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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

KNOTTINGLEY PUBLIC HOUSES & BREWERIES
circa. 1750 – 1998


by TERRY SPENCER B.A.(Hons), Ph D. (1998)

CHAPTER TWO

NAMES AND LOCATIONS OF EARLY INNS

Most of the public houses in existence by the mid-eighteenth century had their origin in that century. However, one or two may be of earlier descent for the maritime trade and the development of the limestone industry, which developed apace from that time. were already well established by the seventeenth century. The earliest establishments were supplemented during the nineteenth century by a substantial number of public houses and although some of them invariably ceased trading the majority continued in existence beyond the mid-twentieth century.

One may reasonably conject that the earliest victuallers were sited in the vicinity of the Flatts in Aire Street and the Holes, Hill Top, where the lime routes terminated. There the activities of the two emergent occupations conjoined and created the demand for liquid refreshment. The names and locations of the pre-nineteenth century inns are, sadly, not officially recorded, for the victuallers trade, although well regulated, only vouchshafes the names of the licensees at that time, for it was not until 1882 that official records named the premises occupied by the various applicants. All information concerning Knottingley inns prior to that date is drawn from scant miscellaneous sources.

However, the information provided by the Recognizances of 1882 and that contained within the contemporaneous Baines Directory accords well with information drawn from earlier sources and indicates that with the single exception of the Cherry Tree and the Rising Sun, those public houses listed in 1822 were already established by the end of the previous century.

Until the third decade of the nineteenth century the principal road through Knottingley was along a line commencing at the western edge of Hill Top and running via Chapel Street, through Aire Street and Marsh End to Fernley Green at which point it rejoined the Weeland Road at the eastern extremity of the township. Not unnaturally, the public houses of the town were located at sundry points along the route outlined, as confirmed by reference to the following table.

NAMES AND LOCATIONS OF PUBLIC HOUSES IN KNOTTINGLEY
TOGETHER WITH THE NAMES OF THE LICENSEES, 1822

NAME OF HOUSE LICENSEE LOCATION
Bay Horse William Taylor Hill Top – West
Rising Sun William Mellor Hill Top – Central
Swan John Etherington Hill Top – East
Duke of York William Smithson Holes – off Hill Top
Royal Oak George Burton Aire Street – West
Wagon & Horses John Canby Aire Street – West
Anchor John Wittenstall Aire Street – Central
Buck Ann Pickering Aire Street – Central
Royal Hotel Francis Ord Aire Street – West
Dog Mark Hepworth Riverside
Blue Bell Benjamin Branford Back Lane
Ship John Robinson Island – Aire Street
Cherry Tree Joseph Brown Marsh End
Red Lion George Hall Fernley Green
Limestone William Darnbrook Racca Green – East

Comparison of the names of these early day public houses reveals a duality which reflects the occupational basis of the township in the eighteenth century. Thus, amongst the cluster of inns within the central area of Aire Street and its immediate environs where open access to the river provided the site for the towns most intensive maritime activity, were public houses such as the Ship, Anchor, Royal Oak and Admiral Nelson, whose names were clearly influenced by nautical association. Conversely, within the same area were inns such as the Wagon & Horses, Buck, Blue Bell, Dog and the Three Horse Shoes (unlisted, but known to have been in existence at that date) the names of which reveal an element of rustication associated with the agrarian life of the town. The latter group of names was the predominant one for it was augmented by those such as the Cherry Tree, Bay Horse and Swan, situated in more peripheral areas of the township all of which utilised natural imagery the simplicity of which was readily intelligible to a largely illiterate local populace when expressed visually through the medium of an inn sign.

In connection with the latter category may also be placed inns such as the Red Lion and the Duke of York, the names of which echoed a departed but not too distant feudal age. Indeed, the two elements are not mutually exclusive for natural symbolism was a feature commonly adopted as an heraldic device, a fact illustrated by the name of the Rising Sun Inn, which although of early nineteenth century origin most clearly epitomises the elemental connection.

A name which belonged to neither of the two categories described above was that of the Limestone Inn. Situated on the eastern fringe of Racca Green, the inn name, whilst acknowledging the natural topography of the town, was identified with an industry which, like the maritime trade, represented a long established but nonetheless incursive feature within the traditional agricultural context of the township.

The fifteen licensees named in 1822 were people of some material substance, each being bound in the sum of £30 with an additional surety of £20 being pledged by a third party as guarantor. The substantial increase in the bond probably reflects the attempt by the authorities to raise additional revenue in order to supplement the cost of the fairly recent Napoleonic Wars as well as a desire to ensure a greater degree of respectability amongst publicans. Indeed, the post war period witnessed mass unemployment as the 300,000 men discharged from the army exacerbated the problems arising from the adverse effects of the Industrial Revolution to create a slump which promoted social discontent for which a public house was an ideal forum.

Amongst those listed in 1822 was Ann Pickering of the Buck Inn, the only female applicant. Ann Pickering may have been a direct descendent of Robert Pickering who had featured in the list of 1752, thus revealing a continuous family connection with the victualling trade albeit not with the same premises for Robert Pickering was associated with the sign of the Cherry Tree whilst Ann Pickering resided at the Buck Inn. A further nominee who had featured in earlier lists was William Darnbrook. Darnbrook, who was also a vessel owner stood surety for several contemporary applicants, thereby upholding the tradition of mutality which is evident in recognizances throughout the second half of the eighteenth century. Two other publicans of obvious material substance named in 1822 are George Burton and John Robinson, although the latter was declared bankrupt shortly thereafter. Both men were local shipbuilders and vessel owners trading within the town from the last quarter of the preceding century. Robinson stood as bondsman for Ann Pickering whilst Burton was guarantor for Mark Hepworth of the Dog Inn.

Terry Spencer, 1998


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