History

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The Settlement

Baildon is known to be a settlement of relative antiquity and evidence exists to indicate pre-Conquest activity in the area. A number of Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts have been found in and around Baildon, including flint arrow and axe heads. Several burial cairns and stones bearing cup and ring markings have also been found on the moor above the village.

Baildon is a relatively ancient settlement and therefore shows an evolution of form and development over many centuries. Evidence of the early settlement tends to remain only in the alignment and layout of the highways though a few buildings dating from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries do remain. These indicate the transition from an isolated farming community into an industrial village around the end of the 18th century. After the construction of the railway in the late 19th century Baildon became a desirable retreat for Bradford’s wealthier citizens who enjoyed its relatively unpolluted air and dramatic scenery.

The name ‘Baildon’ was first recorded in AD 835 in a letter from the King to the Archbishop of York. This document recorded the gift of lands around Baildon to the Archbishop and Baildon subsequently formed part of the Archbishop’s feudal estate until the 15th century. In the Domesday Survey of 1086 lands at Baildon were noted as being mainly ‘waste’ and were valued at £6.

The character and history of Baildon has led Bradford Council to designate several areas as Baildon Conservation Areas where attempts will be made to preserve or enhance the character of the area. The centre of Baildon, Baildon Green, Station Road and Esholt have been designated and you can read more about them here.

The OheK website has a page related to Baildon that you should find here

John Le Page is recognised as having written the authoritive book on Baildon history. I don't know whether it is obtainable there but there is an Amazon listing.

The Township

The township of Baildon was constituted a Local Government District under the Public Health Act 1848 and was governed by a local board of health established in 1852 consisting of 9 members. In 1893 the parish was supplied by excellent water from the 3 self-supplying reservoirs on the moors built between 1850 and 1865. (These dates may need some confirmation but the range is good.) As of 1892/3 it was reported that additional capacity was being built - 33,000,000 gallons at a cost of £20.000. This will be the Weecher Reservoir that is mentioned in the minutes of the Board - BLBG_Minutes_1890-1894#17_March_1891

(I find it interesting that in the 19th century many of the national administrative changes were put in place to deal with poverty and health.)

The Lord of the Maonr in 1893 is Col W W Maude, 4th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment and is also the principle land owner

The Parish

In 1869, by an Order of Council, Queen Victoria created Baildon a separate parish with its own Vicar to be appointed by the Lord of the Manor and certain elected free-holders as patrons of the living. This settled several long-standing disputes with Otley. One of them being the perceived interference of the Vicar of Otley when there was a vacancy for a priest at Baildon.[1]

Cup and Ring Marks

Baildon Moor has several Cup and Ring Marks that indicate that the area was inhabited about 3000 years ago.

Bell Pits

There are many Bell Pits on Baildon Moor that indicate that mining was done there many years ago. They are visible on the satellite images here.

Baildon Mill-Stone Industry

Remnants of this industry may still be seen in Midgeley Wood, at the bottom of Baildon Green. But anyone who wishes to view these remnants, must be very careful where to tread. As one approaches Midgeley Wood from the Baildon end, on the foot path near the top of the wood, there is a little trickle of of a beck which runs across the path, under the wall, and into the wood. After gaining access to the wood, and after a few paces toward where the beck flows, one will find a one foot square hole on the ground, into which the little beck once flowed. This was the "Holding Tank" for the water, which is made of stone, and is approximately ten feet sqare by approximately six feet deep. In the dry season, the water would have been ladled out to run down the hill to where the stone workers were hammering the mill-stones, and if one follows the course of the little beck towards the bottom of the wood, where the ground is level, there in all it's glory, is an "Unfinished Mill-Stone" with a hole through the middle. Any one who wishes to see for themselves, please be most careful where they tread, the woods get very much overgrown, and the "Holding Tank" could be very dangerous.

