Daisy Hill


Old maps can be a source of great pleasure, as well as being vital for local history research. This map shows the Daisy Hill area of Bradford and I would date it around 1890. Chestnut Cottage and Field House survive today as part of the Bradford Royal Infirmary site. The school in the centre of the map evolved into Daisy Hill Middle which survived long enough for my daughter Meg to attend; it is now demolished. No vestige of the quarries along the left of Daisy Hill Lane survive, the site is now occupied by Lynfield Mount Hospital. Most of the large quarries open onto roads. I’m not absolutely sure of the conventions used in this map but the earth-works that are not quarry sites are likely to be mine-shafts. The reservoir once supplied Heaton township with its water. The horizontal row of terrace housing along Back Lane contained the home of my great friend Philip Townhill.

Of particular interest is the pair of attached cottages below the ‘N’ in Smith Lane in the above map. The portion now known as Prospect Cottage seems to be the older half of the property; the second half is now named Croft Cottage. The oldest date given in the destroyed deeds for this property is 1808. Michael Hill and Thomas Ackroyd are mentioned, and the unit is described as Butcher’s Cottage. The name Ackroyd is linked with the property for the next 60 years. I think we are probably dealing with three generations of the same family, but this is not proved. Bradford Local Studies Library has a field map of Manningham from 1811. The property (unnamed) is clearly marked and is placed in a parallel sided field which extends from modern Smith Lane to modern Duckworth Lane. The strip like fields probably result from late 18th century enclosures. Field House is also marked but Chestnut House is not yet built in 1811. Bradford Central Library has two trade directories from 1822 – 1838 and we find:

1822 Jonathan, Francis and Edward Ackroyd: Butchers – Shambles

1838 Ackroyd, Thomas & Co Stone Merchants of Daisy Hill

‘Shambles’ is a slaughterhouse. I am fairly sure that the stone merchants are the family who own the cottage, and it is quite possible that the butchers belonged to the same family. In the census of 1841 the thoroughfare is described as Smith’s Lane. The first house is unnamed but since it is inhabited by a Thomas Ackroyd (perhaps son of the 1808 Thomas Ackroyd) I feel sure that it is the correct property. Thomas Ackroyd (45), farmer and his wife Ruth (40) live there with a huge family. Perhaps this was when the newer half of the property was constructed for the benefit of the children. At this stage Chestnut House had still not been constructed. Field House was however inhabited by the famous Dr William Scoresby, Vicar of Bradford (1789-1857) who resigned his living in 1847. In the census returns of 10 years later we find the same family living in a house which is now described as Manningham Farm, Daisy Hill. The next house in this census is called Chestnut Cottage, Daisy Hill. Fieldhouse, Daisy Hill then occupied by Robert Patterson (44) Stuff Merchant, and his wife Margaret (44).

On 23 June 1868 Prospect Cottage was sold to Andrew Moulding by Samuel Ackroyd. The name James Atkinson Jowett, of the Clockhouse Estate in Frizinghall, is linked with property in 1869. By 1881 the houses in Smith Lane have been renumbered. In this census the property is split into 11 and 11a Smith Lane. The returns read:

11 Andrew Mounding (58) wool stapler and Alice (58)

11a Mary Brancroft, annuitant

By 1909 Chestnut House is now numbered 11a. Did Andrew Moulding eventually buy both cottages? Andrew and his wife Alice died within a few days of each other in 1909. Both are buried in Heaton Baptist cemetery. A Bradford Street directory of 1911 gives the names John Walker Hey, hosier and Mrs Maria Cousen, Croft Cottage. This is the first actual use of the name Croft Cottage I have seen so far.


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