Bethel Holroyd (1804-1874)

Bethel Holroyd was a South Crosland stone mason and builder, who built the Bethel Buildings in Netherton, as well as other working-class housing in the Lockwood and Holmfirth areas.


He was born on 28 May 1804, the son of stone mason Joseph Holroyd[1] and his wife Mary, and was baptised on 22 June 1804 at the High Street Methodist New Connexion Church in Huddersfield.

It seems possible his brother was Charles Holroyd (c.1802-1878), a farmer and stone mason of Lower Bank, South Crosland, and later of Netherton Bank.[2]

He married Ann Oldfield (c.1810-1858) on Christmas Day 1826 at All Hallows, Almondbury,[3] and they had at least five children:

  • Allen Holroyd (c.1833-1834)[4]
  • Mary Holroyd (1834-1916)[5]married 14 October 1872 to John Schofield (c.1837-1910) at Holy Trinity, South Crosland
  • Edwin Holroyd (1837-1888) — married 16 July 1866 to Jane Preston at All Hallows, Almondbury, and they had at least four children:
    • unnamed infant daughter who died before being baptised (1867)[6]
    • John Ernest Preston Holroyd (1868-1922)[7]
    • Ann Maria Holroyd (1876-?)[8]travelled to Melrose, Massachusetts, America, in 1903 with her cousin, Emily J. Philpott, wife of Andrew Philpott[9] and married twice in America: James Jackson (c.1863-1908) in 1905 and Anton Waldemar Swanson (1889-1962) in 1911
    • Janet Emily Holroyd (1879-?)[10]married Arthur Taylor of Meltham in 1903 and they immigrated to America in 1912 to join Ann Maria[11]
  • Joseph Holroyd (c.1840-1842)[12]
  • Emma Jane Holroyd (c.1843-1923)[13]married American dentist Charles Gilbert Wilson and they had at least three children:
    • Louisa Wilson (c.1874-?)
    • William Wilson (c.1875-?)
    • Henry Bertram Wilson (c.1878-1903)

After Ann died on 4 August 1858, aged 48, he married spinster milliner Sarah Sykes (c.1810-?), daughter of manufacturer George Sykes of Longwood, at the Buxton Road Wesleyan Methodist Church on 20 March 1861.[14]

The Pigot and Co. directory of 1841 listed him as a stone merchant.

Sometime in the early 1840s, he built a row of properties in Netherton — which became known as the "Bethel Buildings" or "Bethel Row" — and moved into the end house where he is listed in the 1851 and 1861 Censuses.

He also built a further row of eight properties nearby in the 1860s, likely with the help of his stone mason son Edwin. Known as Spring Terrace, they are situated on Meltham Road between Netherton and Big Valley. He then moved in to 1 Spring Terrace, in time for the 1871 Census, whilst Edwin moved to 4 Spring Terrace.

In July 1866, he was summoned before Huddersfield magistrates for not providing adequate drainage in "a number of back to back cottages" on Victoria Street, Lockwood. Water and waste matter from the street was finding its way into the cellars of the properties, but Holroyd felt this was the Lockwood Local Board's fault for not having laid adequate drains. The magistrates disagreed and he was ordered to "abate the nuisance", otherwise he would be fined 10s. per week.[15]

In June 1874, the Wooldale Local Board served notice on him to build a wall around a quarry at Hey, as "children had fallen into [it]".[16]

Bethel Holroyd died on 12 September 1874 and was buried on 16 September at Holy Trinity, South Crosland. His tombstone reads:

In Memory of Allen, Son of Bethel and Ann Holroyd of Netherton, who died Nov'er 24th 1834 Aged 2 Years. Also of Joseph their Son, who died March 1st 1842 Aged 1 Year. Also of the above Ann Holroyd who died Aug'st 4th 1858 Aged 48 Years. Also of the above Bethel Holroyd, who died September 12th 1874, Aged 70 Years. Also of Mary Schofield, entered into rest, October 4th 1916. Also of Emma Jane Wilson, sister of the above who died December 28th 1923, Aged 80 Years.

His Last Will and Testament indicates that he also owned (and presumably built) a row of properties known as "Albert Terrace" in Thongsbridge — these appear to have been in the vicinity of Heys Road and Miry Lane.[17]

Edwin then moved his family into 1 Spring Terrace, where he died in April 1888.[18] His widow, Jane, then moved with her children back to the Bethel Buildings, where they resided until around 1903. Edwin's daughters then immigrated to America, where they both married, and his son returned temporarily to 1 Spring Terrace before moving to Halifax.

Family Tree

bethelholroyd,Bethel Holroyd (1804-1874)


    Loading... ::::::omeka tag Bethel Holroyd (1804-1874):::instagram BFYzfM4jXQu:::

Further Reading

Notes and References

  1. Probably Joseph Holroyd (c.1776-1839) who died aged 63 and was buried on 26 April 1839 at Holy Trinity, South Crosland.
  2. Charles Holroyd died in June 1878 aged 76 and was buried on 22 June at Holy Trinity, South Crosland.
  3. The marriage was witnessed by Joshua Nobel and Samuel Noble.
  4. Baptised 13 January 1833 at All Hallows, Almondbury. Died 24 November 1834 and buried 27 November at Holy Trinity, South Crosland
  5. Died 4 October 1916.
  6. Death on 1 July 1867 reported in the local newspaper.
  7. Born 25 October 1868 and baptised 27 October 1868 at Holy Trinity, South Crosland. Did not marry and died 16 April 1922 in Halifax.
  8. Born 25 July 1876 and baptised 24 September 1876 at Holy Trinity, South Crosland.
  9. Presumably the Andrew W. Philpott who married Emily Jane Preston Lockwood Maynard on 31 October 1898 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She is named as the daughter of Ben Lockwood and Selina Preston.
  10. Born in Thongsbridge and baptised 20 Jul 1879 in Holmfirth.
  11. Arthur and Janet Emily Taylor appear on the US 1940 Census living on Morton Street, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Arthur is listed a weaver working at Pluck Mill.
  12. Died 1 March 1842 aged 1 year.
  13. Died 28 December 1923 aged 80.
  14. The marriage was witnessed by Abel Taylor and Jane Taylor.
  15. "Magistrates in Petty Sessions: Sanitary Condition of Lockwood" in the Huddersfield Chronicle (21/Jul/1866). The issue was first recorded by the Nuisance Inspector at the Lockwood Local Board meeting in May 1866, although the chair responded that "it was about to be remedied."
  16. "Holmfirth: Wooldale Local Board" in Huddersfield Chronicle (27/Jun/1874).
  17. Assuming the houses are still standing, they are most likely this row, situated near the former Albert Hotel on Miry Lane.
  18. Edwin Holroyd was buried on 25 April 1888 at Holy Trinity, South Crosland.