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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 |

MANOR FARM
Lying just west of St Botolph’s Church and within the former demesne of the manorial lords, Manor Farm is commonly mistaken for an old manor house. Although of considerable antiquity, the farm house is of later construction than either of the two buildings which were the manorial halls. By the seventeenth century the tenant of the newly established manor farm, had an obligation to supply the nearby manor house occupied by the Ingram family, the manorial lords, with victuals and to oversee the working of the adjacent farmland. It is claimed that the last bull baiting in England was held in a nearby garth shortly before the ‘sport’ was outlawed in 1823.

MANOR FOLD
An area on the north eastern edge of Racca Green now occupied by Foundry Lane and its environs. Manor Fold was the place to which the town pinder brought the beasts which grazed the greens and commons and lanes and verges of the town by day for safety during the night.

MANOR PARK
An enclosure in excess of two acres situated behind the Manor House of the Ingrams at Hill Top. By the time of the construction of the mansion in the seventeenth century parkland was no longer an exclusive hunting preserve but had become a retained area of natural beauty close to the manor house and regarded as an amenity and a status symbol. The rectangular park bounded by the river, is still discernible today, being retained as pastureland, although only a few of the trees which provided adornment in past ages remain.

MARINE GROVE
An area of land lying at the northern end of Middle Lane at its junction with Weeland Road and Morley Lane. The Morley Lane housing estate now occupies the major part of this site.

MARINE VILLA
The residence of the Moorhouse family, Marine Villa was built in the eighteenth century, its name reflecting the prominence of the maritime trade of the town, being one of the major business interests of William Moorhouse Senior. The pleasure gardens which formerly stretched in front of Marine Villa occupied the ground on which the Knottingley Swimming Pool and Sports Centre and The Close now stand. Following the departure of Moorhouse Junior’s successors from the town in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, Marine Villa was purchased by William Jackson and held by his heirs until shortly after the Great War. During that time the building became known locally as the Hall. The house was occupied by the Hartley family for some years in the mid twentieth century. From the mid 1960s Marine Villa was in the ownership of the Knottingley building and construction company, McLauchlan Ltd., being utilised as company offices. Thereafter, the building served the same function for the supermarket company, G.T. Smith & Sons for several decades until the end of the twentieth century. When Smiths’ sold the business to the Co Operative organisation, the building became defunct and fell into a state of disrepair. Early in 2004 the supermarket group W. Morrison acquired the existing supermarket and Marine Villa site and demolished both buildings in order to erect a new, enlarged store and filling station. Thus was a further element of the town’s heritage despatched to oblivion in the interests of commercialism. O tempora O mores.

MARINE VILLA (ROAD) LANE
A roadway to the south of Hill Top which connects Weeland Road with Spawd Bone Lane via Knottingley Playing Fields. Marine Villa Lane (Road) is but the latest of several other names which have identified the location. Originally the Lane was merely a headland dividing two furlongs of the open fields of the manor of Knottingley. The nature of the land was obviously unstable leading to the adjacent pathway becoming known as Shiften Lane, which over time became corrupted linguistically to Shitten Lane. In the more decorous society of subsequent centuries the Lane was referred to as both Ratten and Rotten Row until with the construction of Marine Villa in the eighteenth century, the name Marine Villa Road was adopted.

MARLPIT CLOSE / LANE
Situated within the South Field the marlpit consisted of an area of soil, the composition of which was sandy, containing elements of fine gravel. Such soil was used on the heavy clay soils found in some areas of the great fields in order to make them more suitable for cultivation.

MARSH END / LANE
Marsh End was the name of the area to the east of Aire Street which was the location of the water meadows forming the common pasturage of the manorial vill and Marsh Lane (often mistakenly referred to as Stocking Lane) was the pathway which provided access to Bank Dole and the adjacent pastureland and following the extension of the town fields eastward, via Trundles Lane to Stocking Lane and the outlying common fields.

MATT ALLEN CLOSE
A personal place name for an enclosure of about one acre of land situated in the South Field. The Tithe map of 1842 refers to Matthew Allen Close and the 1857 Rate Book names the site as Matt’w Allen Close, confirming the origin of the name.

MEABY CLOSE
Meaning of name and location unknown, perhaps an enclosure named for an individual.

MEDLEY GARTH
Probably land composed of various types of soil. The location of the close was within the furlong known as Waithwaite Field which also contained another furlong known as Stoneylands, indicating the variable texture of the soil.

METHLEY CLOSES
Two areas of pastureland situated south of Simpsons Lane near its junction with Spawd Bone Lane. Comprising six acres of land, the smaller two acre plot contained several scattered buildings indicative of a homestead and accompanying croft.

MIDDLE FIELD CLOSE
A two acre enclosure situated on the west side and adjacent to England Lane which cut through the north-east corner of this site.

MIDDLE LANE
Leading off Weeland Road at the south side of the section originally named Banks Lane (c.f. supra) this lane, as the name implies, ran through the middle of the smaller of the three common fields of Knottingley Manor. From the eighteenth century, following the opening of several quarries in the Middle Field area, the lane became one of several busy lime routes along which limestone was conveyed to the town’s waterways.

MIDDLE FIELD QUARRY
Opposite the east end of the pathway presently known as The Bendles, situated close to the southern side of Cow Lane Bridge, the site is one of the early quarries which were located close to the centre of the township, being worked out in the eighteenth century. The defunct quarry site was owned by Widow Sefton at the clos of the century but by the early decades of the nineteenth century a public house known as the Mariners Arms had been erected thereon under the proprietorship of George Sefton. By 1870 the inn was closed but the derelict building remained until it was demolished in the early twentieth century. The site remains overgrown and unoccupied to this day.

