Southowram History 2 -
Southowram Bank

Southowram Bank


From Bank Bottom


As we climb there is the back of Ridings Carpets on the right and several rows of back to back terraces on the left.

First terraces are Rileys Buildings, Smithsons Row and Pineberry Hill.


Southowram Bank Colliery


This area was where they filmed part of the film 'Yanks' with Richard Gere.


Houses at Pineberry Hill


Round the back of these houses was another block of back to back terraces called Beacon Parade.

At 42 Southowram Bank stood the 'Traveller's Rest' pub (J.E.Kershaw) 1936 Hx Directory.


Beacon Parade


Courier April 17th 1921


Within the buildings in the background(centre-left) on Southowram Bank was the Pineberry area. Somewhere in there was the Pineberry Hill Tavern and the Travellers Inn. There was a Pineberry football club at one time although they must have played elsewhere. In the background to the right of the picture was Bailey Hall.



A corruption of Bailiff's Hall, is a respectable old mansion ; and Avas in all probability the residence of the Lords Bailiff, who selected this spot on account of its contiguity to the river and the town of Halifax ; the whole of Southowram Bank being at that time covered M'ith wood.


Bailey Hall Brickworks - top 


Bailey Hall Road and Mackintoshes factory with Bailey Hall houses, top left.


These are details from very early days of Southowram and indeed Halifax and begin to explain how laws and fees actually worked.



As we are so near, we may as well have a peep at what remains of Bailey Hall, of which we have spoken as being in 1665 owned by Mrs. Lucy Barraclough.

Although outside the township of Halifax:, it was, as the name implies, the residence of the bailiff of the Lord of the Manor of Wakefield - the official appointed by that personage to impannel the jury when an execution at the Gibbet was in expectation, and to perform the other duties attached to the post.

A document at Wakefield tells us that the bailiff of Halifax and his deputies had power to execute within the ‘Liberty,’ as it was called, of Halifax - all such process as "the Sheriff's bailies do in the rest of the county, as also to carry the persons under their arrest

to the lord's gaol at Halifax, if they be not bailed within 24 hours. Thy had also to collect the freehold rents, called Earl Warren’s rents, all the amercements of the Courts, all waifs and strays, and all the fees of writs, executions, &c. In short, they discharged many of the functions now exercised by the County Court. We are also told that the bailiff of Halifax, in the time of the Forest of Hardwick, when the forest laws were in force, was then called the Chief Bailiff of Halifax, or Sheriff of Sowerbyshire. And, in all matters relating to the execution of criminals, acted as sheriff, and to this day keeps the Gibbet axe, with which malefactors were formerly executed at Halifax. The bailiff, also when this document from which I quote was written, about 1700, acted also as gaoler, and farmed both offices at £50 a year.

But long before 1700, it would appear, the "bailies" of Halifax had ceased to reside at Bailey Hall.


In the middle of the seventeenth century Bailey Hall was the residence of Old John Bottomley, a relative of the Listers.

In 1689 the hall was tenanted, perhaps owned, by Mr. John Stancliffe

Early in the next century Bailey Hall was probably tenanted by the Nelson alias Nalson family, whose heiress, so it seems, Martha Nelson, married in 1725, one William Wood. This William Wood - described as a “merchant” - or his son, purchased, in 1764, Upper Dove House estate, in Shibden, now the Industrial School of that, ilk. He bought it the Abson family, and this ancient homestead - so far back as 1691 - been occupied, as tenant, by one John Nelson, who probably belonged to the same family as that which, it seems, had its abode at Bailey Hall.

In an old note book of Mr. Japhet Issott, of Fold, Shibden, this marriage is thus recorded:- "Mr William Wood was married to Martha Nalson Tuesdav ye 24th Aug. 1725, at Groves [St. Anne's].” And later is added: - "Martha, daughter of William Wood, of Bailey Hall, born 8 June, 1726,"

From an assessment preserved at Shibden Hall for the Land Tax for the year 1782, “after the rate of 4s. in the pound,” and collected after the rate of 2s. 8d. in the pound, “which was laid upon “all and every the owners and occupiers of lands, tenements, houses, mines, woods, quarries, coals, and tythes, in Southowram,” it appears that, at that date, Mrs. Phebe Wood was the owner of Bailey Hall, which was valued in the assessment at £15. Phebe Wood was the daughter of the William Wood who purchased Dove House, and was also, in the assessment, of 1782, set down as the then owner of that property, which was assessed at £16.

