing 8 weavers. There were also seven other families whose numbers included six coal miners. In 1881 the maltsters had gone and the people were all employed in textiles, mining or fireworks with the exception of Squire Lockwood, a greengrocer, and Ben Robinson, an oat bread baker. One local legend concerning Oakes Fold tells of Winnie Waxlight

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Gawthorpe, Rowley and Lascelles Hall as well as Great Lepton and Little Lepton and it is impossible now to say just how many lived on or near the village street. The Township as a whole had at this time about the same number of inhabitants as Kirkburton and Kirkheaton and about half as many as Huddersfield. The names of the people mentioned in the Poll Tax returns of 1379 are interesting and tell us something of their locations or origins. They include:- Richard Lascy (Lascelles), Richard de Gaukethorpe, Adam de Hopton, John de Roulay, Margeria de Heton, John del Crosse (Lepton Cross), Agne de Grene (possibly High Green) and Matilda de Lepton.

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BOTANY BAY The two rows of cottages down the hill and on the right were built in 1806 to house textile workers and were named Botany Bay after the penal settlement in Australia. It was quite a common practise to give such outlying settlements names which suggested distance. There are, all over the country, many isolated houses and farms with names such as Quebec, Egypt, Alaska and Moscow and so the name Botany Bay is simply following this fashion. At the end of the cottages stand and look over the fields to the right. There you will see the great spoil heap left by Lodge Mill Colliery. Coal has been mined in Lepton for over six hundred years. A coroner's report for 1357 shows that: John Long of Lepton was accidentally killed by falling into a

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ADDLE CROFT The farm buildings on the right stand on or near the site of one of

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Cross the bridge over the stream. This is the second time Rods Beck, soon to become Ox Spring Beck, is crossed on the walk. Notice on the left hand bridge parapet a stone marked L. St. J. D. C. No.1. with the date 1870, indicating that it was set here to mark the boundary of the new parish of Lepton which came into being in 1868. Follow the road as it bends round from the bridge for about a quarter of a mile. Immediately after the first cottage on the left take the distinct track on the right up the hill. This was once an important road as its width signifies and in winter when the undergrowth has died back traces of a concrete and tarmacadam surface can be seen. The path leads steeply upwards through a pleasant strip of woodland with oak, birch and ash well represented. At the top of the hillskirt round the right hand side of the buildings ahead (caution: this section can be very muddy), keeping the buildings on the left and at the road turn right then first left returning to the Temple and the starting point.


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WALK -5-

Chimney Lane, Wakefield Road, Oak Tree, Cowmes Side, Fenay Bank Side, Jumble Wood, Lepton Great Wood, Green Balk Lane, Lydgate, Knotty Lane, Thurgory.

Our fifth walk passes through land to the west and south of Lepton. Much of the route follows old footpaths which need to be walked to keep them open. These old paths, today connected by short stretches of metalled road, once formed part of

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bricked up) over the wall on the other side of Wakefield Road, directly opposite the chimney.

THE CHIMNEY. Little is known of the chimney which gives the lane its name except that itis a ventilation shaft. Some local opinion says that it ventilated the tramway but this seems unlikely as an automated system would need no such ventila- tion. Further, the bricks of the chimney which are possibly hand made are certainly older than the tramway which was constructed during the present century. It is known however that in this area a drift mine called Cowmes Colliery was operating early in the last century and so it seem likely that the chimney was a ventilation shaft for this. All traces of the mine and spoil heaps have disappeared, of course, as much of the hillside where it was located has been removed by the quarrying operations of the brickworks.

BLOCK ROW At the corner of Chimney Lane and Wakefield Road glance down the hill toa row of cottages and note beyond them traces of as many cottages again which have been demolished. This is Block Row and the double-fronted house was once a beer house or inn called the Black Horse tenanted in the 1850's by one of the Clayton families. The cottages were, like so many others in the area, the homes of fancy hand loom weavers but there was here, perhaps, an example of neighbourly enterprise for well over half the weavers had abandoned the more traditional fancy cloth in favour of imitation seal skin thus exploiting a growing fashion among gentlemen for seal skin waist- coats. There are other examples of single looms in the area producing this material but nowhere else is there such a concentration and it is pleasant to imagine the members of this small community passing on the necessary skills of the trade one to another.

THE BRICKWORKS At the turn of the present century Benjamin Elliott and Sons operated the Fenay Bridge Brick and Terracotta Company quarrying brick clay from a small clay pit near the bottom of the valley. In the intervening years the quarrying has been extended to such an extent that most of the massive hillside above the original claypit has been removed. Elliott's also owned Lodge Mill Colliery thus providing themselves with the fuel necessary for firing the kilns,

the coal once being brought over the hill on the long tramway already mentioned.


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Cross Wakefield Road and walk up the hill to Oak Tree Road on the right hand side.

WAKEFIELD ROAD The busy road here is part of the 'new turnpike’ of 1820. In that year the trustees of the Wakefield to Austerlands turnpike (see walk No. 6) decided to cuta shorter and more direct route between Moldgreen and Lepton. The new road left the old at the bottom of Almondbury Bank and was routed through Moldgreen and Greenside to the newly built Waterloo Bridge. From there it climbed over Cowmes Common and cut through Lepton's open fields to rejoin the old road near the top of Rowley Lane.


