The demise of the Outwood Grandstand

A short piece from just before the First World War on the theft of lead off a roof. Not just any old roof though, this was the former Grandstand building for the Wakefield-Outwood racecourse at Lawns, Carr Gate. Dating from the mid-18th century, the building was reputedly designed by architect John Carr.

Leeds Mercury
Saturday 13 December 1913


Wakefield, yesterday, John Winter, teamer, Outwood, was sent to prison for four months for having stolen a quantity of lead, value £6 10s. from the roof the old grand-stand at Outwood.

The theft left the old building open to the elements, leading to its demolition a decade later.

Big extension to Carr Gate Hospital

Sheffield Daily Telegraph
Thursday 1 December 1904


An inquiry, conducted by members of the West Riding Sanitary Committee, was held at the County Hall, Wakefield, yesterday. The business was in connection with an application by the Wakefield and District Smallpox Isolation Hospital Committee, for the approval of the County Council to the acquisition by the Hospital Committee of a site upon which to erect an isolation hospital, and for a loan of £6,000 to cover the cost. Alderman H Dunn presided.

The land referred to consists of about 14 acres, and is situate near Carr Gate, in the township of Outwood and in the parish of Wakefield. The period of repayment was fixed by the applicants at 20 years. The case for the applicants was conducted by Mr Herbert Beaumont, clerk to the Hospital Committee, and witnesses called were Alderman Hudson (chairman), Dr Jackson (medical officer of the existing Carr Gate Hospital for general infectious diseases), Dr Gibson (Officer of Health for Wakefield) and Mr Frank Massie.

There was opposition, and the scheme seemed to very favourably received by County Council representatives, who report in due course.

Franchising 19th-century style

With the repeated fiascos of the East Coast Mainline rail franchise, here’s how a very local franchise was put up for franchise for over 100 years. Bradford Road, formerly known as the Bradford and Wakefield Turnpike Road, had gates at various intervals including Snow Hill and Carr Gate. Here are the earliest and latest notices for franchise setting meetings found in the online newspaper archive. They date from 1766 and 1871.

Leeds Intelligencer
Tuesday 1 July 1766


THE Trustees for repairing the Roads from BRADFORD to WAKEFIELD, intend to meet at the house of Mr Whiteleg in Adwalton, on Wednesday the 9th Day of July inst. at Two in the Afternoon, in order let the Tolls to arise at the Barrs at Carr-Gate, Tingley-Gate, and Wisket-Hill, either together or separate, entered to immediately. Also to appoint a Surveyor; when any Person properly qualified for, and desirous to serve that Office, may attend; and on other special Business relating to the said

Clerk to the said Trustees.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Saturday 9 December 1871


Notice is hereby given, that a MEETING of the Trustees appointed under and by virtue of an Act passed in the fifty-ninth year of the reign of His late Majesty King George the Third, intituled “An Act for more effectually repairing and improving the road from Bradford to Wakefield, in the West Riding of the county of York”, will be held at the BULL HOTEL, in Westgate, in WAKEFIELD aforesaid, on Friday the Fifteenth day of December Next, at the hour of Twelve o’clock at noon, for the purpose of transacting any business relating to the trust that may then and there appear necessary. At the same time and place the Tolls to be taken from and after the 31st day of December next at the several tollhouses, toll-gates, and chain bars, now standing and being upon and across the said road, called or known by the names of the Tong Street, the Gildersome Street, the Carr Gate, and the Snow Hill Toll Bars, and the Gildersome Street, the Scotchman Lane End, the Bruntcliffe Thorn, and the Woodhouse Lane Chain Bars will be LET BY AUCTION, in the manner directed by the Statutes for regulating turnpike roads by the said trustees, subject to conditions to be produced at the said meeting, which said tolls produced at the last letting, and now produce the yearly sum of £2,780 above the expenses of collecting, and will be put up at the same sum. Whoever happens to be the highest bidder must at the same time pay one month in advance (if required) of the rent at which such tolls may be let, and give security, with sufficient sureties, to the satisfaction of the trustees of the said turnpike road for payment of the rest of the money monthly, or in such other proportions as shall be directed by the said trustees. – Dated this 9th day of October, 1871. – By Order.

Clerk to the said Trustees.

Carter falls beneath moving cart

Leeds Mercury
Thursday 17 March 1887


Yesterday noon a shocking accident, which terminated fatally in the evening, took place on the Wakefield and Bradford road, near the large building at Carr Gate known as “Prophet Wroe’s Mansion”, about a couple of miles from Wakefield. About the time named William Jones, a carter living in Elm Street, Halifax, and in the employ of Mr Brears of Halifax, was in charge of a light lorry or waggon. He was jumping off the waggon, when one of his feet slipped, and he fell under the waggon, and the wheels passed over him. He was removed to the Clayton Hospital at Wakefield, where it was found that he was in a very critical state, having sustained a compound fracture of the skull, a fracture of the ribs on the left side, and a fracture of the left leg. The sufferer, who was a single man, and apparently between thirty-five and forty years of age, was admitted into the hospital at 1.15pm and died from shock to the system.

