Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online West Yorkshire
 
 
 
Amazon Advertisements
 
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 |

HADGE CLOSE
Probably a linguistic development of Had Close, itself a variant of Hadland or Headland. The name is derived from the Old English ‘heafod’ or ‘haga’, indicating a fenced enclosure. The location was probably close to the river as the site is recorded in a survey of the river Aire in 1699.

HALL The
A misnomer for Marine Villa which gained popular usage during the last century.

HARKER HOUSE
Initially, the business offices of John Harker & Co., Ltd., were located at the former Stainsby & Lyon chemical works (later Y.T.D.) at the eastern fringe of the town but in 1947 new premises were built at Low Green, near the entrance to Common Lane, for the administration of the business of the expanding Lyon & Lyon group of companies.
The office block was named Harker House after John Harker, the former manager of the local Aire Tar Works and founder of the canal carrying trade, after whom the shipyard established in 1929 had been named and which in the post war boom from the late 1940s saw the construction on a regular basis of the ‘dales’ fleet of oil tankers for the service of the company as well as the vessels built for other users.
The early 1970s witnessed a fuel crisis which resulted in a rapid decline in the company’s carrying trade and ultimately in local shipbuilding activity. From that time the Lyon & Lyon group sought to diversify its business interests and in consequence, Harker House is, at the time of writing, leased out to Ex Pac Packaging Company.

HARKER STREET
A row of houses which stood across Fernley Green from the early twentieth century until demolished in the 1960s. Named for John Harker, manager of the local tar distillery and Chairman of Knottingley U.D.C, 1903 and 1904.

HASSLES CLOSES
Name derives from the Old English meaning land with course grass. The Closes were situated within the Middle Field at the boundary edge with Darrington Leys. The larger of the two closes had no less than 12 nooks or corners.

HAZEL CLOSE
Named for its nearness to hazel trees which supplied nuts for human and animal consumption or for proximity to Hazel Lane.

HAZEL LANE
A pathway at the perimeter of the South Field leading to the grazing land at Darrington Leys and lined, inter alia, with hazel nut bushes. The lane was probably a headland at the time of the open field system and only later became tree lined following the contraction of open field agriculture from the fourteenth century.

HEADLANDS The
Every furlong had a headland created by the soil deposited ahead of the plough as it was turned to move in a reverse direction. Numerous indications of former headlands are to be found within Knottingley but as in the case of the Flatts, one particular site, Headlands Lane, represents the many which once existed. Glebe Lane, Marine Villa Road, Forge Hill Lane, Womersley Road, Spawd Bone Lane and Bendles Lane are but a few of the locations which were originally headlands situated within the open fields of the town.

HEALD LANE
The location of this lane is not known. The Old English ‘helde’ means a slope while ‘heal’ indicates high land by the bends of a stream so it is possible that Heald Lane was situated close to the river Aire either at the Hill Top end of the town or at the other extreme; the fields adjacent to Gascoigne Reach where the river bends and the banks are high which seems the most likely prospect.

HEDGE The
The series of ‘islands’ running along the length of the river Aire between Kings Mills and Garner Haven and situated about a third of the width of the river from the Flatts, are the eroded remains of a causeway or ‘hedge’ which was constructed in the river about 1738 with the aim of narrowing and deepening the channel on the town side in order to facilitate navigation by vessels of larger burthen. Following the opening of the canal, the river trade declined to non existence and the hedge was no longer maintained, hence the appearance of the ‘islands’ following the breakthrough of the river.

HIGH CROSS
A roadside landmark situated at the summit of Hill Top. Probably marked the boundary of the manorial vill and was possibly the location of a shrine in the Middle Ages. High Cross Close is shown on the Enclosure Map near to the crossroads formed by the junction of Ferrybridge Hill and Weeland Road so the junction probably marks the site of the cross.

HILL TOP
An area of the town marked by development at either side of the Weeland Road between Knottingley Town Hall and Warren Avenue at the western edge of the town.

HILL TOP HOUSE
One of a pair of late nineteenth century houses which stand at right angles in a yard alongside Brewery Lane. Little is known of previous owners except that Hill Top House was the residence of Mrs Elizabeth Atkinson in the 1880s-1890s and the dental surgery and residence of Mr. Tom Stirling in the middle decades of the last century. The other house, named Holme Lea, was, from the closing decades of the nineteenth century to the mid 1920s, the home of Mrs Roberts who donated a peal of eight bells to St. Botolph’s Church in 1890 and also other benefactions. Mrs Roberts was the daughter of George Greenhow, a druggist, prominent in the civic life of the town from the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

HILL TOP ROPEWALK
Situated at Hill Top at the eastern side of the junction with Forge Hill Lane, this ropewalk was owned by Edward Gaggs and following his demise, by William Moorhouse as one of his diverse business interests. In the early nineteenth century the ropewalk was worked by Horatio Woods. Following the death of Moorhouse in 1865, the ropewalk became defunct when the Moorhouse estate was purchased by William Jackson. The site was subsequently sold to John Carter and absorbed into the Mill Close Brewery complex.