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Cross the stile and walk down the field with the hedge on the right to another stile into Station Road.

FLOWER POT FARM The farm building below and to the right of the red brick houses rejoices in the name of Flower Pot Farm. According to Mr. Derek Cartwright, the owner of the farm, it was, in the last century, a kind of road house offering hospitality to travellers to whom the landlord was allowed to serve alcoholic liquor. However, this facility was kept strictly for travellers and local people might ask in vain for a drink at the Flower Pot, always to be sent empty away.

Turn left up Station Road and then turn right on Fenay Bank Side.

THE POOR HOUSE. The group of cottages on the right hand side of Fenay Bankside at Poplar Bank stand on the place marked Workhouse on the 1854 O.S. map. It is likely that at least one of these cottages was the original poor house and it is certain that it was in one of these buildings that Lepton School Board held its first meeting in 1875. A great deal more work needs to be done before the story of Lepton's poor house can be fully told as the information we have to date is annoyingly enigmatic.

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raised by letting the cottages and surrounding land to the Turners and others. A possible confirmation of this theory comes from the Charity Commission- er's Account of 1880 dealing with the sale of the property. In May of that year Frederick Michelbacher, pork butcher, of Huddersfield bought 'a dwelling house, outbuildings and several closes of land in the occupation of Joseph Turner of Cowmes Side and two cottages adjoining in the same

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Far Hacking and this also suggests cleared woodland for such names were only given to fields where trees had been hacked down. So, it seems that centuries ago the valley side here was well wooded with the trees stretching more than a quarter of a mile southwards from the Poors Land.

Turn right down the metalled road. Where the road widens make for a gap straight ahead in the hedge to pick up a narrow path which bears left between a fence and a bank. Follow the path as it bears left to emerge in Clough Park - a modern housing development built on fields once called Hackings. It was in this area that local miners, during the General Strike of 1926, opened up a drift mine the passages of which extended under the present Manor Park Way. Walk straight on down the hill through the houses pausing at Clough Way on the right to look over the Fenay Valley.

THE FENAY VALLEY AND WOODSOME ESTATE The Fenay Beck which rises above Thunderbridge meanders its way down this section of its valley in a series of quite spectacular loops and curves. It is usually a fast flowing stream and at times of high water it is liable to flood the meadows through which it flows. In the past the Beck powered a number of water mills belonging tothe Dartmouth Estate including Dogley, Woodsome and Fenay Mills. There is an interesting comment in the Dartmouth Estate Book of 1805 on the industrial conditions then prevailing which were being brought about by the advent of the steam engine. The Dartmouth agent writing about the property around Woodsome remarks that the countryside would be beautiful ' if the number of mills and steam engines about it did not continually contaminate those pleasing features of picturesque beauty, water and air However, sound Yorkshire common sense and business acumen prevailed for the agent later comments

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much more familiarly known as Mally Pashley's, a name it kept until well into the present century. The other building referred to above, which stands a little distance behind Mally Pashley's was Woodsome Mill which was, with the farm opposite, for some 300 years in the tenancy of the Redfearn family. The earliest known evidence of the existence of a mill at Woodsome is an agreement dated 1297 between Sir Francis Teutonicus (Tyas) and Nicholas, son of Richard de Farnley, Sir Francis granting certain lands in Farnley on a lease of twenty years at a rent of 7s.6d. and one penny of silver for mill dam service, the said Nicholas to grind his corn at the mill of Wodehouse. Although 13th Century documents reveal that in its earliest days Woodsome Mill had fulling stocks its main function was to grind corn which it continued to do for all the Dartmouth tenants for some 700 years, its estate operations only ceasing during the First World War. After that time it continued to grind corn for the immediate use of the farm and also to pump water up to the farmhouse. Woodsome Mill has lately been renovated and extended and is now a pleasant dwelling house.

WOODSOME MILL AT WORK On the Fenay Beck some 200 yards above the mill a weir was con- structed to provide the head of water necessary for feeding the wheel which was 20 feetin diameter. Between the head of the weir and the mill-race double sluice gates were built, one of which controlled the flow of water into the goit whilst the other was used at times of high water to divert excess water back into the stream. Another sluice gate at the mill end of the race was used to control the working of the wheel which could only be stopped by cutting off the flow of water. The mill race which was channelled diagonally under the road had, for efficient working, to be kept completely clear of obstructions so the miller employed men to crawl through the channel and clear it. From the mill race the water entered a trough which fed the wheel buckets at breast height. The used water was then thrown off into the tail race which flowed underground to rejoin the stream at alower level. In the mill the top floor was used for rolling oats, and the first floor for grinding corn; hoisting equipment reached from top to bottom of the building. Near to the mill was a kiln which was used to dry the corn to prevent it

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Since man to man is so unjust, I've trusted many to my sorrow Pay today, I'll trust tomorrow."

