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Alverthorpe and Low Laithes Part 5

Alverthorpe Tithe Map of 1845.
The Smithson Family.

Dr. Walker states in his book that the letters found when the Batty house was demolished definitely prove that the house was the same as the house mentioned as being 'between the beck and Dickon Ing Lane' in the deeds. (see pages 651/2) The Tithe map mentions Dickon Ings five times i.e.

Plot  Owner                     Tenants              Description
2471  Trustees of Ben Wood      Rbt. Fothergil       Dickon Ings or Low Scot Close
2475  Earl of Cardigan          Edward Sykes         Dickon Ings
2476  Earl of Cardigan          Edward Sykes         Dickon Ings
2477  Earl of Cardigan          Edward Sykes         Dickon Ings
2478  Earl of Cardigan          Edward Sykes         Dickon Ings

These fields are roughly at the end of Bective Lane, (See fig. 6) following along on the eastern side of the beck on the approximate line of the Smithson tramway. 2475 is possibly the narrow strip alongside the lane called Cow Lane? 2475a. Whether Bective Lane was originally Dickon Ing Lane or possibly another lane now disappeared on a line somewhere near Harrap Street.?

Graphic18 - Fig.6. Part of Alverthorpe Tithe Award map of 1845.
Click to see full size in new window

Plot 2443 Hebble Close 3A.2R.5P. was owned by the trustees of Ben Wood, Thomas Barff and others the tenant was Joseph Barras. It would seem that Hebble mill took its name from this close and it is possible that the land where the mill stood was also part of Hebble close before it was built on.

Plots 2470, 1852 & 1853 were owned by the same trust, but the tenant was Mark Harrap & Co.

Although Low Laithes club house lies just over the border of Alverthorpe in the township of Ossett a large part of the course is actually in Alverthorpe. Bounded on one side by the Alverthorpe Beck and on another by the railway embankment. Looking at the tithe map of 1845 (see fig. 6) some natural boundaries of fields are incorporated into the course.

The beck itself is shown meandering its way between plots 2196 and 2239, the northern boundary of plots 2203 to 2199 is what we used to call the ravine which runs from the top of the course down to the beck. The line of the railway embankment is shown as a dashed line. The northern boundary of fields 2204 to 2233 represents the top of the hill between this line and the main road is the drainage ditch which marks another shallow valley.

The Smithson Family.

Robert Smithson of Masham and Garsdale came to live at Low Laithes farm in the late 17th century he was buried at Dewsbury church in 1693 aged 68. This family lived at Low Laithes until the 1820's when Joshua son of Robert went to live in Wakefield.
Joseph son of Robert born 1661 and died in 1728 aged 66.
Joseph son of Joseph born 1718 died 1788 aged 70.
Robert son of Joseph died 1800.
Joshua son of Robert born 1791 died 1867 aged 76.
Joshua son of Joshua born 1845, took Holy Orders.

The Smithson's were tenants of the Earl of Cardigan and besides living at the farm they leased a lot of land and mineral rights from the Earl in the area. According to the Tithe Award of Alverthorpe in 1845 Joshua Smithson held 56A 3R 27P of the Earl of Cardigan, that is not counting the land he held in the township of Ossett. There are also two closes amounting to 1OA 2R 4P which are held by a Josias Smithson & Co.

Robert Smithson who died in 1800 was responsible for building Smithson's Tramway which in its fullest extent ran from Red Lodge near Jaw Hill to Thornes Wharf. The tramway was completed in 1798 and continued to be used for pits in the Alverthorpe Low Laithes area until 1869. (see fig. 4) After this date it began to shrink only working from Westgate Common to Thornes Wharf in 1880 and from Pit Fields (near 99 arches) until 1890.

Another tramway was completed at the same time by William and Thomas Fenton but this was out of use by 1816, in some parts the tramways ran side by side but on the approach to Wakefield they separated.

Two of the collieries which the Smithson family worked in the Alverthorpe area were the By pit and the Bull pit. These were situated in the fields to the north of the Alverthorpe beck. There were other small pits on or near the present golf course some of these were worked by the Smithson's and some by others. All were connected to the tramway by separate branches. There was a large mound in the middle of the old 16th fairway near to the railway this covers the shaft of The Thorn Tree Pit. There were at least four pits working on land which is now the golf course.

The Alverthorpe Tithe Award of 1845 (see part of if on Fig 6) shows how much land Joshua Smithson held as tenant of the Earl of Cardigan.

Plot  Tenant            Description                    A   R   P
2065  Joshua Smithson   Coal pit, Eng. Hse.& Close     1   2   2
2066       " "          Bushy Close                    3   1  10
2064       " "          Bushy Close                    1   1  28
2063       " "          Ox Close                       5   0  27
2193       " "          Road to coal pit               0   0  32
2196       " "          Ox Close                       1   0   5
2195       " "          Bridge Close                   1   1   7
2194       " "          Bridge Close                   6   0  21
2192       " "          Crabtree Close                 9   2  37
2190       " "          Hse Smithy, Shop & Gdn.        0   1   1
2188       " "          Little Mill Close              1   0   4
2189       " "          Great Mill Close               9   2  37
1554       " "          House& Garden                  0   0  18
1553       " "          House& Garden                  0   0  16
1550       " "          Lindale Hill                   9   3  26
2068       " "          Clover Close                   5   3  36

(I would like to thank Mr. John Goodchild for information about the Smithson family and the Smithson tramway)

Wakefield New Park.

The group of buildings which stood at Low Laithes farm in 1925 when the golf club was first formed were once part of the Manor of Wakefield New Park which was formed by the lord of the manor, the earl of Warenne, possibly in the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). The Old park covered all Eastmoor up to Stanley hill and down to the river Calder. The New Park was larger and had two lodges one at Lodge hill and the other at Red lodge, these are now farms but little remains of the original buildings.

"This was an extensive area of parkland of the tenants in chief of the manor of Wakefield, lying in the eastern part of Ossett township but also covering parts of the township of Alverthorpe with Thornes. Numerous amercements and fines recorded in the court rolls under the heading of these three graveships, for various offences which took place within the New Park suggest that the boundaries in the middle ages were probably those partly defined on a map of 1711 (Northampton Record Office, Brudenell MSS, maps 29, 30) The boundary can still be traced on the 1st ed. 6 in. OS map. sheets 233, 234, surviving today as hedges, footpaths and road line's" (see Moorhouse 1979 c, p. 52, fig. 5) and (West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Survey to AD. 1500. p. 788 n117. Edited by M.L Faull and S.A Moorhouse).

The site of a rabbit warren in the New Park in which the name still exists was Lindle hill, on the eastern side of the hill is a house called Warren house on Lindle Lane. Dr. Walker says page 102. "Before the time of the Commonwealth Lindle hill had a franchise of free warren and on September 28th. 1641, three labourers were summoned before the quarter sessions for entering the warren, commonly called Lindle hill, belonging to Thomas, Earl Savile and there killing with guns charged with powder and hail - shot two conies"

The park was stocked with red and fallow deer and enclosed with a paling fence to keep them in. It was reputed to be four to six miles in circumference, quite a major task to fence.

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