The Limitations of Maps

Blog plan

Early maps of Heaton, my own part of Bradford, are not very common. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries a great deal of the land in the township was owned by the Field family. On the death of John Wilmer Field (1837) this estate was not sold, but passed, by virtue of the marriage of his daughter Mary, to the future Earl of Rosse. The present Earl still maintains an archive at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire where many Heaton documents are curated. The 3rd Earl of Rosse died in 1867 whereupon his Countess resumed the direction of her Heaton property until her own death in 1885. For a decade portions of her land had been offered for sale with villa development in mind. Estate sale plans, of which this is an example, were produced because in 1911 the 5th Earl sold off all his remaining estates in Heaton and Shipley. A complete series of these plans is available in the Bradford Local Studies Library and they provide a detailed picture of Heaton a century ago, exactly 30 years after its incorporation into the Borough of Bradford. I cannot deny that I feel more comfortable with the maps than I do with the social history of the individuals who lived and worked in the surveyed areas, so my value as a recorder is to that extent limited. On this occasion I have tried to move from plans to people.

At the bottom right of the map is The Turf Tavern, briefly known recently as The Park. There is a datestone above the door carved with the year 1894, but this must indicate a rebuilding since the original structure was much older. Historian William Cudworth suggests that the tavern, and the nearby Branch Hotel (formerly the Coach & Horses), were both erected when the Bradford to Bingley turnpike (now Keighley Road) was opened in 1825. He records that the builders of The Turf were William Clarke, a Heaton butcher, and his brother Joseph, a stonemason. Another brother, John Clarke, developed many delphs or quarries around Heaton village, although all evidence of those has long since vanished.

Opposite the tavern is the Royal Arch, bizarrely known locally as the ‘Norman Arch’, although it is Victorian Gothic in style. This much photographed entrance to Lister Park was erected in 1883 to celebrate the visit to Bradford of the Prince Wales, the future King Edward VII, the previous year. He stayed near Saltaire at Milner Field, the newly built mansion of Titus Salt junior, which was the last word in Victorian luxury. Who could have foreseen that within five years Salt would be dead at the age of 44, and that now his amazing house would be a heap of rubble? Ironically a selection of the gifts given to the same Prince on a tour of India in 1876 are currently on loan from the Royal Collection to Cartwright Hall Gallery shown below. Being fabricated largely from gold, enamel and precious stones they are totally unchanged, although the world they represented is shattered beyond recovery. You can see them for yourself until June 2017 and they are really not to be missed.

Lister Park 029

Cartwright Hall itself was opened in 1904 by a another Prince of Wales, later George V, whose visit was celebrated by some magnificent iron gates. Inside the Royal Arch there has been, since 1896, a huge statue of Titus Salt senior, mill-owner and philanthropist, carved in Carrera marble and seated within a Gothic canopy. This is odd since he and Samuel Cunliffe Lister, who had sold the park to Bradford Council, were generally commercial rivals and on bad terms. Salt’s statue had been moved from its original location where it proved to be an obstruction to traffic. A short carriage-road off Emm Lane led to the United College. Originally known as Airedale College, and designed by architects Lockwood & Mawson, it was dedicated to the training of Congregationalist ministers. An earlier college had been in existence at Undercliffe near the cemetery since 1831. The new premises in Heaton were opened in 1877 but the name was changed to United College in 1888, following the closure of a similar institution at Rotherham. The building is now part of the University of Bradford. Another part of the Emm Lane University Campus is a house named Heaton Mount which was built in 1863 by Robert Kell and is at the top centre of the map. The next road, whose full name is missing, is Park Drive. This was constructed on Rosse land which was used for villa development. Even if you didn’t possess your own car or carriage a short walk would take you to the tram or to Frizinghall Station with rapid transit to Bradford and business. The names of four house-owners recorded are: William Watson, the executors of Moritz von Hallé, James Watson, and W J Morley.

William Watson was the managing director of Manningham Mills (Lister’s Mill). This was first a worsted mill and then the largest silk mill in Europe. Its owner, Samuel Cunliffe Lister, was possibly the most gifted and certainly the most controversial of the Bradford textile magnates. Watson’s name is associated with the production of spun silk yarn. His wife was Annie Hainsworth who was a very able women in her own right and worked in the fields of poetry and music. The couple married at Burley in October 1876. They seem to have purchased Heaton Rise, 4 Park Drive in 1900 or 1901. The house had originally been built for a Mr Harris of the Bradford Bank and the Watsons lived there for about 10 years. By 1911 however their address was ‘Beech House’, Addingham. William & Annie Watson had two children. Elsie and WH Watson who I assume lived in the house after his parents. William Hainsworth Watson (1880-1965) married Grace Scott Watson (1875-1964). She was the daughter of James Watson a famous Bradford water engineer who, as you can see, was their near neighbour. The two Watson families were not otherwise related as far as I know. In the photograph of four generations of Watsons, part of the Bradford Industrial Museum collection, Wiilam is seated with the baby and ‘WH’ is standing behind.

Four Watson generations

WJ Morley was an architect of Darley St Bradford. Along with a new generation of Bradford architects: Herbert Isset, James Savile and James Ledingham, he actually designed these houses which I believe were constructed in the late 1870s. If this topic interests you should certainly look at the City’s Heaton Estates Conservation Area Assessment (2005) which contains much useful information:

I cannot find out a great deal about Moritz von Hallé. Some information is included in Susan Duxbury-Neumann’s excellent book Little Germany: a history of Bradford’s Germans, and Nick Hooper has assembled more at:

Moritz was one of Bradford’s large German Jewish community and seems to have been a shipping merchant in partnership with Sir Charles James Jessel and Ludwig Nathan Hardy (trading as LN Hardy). He was naturalised in 1870 and married Frances Moss, the couple having five children. After his death in 1910, the year before the sale plan one son, Laurence, took over the business at Gallon House, 1 Burnett St, Little Germany. In 1916 the youngest son, Jack Jacob aged only 23, was killed in action on the Somme along with so many other brave Bradford men. They were the darkest days in the City’s history. It is hard to look at the 1911 plan with the same eyes knowing, as we do, what was to come.


One thought on “The Limitations of Maps

  1. A very interesting article. There is a photograph of the original Turf Tavern in Stanley King’s book about Heaton. On 1 May 1894, alterations were being carried out to that building and it collapsed, injuring the workmen and the landlord (Mr Jowett). Some newspaper reports refer to twelve people being buried in the collapsed building. This of course resulted in the building that we see today.

    One newspaper report also refers to the fact that when the old building was being pulled down, a leather purse was found in the chimney containing 40 guineas and half-guineas dating from 1784 to 1824 (which the workmen apparently divided between themselves!).

    Liked by 1 person

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