WOODSOME HALL. From the position at Clough Way it is possible in the winter months to see between the trees that surround it what is perhaps the most interesting house in the district, Woodsome Hall. The manor of Woodsome was one of more than two hundred granted by William I to [Ibert de Laci, one of his companions. The first recorded owners of the Nottons then, in 1236, the Estate passed to the Tyas family, remaining in their possession until 1370 when it was transferred to Sir William Fynchenden. After his death his widow granted to her son-in-law, John Cay, Freeholder, her manor at Woodsome with Farnley Tyas and the manor remained in the hands of the Kaye family for the next 350 years. Some of the fabric of the present building is the work of Arthur Kaye who, in 1517, married Beatrix Wentworth of Bretton Hall. Their names are carved over the massive fireplace in the Great Hall. Arthur's grandson, Robert, refronted and greatly enlarged the Hall adding the north west wing. In 1726 Sir Arthur Kaye, the last of the Kayes to live at Woodsome, died. His daughter and heiress, Elizabeth, had married George Legge, Viscount Lewisham eldest son of the Earl of Dartmouth and so the estate passed into the ownership of the Dartmouths. Following the custom of the time they set about improving the general layout of Woodsome and to do the work engaged the services of that most famous of English landscape gardeners Lancelot (Capability) Brown. Brown remodelled the frontage of the Hall by building a terrace which was copied from Haddon Hall and he was also responsible for laying our the parkland. The Dartmouth family used Woodsome Hall as a country seat or dower house until 1911 when it was let to Woodsome Golf Club, which Club subsequently purchased the property.

PENISTONE ROAD This road which runs along the valley bottom from Waterloo to Fenay

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We have perhaps lingered rather a long time at this point to look at places of interest from a distance and places which, moreover, are not strictly speaking in our defined area. However, much of this part of Lepton was part of the Dartmouth Estate and the lives of the people who lived here would be influenced by the Lords of the Manor of Woodsome, so we feel we have not deviated too much from our purpose. The buildings mentioned are, moreo- ver, worthy of closer inspection should readers like to extend their walk.

Leaving Clough Way behind continue down the road and at the junction turn right and walk down to Rowley Lane. Turn left walk 200 yds up the hill and take the first right (just before Hermitage Park). Follow this road as it bears left between the houses. At the top turn right and then follow the road to the left. Look over the fields to see the old flat roofed pavilion of Rowley Hill Cricket Club, now defunct, but once a club to be reckoned with in the local league. At the top of the road just before the gates of Hermitage House turn right and then left on a well defined footpath leading to a stile. Cross the stile into a field and follow the path across the field to another stile in the wall of Lepton Great Wood. Near the top of the field a glance behind will reveal a magnificent view of Woodsome Hall and its parkland. Cross the stile into the wood and follow the well defined path straight ahead into the middle of the wood where it crosses a fairly broad track which should be ignored. Fromhere the path

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in Lepton Wood where the wall was to be made’. In May 1733 the work began in earnest when the brothers John and Joseph Lee were paid £9.12s.0d. ‘for 72 roods stone getting and walling in the Great

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of the wood would be left to regenerate itself for the next 18 - 20 years whilst coppicing went on in other parts of the wood. Much of the wood cutin Lepton in the eighteenth century was converted into charcoal for use at the forge then in operation at Colne Bridge.

VICTORIA COLLIERY Towards the end of the last century the commercial possibilities of exploiting the minerals under Lepton Wood came to be recognised and two collieries called Victoriaand Woodsome were opened. The spoil heaps which may still be seen in the wood are those from the Victoria Colliery which was a drift mine with passages running underground for about 1% miles. The coal was brought out in small metal trucks on a double track system pulled by an endless rope. The track was routed down through the wood emerging from the latter near to the cricket field. It crossed Rowley Lane at the bend by means of an overhead wooden gantry, the trucks descending to ground level in the Clough Park area. Here there was a large screening plant and also railway sidings which were built on a sloping site to allow the railway wagons to be pulled by a stationary donkey engine working a rope system. The blacksmith's and joiner's shops for the colliery, were built at the side of the Wood Gate path into the wood. Here also a mine shaft and ventilation shaft were sunk both of which were filled in and covered about twenty years ago. Lower down in the wood (where Woodsome House now stands) the proprietors of the Victoria Colliery, Smith and Netherwood, sank two further pit shafts. When Smith and Netherwood closed Victoria Colliery in July 1943 the miners and other employees were sent to Lepton Edge, Shuttle Eye and Park Mill Collieries. The clays beneath Lepton Wood were also exploited by Smith and Netherwood for their works near the bottom of the wood where they made sanitary pipes. A drift mine was opened up in Rowley Lane and the passages extended underneath the wood, the clay being sent away down the same track as the coal trucks to the screening plant and taken from there across to the pipeworks. After the coal mine closed the clay was taken away by road.

Climb out of the wood by the stile into the field. Follow the path up the hill.

