THE HALLS OF SHIPLEY
Manor House (or Over Hall) was on the site of the current Town Hall.
Shipley Hall was on the site of "Sir Norman Wray" (Wetherspoons) the former Co-operative premises.
SHIPLEY LOW HALL – AN
“ROUND ABOUT BRADFORD”
BY WILLIAM CUDWORTH PUBLISHED IN 1876
A good deal of the progress made
in Shipley is due to the course taken by the late Mr. Wainman. He was tenant
for life only of the Shipley estate, without power to sell any part of it. In
1856 he obtained a special Act, now well-known as “Wainman’s Estate Act, 1856” enabling
him to sell his Shipley estate (and many others), and under the powers of this
Act Mr. Wainman proceeded to sell land for building purposes. Many of the
handsome dwellings now erected at Shipley, and also at Saltaire, stand upon
part of the Wainman estate. Mr. Wm. Cowgill succeeded as land agent in 1858,
and under his management so much of the estate has been disposed of, that
little remains unsold. From the proceeds Mr. Wainman was enabled to purchase a
nice estate at Silton, in the North riding.
Shipley Low Hall, the property of
the Wainman’s is situated on high ground above the railway station. We have not
been able to fix the date of its erection, but it must have been long anterior
to the connection of the Wainmans with it. There is an ancient escutcheon on
the older portion of the hall, which, although almost
obliterated, shows the builder to have attained to the knightly office. The
trunk of an old yew tree in the gardens, which is fully a yard in diameter, also
bears silent testimony to the antiquity of the ground. The Rawsons, previously mentioned
(not in this extract - see footnote), doubtless lived at it, probably before William Rawson built
the Manor House named hereafter (not in
this extract). William Thornton, Esq., whose widow left it to the Wainmans,
was an enterprising man, and chief promoter of the turnpike road from Leeds to
Bradford about 1770. This was before the introduction of toll-bars, which
excited such great opposition, that a gate at Calverley Moor was destroyed by a
furious mob, and Mr. Thornton’s effigy was publicly burnt. During Mr.
Thornton’s residence a door-way in the garden wall led across the park to the
old Baptist Chapel. A yawning railway cutting now renders this impractical. Colonel
Wainman, who lived some time at the Hall, was a fine gentleman, and kept a good
establishment. On his father’s death the colonel went to reside at Carrhead,
and his mother, Mrs Elizabeth Wainman, came to Shipley, The later
representative of the family living at Carrhead, their Shipley residence has
been occupied by several families. Lawyer Brogden lived there before his
removal to Manor Hall in Kirkgate, Bradford. This popular family adviser was
visited by most of the chief families of Bradford at the time, such as the Paleys,
the Duffields, the Fields, &c., and a coach-and-four was then no unusual
sight at Shipley. Both Mr. Brogden and his wife worshipped at the old Baptist
Chapel, Shipley. Mr, Richard Fawcett, manufacturer, of Bradford, also lived at
Low Hall and died there. Previous to the construction of the Leeds and Bradford
line, in 1846, the grounds attached to the hall were very extensive and
beautifully laid out. The park extended from the burial ground of the Old
Baptist Chapel to the valley road leading to Frizinghall and Bradford. Eastward
the park took in the low ground down to the beck, while along the upper portion
of the grounds nearest to Bradford Road there was a productive orchard and a
belt of large trees, where the cawing rooks held undisturbed sway. On the making
of the railway the grounds were bought of the Wainman family by the Midland
Railway Company, for £24,000, and they have since sold the hall to Mr Thomas
Arton. The present occupier is Capt. Hodgson, who has much embellished the
interior of the residence.
In Dugdale's Visitation To Yorkshire (1665) there is a reference to Mr. William Rawson of Shipley as a gentleman bearing arms. It is possible that the arms on the escutcheon belonged to the Rawson family.
C. M. Clapham and E. C. Ward March 2012 (Updated February 2014)
Please see the photographs page. We are grateful to the Francis Frith Collection for permission to use the two photographs of the Manor House in 1903.