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Also by Terry Spencer

The following studies by Terry Spencer are now available on the Knottingley website:

KNOTTINGLEY CARNIVAL
By the last quarter of the nineteenth century the August Bank Holiday period at Knottingley abounded in fun and frolic with the Feast as the hub of the festivities. The fair was supplemented by community sports and of the sporting element within the town none was more prominent than Knottingley Town Cricket Club.

KNOTTLA FLATTS:
Situated on the southern bank of the River Aire, to the north side of Aire Street, lies Knottingley Flatts. Today, the Flatts occupy only a small portion of the original layout which comprised the greater part of Knottingley Ings.

KNOTTLA FEAST:
The modern image of the fair is one of outdoor entertainment for pleasure seeking people but such a concept is one which has developed over the last two centuries being born as a result of the Industrial Revolution.

HOSPITAL SUNDAYS:
Prior to the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948 local people relied for health care in the event of sickness or serious injury upon charitable institutions such as Pontefract Dispensary and Leeds Infirmary.

KNOTTINGLEY COAT-OF-ARMS:
The application by Knottingley Urban District Council for a grant of arms was made to the College of Arms, London, in mid 1942.

FERRYBRIDGE GLASSWORKS:
That there was a glassworks at Ferrybridge is indisputable for it was both documented and photographed. That it was situated on the north bank of the River Aire "..where the Parish of Brotherton merges into the Parish of Ferrybridge" is confirmed by map reference. The doubt lies not in the existence or location of the furnace but with its origin.

NINETEENTH CENTURY KNOTTINGLEY:
The township of Knottingley, situated three miles north-east of Pontefract in the Wapentake of Osgoldcross, developed from a 6th century Saxon settlement in a forest clearing on the south bank of the river Aire. By the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066 the settlement had acquired the status of a manorial vill

KNOTTINGLEY PLAYING FIELDS:
As the process of industrialisation and urban development gained pace in the second half of the nineteenth century the provision of public spaces such as municipal gardens and parks for the purpose of public recreation and amenity became increasingly desirable.

CAPTAIN PERCY BENTLEY:
Percy Bentley, scion of a prominent Knottingley family, was born in that town on the 18th January 1891, the son of James William and Helena Bentley, and was baptised in the parish church of St. Botolph on the 11th February.

KNOTTINGLEY WAR MEMORIAL:
On Wednesday, 25th September 1918, a committee previously sanctioned by Knottingley Urban District Council in meeting assembled, met in the Council Chamber at Knottingley Town Hall to consider the form of memorial to the men who had fallen during the Great War.

FERRYBRIDGE WAR MEMORIAL:
No less than the citizens of its larger neighbour, the inhabitants of the village of Ferrybridge decided to honour those drawn from the community and slain in the Great War.

THE 'K' SISTERS:
For approximately a decade from the mid 1940's the 'K' Sisters, Marjorie and Pamela Kellett, were prominent throughout the town and district of Knottingley as all-round entertainers who harnessed their talent to providing public enjoyment and in so doing raised large amounts of money for local charities.

THE PALACE CINEMA:
The new cinema, one of the earliest purpose-built picture houses in the country, was situated on an oblique strip of land some 560 square yards in extent, adjacent to Ship Lane at the junction with lower Aire Street. The hall was designed to seat 600 people: 500 in the area and 100 in the balcony.

KNOTTINGLEY PUBLIC HOUSES & BREWERIES:
In 1752, eighteen residents of the township of Knottingley in company with John Mitchell, the Parish Constable, agreed to be bound over in the sum of £10 each to observe the legal and moral obligations attendant upon being granted a licence as an innkeeper.

KNOTTINGLEY TOWN HALL CLOCK:
In the Spring of 1994, the recently deceased and much lamented Edwin Beckett arranged for the installation of a clock at the top of the Town Hall turret. The event was celebrated in verse by Mrs Joyce Bell who concluded her eulogy by stating that her mother, Dolly Lightowler, had always wished to see a clock set in the "bare face" of the Town Hall - a wish which had now come true.

STATUE OF THE BLACK PRINCE:
Awareness of a link between my native Knottingley and the Prince's statue came quite recently when Mrs Shirley Bedford of Knottingley informed me that her great grandfather was the master of a barge which had transported the statue from Hull to Leeds in 1903.