BUGDEN After about 20 yds note the cottages to the left beyond a large field. This is Bugden Top. The area called Bugden stretches from here down the hill to Bugden Foot which is where Rowley Lane bends to the right. The name Bugden is little used today having been superseded by Rowley Lane and High


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Green. It is however a name of some antiquity, the first reference to it being found in 1578 as 'Buckden’, that is a valley with deer. By 1623 Buckden had become Bugden and in 1675 John Ogilby the road surveyor and map maker describing a journey from Barnsley to Huddersfield noted when he arrived at Woodsome Mill 'the branch road to Wakefield by way of Rowley Lane or

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settlement of Thornes. This is the first group of houses on the left of Knotty Lane. Turn left into the lane before the houses.

THORNES The first reference to Thornes is found in a document of 1557: ‘a farmhold called Thornes' and the name means literally by the thorn tree. Thornes is perhaps the only

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changed or survived under aliases. It is sufficient therefore to say here that such difficult detective work has been undertaken and has proved that Lepton did once have the three fields system so well known to generations of school children. Although the names have changed or survive only as remnants today, Lepton did once have North, South and West Fields to all of which Field Lane gave access. The development of the modern dialect name of Field Lane is interest- ing. Some of our local fields and lanes were originally named many centuries ago and as, with the passage of time, the meaning of the names was forgotten so they changed although they often retained some similarity to the original names. Furthermore, if aname which made nosense to the people who spoke it or heard it approximated to something which they could understand then a transference from apparent nonsense to apparent sense was made. Such an example of an analogically developed name is th'Oggeries which is what dialect speakers made of Thurgory, presumably believing it to be a place where pigs were kept. The lane on which you are now walking is called Thurgory Lane on the earliest O.S. map of the area but even this is not the beginning of the story. On the 1780 township map, which gives a glimpse of Lepton before the Industrial Revolution can have altered its age old pattern, a number of closes near the bottom of Thurgory Lane are called Thorgrow and Little Thorgrow. These names developed from the original Thorgalhaue which is first mentioned in the 13th century, and which means Thorgal's Hill or Burial Mound. As the Thorgrow Closes are nearer to Gawthorpe than Lepton and as the former was a Scandinavian settlement and Thorgalhaue is a Scandinavian name it seems likely that the lower end of the lane at least was an enterprise of the men of Gawthorpe, maybe an access lane to their Town Fields, later extended to join up with the access lane to Lepton's Fields. One field which borders onto the north (right hand) side of Thurgory Lane is called Hollin Field. Hollin is the old name for the holly tree and the observant walker will be able to locate this field by noticing the one section of holly bushes which divide the field from the lane. It is within Hollin Field that Lepton's oldest field name is found. On the 1806 map an area there is designated as Level Carr which is nonsense as a place name and which, in fact, is another analogically developed name. For many years this part of Hollin Field was known as Levecar - it is shown as such on the map of 1720. It is easy tosee that Level Carr sounds more sensible than Levecar but, in fact, the name has been traced back to the 13th century when it appeared as Leffacre that is the acre of Leof - Leof being an Anglo Saxon personal nameused atleast 1,000 years ago. This remnant of the distant past may well indicate that land around


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Thurgory Lane was under the plough before the Norman Conquest. Throughout the Middle Ages most Lepton farmers continued to plough the land and pasture was rare. What animals there were grazed mostly on the unenclosed common land.

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WALK - 6 -

Highgate Lane, Greave House, Thurgory Lane, Lascelles Hall, Cowmes, Spa Bottom, Common End Lane, Rowley Hill, Rowley Lane.

Our last walk is by no means the least in interest for it takes in modern Lepton and extends through at least four of the ancient hamlets which form part of the Township. This walk offers a chance to look at patterns of settlement in our area and also at the development of communications as the route follows or crosses a number ofimportantpaths and highways, including the old Wakefield - Austerlands Turnpike, and runs parallel with the Kirkburton branch railway for part of its length. The only gradients of any note are two towards the end of the walk, at Station Road and Rowley Lane. With the exception of two field paths and about

200 yards in Thurgory Lane (which may be muddy) the walk is on metalled roads and the going is easy.

The walk starts at the Sun Inn on the corner of Rowley Lane and Highgate Lane (O.S. Ref. 196150) where cars may be left.

THE SUN INN Once called the Rising Sun this was a beerhouse in the mid nineteenth century. Hannah Kilner was the beer retailer for many years, living there with her son, Joseph, who was a butcher.

Walk along Highgate Lane to its junction with Greave House Terrace.