Census Data

I have extracted quite a bit of data from various census records that form part of the information for the different historic building and pubs but here is some more general census data.[2]

1911

Were these addresses shops & houses?

8 Browgate - William (50) & Sarah (50) Ratcliffe, Husband and wife. Confectioner and assistant.

10 Browgate - Elizabeth (60) & Martha (58) Brook. Sisters. Fancy Draper in Business.

14 Browgate - Jos B (49), George Thos (26) & Harry Jennings. Head, son & son. All butchers. Plus Martha Ann (54) wife and Mary Alice (16) daughter.

16-18 Browgate - Jas Wm (40) and Susannah (30) Mattack. Husband & wife. Grocer & Grocer assistant.

20 Browgate - John (67) & Annie (46) Mann. Husband & wife. Draper and assistant.

2 Fountain Buildings - William (63) George (23) Mary Ann (40) Hannah (17) Halliday, Head, 2 sons and a daughter. William - Coal Merchant. George - Grocer. Check - Was 2 Fountain Buildings a Grocer's shop. A photo showing G C Lupton's shop next to Mechanices Institute might allow us, with data about Lupton's, to find out if No 2 is up east of Mech Inst.

Kelly's 1893

One of the directories covering Baildon is 1893 Kelly's Directory for Leeds.[3]

It gives some nice information about Baildon at that time and some of its history.

Baildon in 1893 is in the Otley division of the West Riding of Yorkshire, upper division of the wapentake of Skyrack, honor of Pontefract, Otley county court district, union of Wharfedale, rural deanery of Otley, archdeaconry of Craven and diocese of Ripon.[3]

The river Aire was the southern boundary of the upper division of the wapentake of Skyrack and the river Wharfe the northern boundary.

shows under Trades - Butcher Jennings J, Browgate, Baildon. And under the same trade Robinson Frdk, Browgate, Baildon and Rhodes Jsph, Westgate, Baildon.

Trade - Bankers - Bradford Old Bank (branch) (Harry Robinson mgr) Fountain Buildings, Baildon.

Trade - Beer Retailer - Brearley, Alfred, Low Baildon. Hammond Thompson, Woodbottom, Baildon. Tennant Wm, Westgate, Baildon. Yates Saml. M. Otley Road Baildon

Baildon during the World Wars

Italian women were hostelled in a large Baildon house

The Moors

During the 2nd World War tanks and searchlights were on the Moors.

You can see a map of these here though the locations have yet to be confirmed with GPS locations.

The moors had a rifle range [4][5] on it and several raised elongated firing positions are still visible.

After the First World War children would scour the moors looking for spent bullets and sell them to Mr. Noble, the tinsmith, via Mrs. Noble. Apparently there was very little inflation at the time as the price stayed at a penny a dozen for several years.[6]

According to Simon Fitt his dad, Derek Fitt born in 1919, used to get half a crown (two shillings and six pence) for a bucket of bullets. This will have been in the late 1920s.[7]

Sunday Concert Souvenir Programme

Soon after the opening of Baildon Picture house (Feb 1917) a Sunday Concert was held there on 23 September 1917. The programme contains the Baildon Roll of Honour.

Transcribed Roll of Honour - MEN WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY

Transcribed Roll of Honour - MEN WHO HAVE JOINED HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

You can see a multi-page PDF file of the Souvenir Programme here. Below is just the cover.[8]

A scan of the cover of the Sunday Concert Souvenir Programme. See the text for a link to a multi-page PDF file.

The Great Adventure

This is a booklet that is a short record of the work of the Baildon Soldiers and Sailors Comfort Fund Committee with Roll of Honour. Printed February 1918.[8]

You can see a multi-page PDF file of The Great Adventure here. You can also click on the cover image below to view the PDF.

If you want to view the cover image use this link

A scan of the front cover of The Great Adventure by Baildon Soldiers and Sailors Comfort Fund. Clicking on it will load a PDF of the booklet.

Baildon War Services Comfort Fund. 1944 Statement of Accounts

This statement of accounts of the Baildon War Services Comforts Fund shows their receipts and payments for 1944. More than £2000 for Postal Orders and Prisoner of War Parcels.

A scan of the front cover of 1944 Statement of Accounts for Baildon War Services Comfort Fund. Clicking on it will load a PDF of the statement.

1945 Baildon War Services Comfort Fund. Joint Club Effort

A single page PDF of the programme for the Baildon War Services Comfort Fund Joint Club Effort of weekend 11th & 12th Aug 1945.

Note the programme does not mention the year but Sat 11 Aug does not occur next until 1951 and I believe the original was in the posession of Joyce Coutu who would not have been here in 1951.

A scan of the Programme


Welcome Home - Baildon War Services Comfort Fund

This link is to a multi-page PDF version of the Baildon War Services Comforts Fund Welcome Home Souvenir Programme 22 May 1946. Below is just the cover. [8]

A scan of the cover of the Baildon War Services Comforts Fund Welcome Home Souvenir Programme 22 May 1946. See the text for a link to a multi-page PDF file.

Baildon War Memorial Week

This link is to a multi-page PDF version of the booklet for the Baildon War Memorial Week June 13th to June 20th 1948. Below is just the cover. [8]

A scan of the cover of Baildon War Memorial Week. See the text for a link to a multi-page PDF file.

The Overseas Club

The Overseas Club (later known as Royal Overseas League) was a way of raising money to support the armed forces and certificates were given to those that contributed. This one is for Fred Cawthorne. The 1911 census has a Cawthorn family living at 31 East Parade, Baildon with Fred Cawthorn being 4 at that time.

Christmas Day Gifts certificate given to Fred Cawthorne

At the outbreak of WWI the Royal Overseas League, then known as the Over-Seas Club, was approaching its fourth anniversary. This event reinforced Evelyn Wrench's (founder of the Overseas Club) belief in the need for solidarity between the peoples of the British Empire and inspired him to establish a number of funds to support the needs of Allied troops.[9]

By the end of the war, the newly amalgamated Over-Seas Club and Patriotic League of Britons Overseas, now known as the Over-Seas League, had raised over £1,000,000 for comforts for troops including:

  • £368,203 for the Overseas Tobacco Fund – of which £57,604 was raised from the children’s pennies scheme
  • £278,630 for the Overseas Aircraft Flotilla which funded 350 aeroplanes and seaplanes
  • £123,292 for the Overseas Red Cross Fund
  • £20,070 for the Overseas League War Memorial


You can see more of what the Overseas Club did in this graphic for WWI.

ROSL graphic for WWI

National Savings Movement

Towngate 1943

A uniformed gathering was held in Towngate in 1943. This was for the "National Savings Movement" with the purpose of encouraging people to save in the scheme through the Trustee Savings Banks and Post Office Savings Banks. During the War (1939-1945) the National Savings Movement grew with the support of publicity campaigns using numerous poster designs (Lend to Defend), leaflets, radio adverts, Local Savings Weeks (e.g. Warship Week) and award badges.[10]

I am looking for more information related to these events.

Territorials

Baildon Territorials.jpg

Baildon Territorials[8]

Others who have this photo (as a postcard) say that it was dated (posted) 1916.

They are possibly returning from using the rifle range on Baildon Moor. Marching down Northgate. The photo is taken from/near The Liberal Club building.

Royal Field Artillery

Royal Field Artillery Towngate.jpg

Royal Field Artillery outside The Angel.[8]

The Angel had stables and at the back has a barn that is a Listed Building.

The building to the right of the Angel in other photos is shown to be the Angel Hotel Stables and in later photos has a sign "Angel Hotel Petrol" and several glass globes for petrol pumps are visible in them. Have a look at this page - Photo Details - at the photos of Towngate.