KNOTTLA NICKNAMES:
It was in the course of a recent conversation with Roger Ellis that the subject of nicknames arose, following which, in an idle half-hour, I casually began to compile a list of those I recalled. My list quickly exceeded fifty in number and I was seized by a natural desire to list as many more as I could obtain.

KNOTTINGLEY SILVER BAND:
The origin of Knottingley Band is obscure. In 1980 the Band celebrated its conjectured centenary year, the date being taken from an old letterhead of 1880.  However, a subsequent documentary source has been located which indicates that the genesis of the Band may lie much further in the past.

KNOTTINGLEY TOWN HALL:
The burgeoning spirit of civic pride found practical expression on 29th October 1864, when a group of prominent citizens of the town formed the Knottingley Town Hall & Mechanics’ Institute Company Limited.

FIELD SYSTEMS AND PLACE NAMES OF OLD KNOTTINGLEY:
The purpose of this study is to consider the topography of modern day Knottingley and formulate a theoretical model concerning the development of the settlement during the medieval and post medieval eras as reflected in the field systems adopted.

GAZETTEER OF KNOTTINGLEY PLACE NAMES:
An A-Z listing of Knottingley field and place names.

LIME GROVE AND THE CARTER FAMILY
One of the most impressive and graceful houses ever built at Knottingley was Lime Grove. The large attached house was the residence of the Carter family and was built to the orders of Mark Carter at Mill Close, Hill Top, about 1808.

WAR SAVINGS WEEKS:
Conflict is fuelled by finance so it is unsurprising that following the outbreak of war in 1939, local savings committees were established to encourage people to curb personal expenditure and invest surplus cash in the National War Savings Scheme in order to assist the cost of the war.

SELECT VESTRY RIOTS 1874:
The township of Knottingley became a semi-autonomous parish in 1789 following the ecclesiastical reorganisation of that period but remaining under the patronage of the Vicar of Pontefract until it became an independent parish in 1846

 
Knottingley and Ferrybridge Local History

FIELD SYSTEMS AND PLACE NAMES
OF OLD KNOTTINGLEY


TERRY SPENCER B.A. (Hons), Ph D.

INTRODUCTION : BEGINNINGS : DOMESDAY : PORT OF KNOTTINGLEY :
MANORIAL RE-ORGANISATION

GAZETTEER OF PLACE NAMES

INDEX | A-B | C-D | E-F | G | H | I-J | K-L | M-N | O | P | Q-R | S | T-U | V-W | YARDS |

GALLOWS HILL
Situated on the periphery of Knottingley township being that part of the Great Northern Road (A1) between Grove Hall and the Ferrybridge flyover.
The line of the Wakefield – Goole road (A645) was from medieval times the principal route connecting the hinterland with the Humber ports. Prior to the construction of the Ferrybridge roundabout which preceded the present flyover, a grassy plot marked the crossroads. On this site stood the public gallows, its grizzly fruit serving as a warning to potential miscreants. It is claimed on good authority that the decaying elements of the gibbet were a feature of the scene as late as the end of the nineteenth century.

GARDEN HOUSE
Built in 1875 at the east corner of Middle Lane by a member of the Beckett family, the hose was later successfully integrated into a terrace of houses named Beckett’s Row. The name Garden House was also used at a slightly earlier period in the nineteenth century to identify a property located at Marsh End.

GARDEN LANE
The name of a lane running between Primrose Hill and Cow Lane. Originally a field balk running parallel to the Croft, the ridge became a pathway between the two locations. A three acre parcel of land at the north side was commonly known as The Garden and during the first half of the twentieth century was an allotment site. The site was utilised for council house development in the late 1950s and the footpath adopted as a road although still known as Garden Lane.

GARDLAND LANE
The name is probably derived from the butts or gores at the edge of an irregular shaped furlong in one of the three fields. The lane probably provided access to one of the fields though which is not known.

GARNER (GANDER) HAVEN
The property most recently known as Gander Haven farm was originally a domestic dwelling. The site, identified merely as an allotment in the Ings in the Enclosure Award Schedule of 1793, was originally named Gander Haven and was the site of a clay pit and by the mid nineteenth century was used for the manufacture of bricks and tiles but later became a farmstead, the name of which was linguistically transformed to Gander Haven, presumably because of the farming connection. By the end of the nineteenth century the name had become further transformed, the site being referred to as the ‘Ganner’. The last family to farm the land were the Jackson’s. Following archaeological excavation in 2004 the house was demolished prior to the construction of anti flood defences.