HIGHGATE LANE The first known reference to Highgate Lane is in the Court Rolls of 1567, 'a tenement and close in higatlane’ and in 1600 John Kay was required to'set stylles in the ould accustomed places of his growndes betwyxt the heygat lane and the overfields'. In

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trade route between the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The early Turnpike Acts required the Trustees to repair, widen and maintain an existing road but rarely at this period to construct a new road; that came later towards the end of the century. In Lepton the turnpike followed the sections of road we know today as Rowley Lane, Highgate Lane and Station Road and it is unlikely that the Trustees diverged appreciably from the course of the old road then in use. They may have defined the roadway as it passed over unenclosed land and widened it in some narrow places by the purchase of adjoining land. They probably straightened it here and there but their main concern was the provision of a good surface. The maintenance of the turnpike road was paid for by the tolls collected from the road users. Barhouses were built where the toll collectors, who where appointed by the Trustees, lived. There were two such barhouses on the Lepton section of the old Turnpike, both of which will be referred tolater in this walk. The importance of Highgate Lane diminished with the building of the new Huddersfield Wakefield Road in 1820. Most of the buildings along Highgate Lane are modern but here and there are to be found pleasant eighteenth and nineteenth century farmhouses and cottages in one or two of which may be seen traces of windows, now blocked up, which once served tolight the weaving chambers of the eight hand loom weavers who lived on the lane in the mid 1800's. The other residents at that time were all, with the exception of two coal miners, engaged in agriculture either as smallholders or farm labourers. Here there were Seniors, Sykes, Claytons, Jessops, Roberts, Ibbersons and Kilners, all names that have their roots in Lepton's past. On the left hand side of the road, the Woodlands Estate has been built over the area of Lepton Little Wood and the estate at Ings Way takes its name from the fields on and near to which it is built, Great Ing and Upper Ing.


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Apart from a modern industrial building the pattern of the old settle- ment appears to have changed little since 1780. In 1851 twelve families lived there. They included farmers, handloom weavers and farm labourers and there was a manufacturer who employed twenty weavers. Some renovation has gone on in the hamlet in recent years but the cottage on the right of the lane, which appears on the 1720 map, is now ina sorry state whilst the old barn which once stood behind the cottage has disappeared during the last decade.

Continue through the hamlet and through the metal gate following the footpath with the wall and the wood on the left. Cross the fields to a stile which leads into Thurgory Lane. N.B. Despite the recently erected private notices there is a long established right of way along the edge of these fields.

STAGE FIELD The name of the first field to the left is of great interest. Itis called Stage Field on the 1780 map of Lepton but the name Stages is mentioned in the area circa 1250 and there is a record that Stages was given for the use of the Kirk Greaves of Kirkheaton Church. Considering the proximity of Stage Field to Greavehouse, it is just possible that the original name of the latter was Stages and itsname changed through common usage when the house or houses there were given to the Greaves. The name Stage is from the old French etage usually meaning an erected stage or scaffolding. This field then may have been the place where, on high ground and plain for all to see, the Township gallows stood. Interest- ingly enough, the field below Stage Field is called Bone Close which would seem to provide an apt and somewhat macabre association of names. Sadly, however, atleast for the romantics among us, itis far more likely thatthe name Bone developed from Bawne, a common field name, and that therefore the area had nothing to do with providing a burial ground for rotting corpses cut down from the scaffold.

In Thurgory Lane turn left and walk down to Chimney Lane, passing Cop Riding Farm on the left. Here there is a seat where, if you wish, you may sit and admire the view. Cross Chimney Lane into Highfield Lane and follow the latter into Lascelles Hall village.

HIGHFIELD LANE I The first row of cottages on the left hand side of the road is called Highfield and it is interesting to know that on many of the early O.S. Maps


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these cottages are called Cop Riding whilst Cop Riding is called Highfield. This may be a double transference of names but it is more likely to be a rare example of a mistake on the part of the map makers. The land on the left hand side of Highfield Lane was tenanted, in 1780, by Benjamin North and Robert Walker, and the names of their fields are of interest. North's fields are the first three, being call Daywork i.e. one day's work, Upper Close and the Close before the door. The latter is the field immediately in front of the cottages. Walker's land begins after the cottages and the first of his fields was once two closes call Little Close and Far Close. There is a roughly carved gatepost at the entrance to this field. The next field is called Four Days Work and the next, Two Days Work. Highfield Cottage and the next Robert Walker's Homestead and Croft and he also had the house in the trees at the far side of the field, which today is called The Nale. After Highfield Cottage the road bends to the left before starting its descent into Lascelles Hall and the area to the left is called Cuckoo Hill. The large farm house on the leftis Ash Grove and it reveals two periods of building with an 18th century house backing on to one built in the 19th century. Called Ashes Grove in the 19th century this was the home for many years of the Hudson family who were farmers of 16 acres and, principally, butchers. The business was run by two brothers, John and Thomas Hudson. John and his wife Eliza remained childless whilst Thomas and his wife Hannah had eight children, 5 boys and 3 girls. In 1841 the brothers employed one apprentice. Ten years later they had three apprentices and each house- hold had a servant; they were obviously prospering. In 1860 Thomas' eldest son, John, joined them in the business. He was the only one of the five brothers to do so. Between 1861 and 1871 both Thomas and John the elder died and John the younger took over his uncle's house and share of the business whilst his mother continued to run her late husband's share, employing three butchers who all lived in her house. Ten years later Hannah had retired and John was in sole control. When, in 1880, the shops outside the market hall in Huddersfield were let John Hudson was the highest bidder for the shop considered to be in the prime position. So much influence had this family on the area that Highfield Lane was known locally as Hudson's Lane, a tradition that continued well into the present century, long after the family had gone. At the bottom of Highfield (or Hudson's) Lane stand and look across the road to the left at a single decker building which once was the Lascelles Hall Mechanics Institute and Reading Rooms, and is now converted to a private bungalow. This building, for part of its existence, became what was


