Reply To: Low Hill Well, Lindley
The following are archived comments…
So what was Low Hills? Why is there a well and a gatehouse? (Also could be added to the map).
Looking at the map contours http://maps.nls.uk/view/100948214 it seems to be the lower part of the hill to the west (named Laund Hill?) and likely where the water table was exposed as there’s various wells, reservoirs and mill ponds with no obvious water supply (e.g. a nearby stream). It looks like the well was still marked on maps up the 1980s but perhaps was lost when Brecon Road was built. My best guess it that the well would have been located in what is now the back garden of 65 Brecon Road.
Whereabouts is the gatehouse? Is it the property on the corner of Plover Road and Kirkwood Drive? If so, it doesn’t appear on the 1948 OS map http://maps.nls.uk/view/100948202 so was possibly built in the 1950s?
The property named as Low Hills on most of the maps (built sometime after 1850) was the residence of the Walker family who were local woollen manufacturers and I’m guessing would be the owners of Plover Mills? https://huddersfield.exposed/p/1ab4 The 1861 Census names the head of the household Joseph Walker (aged 55) as a “woollen manufacturer employing 191 men, 62 boys and 21 girls” and “farmer of 38 acres employing 28 labourers”, so they likely owned much of the surrounding land. By the 1891 Census, Joseph’s son Alfred (aged 53) had taken over from his father and was living at Low Hills with his family. Alfred was a widower by 1901 and presumably died a few years later as woollen manufacturer Theodore Martin (aged 40) is listed in the 1911 Census residing at Low Hills. Looks like Low Hills was likely demolished in the 1980s, by which time lots of new housing had been built to the west.
Ah, I think I’ve just spotted the gatehouse! https://goo.gl/maps/jBqcJsP4Zou
I’ll see if I can find any more info about it, but it looks to have likely been built in the 1890s or early 1900s as it’s not marked on the 1893 OS map but does appear on the 1907 map. It’s not particularly obvious what it’s a gatehouse for, as the track behind it just leads down to the well (and on to Low Hills?), but there’s a much easier access route to the well just to the south. It also seems to have been built to look much older than it actually was, so could it be a folly?
The 1911 Census lists George James (aged 71) living at 2 Crosland Road (which seems to have been the gatehouse) and his occupation was “coachman”, so perhaps employed by the Walkers of Low Hills? It does look like the rear of the gatehouse might have been used for stables.
Yep that’s the gate house! It’s now on Low Hills Lane, but it could have originally been 2 Crosland Road? It would make sense if he was a coachman and there’s stables there.
I can only find a snowy picture on my phone, but on the left of the photo there is the outer brick of the well left on a field that hasn’t been built on due to the water level /flooding probably. It’s opposite 38 / 40 Brecon Avenue. Hopefully you can see it on this link – https://goo.gl/maps/daqx3AhDzmx1zwq38
Thank you for the information about Low Hills property, that’s really interesting.
Some of the other OS maps show a second well in the building I’ve shaded green. It looks like the trees shown on the map around the second well weren’t cut down and now form a ring around these two houses: https://goo.gl/maps/jHuZCdApGZN2
Unfortunately not been able to find anything specifically about Low Hill Well in the newspaper archives (sometimes there are reports of checks on the water quality or the health officer of the local council ordering a well to be closed), but I’ll see what else I can find out about the Walker family and Theodore Martin.
Some info about the gatehouse: https://huddersfield.exposed/p/23b6
The Historic England listing states it was built for a planned house that was never built. I’m not sure if that’s true, as the 1905 map shows the track going through the gatehouse does eventually lead to the western side of Field Head. However, perhaps James Nield Sykes had planned to build himself a new mansion somewhere between the gatehouse and Field Head, but those plans were abandoned following his death in 1903?
Ah so the google link is what is now on Kirkwood Drive, it would make sense to be nearer the pond. There’s definitely two wells then as there is definitely an outer structure on the field opposite 38/40 Brecon Avenue. Thanks for all the info you keep posting.
That’s really interesting. Fascinating you had a personal link to the gatehouse.
Where do you believe the mine shaft entrance to be then?
I didn’t know there were mines here.
The two shafts were aprox half way between the Gatehouse and Weatherhill Road.