GASCOIGNE REACH
The name is derived from the Old English ‘gaers-tun’, meaning grassland. Gascoigne Reach was the bend in the River Aire east of Bank Dole. Following the reorganisation of the common fields, Gascoigne Reach became the northern border of the great East Field.

GASWORKS The
In 1844, Thomas Bell, a chemist of Aire Street, introduced the manufacture of coal gas to the town. By the end of the decade the principal places of business, and gradually the main thoroughfares of the township, were lit by gas. The supply was produced by the Knottingley Gas Company, established by Bell and other wealthy and influential townsmen. The site of manufacture was Ings Lane which before the end of the century was popularly known as Gas House Lane.
The mid twentieth century witnessed the demise of the company due to nationalisation of the industry and the introduction of North Sea gas a few decades later drastically reduced the demand for town gas so that by the century’s end, Knottingley gasworks, like the original company, had become defunct.

GENTLEMENS’ CLUB The
Situated at the top of the Ropewalk, this social club was frequented by the professional middle class men of the town and neighbourhood. Founded circa 1860 by a local teacher, Thomas Speak, who served as Club Secretary and later as Secretary of the Liberal Club and also of Knottingley Gas Co., the institution outlived its founder, finally closing in 1947 at which time it was known as Knottingley Social Club.

GILLANN STREET
A small estate of terrace houses built by Bagley & Co. in the late nineteenth century as residences for their workers on the former Pinfold Close site opposite the factory. The name is a composite of Gill and Ann, the forenames of wives of William Bagley.

GLASSWORKS
The earliest Knottingley glassworks was that of Bagley, Wild & Co., established at the Racca Green end of the Bendles Field in 1871. Three years later the Round House was built on the site of a former shipyard at Fernley Green. The latter works had a succession of proprietors between 1875 and 1905 when the site, known by then as the Hope Glassworks, came into the sole ownership of the Gregg family who retained control of the firm throughout last century.
The Bagley & Wild partnership was dissolved upon the death of John Wild in 1884 and thereafter the firm traded as Bagley & Co., Ltd.
In 1887 Isaac Burdin founded a glassworks at Quarry Gap, Headlands Lane, principally manufacturing carboys, and in 1893 Jackson Bros., was established, initially by a five man partnership, on an adjacent site.
Burdin Bros., were bankrupted in the mid 1930s but Jackson's prospered and built a modern factory early in the 1950s on a Greenfield site near to their existing plant, the latter being gradually phased out and ceasing production in the late twentieth century.
Large scale consolidation within the glass industry from the middle of the century resulted in the take over of Bagley's by Jackson Bros., in 1962, followed by both sites being incorporated into the Rockware Glass group a little later.
In the latter years of the century, Rockware sold the Bagley site to the Stolzle company and in 1999 the Headlands factory was sold to the Irish company, Ardagh. The only remaining family firm, Greggs, became part of Associated British Foods, merging with Lax & Shaw to form Allied Glass Containers in 1993.

GLEBELANDS The
Lands held by the incumbent vicars of Knottingley, which apart from parcels within the township were located at Kellingley, Minskip and Haddlesey. The land situated at Kellingley, lying between Knottingley Common and the Stocking Lane was known as the Glebelands and the pathway connecting the two locations was named Glebe Lane.

GLEBE LANE
The lane leading to the land or residence of a clergyman held as part of his benefice. Glebe Lane led off Weeland Road at Hill Top close to Gaggs Bridge and provided access to Spawd Bone Lane via Greenhouse Fields.  Following the sale of the Christ Church vicarage to Bagley & Co., Ltd., in the early twentieth century, the Glebe was the residence of sundry incumbents of the East Parish until; 1940.

GOOSE ISLAND
An island in the middle of the river Aire opposite Kings Mills, a corner of which formed one end of the Mill weir. The Island, in excess of 4 acres, is named as Willow Island on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey map of the mid-nineteenth century.

GORDON TERRACE
A row of terrace houses standing to the east side of Womersley Road near Broomhill. Built in the last decade of the nineteenth century and probably named after General Charles Gordon, the hero of Sudan, who was slain in 1885. One of the houses was used as a residence for the commandants of the local Salvation Army Corps in the middle decades of the last century.

GRANGE The
The name given to the former Mount Pleasant site at the junction of Ferrybridge Road and Weeland Road at Hill Top following its purchase and refurbishment by the Knottingley brewer, John Carter, in 1871. Carter’s widow lived there until her death in 1907 after which Ellis Williamson, proprietor of the Kings Mills, lived there until November 1908. The property then belonged to Bagley & Co., until the late twentieth century. Today, the property is sub-divided into flats.

