Southowram-Blog-Page6

Southowram-Blog-Page6

Bank Top

The main road at Bank Top can be seen running from left(Halifax side)to right with the Manor House pub prominent near to the centre. The top of Trooper Lane reaches Blaithroyd Lane before bending past it (bottom left) and Higgin Lane bends bottom right of the photo.


Bethesdas Chapel

Southowram Primitive Methodist Chapel. This was just below the Manor House pub. Built in 1857 with classrooms added in 1874.

Bethesda Primitive Methodist chapel did not start well.  The foundation stone was laid by John Crossley “in the presence of hundreds of spectators” and they had got as far as finishing the roof when “the foundation at one point was found to be insecure, and it was deemed best to take down the whole building and remove the foundation stone yards and to rebuild it.

The new chapel was 39′ x 30′, seated 220 and had enough room for a burial ground.  As well as the chapel there was also a school-room and house, all internally connected.

Opening services started from March 3rd 1858. Speakers at the services and tea meeting for 200 included Rev F Mellor (Independent), Rev T Penrose of Wakefield, Rev R Felvus (Wesleyan), Rev W Sanderson, Rev CS Sturrock (Independent), Mr Jones Greenwood, John Crossley, Rev W Walters and J Dodsworth.

The chapel cost £600 overall of which £100 was for the land. Donors of money or practical help included John, Joseph and Frank Crossley, (Frank was an MP), Mrs Hartley and the Misses Dewhirst.

The chapel was located on Bank Top, opposite the junction with what is now Marsh Lane but was then Bolton Lane. The chapel and graveyard site were developed from 2003 as a housing estate.

Ironically the difficulties at the time of building returned 90 years later. There was a major difficulty in 1947 when the retaining wall to the graveyard collapsed, bringing several graves into the roadway. 28 re-burials were required.

The chapels' Graveyard when the wall collapsed and graves were in the road.


Marsh Lane

House of 1678 with range of 1767 to North forming a courtyard plan. Hammer-
dressed stone, stone slate roof. Main front of C17 house faces north into
courtyard, has through passage plan, double pile. Doorway with moulded surround
at left hand end and depressed Tudor lintel engraved 'SI 1678' with small 2-
light window, false arched heads, and curved head which terminates string which
carries over whole facade. The remaining windows are double chamfered mullioned
and transomed of 12 lights (originally 20) with 12-light window over, next to it
a 10-light to right, with 2 cross windows under. Over cross passage, another.
Opposite side of courtyard has segmental cart entry with dropped keystone, dated
1767 with initials '- SI'. South front has main feature of doorway with
pulvinated frieze. The east gable front, which has been raised, has various
blocked openings and a columbarium, and 4 bays of the C18 range with flat faced
mullion windows of 4 lights, some reduced to 2. The facade to Marsh Lane has
more of the same, mostly altered.



Bankfield Farm

This was also the home of the 'Travellers Rest' a beer-house.


Battinson Street


Manor House


Although this picture says Law Lane - it isn't. It is actually South Cliffe at Bank Top.

Front of back to back terraces.

Front were Bank Top whilst the back street is Merrion Street

Back of terraces

Merrion Crescent

Front of terraces (Bank Top)


Blagbrough and Hebblethwaite's (Slide Show)



Blue Bell pub which burned down (middle building on the right) with the chippie in front. The back building is still there today.

Rene's Hairdressers (front left), Blue Bell (behind), Cock and Bottle (right).



Trams had made the tricky journey up Southowram Bank, as the rails and the overhead wires indicate. But at Bank Top, horse and cart was still a popular way of getting around.

The building at the bottom of Higgin Lane was known as the 'Gentlemans Parliament' where men would often debate subjects of the period, often whilst waiting for the tram or bus.


Holt's pork pies were made to Mrs Nancy Morton's own recipe and were a side line to her husband's butcher's business which began in 1938. 

Mr Clifford Morton began his business in a little wooden shop (pictured above) near to the Cock and Bottle before selling out to his former apprentice George Holt (pictured right) along with the famous recipe.

According to an 1854 map, Upper Marsh was originally called Clay Farm


return to Southowram Blog Page 5

advance to Southowram Blog Page 7