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Alverthorpe and Low Laithes Part 3

The House of the Batty's.

The West Wing.

Graphic9 - Plate 3a. The west wing of the Batty House during demolition seen from Colbeck Street in 1937.
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This shows the house from a side road, Colbeck Street see map Fig.2. on the opposite side to Milners Court looking towards Talbots Sweet Factory chimney which can be seen at the top left of the picture. The large chimney stack mentioned by Dr. Walker could possibly be the one on the right of Talbots chimney, but although there are bricks at the very top of the chimney immediately below are large blocks of stone. This chimney is in the second bay of the west wing, the west wing comprises four bays with five trusses. (see the back of the front cover for details of timber names and their location)

Truss 1 on the left is missing completely where it butts up to the cottage on the left. There is no principal and no gable end, the present gable is of stone and there are no shapes visible in the stonework which might suggest that gable end timbers had been present but have been removed. It is possible that this gable end faced the prevailing winds and consequently the timbers rotted and had to be replaced by the stone gable end. (see fig 10)

Of the other four trusses truss 2 has only a principal and bressumer I cannot see the tie beam. Truss 3 is complete in front of the chimney stack and to the right of it is another truss at right angles to the west wing with a ridge post supported by king post and brace from the cross wing. Truss 4. The principal is present and the tie beam can be seen peeping over the top of the wall plate.

Truss 5. The principal can be seen in full but it has a covering of plaster on part of it thus covering any mortice or peg holes which might have told us if this was the original end of the building. The wall plate sticks out about 6 ins but this is normal for a gable end as the roof overhangs by this amount. (see the wall plate and ridge post on the gable end of the east wing plate 3b) Judging by the pile of bricks which go round the corner this was the end of the building. The tie beam can be seen on top of the wall plate but the bressumer is missing. The wall plate on the other side of this bay can be seen which will be mortised onto the top of the other principal which is out of picture.

Bay 1 of this wing had an enlarged window opening upstairs and most of the studding downstairs was missing. Bay 2. The upstairs studding was complete with an original window. (see plate 14 & plate15 of Low Laithes Stewards house which is similar), no peg holes in the wall plate above for a window frame.

Bay 3. The middle studs are missing both above and below in this bay. The peg holes for the complete length studs can be seen in the wall plate and the timber at bressumer level which might suggest that there were no windows in this bay. Looking at fig. 10 it can be seen that the cross wing joins on the other side of the bay. If there were no windows on the Colbeck St. side it would be rather dark inside in the upper and lower rooms of this bay. On looking through the space in the upstairs room where the studs should be 1 can just make out the shape of a fine arched fireplace, but this will not be visible to the reader after photocopying.

Bay 4. The upstairs carries a blocked enlarged window and it is impossible to see if there are peg holes in the wall plate. In the timber below at bressumer level there are peg holes where the studs are present but none over the void.

The West Wing and Cross Wing.

The cross wing was joined to the west wing at bay 3 and parts of the wing can be seen with brick cladding through the space at the end of bay 4. Altogether there were 3 trusses in the cross wing one at the west end which can be seen clearly on plate 3a. possibly resting on the eastern wall plate of the west wing and one in the middle which is not so clear. The third truss is seen on plate 3b resting on the wall plate of the east wing. (see Fig. 10. this is a sketched reconstruction of the building from existing timbers. I have off-set the east and west wings because of the possibility of the cross wing joining the east wing at one and a half bays,? but this does not seem logical.)

Graphic10 - Figure 10. A sketch in isometric showing remains of the Batty House as seen in the photographs.
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Graphic10 - Batty Family Tree.
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The whereabouts of the large chimney stack mentioned by Dr. Walker if not the one mentioned earlier in the west wing, must have been demolished before the photograph was taken.

The only other place I can think of is the chimney stack between No's 128, & 127 on plate 1a is the same as the one on plate 3b. If this widened out below wall plate level it could possibly be the one. That is if the building 127 was part of the Batty house.? The trouble is it is not very wide at the top in comparison with the one on plate3a.

The East wing and Cross wing.

