Barley Misery, Crosland Hill

Barley Misery, also known as Thewlis Lane Farm and Graham's Farm, is a now-demolished farm on Crosland Hill, situated between Thewlis Lane and Balmoral Avenue.


The farm is named as "Barley Misery" on the 1854 Ordnance Survey map, but appears on later maps as Thewlis Lane Farm. However, the original name remained in use locally.

By 1871, 40-year-old Tom Graham (1830-1883) was residing at the property, together with his wife Isabella, four sons, and a domestic servant. Working the farm was labourer William Rollin (aged 35) from Retford.[1]

Within a few years, Tom Graham had moved to nearby Dryclough Farm and his younger brother, Joseph (1837-1895), had taken over Barley Misery. Both were sons of local stone mason and builder Abraham Graham (1804-1871), whose work included the Britannia Buildings and Deanhouse Workhouse.

At the time of the 1881 Census, Joseph was listed as the farmer of "Graham's Farm", together with his wife Sarah Ann (née Barrow) and farmhand Thomas Woodall (aged 34). He had previous worked as a stone merchant's contractor in the Crosland Moor area (1871 Census).

The 1891 Census records the next farmhand as being Robert Southwaite (aged 59).

Yorkshire Herald (16/Mar/1895)

In March 1895, Joseph Graham placed a notice in the press for a "sober" farmer man. He died a few months later on 22 September 1895, leaving effects worth around £825 to his widow.

The 1901 Census lists 50-year-old farm labourer Sam Nelson residing at Thewlis Lane Farm, together with his wife Emma and two daughters.

By 1911, George Henry Goddard was the farmer, along with his wife Frances Eliza. Assisting him was farm horseman Fred Puckering.

On 17 October 1934, the freehold of the farm was auctioned in Huddersfield, and was described as comprising the farm buildings and "35 acres of land in the occupation of Mr. Wm. Battye."[2]

London Gazette (09/Mar/1937)

In March 1937, dairy farmer John Holy of Dryclough Farm, Crosland Moor, was declared bankrupt. It was stated that he was "also in business at Barley Misery Farm, Crosland Moor."[3]

The farm buildings were granted a Grade II Listing status in September 1978 with the following description:

Early C19. Hammer dressed stone. Pitched slate roof. 2 storeys. One coped gable end. One range of 3-light stone mullioned windows, and one 2-light stone mullioned window on 1st floor. Breaks back at west end: one 4-light stone mullioned window (3 lights blocked) blocked window to ground floor. Barn at east end: segment-headed planked doors lean-to outshut with catslide roof to rear. 2-storey lean-to extension at east end.

However, it seems the buildings then quickly fell into a state of disrepair and had mostly collapsed within a decade.

Planning permission was granted in the mid-1990s for the last remaining wall to be demolished.[4]

The Listed status was eventually withdrawn after a "survey of the area by West Yorkshire Archaeology Services in 2012 reported that the farmhouse and barn were derelict."

In 2014, Kirklees Council granted permission for mineral extraction to take place on the land and the whole area is now quarried by Johnsons Wellfield Quarries Ltd.[5]


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Notes and References

  1. William's wife Emma and his five children were living with him.
  2. Yorkshire Post (06/Oct/1934).
  3. "Bankruptcy Act, 1914" in Yorkshire Post (10/Mar/1937).
  4. Kirklees Council Planning Applications (reference: 96/65/93020/W1).
  5. For further details, including information about Thewlis Lane Farm, see Kirklees Council Planning Applications (reference: 2013/62/90793/W0).