Apples, Arithmetic and the Aristocracy! - Aberford Road Back to the Main Historical Society page
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Apples, Arithmetic and the Aristocracy!
The History of 8 Aberford Road,
Part 2 - Aberford Road

Barwicker No.125
Winter 2017

In part one I explained how the current 8 Aberford Road is the merger of two distinct properties. Some cottages which were on Chapel Lane and are now demolished (added to the extent in 1953) and the existing original, albeit much altered, house fronting Aberford Road. This article will cover the house fronting Aberford Road and part 3 will cover the Chapel Lane property.

In 1971 this house was refurbished and extended by Mr. and Mrs. Perkins. It had been owned and occupied by William Henry Ingham who had died in 1970 and passed the property onto relatives. Prior to 1971, the house had been known for a time as "Rose Cottage". William was the Skyrack newspapers local agent collecting news to send for copy into the paper. In 1969 he was part of a failed campaign to restore the Market Cross to The Cross and relocate the War Memorial to All Saints Churchyard. In January 1969, the Skyrack published the following showing his family had a long association with Barwick:

"Another person who would like to see the cross restored is Mr W. Ingham of Aberford Road, Barwick. His father, Percy Ingham, was a street lamp maker at Leeds. At the turn of the century, when street lights were a rare sight, he placed a lamp on top of the market cross at Barwick. "My father provided the lamp at his own expense and Mrs Morton's father, Frederick Lumb, supplied the paraffin" said Mr Ingham,. "People used to come from miles around to see the Barwick lamp. It was quite a novelty." But the lamp was short-lived. Complaints from various people including the Parish Council, led to it being removed."

The West Riding Registry of Deeds in Wakefield showed that William Ingham, a metal worker, had purchased the house in September 1945 from Margaret Lambert (née Stirk) of Barwick Road, who sold it following the death of her parents who had lived there, William Henry and Ellen Stirk. Ellen had died in 1944 and William Henry in 1937.

William (Bill) Stirk "possessed a character of sterling qualities, and was respected by all. " a line from his obituary reads. The late Stanley Robshaw, a Barwick Maypole Pole Master for many years, recorded in The Barwicker Number 5 (published in March 1987) The first person I can rememher who worked on the maypole was Bill Stirk, the joiner at Pullan 's timber yards. I was born near there and, as a child, I spent a lot of time with old Harry Pullan and Bill Stirk. He was a real craftsman ... We have been fortunate in having over many years the services of Tony Shinn, who was Bill Stirk's apprentice. "

Further back I delved into the voluminous West Riding property records to discover when and from whom Bill had purchased the house. This I discovered in July 1910 when he purchased it from Colonel Frederick Richard Thomas Trench Gascoigne of Lotherton Hall and Laura Gwendolen Douglas Gascoigne his wife. The Gascoignes, the local Estate and Manorial Lords are well known in the district. A plan was attached to the copy deed in the Registry and was marked as "Lot 1". It must have been auctioned! Further avenues to explore and sure enough the Yorkshire Post reported on the 12th May 1910:


Messrs. HOLLIS and WEBB, instructed by T Herbert Prater, Esq. Agent for Colonel F. R. T. T. Gascoigne will offer for Sale by Auction at the Gascoigne Arms, Garforth on Wednesday, May 11 th, 1910, at 4 o'clock in the Afternoon precisely, subject to the general conditions of sale of the Yorkshire Law Society, and to such special conditions as shall then and there by produced, and which may be seen for three days prior to the Sale at the Offices of the undermentioned Solicitors.
Lot 1. A FREEHOLD DWELLING-HOUSE with outbuildings and yard, occupied by Mr. W Tomlinson, fronting the roadfrom Barwick to Aherford, nearly opposite the Church. Annual rent, £6 10s., the rates paid by the tenant.

On the 12th May the Post reported there had been a large attendance at the sale and lot 1 had sold for £130.

It is unclear when the Stirks moved into the house as Mr W. Tomlinson (William Henry Tomlinson) was still there later in 1910 when it was described in a valuation of the whole village as:
Barwick-in-Elmet, House + Buildings, Owner: William H. Stirk. Occupier: Wm Hy Tomlinson. 290 sq yds (net), Value £8,freehold, rent paid weekly, annual amount £7-16-0, description: Stone built property containing sitting room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, shed or tool house, closet and ashes in yard, Value £130.

