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Buildings and Byways of Old Barwick-in-Elmet

Chapel Lane

Barwicker No. 8
December 1987

The end of Chapel Lane as it joins Aberford Road

From here, Chapel Lane takes a dog-leg turn down a short hill to Aberford Road. There can be little doubt that the Lane was originally a footway to the Parish Church, but most likely named after the Chapel in the following years, when street names were established as postal services began in the early 1840's. Nothing altered in the Lane until the Church school was built in 1861; there were fields on both sides and the map shows a quarry near to the Institute. Another seventy years were to pass before Tadcaster R.D.C. built the present houses on either side. Later came the Village Hall, the new Infants and Junior School, and of course, our excellent playing fields.

At the rear of this row, the old yard.
The butcher's slaughter house was here.

Many a house in the village seems to have a story worth the telling. One such is at the end of Chapel Lane with its frontage to Aberford Road, without windows, as if the Church objected to being overlooked. It has windows facing the school grounds which reach to its walls. denying any garden space. During its life this little house has been a butcher's shop. then the village police house, suitably adorned with the official plaque. According to stories told. P.C. Robinson was a popular bobby, even with the vagrant fraternity. of which there was a considerable number in the years before the 1939-45 war. Tramps going from Leeds towards Aberford and the Great North Road, or in the reverse direction. always contrived their arrival here to coincide with mealtimes!

Early photographs show Chapel Lane very narrow at the Long Lane end, with high hedges, a banking on the right and open fields beyond. The first map we have showing buildings is dated 1772, with cottages on the left at Long Lane, then nothing until those pictured here. On the opposite corner the former farm-house belonging to Low Farm, Aberford Road, and a cluster of dwellings around the adjacent Pump Yard.

The map of 1821 shows the Chapel (later the Miners' Welfare Institute). This was completed in 1804 and in use until the present Methodist Church was built in 1900.

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