GREAT WALL CLOSE
The name of a six acre enclosure lying alongside the field boundary dividing the South and Middle fields near Waterfield Hill at the southern end on England Lane. The term ‘wall’ may derive from the earthen balk which separated the two great fields.

GREENHEAD COTTAGES
Believed to date from 1866, this pair of brick-built houses stands on the south side of Cow Lane bridge opposite the Bendles. One of the houses was occupied by John Branford, proprietor of the Commercial Shipyard situated at the opposite side of the road. The name signifies the location of the houses as the former head of Racca Green.

GREEN HOUSE The
A house situated in Spawd Bone Lane now licensed premises known as the Green Bottle public house, licensed in 1962. The premises were previously the domestic base of an urban farmstead known as Greenhouse Farm and briefly, in the early years of the last century, an Adult School.

GREEN HOUSE FARM
Land adjacent to the Green Bottle Inn in Spawd Bone Lane. For the greater part of the preceding century the Green House had been the residence of the occupiers of the adjacent farmstead known as Greenhouse Farm. The farm was established by the mid-nineteenth century, being offered for sale in 1869 and again, by a Mr Craven, the owner-occupier, three years later, the rapid change in occupation reflecting the increasing depressed state of British agriculture at that time. By 1880 the owner was Mark Stainsby, a partner in the Stainsby & Lyon Aire Tar Works, situated to the east of the town. In June 1886 Stainsby was killed, being struck by a locomotive whilst walking along the railway line between his home and the works, and in 1892 his widow, Mary, left the town, renting out the property leasehold until her demise in 1905, the tenant at the turn of the century being John Firth. The farm was occupied as late as the 1930s and was eventually owned by Mr. G.R. Barker. Many of the farm buildings are still in situ.
Following the establishment of Knottingley Playing Fields in 1931, the name ‘Green House’ was popularly adopted as the unofficial title for the recreation ground which was located in the Green House Fields.

GREENHOUSE FIELDS
Several closes of land variously known as Greenwood Close situated between Hill Top and Spawd Bone Lane and forming a portion of the divided manorial lands of Knottingley in the nineteenth century, were purchased as a result of public subscription in 1931 to enable the laying out of Knottingley Playing Fields (commonly referred to as The Greenhouse). The land, together with Greenwood Close, had previously been excavated for limestone before being leased as pastureland by the tenant of Greenhouse Farm. Following its purchase, the land was held in trust by the K.U.D.C. and was inherited by its successor body, the Wakefield M.D.C., but belongs to the people of Knottingley and is subject to restrictions which allow no building development and confines use of the land to recreational purposes. The fields are at present the subject of a 60 year leasehold agreement between the Local Authority and the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation at a token rent of £1 per annum. The lease expires in April 2025 at which time it behoves the citizens of the town to be vigilant in order to secure their heritage.

GRENLEY STREET
A small street of terrace houses off Racca Green, close to Foundry Lane. The name is probably a nostalgic evocation of ‘Green Ley’, an echo of the original appearance of Racca Green and its environs.

GREVILLE HOUSE
A substantial brick-built, nineteenth century house situated at Hill Top close by the junction with Marine Villa Road and owned by Francis Reynolds, a lime merchant. In 1910 the property was converted into the Hill Top Workingmens’ Club (Top Club) and was used as such until the 1960s when the house was demolished and new club premises were built on the site. By the mid 1980s the club had closed and the premises were acquired by the Five Towns’ Christian Fellowship. In 2004 the premises were demolished to enable the space to be used for the construction of Morrisons new supermarket.

GROVE The
A large detached building standing at the south end of Marine Villa Road. Now a private nursing home, the house was the periodic residence of several prominent Knottingley families for almost two hundred years before late last century.

GROVE HOUSE
Situated at the junction of Marsh End and Ings Lane, this property was long associated with John Howard who owned the adjacent ropewalk. However, Grove House may have previously belonged to Howard’s father, Thomas, a mariner, and may have been acquired from the Standage family following the death of Robert Standage, ropemaker, in March 1841.

Terry Spencer

INDEX | A-B | C-D | E-F | G | H | I-J | K-L | M-N | O | P | Q-R | S | T-U | V-W | YARDS |


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