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Bygone Stanley - Race Track & Railroad


Late 18th century there was a horse racecourse with updated facilities, and it was said to be one of the best in England. There was within it a good red brick building with terraces which were accessible by an interior staircase. The building was declared unfit for use in 1924 and was demolished by means of explosives in the October of that year.

In the year 1793, an Enclosures Act put an end to the horse racing and later some parts of the track were used as part of the beginning of the Lake Lock Railroad.

There was, at this time, many small collieries in the Outwood and Lofthouse areas and a railroad to the Aire & Calder Navigation at Lake Lock was a transport system much needed to provide a low cost route to the various markets. John Lee and Shepley Watson, Wakefield attorneys, were the motivators of this early railroad. In this period Watson and Lee made plans for a canal from Lake Lock to Bottomboat in 1801. 'Wagons were used on this railroad which had a capacity of 22 carts of coal which were hauled by horses. The gradient from the collieries in this area would, on average, be favourable to the load and in place would need to be controlled by brakes or steel lockers in the wheels.

There was also, at this time, a quarry which mined stone and also lime kilns in Bottomboat and the wagons were used on the return journey to transport stone and lime into the area for the building of roadways and property. An 1854 plan published by Lt. Colonel Hall on the 19th June that year shows many of the coal pits which were worked at that time and coal pits worked in the early days of the railroad.'

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