A History of Rawdon

Persons Places and Prejudices by D. C. Willcock

Cragg Wood - Rawdon

1

"The rich are different from you and me.
Yes, they have more money.”

Scott Fitzgerald

Cragg Wood is part of the great belt of primeaval woodland which stretched from Hawksworth and Newlay Woods on the north side of the river and from Bramley to Windhill on the south. It is said that some of Cragg Wood was planted in 1631 (by Francis Layton?) but there is little evidence of organised planting but lots of coppicing. There was very little development before the coming of the Midland Railway to Apperley Bridge in 18462 which made it possible for Bradford textile barons (or at least baronets) to live in a deeply rural ambience yet commute daily to their mills and warehouses. Geographically the wood looks towards Bradford, its residents were always very much Bradford orientated3 and by 1885 the anonymous writer of ‘A Series of Picturesque Views of Castles and Country Houses in Yorkshire’ could write of this part of the Aire Valley that it was:

"Only natural that it should be specially sought after by the gentlemen in either of the two towns (i.e. Leeds and Bradford) whose commercial ventures have been attended with … a measure of success … The valley on each side of the line is dotted with fine buildings standing in well-wooded grounds, which when viewed by the traveller from his swiftly rolling seat afford an ever-varying panorama … and at the same time testifying more eloquently than words to the wealth and enterprise of the mercantile community. ”

Cudworth also wrote:

"The ‘old nobility’ may have gone, perhaps for ever, but in their stead has arisen a race of self-made nobles, born of trade and commerce, whose pretty villas or castellated towers stud the hillside or nestle in the wood, to the undoubted advantage of the landscape. The fortunate possessors of these abodes being almost exclusively Bradford traders, Rawdon is but an aristocratic suburb of the metropolis of the worsted trade.”

His facts were correct. In the 1881 Census, of the 24 ‘big houses’, 20 were occupied by textile magnates. What Cudworth either did not know or did not mention was the inter-relationship between the owners of so many of the big houses (see Appendix E).

Upperwood House / Ashdown

As we have seen this was Hird land split from the Lower Woodhouse estate. William Leavens (born 1747), whose name is preserved in the housing development on the former goods yard at Apperley Bridge, was a wealthy woolstapler, and had acquired it before Hird’s death in 1818. He left it to his nephew, John White (1790-1861), the employer of Charlotte Brontë. She was not particularly happy there but what Victorian parson’s daughter was happy as a governess, in limbo between upstairs and downstairs? Her letters to her friend Ellen Nussey include the remarks "the house is small but exceedingly comfortable and well regulated”. The children, Sarah Louisa (born 1832, later Mrs Atkinson) and Jasper Leavens (1837-67, died unmarried) were not particularly well behaved. She suggests that Mr and Mrs White were "of low extraction” and that Mrs White’s father was an Exciseman.4 She does not use the words nouveau riche, but the implication is there.

The house was nearer to Apperley Lane than the present building. All that survives is a gazebo, with a blocked window, through which one can no longer gaze, as Charlotte is said to have done, up the valley towards Haworth.

The house was demolished in 1878 when the present one, then called Ashdown, was built by a Bradford solicitor, James Taylor, whose German wife had the eaves painted with quotations from Goethe (removed in the 1914 War). In 1890 it was tenanted by Theophilus Peel, later knighted and High Sheriff of Yorkshire, and then sold in 1899 to William Akeroyd, a prominent Bradford dyer and mayor of Bradford in 1898/9. After his death it was vacant for some years until bought by the Methodists in 1934 (see p. 40). Old maps show a narrow ginnel between the estate walls of Upper Woodhouse and Acacia running from Apperley Lane to Woodlands Drive and no doubt preserving an old right of way. By the 1930s this was very overgrown and has now completely disappeared.

