Southowram History 6 - Bank Top

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.

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.

Common Lane


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

Grocery shop next to the Cock and Bottle


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.

Law Lane

Grocery shop next to the Cock and Bottle

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.

Higgin Lane 

In a 1905 almanac, Higgin Lane consisted of


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

A sign from yester-year where the fish and chip shop was.

Stoneycroft Estate

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