Map of the Week: Shipley and the Good Templars, 1878

map of the week 032

This map originally accompanied a sale by Messrs. Best & Crewe of various freehold properties in Shipley, and elsewhere in West Yorkshire. Fortunately the sale was advertised in the Leeds Mercury on April 9th 1878 so we have a good deal of information concerning the auction lots involved. John & Joseph Denby, Worsted Manufacturers, were ‘trustees for the sale’ although it is not made clear who the original owners are or were. Not shown on the plan were three farms in Haworth, Oxenhope and Kippax that were also offered for sale.

Among the lots surveyed was Ashley Mill (then occupied by J Crowther) together with the adjacent builder’s yard occupied by John Ives. There was a timber yard, also occupied by John Ives, and a substantial dwelling called Moor House, then lived in by Fred Ives a son of John born in 1845. John Ives & Son were a firm of Shipley builders and contractors active in the late nineteenth century; the firm employed several hundred men. John Ives himself was born around 1814 and in 1871 he and his wife Grace lived at 11 Commercial Street, Shipley. Their most famous construction was Bradford Town (now City) Hall (1870-1873), but they were also one of the contracting firms who worked for Sir Titus Salt at Saltaire.

On the plan there was also a house and shop in Saltaire Road, and a vacant lot next to a complex of three quarries complete with ‘the ungotten stone therein’. Determining the owners and operators of quarries is never easy. Operators may change quite frequently and quarries might work or ‘stand’ depending on the prevailing economic situation. This plan, and the  OS map of 1889, certainly show extensive evidence of quarrying in this area. The Earl and Countess of Rosse are mentioned as neighbouring landowners on the plan. In the early 1870s their agents produced a definitive map and list of Rosse Estate quarries. The two in this immediate area were operated by John Learoyd (died 1874) and Mr E Butterfield. How you distinguished between their quarries and the stone bearing land for sale, on the ground, I am not sure.

The solicitor handling the sale was George E Mumford. Mumford’s chambers were in Piece Hall Yard, Bradford and then at Bradford Yorkshire Bank Chambers. He was solicitor for Samuel Cunliffe Lister of Manningham Mills and also secretary to the governors of Bradford Grammar School. The surveyor was William Booth Woodhead who I assume drew up this plan.

The sale was to be held at ‘The Good Templars Hall’, Shipley. The Independent Order of Good Templars (IOGT) was an American institution founded in 1851 and introduced to the UK in 1868. The Templars were described as ‘secret and mystic’ (Bradford Observer January 1873) and were evidently concerned with promoting teetotalism. Angus Holden was a noted local member. They had lodges, regalia and officers, in which respect they seemed to have resembled Freemasons who numbered Fred Ives among their number. Unlike the Masons both men and women could be members of IOGT. They had at least 16 lodges in Bradford and several thousand members. The Licensed Victuallers Protection Society considered that they needed to ‘combat the actions’ of the Good Templars who they regarded as aggressive teetotallers. How IOGT differed in outlook from the Band of Hope or the Rechabites I am not certain.

Templars Hall is often mentioned in contemporary newspapers but without a postal address being given. Where was it? In Shipley the Templars seem to have gathered in an old Primitive Chapel at Briggate, which had been bought by Edward Holden. Perhaps this was the Templars’ Hall.

There is a 25 inch OS map of 1889, that is about a decade after the sale. Ashley Mill survived and has extended into the builders yard. In fact the building is still standing today. The timber yard became a wharf. Moor House looks unchanged and in the 1881 census Fred Ives still seems to be living there; however the quarry has extended into its garden. The adjacent Shipley House, not part of this sale, has been demolished and replaced by new housing. On the other side of Moor House, Crow Gill quarry has become a small public park.


Derek Barker, Local Studies Library Volunteer


One thought on “Map of the Week: Shipley and the Good Templars, 1878

  1. I have a gavel presented to my late husband’s grandfather sometime in the 1930s or 1940s. If I remember what my husband told me correctly his grandfather was about to become the Chief Templar but died shortly before or after doing so. I do not know whether he was my husband’s paternal or maternal grandmother. If maternal I think his surname would have been Page but if paternal it would have been Ablett.
    The inscription on the gavel is, ‘Jubilee I.O.G.T. PResentation.’ It also says ‘Made in Jerusalem’ and has a few Hebrew letters.
    My husband was born in Shipley in 1929 to Mr. Joseph Ablett and Mrs Violet Ablett.
    If this is of interest to you I would be pleased to hear from you.
    Mrs Jean Ablett.


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