Acacia

This was built in 1784 by Abraham Rhodes, a London attorney, who had returned to his native Rawdon. It was said to be "the grandest house in the district”. Rhodes’ grandson, another Abraham of Clerkenwell, London, then sold to Richard Fawcett,5 a Bradford wool merchant and prominent Wesleyan much involved in the foundation and early days of Woodhouse Grove. He bought more land in 1820 but got into financial difficulties and an estate of 120 acres stretching from Apperley Lane to the ‘Spite and Malice’ ginnel and down as far as the river was sold in 1833 to Robert Milligan.

All the Rawdon Milligans descended from ‘old John Milligan’ of Dunnance, Balmaghie, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland who married twice and had eight children. Five of them, Susan (born 1787), John (1772-1847), Robert (1783-1862), James (1788-1862) and Walter (1792-1863) came to Yorkshire and two of the sons and one grandson settled in Rawdon (see Appendix E).

John jnr. was the first who came to Cross Hills near Keighley about 1800. Robert followed about 1802 "with half-a-crown in his pocket” and Susan then joined them, before 1810, at Cross Hills to keep house for them. Ultimately she married James Rennie who had come from Gatehouse of Fleet. Robert started work as a door to door salesman or ‘Scotch packman’ but by 1810 he had opened a drapers shop in Westgate, Bradford. He also became a buyer for Leo Schuster & Co. of Manchester and through that job met Henry Forbes (1790-1870) who became his partner in Milligan Forbes & Co, Stuff Merchants. That business prospered exceedingly. In 1853 at a cost of £30,000 they built the great Italienate Palazzo as a warehouse in Hall Ings in Bradford, still occupied by the ‘Telegraph and Argus’.6

Robert married Phoebe Briggs (1796-1868, sister of Nathaniel - see below) at Guiseley in 1818. They had no children but adopted Susan (1813-1886) daughter of John jnr. Robert had strong Liberal views on parliamentary reform and the emancipation of West Indian slaves. He was also a member of the Council of the Anti-Corn Law League and became Charter Mayor of Bradford in 1847/8 and M.P. for the City in 1851-7. We have already seen his benefactions to Benton Chapel and Little London School.

He had been one of the founders and a director of the Bradford Banking Co. (now part of the Natwest Bank). Fawcett had given a charge on Acacia to the Bank and had defaulted. The other directors virtually hawked the property to Robert. At first he refused saying that he could not afford it. The others replied, "On the contrary, you are the one man who can”.

Acacia was rebuilt in 1847 to the plans of John Clarke (1799-1857, Edinburgh and Leeds) to the east of the present Acacia Park Estate. In 1854 Milligan took a further 175 acres (including 66 acres of woodland)7 from the Thornhills of Calverley on a 999 year lease. He also bought the Cragg Bottom (now Cragg Terrace, built pre-1790) from the Green-Emmott estate, making a total of over 350 acres. Robert died in 1862 and was buried at Undercliffe. His will, 25 pages in length, appointed as executors his son-in-law, W.H. Ripley, his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Briggs (see below), his nephew, Harrison Milligan and his niece, Jane’s husband, Charles Stanfield (see below). He left Acacia to Susan and her husband, W. H. Ripley (see below) whom she had married in 1836 and who were then living at Lightcliffe. The will also gave Ripley the option to purchase other land.

The remaining Rawdon land, 183 acres, was sold by auction in Bradford in 1863 in 26 lots, together with other property in Bradford.

The Rawdon lots were described as "well wooded with a southern aspect and from their proximity to Apperley and Calverley stations admirably adopted for the erection of villa residences”. Unfortunately no plans of the lots are readily available. The great building boom in the wood then began. The Ripleys enlarged Acacia on going to live there. Ripley died in 1882. His eldest son moved to Bedstone, Shropshire. His third son, also made into a baronet in 1897 continued to live at Acacia until his death in 1907.

Summer Hill

This was near to Acacia and still exists. It was the home of Henry Forbes and was later occupied by William Henry Salt, the 2nd Baronet and eldest son of Sir Titus Salt. Nathaniel Briggs bought it in 1857.

Daisy Hill

This was there before the railway came. In the 1860s it was occupied by Henry Brown, Mayor of Bradford in 1856/9 and of the well-known store Brown, Muff and Co.