Building the Carr Gate Fever Hospital

Leeds Mercury
Thursday 31 May 1888


Yesterday afternoon Mr G W Young, of East Ardsley the chairman of the Rural Sanitary Authority for the Wakefield Union, laid the corner-stone of an isolation hospital, which is being erected for that authority. An excellent site of four acres of land has been purchased near “Prophet” Wroe’s Mansion at Carr Gate, and a short distance from the Bradford and Wakefield road. The contract for the brick and stone work has been let to Messrs Flower Bros, of Wakefield, who have already made considerable progress in the work. Alderman Flower, one of the contractors, presented Mr Young with a silver trowel and mahogany mallet, with which he laid the stone. Brief addresses were delivered by Mr Young, Mr J H Cookson of Stanley (vice-chairman of the authority), and Mr Herbert Beaumont, the clerk. After a vote of thanks had been accorded to Mr Young, and a cheer had been given for Mrs Young, the party drove back to Wakefield, and took tea together at the Strafford Arms Hotel.

The hospital’s official name was the Cardigan Sanatorium, but it was more commonly known as Carr Gate Fever Hospital, or simply Carr Gate Hospital.

Carr Gate toll bar keeper taken to court

Barnsley Chronicle
Saturday 15 December 1860


Samuel Marshall, the keeper the Carr Gate toll-gate, was charged with illegally taking toll from James Pawson. Mr Gill defended. The complainant said that the 26th of November he engaged a thrashing machine; and in coming to do the work, the machine had to pass through the Carr Gate toll-bar. There was a little straw upon the machine; and when the gate was reached, the defendant claimed the toll. He was asked: “What, for the machine[?]”, and the answer was “no, for the straw.” As they could not thrash without having the straw placed under the sheet, the toll was paid, though the demand was illegal. No exemption was claimed.

Mr Gill, in reply, said: On the part of my client I say that he had a perfect right demand the toll. Prima facie every person passing through a toll-gate is called upon to pay toll, though there are certain exceptions provided by 3rd and 4th Geo. IV., cap. 126. These exceptions are manures for improving land conveyed in carts, and agricultural implements, when running on their own wheels. My objection to the summons, therefore, is, that as this machine did not run upon its own wheels, the cart which conveyed it was liable to the toll. In fact, I contend that the cart is only exempt when taking manures, and it is not intended that a cart shall be loaded with ploughs, barrows, and such things.

Mr Holdsworth (who, during the temporary absence of Mr Barff, presided) said: I am not clear on the point. I do not think agree with you.

Mr Gill: I think it is as I have said. I further object, however, that though hay and straw or other produce, when not sold or going to be carried for sale, and when only being removed from one part of a farmer’s premises to the other, is exempt, yet not otherwise, and further, I object that, as no exemption was claimed at the time, the case cannot now be hard.

Mr Holdsworth decided against the defendant; but, the same time, as he did not believe that he had acted wrongly wilfully, be only inflicted fine of 1s, with 18s expenses.

Atrocious road conditions at Carr Gate go back a long way

Leeds Intelligencer
Saturday 17 March 1860


(Before Mr Justice Hill)


This case was resumed this morning, when a number of witnesses were called to prove that the Lawns Road had always been considered a public highway, and had been repaired by inhabitants of the hamlet of Wrenthorpe. Mr Overend, defence submitted that the road question was set out under the Act of Parliament and the commissioners’ award as a private road, and had never been dedicated to the public by the lord of the manor, the Duke of Leeds. The allottees and inhabitants of various townships in the neighbourhood ought to keep the road in repair by a rate; but instead of this, an endeavour was made by bringing this action, to throw the whole expense of the repairs upon the hamlet of Wrenthorpe, which was a place where poor colliers resided, and it would be a great hardship upon them. The learned counsel denied that any public user had been proved. The road had only been used privately by persons on horseback and foot passengers, and for the conveyance of coal and lime, and its wretched state was strong evidence that it never had been a public highway. Verdict for the defendants.