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possibly the oldest Working Men's Club in Lepton. Many of these old clubs had nick-names and this was no exception, being familiarly known as the Shirtneck Club, a name that probably came from the club's association with the cricketers of Lascelles Hall who, because they played in their ordinary working shirts which had neckbands rather than collars, were known as the Shirtneckers. In 1884 a mystery occurred at the club when Abraham

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shillings) upon this condicion that the same John use hyme self honestlie and bestowe the money to his moste proffet and advan- tage". If he did not John was to have none of the said sum of money. The name Thewlis ramified in Lascelles Hall to become, by the 19th century, the most common surname of the area. The village of Lascelles Hall grew in the 18th and 19th centuries, with many of the inhabitants being occupied in the textile trade. Most of the cottages in the village housed at least one handloom which would be engaged in weaving fancy cloths, very different from the traditional broad cloths and narrow kerseys of Yorkshire. The fancy trade had started in the last quarter of the 18th century and by 1822 there were 102 manufacturers of fancy goods attending Huddersfield Market. The fancy trade occupied a definite geo- graphical area to the east and south east of Huddersfield, and Lepton, with nineteen manufacturers, came second only to Almondbury with twenty four. Using cotton, silk, wool and worsted yarns the trade fell into three branches making woollen cords, cassinets and waistcoatings. The latter was the most important part of the fancy trade and was the occupation of the Lascelles Hall handloom weavers. The weavers either owned their own loom or hired one from the manufacturers who distributed the yarns and collected the woven pieces from the cottages, paying the operatives seven shillings a week for the cheapest class of cloth or twelve shillings for the finest work. In 1841 the population of Lascelles Hall was around 500 of whom 131 were fancy hand loom weavers. By 1881 the population had slowly grown to 650 of whom only 38 were still carrying on the old trade. These figures clearly demonstrate the rise of the mill with its power looms at the expense of the old cottage industry.

At the sign ‘leading to Marie Close' walk up the unmade road. Bear left behind the town houses making for a large white building which was once a granary and is now converted into four houses.

THE LAYGARTH The area you are now entering is called the Laygarth and a century ago it was a warren of alleys closely packed with small cottages. Here, again, according to John Edwin Thewlis, there lived in the 1880's 'more than twenty professional cricketers, past and present’. Today many of the old cottages have disappeared and the Laygarth is a somewhat haphazard mixture of red brick, stone and cement rendered


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houses which retains very little of the atmosphere of an old settlement. That this is an old settlement there can be very little doubt for this small plateau is the highest land in the area and before the modern houses were built it must have commanded the surrounding countryside. The question of the wherea- bouts of the site of the first (medieval) Lascelles Hall has never been conclusively answered, the issue being confused by the fact that a second Lascelles Hall was built early in the seventeenth century by John Ramsden. However, most local historians favour the site of the present hall as the medieval settlement and if they are right there can be little doubt that the Laygarth was the site of John Ramsden's Hall. A description of the house in the Laygarth, written in the last century, says: The old house formerly known as Lascelles Hall is now uninhabited and fast falling into decay. It is sur- rounded by cottages of a very humble character but even in ruin it is distinguished by certain architectural features which stamp it as having been the residence of a family of position’. One of the old houses here is still known as the Courthouse and a photograph of the Laygarth taken in 1930 reveals an area then surrounded by derelict cottages which was called the Courtyard. Further confirmation that there was once an important house here came in 1982 with the discovery of a massive and impressive stone fireplace which had been hidden behind a plastered wall in an old cottage. The fireplace (which has been preserved but cannot be seen as it is in a private garden) has been tentatively dated to the late 16th or early 17th centuries and because of its age, size and position it seems probable that it was once part of one of the Lascelles Halls. Perhaps the most conclusive proof, however, that a Lascelles Hall once stood in the Laygarth comes through the names of properties mentioned in a deed of 1661 which records the sale, for £720, to the Rev. Christopher Richardson of: All that good and capital Messuage in Lepton... called Lassel Hall And all the old Laith and other housing to the Dove Cote with all the Garner Chambers... with the moyety and half part of the Fould and the moyety and half part of the Courtyard and the half part of the Laith-garth’. The large white building, now a row of houses, was once part of the Lascelles Hall Brewery which was in operation from the middle to the end of the last century. Tradition has it that this building was the granary and certainly, even today, in the loft of at least one of the houses there remains a lingering smell of grain. It is worth noting that in 1661 there is mention of ‘Garner Chambers in the Laygarth and whilst we are not suggesting that this


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building dates from then it is an interesting thought that this may well be a ‘descendant of the earlier building. The Brewery was a substantial building consisting of a brewing room, a fermenting room with twelve ashlar ferment- ing squares, an office, a boiler house with a two flued 18 feet x 7 feet diameter boiler and an engine house with workshop over. The engine was a 7 h.p. horizontal steam engine with a 60 inch flywheel. In 1871 Richard Durrans, a local man, was the Brewer and he had an assistant William Wheelock who aptly enough had come here from Burton on Trent. The Brewery was dismantled in 1897 and the contents were put up for auction in November of that year.