Bedlam/ Hamilton Cottage

Francis Layton had sold this site, then known as Bedlam (why?) in the mid-17th century to the Exley family of Lightcliffe. The present buildings are obviously mid- Victorian.

Nathaniel Briggs

Briggs (1811-80) arrived on the scene about 1860. He had married Elizabeth, daughter of John Womersley of Mawcroft (see p. 56) She died in 1838, aged 30. He became a partner in Milligan Forbes & Co. He was a staunch Baptist and a Liberal and was obviously a man of great vision. He died a very wealthy man. He bought about 60 acres from the Milligans's trustees,8 land from the Hastings family and also from the Wickhams (roughly where the present golf course is) and thus acquired a substantial area in the wood. His plan was to develop an estate of large houses for the wealthy and it had been said that his idea was not to sell plots of less than seven acres. In reality none of his plots is as large as that.9

He laid out three lateral drives,10 Woodlands, Underwood and Cliffe: the traditional paths had gone down the hillside from north to south. His distinctive sign was the flat topped coping stones on his walls which are to be seen all the way from Leeds Road to Woodlands Drive.

He lived first at Daisy Hill and later at Cliffe Cottage which he substantially added to. He built Cragg Royd11 for his son Arthur, Westholme (demolished 1935 and the garden incorporated into Cragg Mount) for the Principal of the Baptist College, and Cragg Mount. Cragg Royd and Cragg Mount and possibly Westholme were by Lockwood and Mawson.12 Briggs retained the ownership of both Cragg Mount and Westholme but he sold the sites for Holmehurst to Henry Wilkinson Bell (1866-1914, who is jointly commemorated by the carved oak screen in Rawdon Parish Church). This house was much reduced in the 1930s and later became the home of W.B. Ives of the Yeadon mill. James Wales J.P. bought the site of Buckstones (now Apperley Grange, near the old Buckstones of the Hirds (see p. 20).

By 1864 Jonathan Knowles (1827-1911), stuff merchant, was in Underwood House and David de Anglis, another stuff merchant, but born in New York, was in Cragg Wood, a house now demolished.

Briggs constructed a private water supply for his estate with a reservoir opposite the former Peacock Hotel in Harrogate Road, where his coping stones are still to be seen, and also a smaller reservoir to the north of Woodlands Drive, the remains of which are also still visible.

Briggs made his will in 1875.13 It is unusual in two respects. Firstly the attestation clause states expressly that is was read aloud to him; this normally is only inserted when a testator is blind or near-blind. Secondly, he left a life interest in Cliffe Cottage to his second wife, Isabella Johnstone, and he set out in the will in great detail the boundaries of his property and the rights of way etc. to which it was entitled. This was unusual even in lengthy Victorian wills and it may well have been done on his express instructions to have these matters clearly put on record. These points may have some significance when we come to ‘Spite and Malice’ (see below). On his death, his will was proved at £60,000 (say £2.5 million today).

Among the Hastings property he acquired was Rawdon Hall,14 then in a dilapidated condition together with some 40 acres of land between Cliffe Lane and Rawdon Drive but that family was only prepared to let him have it on a 99 year lease. Obviously they wished to retain a link, however tenuous, with Rawdon. The house was renovated and ultimately Arthur Briggs lived there. Arthur, like his father, was a partner in Milligan Forbes & Co. Educated at Huddersfield and University College, London, he married a daughter of Dr. Campbell of Cawnpore, India. He was a Councillor and J.P. in Bradford, and much involved in the public life of the city. There is a portrait of him at Bolling Hall.

Arthur's son, Arthur Nathaniel,15 died in 1908 aged 38 and his son Rupert Nathaniel in 1945. Briggs's trustees still owned land in the wood as late as 1935, but I understand that there is now no land in the wood belonging to the Briggs family.

Woodleigh Hall16

This was built in 1869 by Moses Bottomley who had made a fortune in alpaca and mohair at a large mill in Halifax Road, Shelf. Bottomley was strongly Anglican, the son-in-law of a vicar and the father-in-law of a bishop. The font in St. Peter's Church is in memory of his wife Susannah. The architects were Lockwood and Mawson and it is said that Italian workmen were employed in the building. It is not one of the firm's happier efforts. The style is said to be Elizabethan but I doubt if Gloriana herself would have thought so.