He was also still there, likely renting the property in the 1911 Census; 55 years old, a farmer born in the village with his wife Ellen Eliza from Barking in Essex and 16 years old son Robert. The Stirks however had moved in by the 1930s.

The Gascoigne Family had owned large swathes of property in the district for 1OOs of years so the West Riding Deeds Registry fell quiet on any previous sales. I needed to delve into the Gascoigne Estate papers deposited in Leeds Archives in Morley to discover more.

The Estate Rent Books are confusing and difficult to use but I ploughed through them and they showed the Tomlinson family had started to rent the house in 1906, then between 1905 to 1906 a William Braithwaite.

Between 1901 and 1905 the cottage along with a number of others in Barwick had been rented as a job lot to the Garforth Colliery Company for the housing of their miners. This Colliery Company was owned by the Gascoignes at this time although in 1905 the old Colonel Gascoigne had died and the estate passed to his son Colonel F.R.T.T. Gascoigne, probably explaining a change at the time in the way the finances were organised and resulting in the eventual sale in 1910.

It could also be that there were problems getting the rent from some of the miners as the tenant during 1900 to 1905 was Thomas Ibbotson, a below ground worker in the Garforth mine. In 1901 the rent record is marked "now collected from man's wage at Colliery Office". Thomas was from Kelfield near Selby and was born about 1862. In the 1901 census it shows he lived in the house with his wife Annie from Boroughbridge, five children and two lodgers, quite a squeeze for a 3- bedroomed house!

Various tenants are shown between 1895 and 1900 including Smart, Greenfield and Garbutt. Then in 1895 it showed a lane Robshaw and another window opened onto the history of this house.

In 1797 Thomas Robshaw and Elizabeth Jowett were married at Barwick All Saints' Church. Thomas was a Barwick woodman. Sometime prior to a valuation of the Gascoigne Estate in 1841 and likely around 1800 Thomas rented the house, described with a stable and yard and he probably ran his wood business from the premises. Little details are known about Thomas but the newspaper The Leeds Intelligencer reported on the 10th Match 1825 that:

"WOOD, TO BE SOLD BY TICKET, at the House of Mr. Edward Morris, the Swan Inn, in Aberford, on Saturday, the 12th of March next ... All those VALUABLE TIMBER TREES, now standing and growing in the Carr Wood and Farm at Barrowby ... (Advert lists over 1,000 trees available including 193 Oak and 477 Ash) .... Thomas Robshaw, of Barwick-in-Elmet, is appointed to hew the Timber. "

His son Henry was born in 1820 and when Thomas died in 1846 (Elizabeth having died in 1844) he took on the property with his wife lane (neé Perkins). Thomas is listed as a timber merchant and wood dealer. Henry and Jane brought up their family in the house. Henry died in 1888 aged 67 and lane continued to live in the house with her daughter and granddaughter.

Following Henry's death problems started, Jane was paying a half years rent of £6-10-0. By the end of 1888 she had arrears of £6-1-0 and by 1890 this had increased to £26. £13 was paid by the end of that year however, 70 year old Jane obviously had little income. Arrears increased so by 1891 they were back at £25-10-0. A note in the rent book shows that the Gascoigne's were not the cruel Estate owners that is sometimes typical of the period; "Robshaws rent free, irrecoverable remainder of arrears. "

It appears no rent was paid again until 1895 after her death at the age of 75 when her son-in-law James Smart wound up her estate.

At the moment, the Gascoigne Archives have not revealed any earlier details of the house. The only hint of earlier information is from a house deed dated 1785 for the adjoining property, 10-12 Aberford Road. This mentions the extent of this property with a note saying "adjoining the Orchard of a certain tenement of the said Lord now or late in the possession of one Joseph Cawthorpe ". The Lord is the Lord of Manor, the Gascoignes. Much further work is required to peel back any further evidence so watch this space!

Part 3 of this article will conclude the history covering the two cottages on Chapel Lane and what a different story they have to tell!

West Riding Registry of Deeds
England and Wales Census Records
Gascoigne Papers, Leeds Archives
1909 Valuation Records, National Archives
Various Leeds Newspapers
Barwick All Saints Parish Registers
GRO Births, Marriages & Deaths Civil Probate Records
The Barwicker
Barwick Historical Society Resource Room
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