WAKEFIELD ROAD. Roebuck Memorial Homes, including the terrace and boundary walls. Four pairs of interlinked cottages, built 1932 by Clifford Hickson of local architects Hickson, Hickson and Hickson. Constructed in local stone, dressed and coursed, with dark grey tiled roofs, two storey. Each pair of semi-detached houses is linked by open loggias, with a central open pavilion, and terraced garden in front bounded by a stone wall with access gates at each end. The houses have hipped roofs with a single central tall chimney stack on each pair. Classical style pedimented doorways with plain doors, set in single storey porches with hipped roofs continuous with the main roofs. Single, six light ground floor window to each house with stone mullions and transoms, and three light stone mullioned window above. The window frames are modern but unobtrusive. Rear of houses show some variations in window arrangements but otherwise regular, all apparently original. Central pavilion has a hipped roof and portico front with four engaged columns framing wrought iron gates, beneath a Tuscan style entablature with a coat of arms sculpture above. Front terrace garden includes stone paths, low walls and steps, with a boundary wall to the front and sides with entrance gates in wrought iron leading to a drive at each end of the group, and a central wrought iron gate flanked by pillars. The whole group including the gardens and boundary walls fronts onto the main Wakefield road.
Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:
On the right hand side of Wakefield Road look out for four pairs of houses standing in pleasant gardens. The houses were given to the town by Harry Roebuck who was born at Little Carr Green, Dalton in 1857. At the age of twenty-one he founded a cabinet making business, known as the Steam Cabinet Works, at Storthes, Moldgreen and in 1903 he opened a large furniture shop and workrooms at Aspley. Over the next few years the firm grew steadily until there were fifteen Roebuck branch shops in West Yorkshire and Lancashire. When he retired in 1922 his sons Gilbert and Clement took over the management of the firm which thrived for another forty years. In the 1960s, as they approached retirement, the brothers gradually disposed of the branch shops and the firm finally closed down in 1967 when the premises at Aspley were sold.
Ten years after he retired, Harry Roebuck built the eight houses in Wakefield Road as a Memorial to his wife, Jane, and his son, Leonard, an officer in the Royal Flying Corps who was fatally injured in a flying accident in 1918. In January 1933 Mr. Roebuck presented the houses, which he endowed free of rents, rates, lighting and heating, to the Corporation to use as "eventide homes" for elderly, impoverished couples.
The houses with their connecting loggias, central summerhouse and attractive gardens were much admired at the time of their construction and were described by a local newspaper as an "architectural gem" and "a source of envy to visitors from a distance."Harry Roebuck died in November 1938. Just over thirty years later, his son Clement, inspired no doubt by his father's example, built, endowed and presented four cottage homes to the village of Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales.