This work is the Copyright of the author and/or Wakefield Historical Society and is not to be copied in any medium without explicit written permission
These are notes made by Kate Taylor of a circular walk at Lupset that she led in 2007. It is possible to follow the walk using the map on the Streetmap website: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/. Enter Lupset in the place search. The roads are clearly named if you enlarge the map. The walk starts at St George’s Church.
Lupset Walk 7 September 2007
1. The Lupset Estate was developed from 1924 by Wakefield Corporation. Almost the whole of the Lupset area was taken into the boundary of Wakefield borough in October 1921 under the City of Wakefield Extension Order. A small part was taken into Ossett instead. The estate was at one time the largest local governments housing scheme in Europe. In 1937 Lupset had four shopping areas, three modern churches, three public houses, a maternity and welfare centre, a hospital and a school. It housed a sixth of the population of Wakefield
2. In the years from 1922-1924 Wakefield Council was concerned with extending its water supply, its electricity supply, and its sewerage system to Lupset.
3. St George’s Church (off Broadway) Wakefield always intended to provide sites for Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic Churches at the perimeter of the estate. The schoolrooms at St George’s were built first. The Church itself opened in 1936. It was always ‘low’ or ‘evangelical’ in character.
4. Snapethorpe School was built in 1931 to accommodate the children from the estate which, by then, had 2,000 houses. (Before 1931 children had to go to Lawefield Lane or Ings Road schools.) It was the first school in Wakefield to be built to take children from nursery age to 15. It was intended to be something of an ‘open-air’ school with classroom doors opening directly onto the outside world and with large, low windows. It was, of course, a single-storey set of buildings. It was divided into Infant, Junior and Senior departments, each with its own head-teacher, and was designed to take 1,400 pupils. It was formally opened on 24 July 1931. Percy Morris was the architect. It cost £40,000.
5. Milton Road. Most of the roads on the estate are named after Wakefield heroes. Viscount Milton, MP for Wakefield in 1895-1900, or perhaps his ancestor Lord Milton who was a county MP for Yorkshire from 1807 to 1830. The Viscounts were members of the family at Wentworth Woodhouse.
6. Wakefield Fever Hospital (now gone!) Snapethorpe Hospital was built in 1934 to replace a small municipal fever hospital in Park Lodge Lane dating from 1876. Designed by the city architect, Louis Ives, it had separate blocks for Diptheria and Tuberculosis as well as a general Fever Ward and could accommodate 97 patients. Fresh air being regarded as an important part of the treatment, it had verandahs running the length of each ward. It stood at one of the highest points in Wakefield 270 feet above sea level. It was entirely financed by a private benefactor, James Benjamin Sykes. Sykes was a self-made man and understood the value of every penny! He had left school at thirteen but with his brother had bought the empty Dudfleet Mill in Horbury and developed a thriving industrial concern. To cut building expenses, Sykes bought the mechanical excavator that had been used to dig the foundations of St George’s Church at Lupset. He also bought all the wooden shuttering and other timber that had been required during the construction of Wakefield’s new bridge. This provided the scaffolding for the building work at the hospital. Snapethorpe was the first local hospital to be closed. This was, of course, a triumph for the health service that had seen almost the last of tuberculosis and, because of modern treatment, the removal of risk from diptheria and scarlet fever. It closed in 1984 and privately-owned houses and flats have been there since then as well as a private residential home.
7. Airport that never was. Municipal Aerodrome. Mooted in 1928 as a result of a letter from the Air Ministry suggesting that the corporation should seriously consider establishing a municipal aerodrome with as little delay as possible. Housing officer was asked to look for suitable sites and a site off Broadway recommended. No doubt Leeds and Bradford received the same letter. Airport begun at Yeadon in 1930 by WRCC. Scheme dropped from Council Minutes in 1931.
8. Magdalen Road. Wakefield Corporation built a number of houses here designed for people with TB. However I could not distinguish them from other ones.The local authority experimented with house types and in 1924 commissioned a number of oak timber-framed and ketton houses (but where?) See Express 2.8.1924
9. Hall Road, named because here was Snapethorpe Hall, Wakefield bought the Snapethorpe Hall estate for its great 1920s housing scheme. It had been the home of the Gargrave family from the 14th century. Thus one of the roads on the estate is named Gargrave Road.
10. Townley Road – probably named after the powerful Towneley (sometimes spelt Townley or Townsley) family who live in the Burnley area from the mid-thirteenth century. Towneley Hall, their imposing country seat, dates from the early 15th century and is set in 62 acres of parkland. Since 1903 it has been a museum and art gallery and is rated as one of the finest medieval mansions in Lancashire. It still displays a large wall chart displaying their family tree. For many years the Towneleys possessed the original scripts of the Wakefield Mystery Plays, (the so-called Towneley Manuscript); they are now in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California and are sometimes referred to as the Towneley Cycle.
11. On to Dewsbury Road. Fish and Chip Shop – these planned as integral part of the estate.
12. The English Martyrs. School opened 1933 for the may Catholic children moved to the estate – second RC school in Wakefield. The first school at St Austin’s was opened, probably, in 1838. Major new school came in 1958. The Church of the English Martyrs. Built only in 1956, until then services took place in the school.