Graphic10 - Plate 3b. The east wing of the Batty House during demolition seen from Well Street. Milners Court in the background.
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This shows a view taken from the south side of Flanshaw Lane, opposite Well Street looking towards Milners Court the houses of which can be seen through the open space in the building over the back of the lorry. This is the east wing with the gable end of the first bay which is a fully closed truss with vertical studs. The second truss is an open truss with oblique braces from principal rafter to tie beam the ridge piece is still connected to truss one.

Next to this is another truss but this truss is laid at right angles along the wall plate to support the roof of the cross wing with an intermediate principal supporting the underside of the wall plate. This truss was originally an open one with an oblique brace at each side from principal rafter to tie beam, but small studs have been inserted at a later date and laths nailed across to support plaster creating a high under-drawing. (see laths sticking out above principal rafter)

The wall plate of the cross wing is tucked underneath the wall plate of the east wing with the principal post of the central truss of the cross wing supporting it, and the tie beam and principal rafter just visible above it. Although there is a principal post immediately behind the wall plate supporting the right angled truss of the cross wing there does not appear to be any connection between it and the end of the wall plate.

With the principal rafter brace and king post being tenoned into the wall plate of the east wing the centre truss of the cross wing is at the same height, but the ridge piece of the cross wing is possibly lower than the east and west wing because of the height of the missing tie beam. It is unfortunate that the rest of the east wing was missing by the time these photographs were taken.

Dr, Walker mentions that there where 24 rooms in this house, but allowing for two rooms per bay four bays each for the east and west wings and two bays for the cross wing. This only comes to twenty perhaps the building 127 plate 1a with the double roof was part of the house. If that is the case that would provide another four rooms.

Graphic11 - Plate 1b. View of Flanshaw Lane from the bottom of Brick Street with Colbeck Street on the right.
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This photograph taken about 1930 from the bottom of Brick Street shows Colbeck Street on the right with part of the first bay of the west wing of the Batty House. Next to it is the cement rendered house which is of much later date. Behind this house can be seen the gable end of the east wing of the Batty House but the building 127 is obscured behind this. The chimneys on these two plates help to locate the buildings. The tall chimney adjacent to the east wing gable belongs to building 127 (plate 1a). Theother two belong to the three houses on the frontage (123?, 122, 121). The outbuildings toilets, pantries and porches can be located on the map fig.2.

Graphic12 - Plate 4a. View from the railway bridge looking towards the entrance to Milners Court (121) with possible Maltkiln or chapel (115).
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Another photograph taken in the 1930's from near the railway bridge showing the houses fronting on Flanshaw Lane and the entrance to Milners Court. No's 116, 119, 120, & 121 were demolished in 1937, but No.115 was not demolished until much later, behind 115 is the walls of the garden with the houses of Milners Court peeping over the top.

Graphic13 - Plate 4b. From the left of the railway bridge, the battery station and the possible Maltkiln with Mr Jaques house behind.
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The building in the foreground No.115 could possibly be the Malt Kiln mentioned above which was used to hold meetings in 1672 by the Presbyterians, or could it be the adjoining premises (see plate 4b) which was larger and was used as a battery station during the war. On the right can be seen the waste ground where buildings 116 and 119 stood. (see plate 4a)

Graphic14 - Plate 5a. The other side of the battery station with Mr Jaques house in the rear.
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This is a recent photograph of the old battery station taken from the other side. The different colours of the bricks suggest at least two building phases.

Graphic15 - Plate 5b. The houses in the yard opposite to the entrance to Milners Court.
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This is another photograph taken in the thirties and is of the yard practically opposite to Milners Court. On the left is the offices of A. Talbot & Son. This building was behind the premises shown on plate la opposite the entrance to Milners Court. On the right is a row of three cottages one of them behind the end of Talbots offices was entered from a narrow passage, the door of which is screened by the clothes on the line. The building on the extreme right was the Fish and Chip shop fronting onFlanshaw Lane.

Some people may think I have made too much of an area which is of low architectural significance that disappeared years ago. (The Batty' House excepted) The whole area brings back a lot of nostalgic memories especially of the war years.

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