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Chapter 10

Pubs and Clubs of Rawdon

“Come where the booze is cheaper,
Come where the pots hold more,
Come where the boss is a hell of a joss,
Come to the pub next door.”

Victorian Drinking Song

“I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member”

Groucho Marx

The Emmott Arms

In 1668 there was a reference to the “inn next to the chapel” i.e. St. Peter’s Church. It may have been part of the school site, but it has disappeared without trace, possibly on the building of the Emmott Arms in 1780 in a strategic position on the brow of Over Lane, where both man and beast would have required rest and refreshment. In due course it became tied to William Whitaker & Co., of the Bradford Old Brewery and later to Sam Smiths of Tadcaster. Although it has been renovated it has escaped the plastic shamrockery which has taken over so many pubs.


The Nags Head 1

On the south side of Town Street near the present Post Office, it closed in 1933.

The Stone Trough

Built in Harrogate Road in 1932 by Armley Brewery, and initially called ‘The New Fox and Hounds’. It replaced The Lantern, later The Fox and Hounds in Canada Road, which has become a private house. Recently refurbished and redecorated in the inimitable house style of a famous brewery!

The Wagon and Horses

By 1830 it had opened at the top of the steep in Apperley Lane where no doubt it was desperately needed. It was demolished after 1870 to provide part of the site for Wood Lawn (see p.50).

The Princess, Apperley Lane

Although the sign shows Princess Alexandra of Denmark who married the then Prince of Wales in 1863 and the brewery that owns the pub has no records earlier than 1868, the building is older having been built in 1826. There is a local tradition that it may have been originally named after Princess Victoria of Kent (later Queen). Hitching rings for horses are still to be seen on the exterior wall to Back Lombard Street. There were alterations in the 1930s when it belonged to Stretton’s Brewery of Derby, (who sold to Ind Coope Ltd, in 1954, subsequently Tetley’s) but it has still preserved its character.

The Queens Hotel, Apperley Lane

Built with Dutch style gables by John White of Upperwood House in 1851 after the railway had come. In his will of 1858 he left it to his daughter, Sarah Louisa Atkinson, who had been one of Charlotte Brontë’s pupils. There was a roller skating rink to the rear of the building which was demolished in 1899 when the main railway line was widened.

Rawdon Conservative Club2

Originally founded in 1886 in the Henley Hill area, it started with 25 members, the entrance fee was a shilling and the annual subscription five shillings. By 1888 it had moved to a house on the south side of Over Lane where part of the opening through which barrels were shot into the cellar still survives. It is, however, much reduced in size as the road level was raised in the 1960s. The first president was the Major General.

The foundation stones of the present club in Leeds Road were laid in July 1911 by:

  • W.J.E. Green-Emmott (the Major General)
  • G.M. Morrell of Rawdon Hall
  • H.W. Bell of Holmehurst
  • Lady Duncan of Horsforth Hall
  • G.W. Jessop of Cliffe Cottage
  • J.J. Oddy M.P. for Pudsey and Otley 1908-11
  • J.E. Fawcett of Lowroyd
  • A.H. Hutton of Crowtrees House later an M.P.

The land cost £365 and the buildings £1,512. It was opened by J.S. Ragland Phillips, the Editor (1903-19) of ‘The Yorkshire Post’, deputising for Lord Faber. Phillips was the son-in-law of the painter Atkinson Grimshaw and one wonders if he knew that his wife’s ancestors some 200 years ago had lived close by at Ivy House. Extensions to the club were made in the late 1970s and again in 1997. It has recently amalgamated with Guiseley Conservative Club.

Liberal Club

This was in a single storey building in, of all places, Salisbury Street. It did not have a licence. It is mentioned as early as 1898 and as late as 1936.

Rawdon Golf and Tennis Club

Rawdon nine-hole golf course opened in 1896. The Buckstone Rock (see p. 10) rises over the course and a right of way from Buckstone Drive to Cliffe Drive crosses the course. As late as 1935 part of the course belonged to the U.D.C. and part to the Briggs’ Trustees (see p. 49). A club house, later extended, was built in 1905, Dr. Vinter of Woodhouse Grove having been a prime mover in the scheme.

Rawdon Cricket Club

It is not known exactly when the club was founded, but it is thought to have been about 1878. It played in a field to the side of the Emmott Arms, and no doubt the pub was used as headquarters in those days. The present Club premises were a former hut from the Army Apprentices College at Harrogate. It was erected in the late 1970s and enlarged in 1994. The Club was a tenant of the Green-Emmott estate until 1930 when Heaton Naylor of the Green Lane Dyeworks bought the land and presented it to Trustees with a condition that if cricket ceased to be played there the land would pass to Rawdon Council for recreational purposes and that one match a year would amount to ‘cricket being played’. That great cricketer and great gentleman, Hedley Verity (died of wounds in 1944) played for Rawdon aged 16-18, as also did Brian Close, Bryan Stott in their youth.


1. There may well have been other ‘beer house’ licences which have vanished. In 1830 the Duke of Wellington’s government, perhaps impressed by Hogarth’s etchings, saw the way to deal with the drink problem was to make beer more, and gin less, readily available. They made it possible for anyone to apply for a ‘beer only’ licence by paying a fee of two guineas a year and without having to apply to the magistrates. This led to a proliferation of such licences and it was not until 1869 that efforts were made to reduce their number. A very few such pubs survived until after the last War. E.g. the Roscoe Hotel in Chapeltown, Leeds, which had such a licence until 1976.

2. For further details see ‘Rawdon Conservative Club 1886-1986’ – M. Harper.