MIDGLEY CLOSE
A location adjacent to a stream or into which seepage from a manure heap drained (c.f. Old English ‘micge’ meaning liquid). Alternatively, the name could indicate a place plagued by gnats or nidges (O.E. ‘mycg’). Lack of data concerning location prevents identification and the name may merely be a personal one.

MILL CLOSES
Land adjacent to Kings Mills which was originally demesne land but by the late eighteenth century was a series of closes known collectively as Mill Fields. One close was the site of a dry dock for the repair of vessels using the river Aire which flowed at the northern end of the close. Another, to the south and subsequently separated by the construction of the canal between 1821-26, was the site of the brewery built by Mark Carter and partners in 1808 and sometimes thereafter referred to as the Mill Close Brewery.

FIELDS LANE
A lane leading from Mill Bridge via the Kings Mill yard and the fields beyond and terminating at the junction of Chapel Street and Aire Street near St. Botolph’s Church. The route was through the manorial demesne and was the one taken by the local peasantry to have corn ground at the lord’s mill. Owing to common usage from time immemorial a right of way through the Mill yard was established and was observed until the late 1970s when the potential danger to the public, resulted in the path being diverted along the canal bank and around the mill instead of through the yard.

MIREY BUTT CLOSE / LANE
Land in the south field lying between Simpsons Lane and Cattle Laithes Lane amidst the irregularly shaped strip holdings formed by the edge of the common field and known as butts. The initial name element suggests land of poor quality, probably due to the draining of rainwater onto the lower level of the butts situated at the bottom of the sloping land.
Mirey Butt Lane was the access route to the said butts, situated close to Simpsons Lane Hill.

MOOR DYKE
Name of a drainage ditch lying in the great East or Low Field. An adjacent parcel of land is named as Moor Dyke Close.

MOORWAY CLOSE
As with the above, the name of this plot is derived from its adjacency to the lane leading onto the moor or common land.

MORLEY HOUSE
The detached house at the junction of Middle Lane and Weeland Road at the eastern corner of Marine Grove. The house was the residence of the Spoforth family, farmers and lime merchants, and later in the ownership of T.H. Bentley, auctioneer and valuer. During the twentieth century the premises were converted into a houses and shops but in recent years one property has again become solely residential.

MORLEY LANE
A short pathway connecting Weeland Road with Spawd Lane. The construction of the Wakefield – Goole Railway Company’s line in 1845 cut through the bottom end of Spawd Bone Lane at its connection with Morley Lane adjacent to Banks Garth. Thereafter, the connection with Spawd Bone Lane was restored by means of a short right angle, left turn over England Lane railway crossing.

MOUNT The
A large detached brick-built house of the late nineteenth century situated off Grove Lane, Hill Top. The house was the residence of the medical practitioner, Erasmus Stone, for whom it may have been built. Stone retained the ownership into the following century until it was acquired by J.W. Bagley and was later lived in by his son, Dr. S.B. Bagley.
During the early years of the Second World War the house was commandeered as the headquarters of a detachment of Army personnel and was later a sub-divided dwelling.

MOWEY CLOSE
Situated in the Middle Field near the boundary with Darrington Leys, this enclosure of two acres plus, takes its name from the Old English ‘muga’ meaning land on which a stack stands.

NARROW CLOSE
Situated between Middle Lane and England Lane, this one-acre plot is named for the nature of its shape and size.

NARROW LANE
c.f. Dark lane (supra)

NATIONAL SCHOOL The
The development of the national school movement from the late eighteenth century resulted in the purchase of a plot of land at Tenters Balk (lower Ropewalk) in September 1840 for the erection of a school to be under the trusteeship of the Vicar and five laymen and managed in accordance with the denominational principles of the National School Society.
Following the establishment of the parish of East Knottingley in 1848 the administration was transferred as the school was situated within the boundary of that parish.
As a denominated establishment the school experienced many vicissitudes and was even compelled to close during the period 1869-72 but reopened under the joint trusteeship of the two vicars and three members of each parish.
The schoolroom frequently served secular purposes and was a venue for the annual Town Meeting each March when the members of the Select Vestry and the town’s officers were elected.
As an educational establishment the school was incorporated into the central education system administered by the West Riding County Council, being commonly known within the town as the Church School.

NAVIGATION HOUSE
A stone built house situated on the canal bank between Kings Mills and Gaggs Bridge and originally at the northern foot of Butler Bridge. The house was built as a residence for the local manager of the Navigation Company and was in danger of demolition some years ago but was spared.

NEW HALL The
The name of a large storehouse and its appurtenances built on part of the Flatts by order of Henry VIII in 1527. The precise location is uncertain. The survey plan in the National Archives, Kew, suggests that the Hall was situated at the east end of the Flatts close to the Crown land at Pickhill Garth. However, both the Kings Houses and the Kings Ferry were situated at the west end of the Flatts on or near the site of the former religious house of the Cistercian Monks of Meaux, known as the Priory, which was later the site of the Waggon & Horses Inn. From the late Middle Ages the Priory site was the only property in the township which was not freehold.

NINE NOOKS CLOSE
Situated in the Middle Field, this six acre close was distinguished by having nine right-angle corners or nooks, hence the name.

NORFOLK HOUSE
End house of a limestone built, cement rendered terrace in Chapel Street which was used by the Salvation Army in the late nineteenth century and was latterly the headquarters of the Knottingley Womens’ Unionist Association and the local Conservative Party. The property was a popular venue for wedding receptions and other social gatherings until demolished in the 1960s. The origin of the name is not known.

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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