Barkerite Farm, Crosland Moor

Barkerite Farm is a former farm situated on Crosland Moor off Felks Stile Road, and was seemingly also known as France Lane Farm, Providence House Farm, Batty's Farm and Swallow's Farm.

The site of the farm buildings now forms the car park of Crosland Heath Golf Club, with one of the farmhouses converted into a club house.


The 1854 Ordnance Survey shows that the farm buildings had yet to be built, but an area of the land had been planted with trees and was known as Batty's Plantation.

The main farmhouse appears to have been known as Providence House, with a nearby property housing farm labourers.

Both the 1894 and 1908 OS maps named the farm as Barkerite Farm, which implies a link to Leeds preacher Joseph Barker (1806-1875) who had been expelled from the Methodist New Connexion in 1841 and later joined with the Primitive Methodists. His adherents were known as "Barkerites".[1] In an April 1864 article on a boundary dispute b1etween Linthwaite and Lockwood, the newspaper references France Lane and "the road that runs through the Bakerite land".[2] According to a 2014 article in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, a group of Chartists met in 1849 "at a Crosland Moor farm owned by the Barkerites, hence the name of the farm."[3]

At Whitsuntide in June 1870, farmer James Swallow[4] allowed around 500 members of the Methodist New Connexion to use the farm and provided refreshments. The Huddersfield Chronicle reported that "selected hymns for the occasion were sung, and a very pleasant evening spent in sports and games."[5] Similar events were held in September 1872[6] and June 1876[7], but the Whitsuntide trip to Swallow's farm in May 1874[8] was abandoned due to poor weather and instead took place towards the end of June[9] with 200 attendees.

In August 1876, labourers Jonathan Stoddart and William Hepworth, both of Crosland Moor, were charged with "damaging a rockery" belonging to farmer James Swallow at Huddersfield Borough Police Court. Both men were found guilty and fined 10s. plus costs.[10] Hepworth seemingly held a grudge and was one of several men found guilty of trespassing on Swallow's land in search of game on 20 November 1880.[11]

Swallow made his land available to members of Huddersfield High Street Sunday School Band of Hope for their annual picnic in August 1883, where they played cricket and held races.[12]

James Swallow died in 1890 and an auction of "farm stock, produce, implements" and household furniture was held at Providence House on 15 October 1890. The furniture included an Axminster rug, an iron Tudor bedstead, two Ottomans, and oil paintings.[13]

Just prior the outbreak of the First World War, the members of a golf club originally located at Cowlersley were required to move. By 1914 they had purchased the farm and adjacent land from James' son, farmer and butcher Thomas Green Swallow. Thomas's son Lewis later became a member of Crosland Health Golf Club.

Census Returns

year household residents
1871 Providence House, Batty's Farm farmer James Swallow (52), his wife Mary (54), their children Fred (16), Tom G. (11) and Mary A. (7), and their servant Mary Walker (14)
Batty's Farm quarryman Joseph Rangely (47), his wife Martha (45), and their children Alice (15) and James (12)
1881 Providence House Farm farmer of 34 acres James Swallow (60), his wife Mary (64), their children Tom G. (21) and Mary A. (17), Tom's wife Eliza Swallow and their son Lewis (5 months), and their lodger Eliza Wagstaff (79)
Providence House Farm Cottage farm servant Francis Holmes (28), his wife Rachel (25), and their daughters Edith A. (1) and Helena (4 months)
1891 Providence House, France Lane Farm farmer and butcher Tom G. Swallow (31), his wife Eliza (33) and their three children Lewis (10), Percy (8) and Edgar (7)
1901 Swallow's Farm farmer Thomas Swallow (42), his wife Eliza (43) and their children weaver Lewis (20), plumber's apprentice Percy (18), Edgar (12) and Lilian A (2)
Swallow's Yard farm labourer Thomas Fenton (47) and housekeeper Elizabeth Fisher (35)
1911 Bakerite Farm farmer Tom Green Swallow (51), his wife Eliza (53) and their three children plumber Percy (28), weaver Edgar (22) and Lilian Alice (12)
Barkerite Farm Cottage woollen fitter John Charles Gee (46) and housekeeper Frances Gee (54)

Discovering Old Huddersfield

Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter

The golf club, which was formed in Cowlersley in 1896, moved to its present location, the fields and homestead of Barkerite Farm, in 1914. Until the farm buildings could be converted into a clubhouse members used the nearby Sands House Inn as a clubhouse. After the lease expired in 1920 the land was bought by the club and a limited company was formed.

About half a mile beyond Sands House Lane, look out on the right for a short section of the golf course boundary wall that is higher than the rest. This coincides exactly with the one time edge of a closely set stand of trees, originally called Batty's Plantation and later, The Royalty. Old plantations like this one usually contained just one or two species, often a mixture of a conifer and a broad leaf variety. Unlike trees in natural woodland, plantation trees were not coppiced and they did not therefore renew themselves through natural regrowth. On reaching commercial maturity, plantations were felled and replaced by newly planted stock.

Although the tradition of plantations in this country goes back to c. 1600 it is unlikely that Batty's Plantation is any older than the early nineteenth century, as its straight sided rectangular shape is typical of the landscape that resulted from the Parliamentary enclosures of that time. The name change to the Royalty occurred in the late 1890s. Unfortunately, we can find no explanation for this impressive name. Today, the Royalty, no longer managed for timber crops, has been invaded by a number of native trees. Although it no longer reaches the roadside it may still be seen (through a convenient gap in the wall) beyond and between the fairways and greens of the Crosland Heath Golf Club. Doubtless it is the repository of many lost golf balls.


Notes and References

  1. Wikipedia: Joseph Barker.
  2. "Linthwaite: Local Board" in Huddersfield Chronicle (30/Apr/1864).
  3. "Crosland Heath Golf Club in Huddersfield kick off packed calendar to mark their centenary" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (31/May/2014).
  4. James Swallow presumably moved to the farm in the 1860s, as the 1861 Census lists him as a "cap maker" residing on Manchester Road. Prior to that, he lived at Folly Hall (1851 Census) and Tunnel House in Longwood (1841 Census).
  5. "Whitsuntide Festivities: Huddersfield Dissenting Schools" in Huddersfield Chronicle (11/Jun/1870).
  6. "Local News: A Sabbath School Treat" in Huddersfield Chronicle (14/Sep/1872).
  7. "Whitsuntide Festivities: High Street (New Connexion)" in Huddersfield Chronicle (10/Jun/1876).
  8. "Methodist New Connexion Sunday School" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (27/May/1874).
  9. "High Street School" in Huddersfield Chronicle (27/Jun/1874).
  10. "Huddersfield Borough Police Court" in Huddersfield Chronicle (12/Aug/1876).
  11. "Borough Police Court: Trespass in Search of Game" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (18/Jan/1881).
  12. "Band of Hope Pic-nic" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (14/Aug/1883).
  13. Public notices in Huddersfield Chronicle (04/Oct/1890) and (11/Oct/1890).