Another dispute over a well

Leeds Intelligencer
Saturday 5 June 1858


At the Court House [Wakefield], on Monday last, Mr Wroe, better known as “Prophet Wroe”, was charged with having assaulted an old woman named Jane Ramsden, at Carr Gate, on the 18th ult. The affair arose out of a dispute which exists between Wroe and some of the persons in that locality regarding their right to take water out of a well situated on his property. On the day in question the complainant went to the well, and got a pitcher of water, when Mr Wroe went up to her, seized hold of her, “shook” her, and took her pitcher from her and poured out the water. Witnesses were called who stated that they were in the habit of getting water from the well for the last 15 years. Mr Shaw, who (instructed by Mr Barratt), appeared for Mr Wroe, said all that the defendant had done was done in the bona fide assertion of his right. A man had as much right to order another out of his field as out of his house. In the present instance, Mr Wroe had only, after repeated warning, used the necessary force to turn the complainant off his property. Witnesses were called who stated that Mr Wroe had only ordered the woman off, and that no unnecessary violence was used. The case was dismissed.

Tragic death of John Wroe II

Yorkshire Evening Post
Tuesday 19 January 1932


The police are anxious to trace a cyclist aged about 25 who was riding a bicycle along Bradford Road, Carr Gate, East Ardsley, towards Bradford, at 5.30p.m. on Monday, and was the only witness of an accident which resulted in the death of John Wroe, farmer, of Carr Gate.

Wroe was knocked down by a motor-van owned by Newboulds, Ltd, of Bradford, and was terribly injured about the legs and body. He was taken to Clayton Hospital, Wakefield, and died soon after admission.

Yorkshire Evening Post
Wednesday 20 January 1932

Great-Grandson of “Prophet” Wroe

The death of a great-grandson of “Prophet” Wroe, founder of the Christian Israelite Movement, was inquired into at Wakefield to-day by the West Riding Coroner, Mr C J Haworth.

The dead man was John Wroe (52), of Melbourne House, Carr Gate, near Wakefield. On Monday evening he was knocked down by a motor-van, and sustained injuries from which he died shortly afterwards.

Muriel Cooke-Yarborough, dancing instructress, of Vernon Road, Leeds, said she was driving her car from Wakefield when the van passed her. The van pulled out to pass a cyclist and soon afterwards it slowed down. Witness saw a body in the road, and the van driver later said her: “I pulled out to avoid a cyclist, and never saw him”, meaning the dead man.

Deaths from hydrophobia

Let’s start this first blog post with one of the most distressing stories connected to the Wrenthorpe area in the 19th century. It’s difficult to imagine a time when rabies was common in the UK but easy to picture the dog in the story making his way from Lindale Hill across the Foster Ford valley to Carr Gate.

Leeds Mercury
Saturday 8 September 1849


About ten weeks ago, on the Sunday afternoon, a dog belonging to a person named Pickles, residing at Lindal[e] Hill, showed symptoms of madness, and was straying about Lownds Lane, [Lawns Lane] when a farmer there shot at but did not injure him much, he then ran away towards Lownds village, where a number of people attacked him with stones, and he seized one of them named Fred Arundel, a young man about 16 years old, and bit him in the left arm near to the shoulder, and upon his right hand. He also bit a young man named Solomon Hartley at the same time. The dog continued his course to East Ardsley, where he was still pursued, and he there bit a young man named William Bedford, aged about 24 years, severely upon his left hand. One tooth mark was in his fore finger, and another upon his thumb. He was then destroyed and buried. No signs of illness showed themselves upon the persons bitten for some time afterwards, but about three weeks ago, Bedford complained, and went home from his work. He was attended by Mr Hepworth, surgeon, of Morley, but medical skill was of no avail, and he died in the most frightful state of madness, on Monday week. He was ill in bed only about two days, but his sufferings were dreadful. On Wednesday week, Arundel was walking out but on Thursday he was a corpse, having died in the same stage of the disease as the unfortunate Bedford. It had been intended to try the long wished for experiments with Mr Waterton’s ‘wourali’ poison, and an eminent physician was telegraphed for from London to conduct them, but previous to his arrival, the unfortunate youth had ceased to live. His illness was short, after the paroxysms came on, but his agonies were appalling to witness. In the intervals between the paroxysms both sufferers were sensible, and could recognize and speak to their friends. Mr Jewison, the coroner, held an inquest on the body of Bedford; and Mr Lee holds one upon Arundel this day. The other young man has not yet showed any signs of the disease. He is better in the thumb, but as his wounds bled very freely, it is hoped the poison may not have been imbibed into the system. This distressing event has cast a sad gloom over the neighbourhood.

Bedford was buried at St Michael’s Church, East Ardsley on 21 August.

The Sheffield Times takes up the story a couple of days after the Mercury and this in turn is picked up by a newspaper as far away as Dublin. The poignancy of Arundel’s last hours is captured brilliantly in the report. The mother cheated out of a sizable amount of money by a quack; the kind offer of Squire Waterton which was taken up too late; the regrets at not calling for the London doctor sooner… And the not knowing that, in any case, the wourali ‘cure’ from South America wouldn’t have worked. Arundel was buried in St John’s churchyard, Wakefield by Rev Thomas Kilby on 1 September.

Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent
Tuesday 11 September 1849


One of most shocking deaths that has come to our knowledge for some time past, occurred at Carr Gate, near Wakefield, on Thursday week. It appears that on the 17th June last (ten weeks ago), a dog belonging to a person named Pickles, bit three persons – namely, the deceased, William Bedford, and Solomon Hartley; and it was shortly afterwards discovered that the dog was mad, and it was accordingly destroyed. Bedford died raring mad about a fortnight ago; and the cases having come to the knowledge of Charles Waterton Esq, of Walton Hall, the celebrated naturalist, that gentleman expressed a desire, that if symptoms of hydrophobia were observed in either of the unfortunate survivors, their friends would inform him, he would, with the consent of those friends bring down Dr Sibson, of London, who had frequently administered the “wourali”, brought Mr Waterton from South America, and which proved eminently successful in cases of several animals which it had been administered. The doctor has invented instrument which will render practicable the operations upon human beings; but the effect not having yet been tried upon them. Mr Waterton knowing there was yet no known means of saving life in attacks of hydrophobia, was desirous of ascertaining whether the proposed remedy would successful, and if so, thus greatly benefit his fellow men. In order that all objections on the ground of expense might be removed, he offered to bring down Sibson, pay his expenses, and every other expense attending his coming; and had his kind offer been accepted in time, it is not at all improbable but the life of the second unfortunate man, Frederick Arundel, might have been saved, or, at all events, the awful character of his death considerably alleviated.

It appeared on the inquest held upon the body of Arundel yesterday week, before Mr G D Barker, deputy coroner, that on Monday week deceased (who was a labourer, and only eighteen years of age) felt a “prickling” sensation in the arm, the finger of which was bitten at the period referred to. At tea time on that day he said must have something for his arm, he could scarcely bear it. On the day after the deceased’s mother went to a person name Dixon, residing in Wakefield, by trade farrier, who she had heard could cure the bites of mad dogs, who gave her a red powder to be taken in water and beer. Deceased took the powder, and on Tuesday Dixon came see him. On Wednesday morning deceased was later than usual in coming downstairs, and when he came down he complained of weakness and said he was worse. His mother made him some coffee for hit breakfast. He sat down to take it, but could not drink it, he was convulsed at the sight of it. On the mother presenting it to him be started back as if someone had suddenly struck him. He rested a little until afternoon, when he wished to be washed. His mother washed him on his arms and back of his neck. He shuddered and trembled as she did this and on her putting water on his breast and the front of his neck he became dreadfully convulsed. She wiped him dry and he then said she had not washed his face. On applying the water there he sprang up from the chair, and leapt a considerable height from the floor. At this time he could scarcely speak. His mother dressed him, and, appearing calmer, he went out for short time. He came back sobbing very much. His mother then fetched Mr Statter from Wakefield, who went and saw him the same night. Mr Statter said it was the most frightful sight he had ever witnessed in his professional experience. He suggested the propriety of trying Mr Waterton’s proposed remedy, to which the poor fellow consented. Mr Statter immediately communicated with Mr Waterton, who telegraphed for Dr Sibson, and he came down on the following day but too late, the unfortunate man having died at two o’clock the afternoon, in the most dreadful agony. Towards the last it took five men to hold him down in bed, who performed the sad task with great difficulty. And what perhaps added the grief of his surrounding friend was the fact that at intervals he was perfectly rational in his conversation, and in one of these lucid intervals he said his mother – “Mother, I am dying, come and kiss me”; and then added suddenly – “No, no, don’t, I may bite you.” He requested that if, in his ravings, he should bite his mother, he hoped they would knock his head off the next moment. For some time before his death he barked and gnashed his teeth just like dog.

Dr Sibson examined the survivor, Solomon Hartley, in whom no symptoms have as yet manifested themselves, but found that he was not so good a subject for the proposed experiment as Arundel, as he was at present labouring under a disease of the lungs. Hartley however, expressed himself desirous that Dr Sibson should try the experiment upon him in case it should be requisite to do so. — Sheffield Times

We’re left wondering what happened to Solomon Hartley – and with a name that unusual, it’s not hard to find out. He’s on the 1851 census as coal miner, living at Carr Gate. But turning just 50 pages of the St John’s Church parish records on from Arundel’s burial, and we find 26-year-old Hartley’s buried by Rev Kilby on 10 June 1852. Frustratingly, no cause of death’s been written in the page margins but his ‘abode’ is given as ‘House of Mercy’ which suggests an illness.