The Booth family lived there between the Wars. After 1950 it was used as a nurses' home for the staff at Woodlands Hospital and is now a private nursing home. The road to the north side of the Hall was never a public right of way and used to be closed one day a year to prevent this happening. Although the road was not made until 1922 it is said that Sir William Duncan had insisted on this when the right was granted in his lifetime.

Woodlands Hospital17

Erected in 1877 at a cost of £20,000 in a not unattractive quasi-Elizabethan style, the architects were Andrews & Pepper of Bradford. It is the only substantial brick-built erection in the Wood. It was the gift of William Henry Ripley18 and was originally a convalescent hospital. Lord Salisbury, then the Leader of the Conservative party, came to open it staying at Acacia with Ripley. Ripley was made into a baronet in 1880. Over £5,000 was spent on improvements in 1891-2. In both World Wars it treated convalescent servicemen, over 3,000 in the First War. When prolonged bed-rest was no longer considered medically desirable, whatever a patient had suffered, it was converted in 1951 into an orthopaedic hospital. It gained a high reputation but the problems of running a hospital in so remote a spot caused its closure in 1993. It is now in the process of becoming a residential development.

Woodlawn, formerly Apperley Lawn

This fronted directly to Apperley Lane at the top of the steep. It had a crenellated tower (Lockwood & Mawson?) and was built in the 1860s for William Dewhirst (died 1885) a Bradford stuff merchant. From 1911 to the late 1920s it was the home of William, Clifford ('Billy') Gaunt,19 the notorious Bradford millionaire, theatrical angel, and ultimate bankrupt (died 1941). He was responsible for having Acacia pulled down (which had been empty for some years) saying it blocked his view of the valley. The north and south lodges, Acacia Cottage and Acacia Farm survived. During the last War it was occupied by troops and later demolished leading to the development of the Spinney etc. The gateposts and the name still survive.

Buckstone Hall

Built in 1884 for William Dewhirst’s son Herbert20 and definitely the work of Lockwood & Mawson. The land had been bought from William Exley, the brother of Joseph (see p. 48) who farmed there. The dominant tower was always clearly visible from the other side of the valley leading to the nick-name ‘Little Windsor’ or ‘The Castle’. It remained in the Dewhirst family until at least 1911. Sir Arthur Croft of the Thornbury engineering firm bought it in 1923. In the 1960s it was a casino for a while. It is now four flats.

Knottfield

This was just into Rawdon by the Red Beck boundary. The architects were Milnes and France, Bradford (1874). Originally John Dawson of Kirkstall Brewery lived there, followed by Hermann Averdieck, born in Hamburg in 1822, a stuff manufacturer, close friend of Sir Charles Hallé and much involved in musical life in Bradford and with the building of St. Margaret’s Church, Horsforth in the 1880s. After the First War it became the Mitchell Memorial Home for tubercular ex-servicemen, named in memory of a casualty of the War. As the need for such a purpose diminished it became a W.R. County Council Home for boys in the Council’s care. It was demolished in 1959 and became the site for the Crematorium.

Lowroyd

Originally built for Robert Milligan’s brother Walter. He had volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1811 and served as a seaman in H.M.S. Thames (Captain, later Sir, Charles Napier) for about two years. In 1834 he became a mill owner at Bingley and Harden, trading as Walter Milligan and Co. Getting into financial difficulties in 1857, he offered his creditors a composition of 13/4 in the pound, which they accepted. Ultimately he was able to pay a full 20 shillings in the pound plus interest for which he was much admired. He had moved to Lowroyrd from Bingley in 1850. It later became the home of William Gray (see p. 36) before he moved to Wellroyd, Knott Lane.