Walk past the old granary building to a path which leads down the hill to Lower Hall Road. At Lower Hall Road turn left into Lascelles Hall Road. Turn right and walk to the junction with Wakefield Road.

COWMES COMMON The hillside to the left of Lascelles Hall Road was one of the last commons of Lepton and was probably left uncultivated because of its steep- ness. Its area can be defined by such place names as Cowmes Side, which is now called Station Road, Common End Lane which runs from Station Road to Rowley and Cowmes Top which is near Greave House. The Common End area in Lascelles Hall probably marks its northern extremity. The name Cowmes is derived from the Middle English 'Colm’, meaning coal dust or slack, and some of the many place names in Yorkshire with a Comb or Combe element have the same derivation. The first known reference to Cowmes in this area is found in 1537 and in 1582 there is mention of Cowmbe Smythies. It is known that there was an Iron Forge at work over 400 years ago close to Spa Bottom ata place still known as Cinders by some local residents. In 1563 the

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families. From its earliest days the woollen industry had needed a strong alkaline substance for the process of scouring. Until the mid 1820's there was only for sucha substance - stale urine. This nauseous liquid, known as wash or weeting, was preserved by the cottagers for scouring their own cloth or

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Cross Wakefield Road, using the zebra crossing, and walk down Fenay Bridge Lane, to the area known as Spa Bottom. Continue along Fenay Bridge Lane to its junction with Station Road.

The house immediately opposite the zebra crossing was once Cowmes Road End Club, nicknamed

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Back on Fenay Bridge Lane, note the buildings further along on the left which are now the offices of Messrs. Elliott's Bricks Ltd. These were once the joy - or despair - of many of the children in the area for this was Lepton Board School. Built to comply with the Education Act of 1870, which stipulated compulsory education for all children, the school opened on 23rd July 1877. The first meeting of the School Board for the Township of Lepton had been held two years previously at the Poorhouse at Cowmes Side. Half an acre of land fronting on to Cowmes Lane (now Fenay Bridge Lane) was bought for £250 and the school buildings had to be built to accommodate 150 boys and girls and

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shooting’. The school ceased to function as a Junior school in 1969 and finally closed in December 1979.

THE RAILWAY Running parallel with the road, on its right hand side, is the track of the old Kirkburton branch line. Built by the London and North Western Railway Company the line was opened on Monday, 6th October 1867 when a deco- rated tank engine hauled the first train from Huddersfield to Kirkburton. A great many people, braving the early morning rain, gathered by the perma- nent way to cheer the train along. For many years the passenger traffic between Huddersfield and Kirkburton was operated by trains on the push and pull system - the

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after collecting the proper toll. These varied, of course, according to the nature of the traffic. Typical costs would be, for ahorse drawing a coach or cart 6d., a horse not drawing, 1d., a drove of oxen or cattle, 10d. per score and a drove of sheep or swine 5d. per score. Exemptions from tolls were granted for avariety of reasons and as late as 1820 a list of those exempted on this turnpike included members of the Royal Family and their retinues, mail carriers, wounded or disabled soldiers, the Vicar on his way to church and persons going to or from the church, a funeral, an election or the fields. The Fenay Bridge Barhouse was a single storey building with a small bow window which allowed the tollkeeper to see traffic approaching on both sides of his gate.

FENAY BRIDGE STATION Turning back to walk uphill notice the Coal Merchant's yard through the white gates on the right. This was the site of Fenay Bridge Station which gave the road its name. Smaller than both the other stations (Kirkburton and Kirkheaton) on the branch line this station was opened on 1st June 1868 when an excursion train picked up passengers for a three and sixpenny journey to Liverpool. The goods yard at the station handled large quantities of gunpow- der intended for use in the firework factories at Rowley Hill. More dangerous traffic even than this was handled during the First World War when nearly eleven million hand grenades, which had been filled at a nearby factory, were dispatched from the station on their way to the army. A seat on the right hand side of Station Road is conveniently placed to allow a respite from the steep gradient and it is interesting whilst sitting here to imagine the horse drawn coaches and carts of the turnpike era struggling to reach the top of the hill especially in inclement weather when the (to our eyes) poor road surface would make conditions very difficult.

Turn right on Common End Lane and continue along the lane as it turns right down the hill to its junction with Rowley Lane, passing through Rowley village.

