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History of Ripponden – John Henry Priestley, 1903
means the crossing or ford of a river and ‘dene’ means a wooded
valley. Rishworth means where the rushes are kept or stored.
Barkisland means the land of the birch. Soyland means south lands in
relation to Sowerby (from when Soyland was part of Sowerby).
river from Blackstone Edge, joined by Booth Dean stream at
Brook-Grains. A riverlet joins the Booth Dean stream at Ox-Grains
bridge. The turnpike roads are the Rochdale to Halifax, including
Elland Road (opened 1770s) and the Ripponden to Oldham (opened 1803).
First known flood 18 May 1722 which badly damaged
Ripponden church. Another in November 1866, a woman and three
children aged 16, 14 and 11 drowned when crossing a wooden bridge at
the bottom of Billy Lane (beside the Besom). Stepping stones were
then put there till 1900 when an iron bridge was built, called
Pretoria to commemorate the fall of Pretoria, South Africa. Another
iron bridge that replaced stones is at Kebroyd and is called
in many places, eg. Swift Cross Spaw on Old Lane above Swift Place,
and Booth Dean Spaw near the Rocking Stone in Rishworth.
Pack Horse road leaves main road just below the bridge above Baitings
Gate. Before 1780, the old road was from Stainland through
Barkisland village, Ripponden Old Bank, over the old bridge, through
the vicarage garden, Back Lane, Netheroyd, Old Lane to Baitings and
to the old pack horse road to Manchester. Pubs include ‘Ring
O’Bells’ at Dagger Hill, Old Bank, one at Bank Bottom, Old Bridge
Inn (or Waterloo), Blue Ball and Baitings. Oldham Road made at
beginning of 19th
century. Elland road from the Cross, where road goes left to
Greetland, was raised to meet Halifax road and placed across The
Holme where people were buried.
line opened for luggage 15 July 1878, passengers on 5 August 1878 and
extended to Rishworth 1 March 1881.
area was part of the Brigantes tribal lands and several arrow heads
found on Rishworth moor.
At Booth Dean is a group of stones, a few of which look to be laid one upon another, called the Rocking Stone. This was near the site of the later Spa Inn (above Spa Clough reservoir, the highest of the reservoirs feeding Boothwood reservoir and not far from junction 22 of the M62). Several stones now in the bridge a little further down. A little below is Castle Dean. Moors around include Catmoss and Lads Grave. Also on the opposite side of road are Good Greave and Linsgreave and near by is Way-pit, a deep pool fed by a subterranean spring. Also nearby are Way-stone, Waystone Edge, Waystone Slack, Waypit Green and Waypit Holes. This area is thought to have been sacred to druids.
descend by Lumb to Millbank, ascend Foxen Lane, left to Making-Place,
cross the river at the old bridge, over ground at Bank Bottom, up the
hill by Dagger Hill and across to Slack in Barkisland, along Slack
Lane to Clough House Lane to form an angle at Steel Lane Head (called
Fink Hill), descend Steel Lane, cross the brook and over Stainland
Dean to Cambodunum (Slack at Longwood).
turn right at top of Foxen, then Lane Head, Blue Ball Road, White
Gate Head to Baitings, Baitings Gate and then follow the pack horse
road over to Manchester.
Barkisland, Abbotts Royd, Bank Cross, down Old Bank, up Old Lane,
past Swift Cross Spaw to White Gate Head.
Barkisland, Firth House to left, through Meg-Dyke on left side of
Dean Head Road opposite Clock Face Wood along Mosselden Height, south
of Grey Stones, along Mosselden Gate, Featherteam End, down to Long
Clough, over Hunger Hill and Burnt Moss, over an old single arch
bridge, up Hell Bank, along Oldham Road behind Spa Inn, then right
above Rocking Stone and over the hills to Doldrum in Lancashire.
Soyland is part of Sowerby, Rishworth and Barkisland are part of Elland. All is Crown land until just after 1100, when granted to Earl Warren. Shortly after, Halifax and Elland parishes are created.
The Manor of Wakefield
by the Earls Warren of Surrey from 1116(?) to 1347 when if reverts to
the crown. It then passed through several hands to the present owner
– the Duke of Leeds.
of the earliest recorded details is a water driven fulling mill in
century (fulling is the pound out cloth to create ‘fulls’ of
deed is agreement between Thomas de Thornton and Henry de Rishworth
in which the latter gained part of Barkisland. When he died, Henry
owned Barkisland and Rishworth. Through marriages, it passed, bit by
bit to the Savile family.
was part of Sowerby and was a forest and free chase – the Earls
Warren had a charter to hunt. The forest is often called Hardwic and
extended over Rishworth as well. The current lord of the manor is
the Earl of Yarborough.
the Civil War, Halifax stood for the Parliament and was ‘subdued’
several times by the Earl of Newcastle. Manchester stayed with
Parliament. Colonel Rosworm fortified Blackstone Edge and Black Gate
to prevent the Royalists attacking Manchester.