Woodcliffe / Briarden

A very large house occupied in the 1860s by Charles Stanfield who had married John Milligan jnr’s daughter, Jane (born 1817). He was a Bookseller and Distributor of Stamps (i.e. Inland Revenue and not postage) in Bradford. The latter job may have been as profitable a sinecure as it was for William Wordsworth. In the middle years of this century it was owned by Walter Greenwood (1901-71) of the men’s outfitting firm.

Spite and Malice

This expression is used to refer to both the ginnel and the dispute from which it took its name. It is difficult to discover the true story. Significantly Palliser does not refer to it though when he was writing before 1913 there must have been people still alive who knew of it. Indeed there were some, such as the late Eddie Mercer who thought that the dispute never took place.21 However, a pre-1914 post card is reproduced in ‘Round and About Aireborough’ Vol II p.126 Ed. Martin Rigg, and is entitled ‘Spite and Malice’.

Basically the story is that after Milligan’s death, when the Ripleys were living at Acacia to the west of the ginnel and the Briggs at Cliffe Cottage to the east, ever higher walls were alternately built on both sides to prevent one household viewing the other. Ultimately large towers were built on each side. Briggs’ tower has been demolished, though traces remain, but on the Ripley side a strange beehive-shaped summerhouse, somewhat like a Celtic broch, still remains.

The mystery is why wealthy civilised people, connected by marriage and business, should behave in this childish way, though if Briggs’ eyesight was failing it may have affected him in other ways. Another reason may have been political in that the Ripleys had turned Tory and from Congregationalism to Anglicanism, whereas Briggs remained a Liberal and strongly Baptist. In this connection it is noteworthy that Ripley was unseated after the 1868 Parliamentary election in Bradford on a petition alleging that he had been responsible for corrupt practices. It was claimed that some of his supporters had supplied opposing voters with so much liquor that they were incapable of voting! As a Baptist Briggs would, of course, have strong views on liquor. Again it could have been that one party owned land between parcels belonging to the other and was able to frustrate development.

Potter Hill, formerly Ten Minutes

At the junction of Underwood and Woodlands Drive, it was said to be 10 minutes walk from Apperley Bridge station. Built in an Edwardian ‘Arts and Crafts’ style, it was there by 1908. It was occupied before the First War by Percy Fison, who if he was of the Burley-in-Wharfedale mill family, would have been distantly connected to Nathaniel Briggs.

The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Joseph

Built by John Warrington in the grounds of his house Lisieux on Woodlands Drive. The architect was Edward Simpson of Leeds, the builders Barretts of Rawdon and it seated 120. For once, Warrington was not a Bradford textile man but a colliery owner from Normanton. He did not live to see the consecration in 1909. After his death he left Lisieux to the Sisters of Notre Dame, where they stayed until 1950. Access can never have been easy for many of the congregation and after the opening of St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church at New Scarborough in 1956 attendance diminished. It closed in 1989 and has been made into four flats, St. Joseph’s Court.

The great building surge seems to have petered out by the end of the 1880s. Ripley died in 1882. His eldest son moved to Bedstone, Shropshire. His third son, also made into a baronet in 1897 continued to live at Acacia until his death in 1907.

Bradford Council completed its great sewerage works at Esholt (commenced in 1904) in the early 1920s. In those days they treated large quantities of wool grease and on humid days an unpleasant smell could linger in the valley bottom.22 But even before 1914 Bradford textile tycoons were finding it difficult to live in the style to which they had been accustomed and there was less enthusiasm in having half a dozen children or more. It is not surprising that by 1913 Acacia, Woodleigh Hall, Wellroyd, Knottfield and Cragg Royd were all vacant.

It would be fascinating to know how many millions were made in Bradford in Queen Victoria’s reign and were then spent in Rawdon23 and also at what prices some of the big houses changed hands in the early years of this century. We do know that Rawdon Council bought Micklefield House in 1930 for £4,500, the Methodists paid £3,000 for Ashdown in 1934 and the NHS £7,500 for Woodleigh Hall, including 20 acres of land, in 1950! (A small semi cost about £500 in the 1930s and £750 in 1950.)

Notes

1. Elaborated from my article in ‘Round and About Aireborough’ VI (1995) Ed. Martin Rigg.

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2. The incline to Guiseley and Ilkley followed in 1864. The station was closed in 1965.