HOLES The
In common with the Bendles, this was an area of irregular limestone extraction situated in the demesne land near the river Aire and adjacent to the Kings Mills. Limestone pits are recorded near this location as early as the thirteenth century and it is probable that a number of bell pits gave rise to the area being named as the Holes. The construction of the mill weir resulted in maritime activity and associated business being undertaken and the site becoming a centre of local population so that the name of the holes site was applied to the area in general.

HOLES POTTERY The
Situated at the junction of Forge Hill Lane and The Holes, this small pottery was established by the Masterman family in the early nineteenth century and functioned until about 1881. Thomas Masterman took advantage of the Wellington Beer Act of 1830 to obtain a beerhouse licence and established the Potters Arms on the site. The beerhouse closed in 1907.

HOLLINGWORTH LANE
A path connecting Chapel Street with Primrose Hill. A former balk in the early open field system. The name is probably of more recent origin, commemorating the Hollingworth family who were resident in the town for about one hundred years from the last quarter of the nineteenth century. At that time and into the last century, it was usual to lock a gate situated at the Chapel Street end of the lane on one day of each year in order to preserve the legal status of the lane as a private road.

HOLME LEA
c.f. Hill Top House

HOPEWELL HOUSE / FARM
A large detached house with substantial, formally arranged gardens, standing in the Holes. Little is known of its origins except that it was erected before 1840. By the 1870s it was the residence of Edwin Wood, lime and cement merchant and farmer, who was previously resident at Bridge House, Hill Top. Edwin inherited the house and adjacent farmstead from Thomas Wood, possibly the builder of Hopewell House. The house was the residence of the Horn family early last century until demolished later in the century. Shaw’s foundry occupied the site of the farmyard for most of the twentieth century.

HOPWOOD’S LAND
A small enclosure of pastureland, a mere rood in extent, situated at the junction of Dark (Narrow) Lane and Pontefract Road, the site of the present York House, Hill Top.

HOWARD’S FIELD
Originally known as Pighill (Pickhill) Garth, this land lay adjacent to the Crown land alongside the Aire upon which shipbuilding was undertaken. It is therefore unsurprising that a ropewalk should be established close by the shipyard. The first known proprietor is Robert Standidge but the site is more popularly identified with the subsequent owner, John Howard, who took over in 1844, hence Howard’s Field.
Sometime after the death of John Howard, the ropewalk was abandoned and the site cleared. Under Howard’s widow the site became used as a recreation ground and by the end of the nineteenth century was the home of the Knottingley Cricket Club. Public events such as carnival gala’s and the annual horticultural show were regularly held on the site which was also used by travelling circuses. The site was obtained by the local carpenter and farmer, Benjamin Braim, following Mrs Howard’s death and was known to some as Braim’s Field. The field was later acquired by Knottingley U.D.C. but continued in use for public events, the Festival of Britain Gala in 1951, and sundry local carnivals being prime examples. Today, Howard’s Field is the home of Knottingley Rugby Union Club.

HUGGARD CLOSE / LOW HUGGARD CLOSE
A place cleared of trees lying close to existing land, therefore probably an individual assart which was eventually incorporated into the great field. May be the original name for Hugger Close.
Low Huggard Close is possibly a sub-division of Huggard Close or a separate assart adjacent to the same.

HUGGER CLOSE
A six acre enclosure situated in the South Field adjacent to the Longfields furlong. The meaning of the name is unknown but the land is close to a former ridgeway across South Field and may be said to ‘hug’ the path but possibly a linguistic transformation of Huggard Close. The site was referred to as Hugget Close by 1842, presumably a further linguistic corruption.

HUMBER COTTAGES
A pair of brick-built cottages situated at the edge of the former Bendles Field opposite Banks Lane, Weeland Road. The houses were erected in 1862. Based on the name it may be presumed that the original owner was a seaman who remains unidentified as yet.
By 1881 one of the houses was occupied by Thomas Brook, a glassblower, whose descendant. Norman Brook, was one of the founding partners of Knottingley Printers, the firm being established in the mid-twentieth century and occupying this site until its subsequent move to Hill Top a few decades later.
The houses are presently in a state of semi-dereliction and their appearance suggests they seem likely to face eventual demolition.

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 |


<PREV | NEXT>


 

Site constructed and maintained by Michael Norfolk
This website is Copyright © 2000-2011 [Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online] All Rights Reserved
| HOME PAGE | SITE INDEX | LETTERS | MEMORIES | PHOTO GALLERY | GENEALOGY | LATEST PHOTOS |
| YORKSHIRE ANCESTRY | PONTEFRACT WEBSITE | IMAGES OF YORKSHIRE | OO GAUGE GARDEN RAILWAY | CONISBROUGH WEATHER STATION |