Hortons of Howroyd and Gledhills of Barkisland Hall both Royalists.
Gledhill was killed in battle at Hessey Moor, York, and Horton
married Gledhill’s sister to also own Barkisland Hall.
that Charles II escaped through Ripponden and over Blackstone Edge
after battle of Worcester.
Church and School
the church at Ripponden was built in the 15th
century by Royal Grant in 1464 (the only one in the Halifax area),
Elland was the nearest. Ripponden was rebuilt in 1610. This was
damaged in the flood and the third was granted licence 6 April 1729
and consecrated 9 September 1737.
1730, £500 was provided jointly by governors of Queen Anne’s
Bounty, Mary Horton of Howroyd, Charles Ratcliffe, Elkanah Hoyle and
Samuel Hill of Making Place. This was used to buy Blackshaw Clough
and Crosswells in Soyland, plus a croft and 2 cottages adjoining the
vicarage for the use of the Ripponden minister. These were sold by
1897 and the amount invested.
the third church was a three tier pulpit half way down the nave: the
top, rostrum, the middle, the reading desk and the bottom the clerk’s
seat. The pews were high backed and centred round the pulpit.
Pupils of Making Place College sat in the South aisle and pupils from
Rishworth Grammar in the North aisle. Pews were mainly owned by
private persons who did not live in the neighbourhood so were hardly
used. A meeting on 12 May 1864 of the reputed owners was called to
ask each to pay 20 shillings towards repairing the roof, but no
response. So at a parishioners meeting on 11 May 1866, it was
decided to pull down the church and build a new one, both better and
without the high back pews. This one was consecrated 22 October
was built in 1593, but was so ruinious by 1764 that it had to be
church was part of Elland parish until 14 August 1878.
National School – large central room built 1843, classroom nearest
New Bank 1869 and classroom at other end 1879. Infant school built
1887. Playground created in 1910. The school was replaced by a new
one at Brig Royd in 1980.
Top Sunday School – land purchased 31 October 1834 at Bank Top.
Two large schoolrooms over two small cottages.
Church – services first held October 1849 in a schoolroom at
Goathouse. 1890 when Rishworth get’s it’s own minister. Purpose
built church built near Turner Wood 1890 called St Matthews and made
of galvanised iron over a wooden frame. Nicknamed the Iron Church or
the Tin Tabernacle. Still one service held at Goathouse each Sunday.
St Matthews closed in 1927 and replaced by St Johns on Godley Lane.
The school room at Goathouse is now the chapel for Rishworth School.
National School – opened 5 January 1874. Prior to this, a Sunday
school was held in a cottage at Godley.
Church – consecrated 2 May 1854.
Endowed school – originally founded in 1600 as a grammar school by
the Hortons. This was demolished and replaced in 1867/8. It was
extended in 1896.
worshippers started to go regularly to Steep Lane Methodist church
around 1800, so…
Chapel, Rishworth – meetings were held in private houses in 1801.
By 1802 these were every Sunday and 1803 a piece of land purchased.
The chapel opened in the summer of 1803. Around 1812 two cottages
next to the chapel were purchased and turned into a Sunday school and
minister’s house. A new school was built next to the chapel and
completed 28 November 1898. A new burial ground was purchased 1887
and a mortuary chapel built in 1891. A new minister’s house was
built in 1887. A new Sunday School was built behind the chapel on
Rishworth New Road and cost £550. A Mutual Improvement Society was
formed in 1853.
Wesleyan Chapel – meetings were held in a cottage in Hanging Lee.
A chapel was started in April 1803 and completed in 1805. Around
1816, a meeting at Damside resulted in a split and some went to form
other chapels. It was enlarged before 1840. In 1900 the chapel was
pulled down and replaced. The new chapel is alongside the site of
the old one. The government school next door was opened 1886.
School – old school was originally 2 storeys and altered in 1850.
It was a Sunday school until 1871 when it became a day school. The
new school was built next to the chapel 1885.
Congregational Chapel – in 1816, meetings started in a cottage next
door but one to a barn at Parak Nook. A Sunday school started in
1818. In 1824, two cottages were built at Parak Nook and a chamber
was used for services. A chapel was built 1833.
Methodist New Connexion, Soyland – opened by people from Stones.