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3. Between 1847 and 1914 at least seven Lord Mayors of Bradford lived in Rawdon.

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4. Née Jane Robson (1801-77). Charlotte’s Irish and Cornish parentage may not have made her sympathetic to excisemen! However it may be that Charlotte was a little unfair to Jane whose father was officially described as "exciseman, maltster, mill owner and quarryman”. There is a possibility that Jane White was connected with a landed family at Bellingham, Northumberland. See Letters of ‘Charlotte Brontë’ Vol I p. 246 & 248. A letter dated 1851 has recently come to light in which Charlotte replies to John White who had invited her to visit Upper Wood House. She declines on the grounds of her father's age, but says that otherwise it would have given her great pleasure to accept. She also mentions that she had seen Sarah Louisa a few years previously at Oakwell Hall, Birstall where the child seemed to have forgotten her. Oakwell Hall was then a boarding school kept by friends of Charlotte and is said to be the original of ‘Briarmains’ in her novel ‘Shirley’.

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5. Though the nephew of the Rev. Dr. John Fawcett, a well known Baptist minister, Fawcett was described as "One of the old type of Wesleyans with a strong attachment to the Church of England”. For instance, he purchased the advowson of Bradford Parish Church, (later the Cathedral) and ultimately transferred it to the Simeon Trustees, a low church patronage trust. By 1878 his son, also Richard, was living at Fernbark, Woodlands Drive while another son had married a daughter of the Rev. Lamplugh Hird (see p. 21) and had been Vicar of Holy Trinity, Low Moor, Bradford. A grandson who had been Lord Mayor of Bradford in 1907/8 lived at Lowroyd.

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6. Milligan and Forbes were directors of the ‘Bradford Observer’ which may well explain how the paper came to acquire the building.

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7. The Woods included:

  • Cragg Wood
  • Willow Wood
  • High Knott Wood
  • Low Knott Wood
  • Bubbling Well Wood
  • Snaithing End Wood (now preserved in the name of the houses on the former hospital site)
  • Well Piece Wood
  • Kitty Royd Wood

There were also three farms. Stansfield Rawson had bought this land from the Green-Emmott estate but then resold to Honoria Thornhill of Calverley in 1852.

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8. I have not been able to see all the plans attached to the purchase deeds, but it seems to have included the centre of the wood between Spite and Malice and the western boundary of the Woodlands Hospital site. It was mostly primaeval woodland and the price was about 1-1/4d per square yard. It is noticeable that Briggs retained a footpath between Holmehurst and Buckstone House to the Baptist Chapel.

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9. Back-to-back houses were being built at the time 30 or 40 to an acre!

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10. Milligan had laid out Craggwood Drive. Briggs also planned a road which was never laid out, to cross the present golf course from Buckstone Drive to Rawdon Drive. There is still a footpath. In 1920 there was a deed between the Briggs Trustees (1) Sarah Lucy Milligan, then of Esholt Avenue, Guiseley (2) and the frontagers to the private roads (3) providing for the setting up of the Cragg Woods Road Committee, which took over the responsibility for the maintenance of the roads. This still exists.

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11. Later occupied by Adolph (‘Dolly’) Jacobs, then by Sir Francis Watson (a Bradford solicitor and M.P. for the Pudsey and Otley Division 1923-9 and still later by Douglas Rennie. It is now a private nursing home. There is an archway in the grounds which came from the Unitarian (formerly Independent) Chapel, Chapel Lane, Bradford, roughly where the fountain is in front of the Magistrates Court. Prior to that it was located at Howley Hall, Batley from 1590-1719.