Baildon Royal Artillery Gun Northgate.jpg

This photo show the Royal Artillery with a gun. They are just coming off the moors. The woman in the doorway is at 3 Northgate.[11]

Armistice Procession

British Legion Armistice Procession.jpg

British Legion Armistice Procession 1938.[8]

The photo was taken across the road from 38 Northgate looking up. The door on the left is 42 Northgate, then the archway through. 48 Northgate (Baildonmoor Bakery) is just visible as is "Lee Nor".

H.Bastow, L.Hart, W. Terry, W. Fawcett, H Dermo, A. Chamberlin, S. Gill? J. Abbott, A. Barber, W. Brook, J. Thomas.

More information needed.

Evacuees

Baildon had several evacuees during WWII and one of them was Joyce Coutu, she kept a diary. This diary has its own page - Joyce Coutu

Victory Celebration

VictoryCeleb1945Towngate.jpg

Victory Celebrations in Towngate, Baildon. August 1945

Reminiscing

Austin Mitchell and his days in Woodbottom - here.

A poem about Baildon by Florence Halliday - Memories_of_Old_Baildon_Replaced_by_the_New


Gypsy Carnival

Baildon was an important location for the British Gypsy community. Many years ago an area of Jenny Lane, which is now Laburnham Drive, was used for the annual Gypsy Carnival in June. Certain Gypsy families would get together for weddings. A report of 1929 stated that annual "Gypsy Parties" had started two to three hundred years before - records of this gathering are said to go back to 1770, but even then it was talked of as an old event. In 1881, up to 5,000 people are said to have paid for admission. The gatherings faltered on several occasions and locals tried to revive them by inviting local gypsies and dressing themselves up as gypsies. (Alternative interpretation:- Gradually the event was taken over by local residents, who dressed up as Gypsies and formed 'tribes'.) Proceeds from the carnivals went to the local Horticultural Society. However, in 1929 it was revived to raise funds for Baildon Hospital and Charities Week. A local resident, John Keen, then contacted the "King of the Gypsies", Xavier Petulengro, and they re-established large Gypsy gatherings at Baildon. Some of these were recored on Pathe News films and shown nationally in cinemas.[12][13][14] One event recorded on film was the wedding of Leon Petulengro (son of Xavier) to Illeana Smith in 1937. Part of the ceremony took place in St James' Church and Derek Fitt, who was one of the youngest church organists at 14 when he started, played the organ for them. At that time he was 18. Petulengro gave him a silver brooch for playing.[7] The gatherings stopped at the start of the Second World War and were never revived[12] although Gypsies still occasionally camp near Baildon Moor.

Several of the original references are no longer available however there is a Petulengro website here that has a page containing the wedding video. The video can also be found on YouTube [here]

Steve Haithwaite has provided 2 photos from the carnival of 1938(?). That year his father, Geoff Haithwaite was the Gypsy Prince and Davida Scholes was the Gypsy Princess. One of the photos shows them in a group with what looks like local and Gypsy dignitaries.

References

  1. A History of Baildon Parish Church - Canon Bruce Grainger
  2. Scans of the handwritten census returns accessed via the Ancestry.co.uk website
  3. 3.0 3.1 1893 Kelly's Directory for Leeds. Accessed via ancestry.co.uk website
  4. Notes from the minutes of Baildon Local Board 5 Feb 1861
  5. Notes from the minutes of Baildon Local Board 19 Feb 1861
  6. Book - Baildon Golf Club Centenary 1896-1996
  7. 7.0 7.1 Simon Fitt via Facebook
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Malcolm Leyland
  9. Royal Overseas League website here
  10. National_Savings_Movement on Wikipedia
  11. Photo from Susan Hibbert via facebook
  12. 12.0 12.1 Freda Matthews, Gypsies in Leeds and Yorkshire
  13. Pathe News: A Romany Wedding on Yorkshire Moors
  14. Pathe News: Double Gypsy Wedding at Baildon