Started with services at Shaw Hill and in 1818 a chapel was opened in
Soyland. A Sunday school opened at the same time and Mr Dove from
Making Place College taught. It was replaced in 1880 at a cost of
£16,000. Now gone and replaced with two houses.
Methodist New Connexion – opened by people from Stones, it started
as a Sunday school at Clay House in 1816, linked to Ebenezer. A plot
bought 1823 and whilst being built, the school used a barn at Clough
Farm. The school became a chapel and opened ? A vestry was added
1862 and another 1879. In 1893 the two adjoining cottages were
Booth Wood Wesleyan Chapel – 1842, a Sunday
school and services held in a cottage in Martin Row and were a branch
of Stones. A chapel was built 1854.
Wesleyan – services started in Krumlin Hall 1866 and a chapel built
1868 at Calf Garth by John Hoyle of Krumlin Hall.
Congregational – services started 1868 in a cottage in Ripponden.
A dispute at Rishworth at this time and together created Zion.
Chapel started 1869 and also the school and was designed by Mr R K
Lee of Kebroyd House. Chapel opened 7 September 1870 and the manse
built next door in 1882. The school became a day school 1871 and an
infant school added 1886. A Mutual Improvement Society started in
1870 and Ripponden Technical Institute started in 1891. Much fire
damage 1902 and rebuilt same year at a cost of £564. A new organ
from W Andrews of Bradford was installed and cost £350.
first mention of a bridge in Ripponden is 1313. William Brigg, Field
House, Sowerby paid for a stone bridge 1533 – cost 7/6 – thought
to be the old packhorse bridge. This bridge was scheduled as an
ancient monument in 1934 and as a listed building in 1966.
Wheelwright in his will of 1724 left his property to three trustees –
John Wheelwright of Norland, Ely Dyson of Clay House and Abraham
Thomas of Dewsbury – to open a free school at Dewsbury and one at
Rishworth for the tenants children. The original building was what
is now the chapel Goathouse was used as a boarding house. It was
also stated that when John Wheelwright died, either his heirs, or if
no heirs, another person called Wheelwright should take his place.
The school was replaced 1827 together with a preparatory school. The
school at Dewsbury separated 1888. During 1921 to 1968, it was for
boys only. Heathfield was bought in 1950 to be the preparatory
Trade and Manufacture
centuries, Kerseys was made and was exported to Hamburg and Holland
amongst others. It was also used to clothe the British navy –
mainly done on hand looms. Mills started late 18th
century as did cotton and also silk and paper in the 19th
in order along the valley:
Mills – on a site originally owned by Samuel Hill, owned since 1800
by Hadwen estate. A silk mill owned by a limited company in 1901,
but still under the name of John Hadwen and Sons after it went
bankrupt. Burnt down 1868, then again in 1904. Taken over by
Blackburn and Sutcliffe in 1939 as a dye works, requisitioned in the
second world war, restarted in 1946 and closed in 2001. Burnt down
again in May 2006, just before being converted into flats
Mill Company – cotton.
Mill – worsted, then cotton, empty since 1902.
– was cotton, but now paper, owned by Whiteley Brothers.
House – now a country house.
Wood – cotton, owned by Kaye and Company.
Old Mill – cotton, burnt down in 1858 and 1876. Between Mill Fold
and Elland Road, the mill reservoir is now the playing fields.
Field – cotton, owned by Ryburn Mill Company, next door to
Ripponden Old Mill Burnt down in 1929.
Mill – cotton, partially rebuilt 187?
– oldest called Lambert’s Mill, burnt down and rebuilt 1882.
– owned by Ryburn Mill Company.
Paper – formerly Riverstick – started as cotton mill, burnt down
1860, rebuilt as paper mill, burnt down 1901, rebuilt 1903.
– cotton, burnt down 1882.
Lane Mill – cotton, last used 1889.
Place – cotton.
Mill – cotton.
Briton or Hanging Lee – cotton, now used by the Working Men’s
Club Brewery Company.
Mill – first mill was built on an old malt kiln as a flour mill, a
new mill built 1862, water wheel said to be as big as Laxey Wheel in
Isle of Man, cotton.
Wood – paper mill.
Mill – cotton.
Mill – cotton, burnt down 27 April 1860.
Mill – cotton, burnt down 21 January 1880.
House at Soyland was Flathead and at Rishworth above Rishworth Hall.
Workhouse at Barkisland was Withens Farm, purchased 1795.
1802, the executors of the will of Ralph Hirstwood attempted to pull
down the old bridge after claiming it as theirs. The vicar, Mr
Webster, raised £10, the original sum used to build it to pay the
executors off and then declared it public.