William Walker, Esquire, of Crow Nest, was the owner of the old hall and of a sometime meadow, called Croyd Ing, and also of another house, called Low Bailey Hall. The rent paid to the Lord of the Manor of Southowram was then 4s., but there is a note to the effect that, in 1745, it was 2s. and two fat hens. These hens had, in 1809, become commuted into a payment of 2s.


This payment of hens, in lieu of money, is interesting as a survival of the early custom of paying rent in produce. In Saxon and early Norman times it was universal - money rents were practically unknown - the serfs laboured at least three-fourths of their time on the Lord of the Manor's land, and also paid rents of poultry, eggs, honey, &c. In return for their labour and their tribute of produce they were allowed, in their spare time, to cultivate the holdings which the Saxon Thanes and the Norman Knights permitted them to occupy.


From the assessment of 1665 it appears that there was then a mill at Bailey Bridge, for which Abraham Dyson contributed 1s.3d. It is interesting to learn, also, that at this date 1d. in the pound only raised £5 12s. 7d. in the township of Southowram. It appears that the mill formed part of the manorial estate of the Ingrams, and Lord Irwin paid the land tax for it in 1782. It was, as well as Lily Mill, the property of the second Marquis of Hertford in 1814, who took the name of Ingram after his marriage with Isabella Anne, daughter and heiress of Charles Ingram, Viscount Irwin, but the paternal name of Seymour has been since resumed. In the year 1814 the tenants of the Bailey Bridge Mill were Messrs. Wainhouse and Rigg. Before 1845 it had passed into the occupation of the Baldwin family, for in Walker's Directory of the Parish of Halifax, published in that year, Mr. John Baldwin, grand-father of our ex-Mayor, is described as carrying on there the business of a worsted and woollen yarn spinner.


From the GUARDIAN, 10 Dec 1898:


The small driveway you see to the garage in the distance would have led to Beacon Parade many years ago.

Southowram Bank Board School. Part of Sunday School was used as a Board School and as a United Methodist Free Chapel. In 1894, there were 113 infants attending [average attendance 84], although it had accommodation for around 200 pupils. In 1921, maps show the building as a Sunday School.


Bailey Hall - this was formerly called Bayley Hall. The Bayley, or Bailliff, was chief officer to the Lord of the Manor.  His residence was Bayley Hall, which no longer exists but was on Bailey Hall Bank. He had oversight of the corn mill, the manor house, the gaol as well as the gibbet.

To the manorial corn mill all the tenants of the manor had to take their corn to be ground, a portion of which, as settled by custom and agreement, called mulcture, was kept back as payment for the grinding.  A mulcture dish was used for measuring the proper quantity.

There was once several rows of terraced houses in this area and a road(Bailey Hall Bank) that led down to Bailey Hall Road. Terraced houses included:-

Back Railway Terrace, Hoyle's Buildings, Premises, Tordoff's Row and Woodhead's Row

Pineberry Hill Conservative Club was at 10 Bailey Hall Bank


Bailey Hall Bank


You can see Berry Lane and the row of factories all the way on to Riding Hall Mill (centre right) as well as Southowram Bank as it winds up


Often mistaken for Castlemaine House but this is No's 64, 66 and 68 Southowram Bank, half way up the bank in a similar area as the picture below.


Some things never change. It seems car drivers still haven't learned that even the modern 4x4s are out of control on steep icy/snowy hills.


This path(seen here centre/right) leads round the back of what used to be St Micheals Church(hidden behind the trees) and you can still see grave-stone-like markers which are perhaps church boundary markers.

Robert Parker planted a number of trees on the bare hillside, but, with the coming of the mills and factories, these were killed off by the pollution from the town. Most of the trees and shrubs which can today be seen on the hillside are the results of reafforestation to mark the Halifax centenary in 1948 – when over 500 trees were planted – during the campaign organised by Charles Holdsworth in 1949, and more in 1956. In the early 1970s, members of the Halifax Civic Trust began to plant trees and shrubs – mainly broom and willow.


Before the Piece Hall existed, there were two cloth halls that stood around the Hall End area at the  top of Crown Street. Cloth sellers would wait at the shops and inns nearby for the market bell to ring before displaying their cloths for sale and the bell sounded again to end trading. The bell you see on St Michael's church, above, was that very bell that eventually found it's way to Bankfield museum.


St Micheals and All Angels Church


View Blaithroyd Lane here


View Trooper Lane here


The building at the top of this row is the back of Castlemaine House, which is the only building that still stands from those in this picture.


Top of Southowram Old Bank

This was the entrance to Fees Builders at one time. The company built the 1950s houses on Blaithroyd Lane.

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