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The Ancient Parish of CALVERLEY

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"CALVERLEY, a parish-town, in Morley-division of Agbrigg and Morley, liberty of Pontefract; 3 miles N. of Bradford, 7 from Leeds and Otley, 31 from York. Pop. including Farsley, 2,605, which being united, form a township. The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Wilfred (see Churches for photograph), in the deanry of Bradford, value, ~9. 11s. 10d. p.r. 140. Patron, the King.

In Calverley, is the ancient hall of a knightly family of that name, who had resided here for about six centuries: it has been a spacious mansion, but is now converted into cottages, &c.; the family chapel adjoining is now a wheelwright's shop. It is memorable, on account of a most tragical event that took place in 1604, and which produced the "Yorkshire Tragedy" ascribed to the pen of Shakespeare, but which, it should seem, has eluded the researches of Mr. Malone. A Prose narrative of this murder is to be met with in Dr. Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete, much too long for our insertion. The estate remained in the family of Calverley till 1754, when Sir Walter Calverley, who had taken the name of Blackett, sold the manor and estate of Calverley to Thomas Thornhill, of Fixby, Esq. by whose heir of the same name and place, it is still possessed.

In the church is a school, built and repaired by the parish: to this school, Mr. Hillary of Leeds, left a small annual donation. A part of the great tithes or Hooton Pagnell and Thorp Arch, were given by letters patent of Queen Elizabeth, to the poor of this parish, value, about 4. per annum."

Information on the following places in this Parish is contained on a supplementary page.

  • Bagley
  • Bank Houses
  • Bolton
  • Calverley Bridge
  • Farsley
  • Fulneck
  • Gibraltar Mill
  • Idle
  • Owlcoats
  • Park Lodge
  • Priesthorpe
  • Pudsey
  • Rodley
  • Stanningley
  • Stone Stile
  • Thackley
  • Tyresall
  • Wadlands
  • Windhill
  • Wood Hall Hills
  • Wrose

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson 2007]


My thanks to Jack Parry, David Simpson and Steve Gaunt who between them have done most of the transcriptions mentioned on this page.

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