13. Site of the Primitive Methodist Church, now private housing. Opened 3 July 1929. Replaced by Wesley Hall on Horbury Road
14. Cross into Hirst Road and Eden Avenue. 2nd Garden City Housing Scheme designed to be known as Garden City Suburb. Begun 1913 by Rodney Eden, Bishop of Wakefield, and Edwin Hirst, corn merchant, mayor of Wakefield. Garden city idea was popular at beginning of the century – houses with gardens!
15. Ginnel to Poplar Avenue. Originally called Wilhelm Avenue but changed after the First World War. Scheme devised by members of Wakefield Adult School (founded 1905). Bought undeveloped land 1908 from Bradley and Craven. Planned three Avenues. Individual plots 600-1,000 square yards at a shilling a square yard. Could have builder of own choice but must stick to building line and border plot with a privet hedge. No public house! Nor were there any shops. Intended for artisans. First plots in Wilhelmina Avenue sold quickly, then much slower and none of plots on third avenue ever taken up. 1925 George Crook bought some of plots on Flanshaw Lane. 1932 bought almost all remaining plots.
16. Flanshaw Park. Private Scheme by George Crook and Son dates from 1930s. Built to be let.
17. Ginnel back into Oakleigh Avenue, down to Ashleigh Avenue and back across Dewsbury Road Corner of Dewsbury Road and Flanshaw Lane
18. Wakefield Industrial Cooperative Society, had pharmacy, butchery
19. Westgate Brick Works and quarry. Bricks for the estate came from here. Owned by George Crook and Sons who had the contracts for building the estate.
20. Borough Corner – corner of Parliamentary Borough of 1832. Then went down Cross Lane. Waterton Road, named after Charles Waterton. Would have been able to see Manor Haigh Colliery from back of houses here.
21. George-a-Green Road. Named after legendary Pinder who is said to have fought with Robin Hood – an equally legendary figure.
22. Chantry Road – bomb here on 12 December 1940. Did not explode but made a huge crater.
23. 24 George-a-Green Road. Site of murder in 1930. Ernest Taylor Bousfield lived here with wife, Cissie and three children, He was employed by Wakefield Borough Coop as a driver. Goods had been taken. He was suspended prior to facing the Board. 26 May, no-one responded to milk boy’s knock. The Webbs, Bousfield’s in-laws, called from Haselden Road. Cissie and three children, Margaret, Kenneth (aged 4) and Harold (aged 2), all unconscious upstairs with head wounds. Bousfield’s body found in river at Durkar. One after another three of the wounded die. Margaret survived, grew up and had children of her own.
24. Potter Avenue named after Archbishop Potter. Prince Michael, Duke of Kent, visited the estate on 29 May 1931. The motorcade entered the estate from Horbury Road, went round Potter Avenue and back to George-a-Green Road, then on to Haselden Roaddd, Towneley Road, Waterton Road, Chantry Road, Manor Haigh Road, Snapethorpe Road, Gissing Road, St Oswald Road, Magdalen Road, Broadway and back to Horbury Road! At the time there were 2708 houses finished and another 412 being built.
25. Site of Savoy Cinema of Jan 1936. Closed 1962. Fire 1993
26. Trams pass along Horbury Road on to terminus at Ossett from 1904 to 1932.
27. Whinney Moor Avenue. Named after the moor which stretched across Horbury road at this point.
28. Storie Crescent. The Green Coat School which provided elementary education, had originated in part from the Storie Pettie Gift of 1674, provided under the will of John Storie, which was administered by the Governors of the Wakefield Charities. He was a Wakefield woollen merchant and governor of the Grammar School.
29. Manor Haigh Road named after colliery. Note privet hedges throughout the estate.
30. 91 Manor Haigh Road. Home of David Storey. Born 13 July 1933, the third son of Frank Richmond Storey, an electrician at Roundwood Colliery, Wakefield, and his wife Lily. Went to Snapethorpe School. In 1943 won a city minor scholarship to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. In 1952 went to the Slade School of Art, London and signed on as a professional with Leeds Rugby Club. 1956-1959 worked in various London schools as a supply teacher. 1960, his first published novel, This Sporting Life, issued by Longman. 1963, film of This Sporting Life released. Plays as well as novels. In Celebration currently being performed in London’s
West End at the Duke of Kent’s Theatre.
31. Elsie Frost, murdered at the ABC steps at Thornes on her way home from Millfield Lagoon in 1965. She was only fourteen. Lived next door but one to David Storey.
32. 46 Manor Haigh Road. 1927, Robert Lamb pours petrol over his wife, May. Details never clear because she survived and tried to make comparative light of the event. Charge of common assault. Robert bound over and fined.
33. Towneley Road (again) Note Spa Grove, there must have been a spring here. Look at shops at junction. Note George V pillar box, there evidently from first building of the estate.Back to Whinney Moor Avenue, Snapethorpe Road, School Road, and back to where the walk started.