In 1832, Mr Hirst from Huddersfield gave a lecture on co-operation and as a result a co-operative was established on 1 December – 12 years before Rochdale. Oldest known rules are 1841 and the principles are:
The mutual protection of all it’s members against poverty and all it’s accompanying evils,
The attainment of a greater share of the comforts of life,
The attainment of independence by means of a common capital,
The means of obtaining these objects:
In a weekly subscription to a common fund,
In employing those subscriptions in a different way from what is normally done, namely: not in investments in the funds, but in trade; the profits of the same to be added to form an undivided stock,
By employing it’s members, as circumstances will admit,
living in community with each other, on the principles of mutual
co-operation, united possessions, equality of exertions, and of the
means of enjoyment.’
First premises was the end cottage in Pleasant
Row, then they purchased the whole row, then to premises now called
Rose and Crown, which then became the boot and shoe department (now
Villa Margerita). Then built Central Stores next door with a cottage
at each end for the storekeepers – this is now ‘One Stop’.
Branch shop opened in Rishworth 1892, 1901 a butchers shop and it
started to deliver to members. Also a branch at Triangle in 1840 and
a branch at Bolton Brow in 1847.
Making Place Commercial College opened 1837 by Mr
Dove. He died 22 October 1865 and the school closed soon after in
1880. 12 pupils started in the first year and it grew to over 200 a
year. One ex-pupil was Prime Minister Asquith.
Local Boards of Health first held in 1863 –
Barkisland on 22 January, Rishworth 28 January and Soyland 2
Prosecution Society established 12 January 1867.
Soyland streets and central Ripponden lit by gas
25 August 1882.
Conservative Association March 1872. First
premises on Elland Road, current building built 1899-1900.
Liberal Association established 1887 and first
premises on Rochdale Road. Current building opened 3 May 1903.
Working Men’s Club in Stoops Farm on Spring
Street near Netheroyd 13 November 1880, moved to Rochdale Road 1887
(now the chapel of rest).
Soyland Waterworks 18 October 1902 – reservoir
at Black House Farm and Upper Shaw Farm.
Ripponden abattoir behind Crowthers printers.
Black Lion Inn used to be where entrance to
community centrecar park is. Further up, just before cobbled path
was Canterbury Inn. The cobbles used to be Silver Street. Grassed
area used to be buildings including Forester’s Hall where the local
Chartists had their meetings. Alleyway next to what was Ryburn Farm
Museum led to Cob Clough which used to be the main water supply –
also known as the Parish Pump.
Co-operative also established the Commercial Mill
Old part of Ripponden was part of Barkisland, the
rest part of Soyland. Soyland, Barkisland and Rishworth known as
townships. Barkisland and Rishworth became Local Boards of Health in
1863 and Soyland 1 year later. Soyland then became an Urban District
Council in 1895. All three combined into Ripponden UDC in 1937.
Ripponden became part of Calderdale MBC in 1974 and became a Parish
West Yorkshire Constabulary had a police station
on the right hand side of White Swan, now The Fox. Golden Lion had
an extension where widest part of beer terrace is as stables with a
reading room above.
Place names removed from all stone guide posts at
start of WW2 so that Germans would get lost.
Flats next to Conservative Club used to be three
wooden huts. One was a doctors surgery for a while in 1900s, another
a tripe restaurant. Extension to right of Queens was a greengrocer
and fish dealer. Village stocks were on Halifax Road against
vicarage wall opposite Golden Lion. After extension was removed from
Golden Lion, the car park was the cattle market on first Tuesday of
every April. Chemist used to be Southwell’s drapery and millinery
Moodys built as toll house, then when tolls were
abolished in 1873, Mitchells and Sons auctioneers. They added a
second storey and it was nicknamed Crystal Palace due to number of
windows. After WW2, it was the Labour party headquarters, then a
branch of Bank of Liverpool.
Queen hotel was stopping place for Liverpool and
Halifax stage coach. Shop to the left was the post office, then
clockmaker. Tudor cladding added to Queen in 1920s.
Building of current newsagent building 1863 on an
old smithy. Was Sowerby Bridge Industrial Society in newspaper part
and WH Broadbent newsagent in post office part. Scobys was Fred
Berrys baker and confectionery.
Other side in 1920s was Liverpool Bank, clock
repair shop, Garside's ironmongers (Eclipse), Beaumonts service depot
(parish offices), a clothing shop (fireplaces), Hollas fruiterer's,
fishmongers and poultry (VGs), Lumb Pharmacist (café), post office,
Spring Street had buildings both sides.History of Ripponden – John Henry Priestley, 1903
Pack Horse Bridge