COMMON END LANE - ROWLEY VILLAGE The modern housing development called The Clough is built in part of a once sizeable sandstone quarry. There area number of entries in the Lepton Rentals describing fields where there were quarries, some of which provided stone for the Commissioners of the road and occasionally there is the terse comment that such stone ought to be paid for. Common End Lane runs in its entirety through land that belonged to


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the Earl of Dartmouth whose family had inherited all the Woodsome Estate through the marriage of one of its heirs to a Kaye heiress. Itis appropriate then that from here there is a delightful view of Woodsome Park with its beautiful avenue of mature trees running up to the old hall. Rowley is another of Lepton Township's scattered hamlets and the houses are much the same mixture of eighteenth and nineteenth century buildingswe have seen before. The name Rowley means rough lea orclearing. It first appears in 1175 as Ruleia and in 1202 there is mention of Roulaibikt. Byht is derived from an Old English word meaning curve or bend and probably refers here to a bend in the Fenay Beck as it flows along the valley below Rowley. The surname Rowley is not unknown in the district today and it is possible that people with this name are descendants of the families here hundreds of years ago. The occupations of the Rowley villagers a hundred or more years ago were the usual Lepton mixture of weavers, miners, manufacturers and farm labourers but there was also another industry which started here, grew and developed in the area and which continued to offer employment to local people until recent years. In 1847 Allen Jessop of Rowley started making squibs as a hobby and from this small beginning developed the Lepton firework industry. By 1871 Allen Jessop was described as a firework manufac- turer of Rowley Hill and, nearby, Bob Shaw

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out to women at home, a practice that continued until the closure of Lion. Their job was to roll cases, put on the blue touch paper and fix on the labels. They were paid by the gross. To see some of the remaining buildings of the firework industry walk through the car park opposite the club. The Office Buildings, to the right of the open space, were those of Lion Fireworks as the letters L.F.Co.Ltd. on the gates confirm.

ROWLEY HILL CHAPEL Early in the year 1885, Fred Sykes, an ardent temperance worker, held a number of religious meetings in Rowley Hill. He subsequently reported to the local preachers' meeting that the small community had no place of worship nearer than Lepton or Dogley. As a result of his report four local preachers from the Queen Street, Huddersfield, Wesleyan Circuit volunteered to set up a mission in the village. On a Thursday evening in June 1885 an open-air service was held on a site opposite the Working Men's club. The service was well attended and similar meetings were held every Thursday evening until September. By this time increased interest encouraged the four missionaries to take a cottage situated near to the club in which services were held not only on Thursday but also on Sunday afternoons and evenings. By March 1886 the mission was confident enough to propose the building of a new chapel at Rowley Hill. Money for the new venture was raised through direct giving and through bazaars and sales of work. The stone laying ceremony was on Saturday, 14th August 1886 and the opening ceremony on Saturday, 5th February 1887. The architect was Mr. J.G. Wilson of Huddersfield who chose to build not in local stone but in a warm red sandstone. The final cost of the building was £465. The chapel soon became the centre of village life and by 1891 the Trustees were urging the building of a Sunday School. The Circuit, however, would give them no financial help and it was to be another twenty one years before sufficient money had been collected tostart building. The schoolroom, built behind the church, was opened to great rejoicing on Saturday, 15th February 1913. But times change and by the mid 1980's the congregation had dwindled toamere handful. An attemptto prolong the life of this small chapel was made by making it a combined Anglican and Methodist Church but the venture soon failed and Rowley Hill Chapel, once the centre of so much pride,


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education and enjoyment, finally closed its doors to worshippers. The chapel and school are presently being renovated and converted into two apartments.

ROWLEY HILL WORKING MEN'S CLUB Unlike most of the other clubs in the Lepton area this club does not seem to have ever had a nickname. It started in the small cottage which now forms part of its premises but for a time it moved to a larger building on the other side of the road which the members had built. However, maintenance cost proved prohibitive and the club had to sell the new premises and move back to the original ones. The second club is now two private houses and can be seen a little further along the road, on the left, recognisable by the foundation stones on either side of the door.

At the junction of Common End Lane and Rowley Lane turn left and walk up the hill back to the starting point of the walk.

ROWLEY LANE In 1915 at the edge of the field on the left hand side of the bend anumber of wooden sheds were erected to accommodate Belgian miners brought in to sink shafts for the Swift and Netherwood Colliery in Lepton Great Wood. The huts eventually attracted squatters who brought with them the usual problems of squalor.

THE BAR HOUSE Returning to the Sun Inn notice, on the right of Rowley Lane

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The Whitley Beaumont Papers held by Local Studies Dept. Huddersfield Library. Census Returns 1841 - 1881 Ditto Trade Directories, Huddersfield and West Riding Ditto The Huddersfield Examiner (Microfilm copies) Ditto Kirkheaton Parish Registers Ditto Lepton Township Maps - 1780 & 1720 Ditto Kirkheaton Township Map - O.S. Maps, Lepton & Kirkheaton 1853, 1907 & 1936 Ditto

Accounts of the Charity Commissioners

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To: Dr. George Redmonds for information, encouragement and advice. Bishop P. Harris, former rector of Kirkheaton for granting an interview and access to documents. Dr. M.D. Woolgar for help with natural history. Dr. P. Nicholas for help with the Firework Industry. Mrs. C. Ronayne for Spa Green and Club nicknames. Mr. K. Hinchliffe for Oakes Fold. Mr. A. Barber for information on Victoria Colliery and the Fireworks Industry. Doreen and Jeff Basnett for help with walk No. 3. Mrs. M. McClure __) Mrs. E. Wheatley )

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