Moor Cock Inn, Hepworth

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  • also known as: Moorcock Inn
  • location: Law Slack Road (junction with Penistone Road), Hepworth
  • status: still exists but now in different use
  • category: public house, beerhouse, inn, etc.

The Moorcock was situated on the Holmfirth District Turnpike Road.

On the evening of Saturday 7 July 1923, labourer John William Heppenstall (aged 65) was sitting in the taproom of the inn whilst a "severe thunderstorm was raging" outside. A friend suggested Heppenstall might want to move away from the window but he replied "there was nothing to fear as it was only sheet lightning and could do no harm". Moments later, there was a "loud double crack" as lightning struck the inn and Heppenstall, who was "wearing clogs with large irons on the soles", died instantly. According to the landlord, Joseph Kenworthy, "several pictures in the room were smashed, and the walls looked as though they had been struck with a pick-axe". At the subsequent inquest Coroner E. W. Norris recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.[1] During the same storm, "cattle were struck dead in a field at Honley" and a "small hay rick at Arrunden" was destroyed by fire.[2]

The inn was referred to the Compensation Authority in March 1927 and Joseph Kenworthy's licence renewal on 2 June was refused. It was reported that "the house was an old one in a poor state of repair" and that there were two other pubs in the district (which only had a population of 116).[3] The licence expired on 24 December 1927 and Kenworthy received £700 in compensation.

Landlords & Licensees

  • John Battye (by 1861)
  • Sarah Battye (7 March 1882)
  • James Battye (30 September 1884)
  • Joseph Kenworthy (29 July 1902)

Census Returns

  • 1861 — farmer & publican John Batty (aged 55)
  • 1871 — farmer & innkeeper John Battye (aged 66)
  • 1881 — farmer & innkeeper John Battye (aged 75)


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Notes and References

  1. "Lightning and Clogs" in Sheffield Daily Telegraph (10/Jul/1923).
  2. "Man Killed Near Holmfirth" in Yorkshire Post (09/Jul/1923).
  3. "Old Inn To Go" in Yorkshire Post (09/Mar/1927)