Wibsey Community Website

with historical notes and sketches

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White Swan Wibsey

Walk Number One from the White Swan to the Working Men's Club

Start in the High Street at the White Swan Inn, in earlier times occasionally used as a courtroom for the Lords of the Manor dealing with petty crime. The barrel-vaulted cellars are said to have been used as a local lock-up in case of need. Go round to the back of the inn, where underneath a blocked up window can be seen a lant spout, used in the collection of urine into a barrel placed under the spout. Ammonia was needed in the production of cloth and urine was the easiest way to obtain it. Early census returns note dwellings under the inn and also on the south and probably the west side of the yard. In 1841 David Rhodes, a water hawker, lived under the inn.

Return to the High Street and begin to walk eastwards towards Holroyd Hill but stop a minute to think about the large open space. A hundred years ago this area was filled with buildings. The Tithe Barn stood here and also the Black Dog Inn and it was in this inn that the auctions for the two major land sales had taken place. The Tithe Barn had, of course, been a very necessary part of an estate when tithes were still collected but in the 1840's, by Act of Parliament, such tithes were superceded by cash payments.

Warburton HouseIn Holroyd Hill the Salvation Army building replaces the Wesleyan Chapel built in 1838. In 1851 the Chapel was taken over by the Wesleyan Reformers, as a consequence of which the New Wesleyan Chapel was erected in the High Street in 1870. (This is mentioned in Walk Two). Continue down to Warburton Place on the south (your right) side. Notice the large house with two unequal gables and the attached house to its left. Joseph Warburton bought land here in 1753 and built a house, though probably very little remains of the original. Joseph's son and then his grandson were apothecaries and his great-grandson was a registered General Practitioner from the start of the British Medical Council. Then a nephew continued the practice until his death in 1936. The nephew's father had had a chemist's shop a few steps further down the hill on the corner of the entrance to Henderson Terrace, which bears his name. Quietly take a look at this peaceful backwater off a very busy main road.

Continue downhill then stop opposite the -top of Wibsey Bank. The substantial building on the righthand corner of the Bank was originally a Co-operative Society as can be seen from the name at roof level. From, where you are standing you can also see, on the left side of Odsal Road which itself is a continuation of Holroyd Hill, a stone built house with the gable end abutting the pavement. This, or rather an earlier building, was Penny Close Farm which with its surrounding land (now built over) was the basis of the John Wilton Charity. When he died in 1669 John Wilton left the farm and the land to provide an income out of which a poor man or woman of Wibsey was to receive financial assistance each year, and any surplus income was to be paid to the curate of the then Wibsey Chapel (now known as Holy Trinity Church, Low Moor)

You need to buy the booklet for the remainder of the walk....

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