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Bygone Stanley - The Old Park

THE OLD PARK

This park covered 340 acres of ground and was bordered by the River Calder on the east and contained the East Moor Parkhills and extended to Lee Moor and Outwood in the north and west. The paling around it was 3 miles in length. In this park were deer, partridges and herons for, on November 22nd 1274, William the parker was charged with taking a covey of partridges, that he killed a doe and brought it to his house; that he promised a hide to brother Silvester, the preceptor of Newland, and that as he had not one ready, he crossed the park and killed a doe and sent it to the preceptor who refused it where upon William got angry and carried the doe to his own house, and that he also took two herons in Wakefield Park and that he promised a buck to Henry De Methley's wife and gave it to her, and, lastly, that he feathered his arrows with two grey goose feathers and one white one and bound them with a whitelbread. The penalty for these offences under the forest laws of William the Conqueror was the loss of eyes.

In this park the township of Stanley was frequently fined for not repairing fences and so allowing deer to escape.

The following description of the village of Stanley in the 17th and early 18th century is interesting:-

In the 17th and early 18th century Stanley was still a small village just outside the town of Wakefield and bordering on Outwood. Its extent can be discovered from old maps in which extensive woodland is shown and an entry in the Manor Court Rolls for 1626 dealing with the repair of Stanley Gates, Pingley Gate, Harroyds Gate, Flowding Gate, Rubb Hill Gate, Browne Shawe Gate and Smalley Gate.

Some evidence can be obtained from existing or recently demolished buildings. An Elizabethan house stood at the bottom of Baker Lane, and on the Wakefield side of Stanley stood five halls, some of them with parks - Hatfield Hall, Stanley Hall, Clarke Hall. Vaux Hall and Colley Hall.

It is certain that the changes which made possible the navigation of the River Calder after the act of 1699 and the building of locks and the repair yard near the village would mean that it would be closely in touch with the outside world by water at least even if no main road ran through it.

In 1641 three Stanley men were brought before the Quarter Sessions for failing to work four days on roads. Better housing and prosperity due to the woollen trade failed to prevent illness and there was a plague in the village in 1625.

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This page (oldp.html) was last modified on Sunday 27/01/2013