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12. The outstanding architectural practice in Bradford from 1849 responsible for the Wool Exchange, St George's Hall and the now demolished Kirkgate Market, Salt's Mill, Saltaire, Wells Hydro Ilkley (until recently a college) and the City Temple, London (destroyed in the Blitz). They were runners up in the competition for Leeds Town Hall and competed successfully for the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand. Lockwood (1817-78) was born in Doncaster and articled to Peter Robinson of London. By 1834 he was practising in Hull and Cuthbert Broderick was attached to him. He lived until 1872 at Nunwood, Apperley Lane, but died at Richmond, Surrey and is buried at Kensal Green. William Mawson 1828-89 is buired in Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford. In Rawdon they certainly designed Woodleigh Hall, Buckstone Hall and most likely Ashdown, Woodlawn and the extension to Micklefield House, but the records of the practice do not seem to have survived and one cannot be certain.

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13. For information about the will, I am indebted to Mrs S. Cox of Wimbledon.

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14. The occupiers of Rawdon Hall after the deaths of Priscilla and Mercy Rawdon were a mixed lot. Towards the end of the 17th century, part at least, was occupied by the Overends (early Quakers). There is little evidence about the early 18th century but towards the end of that century and into the early 19th, a substantial farmer, Samuel Bingley, occupied it for 50 years. In 1851 a Major Harris was there. After Arthur Briggs’ death, G.M. Morrell was the tenant. It was used by the army during the last War and shortly after the war Lady Donnington, a descendant of Edith, sister of the 4th Marquis of Hastings was there for a few years. In the 1950/60s Judge Nevin Q.C. was a tenant.

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15. On the death of Arthur Nathaniel Briggs, his estate included Cliffe Cottage, Westholme, Cragg Royd, Cragg Mount, Rawdon Hall and Lodge (97 acres), eight cottages at Cragg Bottom, the reservoir in Harrogate Road and premises in Bradford and Manchester.

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16. The large entrance hall with the gallery reminds one of Ashdown. Was Ashdown also the work of Lockwood & Mawson?

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17. For further information see ‘Woodlands Orthopaedic Hospital 1877-1993’ - Joan C. Cope.

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18. Ripley (1813-82) was another great Victorian entrepreneur. His father, Edward, owned a small dyeworks in Bowling in 1820 employing 18 men. The son experimented with dyes and made a fortune. He developed the Ripleyville estate near to the works of over 200 houses together with a school and a church for his employees. He was a Bradford Councillor 1850-55 and M.P. 1868-9 and 1874-80. His son Frederick (2nd Bart. 1840-1903) married Eugenia Frederica, daughter of the Major General.

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19. A nephew of Reuben and Isaac Gaunt of Farsley. His flamboyant life was too full to summarise in a few lines and I know another local writer is working on it. His son, also Billy, had an association with Adele Astaire, sister of Fred, who ultimately married Lord Charles Cavendish, son of the 9th Duke of Devonshire and the brother of Dorothy Macmillan.

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20. Herbert married Lydia Constance, daughter of Harrison Milligan, another brother of Robert.

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21. Most of these folk tales have some foundation in fact. Cf. the Wainhouse Tower at Halifax and the Spite pub on the Blubberhouses Road out of Otley.

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22. In the 1920s Rawdon U.D.C. received repeated complaints from owners of houses in the wood about the smells from Esholt Sewage Works. Some even threatened for their rateable values to be reduced. Their complaints were always passed to Bradford Council, but with little satisfaction. Rawdon Council had opposed the Esholt Works from their first conception.

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23. About the middle of the 19th century the Clarke-Thornhill Estate at Calverley had ambitious plans to develop an estate of similar houses in Calverley woods, but these came to little. Was it because Rawdon is far more the sunnier side of the valley?

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David Charles Willcock Born 5th October 1924 Died 22nd June 2014 aged 89

The content of the website comes from the book "A History of Rawdon" author D. C. Willcock published 2000. 400 copies were printed and sold out immediately.

Born in Horsforth 1924 David Willcock has lived most of his life in Horsforth & Rawdon. The only son of Clarence Harry Willcock (Wikipedia entry).

With a keen interest in history the content traces the development of this quintessential English village. Whilst every care was taken in the writing if you feel that there are factual errors please do suggest corrections via the contact form.

For more general enquiries Aireborough Historical Society provides a fantastic resource. D C Willcock was proud to be its Chairman in 2000.

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