Yorkshire Archaeological Journal (1938) - Stone Tenter Posts in Saddleworth
SADDLEWORTH, THURSTON CLOUGH ROAD. Stone Tenter Posts between Heights Farmhouse and Greaves Farmhouse. Series of 11 tenter posts. 1840. Erected for Robert Greaves (flannel manufacturer). Stone. Posts stand approx. 2m. high and at 2 to 5m. intervals in a straight line. The southern sides have square projections. Used in the drying and stretching of woollen cloth.
STONE TENTER POSTS IN SADDLEWORTH.
Mr. Ammon Wrigley has recently called attention to a remarkable set of standing stones that are aligned, approximately east and west, on the hill-side between the old Austerlands road (from High Thurston Clough to Doctor Head) and the later and lower turnpike that passes through Wall Hill and Scout Head. Though the row is now interrupted by a modern field wall and a few of the stones have been broken up or removed, there are still about sixteen standing, regularly spaced over a distance of approximately 44 yards. They are massive slabs (of Highmoor stone), obviously all cut to the same shape for some purpose, but what that purpose was is not apparent. The original six-inch Ordnance map (Yorkshire, sheet 270) supplies the clue, for on the site of these stones, in the second field south of Greaves, it shows a line of "Tenters," and another shorter one in the next field towards Wall Hill. Long rows of wooden tenters for drying and stretching flannels and cloth were a familiar feature of the landscape in parts of the West Riding not so long ago. In Saddleworth timber was scarce and stone abundant, and Robert Greaves, flannel manufacturer of Wall Hill about a century ago, showed the native resource of the domestic clothier in utilising what came to his hand, when he probably set up these unique tenter posts. They stand fully six feet high and their narrow faces (to the south) are recessed at the top to carry the upper rail bolted to the slabs. The lower slot was cut deeper and considerably longer (about 13 ins.) because the lower rail had to be movable to stretch the blankets. So the rail itself was free but was held in the slot by a bar in front of it, sunk flush with the face of the stone and bolted to it top and bottom.