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Grindlestone Bank:

Grindlestone Bank Ovenden Wood.

Gridlestone Bank, South
Grindlestone Bank South

In 1912, T W Hanson wrote of the buildings "There are two houses at Grindlestone Bank, and both of them have been altered and rebuilt several times."

The northern one is, I think, the older, and on its face are several dated stones. At the north east corner of the front is:- 1603, denoting some building during Abraham Brig's reign. On the wall next to the mistal is the inscription : - 1647. I.B. H. B. (John Brigge and his wife.) In the gable over the principal window is another stone A. B. W. 1698 (Abraham Brigg and his wife). The other house, the one nearer Halifax - was pulled down and entirely rebuilt in 1853 - the date is over the front door. Some of the old mullions and stones were used, and the Jacobean style of architecture was followed.

In one of the gables facing the farm yard is preserved the old dated stone: - B 1635 R. It commemorates another Briggs, but I cannot say what R stands for. The stone has weathered and so is difficult to decipher."

Grindlestone Bank - South House is a grade 2 listed building. Currently (2004) the house is divided into three separate dwellings.

Grindlestone Bank is the edge from which the mill stones were quarried and houses were built on the western slopes of the Ovenden Wood Valley. In 1912, tradition said that "Grindlestone Bank, built by the Maudes, was the oldest house in the district."

In 1367 there is an account of William de Mirfield, proctor for the Prior and Monks of Lewes for two millstones for the manorial corn mill at Halifax - cost 7s at Illingworth and the carriage from Illingworth to the corn mill was 2s.

In 1532 a will of John Maude, of Southowram names as a supervisor John Mawde, of Gryndilstonbanke. In 1536 John Maude, of Grindlestone Bank was involved with the Composition for Great Tithes.

Richard Maude, of Gryndlestone Bank, younger son of John Mawde (dec. 1552) granted to Henry Wadsworth, of Warley, a messuage and seven acres of meadow, waste, and pasture in Ovenden. On October 10th 1552, Richard Mawde of Ovenden, made his will leaving all his goods, chattels, and debts to Margaret, his wife. He was buried on 18th October 1552.

On August 31st 1558, another Richard Mawde, of Ovenden, also with a wife called Margaret, made his will and was buried October 5th. Among the witnesses to his will were John Mawde and John Mawd, of Laughton. Laughton is next door to Grindlestone Bank, and the Maudes of Laughton were related to the Maudes of Grindlestonbank.

By 1566, Richard Brigg of Warley had moved to Grindlestone Bank, and was one of the feoffees of the will of William Lister. In 1570, he made an agreement with William Lister's widow, by which his eldest son, Abraham, married Grace Lister, sole daughter and heiress. Richard Brigg then promised to his son all his land, commonly called Grindlestone Bank Lands, except two cottages and three closes of land, after his death, and also gave his son a house in the occupation of Henry Illingworth.

Richard Brigg had already made provision for his son and in his will, dated April 17th, 1584. He left To Martha Hallawes, my daughter 5 marks. Residue to Grace Brige and Judithe Brige (his daughters) whom I make my Executors. The will was witnessed by John Brige, John Bairstowe, th'elder, John Bairstowe, younger, George Brige, Myles Brige, Edward Houlden, Abraham Brige, John Hemingwaye and probate was granted 1st October, 1584, to Judith Brigge, daughter, power being reserved for Grace, daughter, co-executrix

In 1584, Abraham Brigge, moved to Grindlestone Bank. Abraham had the following children baptised: 3 April 1575 - Brygit. 8 December 1577 - Isaac. 22 May 1580 - John. 17 February 1582 - Abram. 1 November 1585 - Joshua. 20 October 1588 - Martha. Abraham Brigge, Snr, lived at Grindlestone Bank for 40 years.

In 1698, another Abraham Briggs placed the initials of himself and his wife on the gable. This was the last of the Briggs of Grindlestone Bank. They had lived there about 150 years.

Part of the property passed into the hands of the Hirds and in 1732 Robert Ramsden bought from William Hind of Rawdon, a messuage called Grindlestone Bank, Lane Farm and Jumples Mill and in 1747 he also bought of Mr William Thornton, of Bradford, one farm called Grindstone Bank and farm called Laughton.

18TH CENTURY TENANTS 1714 - James Deaden, of Grindlestone Bank, Ovenden 1733 - Joseph Mitchell was the tenant when Mr Hird sold the property. 1735 - 45 - John Garfitt 1748 - 57 John Hindle 1757 - 60 John Hindle, jun.

On June 11th, 1757, Robert Ramsden, of Grindlestone Bank, in Ovenden, let to John Hindle, jun., of Ovenden, for one year, Grindlestone Bank, now or late in possession of John Hindle, his father. He has to keep the house and barn in good and tenantable repair with moss, lime and glass.

About 1743, Robert Ramsden moved from Jumples to one of the Grindlestone Bank houses, allowing his son to live at Jumples. Robert died in 1760 and his son John leased the messuage at Grindlestone Bank, late in the occupation of Robert Ramsden, deceased, to Joshua Stansfield, late of Holdsworth, for 11 years from April 19th 1760. (South Bank) The other half of Grindlestone Bank (North Bank) was leased to Tempest Oddy on June 6th, 1761 for fourteen years.

In John Ramsden's Account Book is this note: Left at Bank as Heir Looms where Joshua Stansfield Inhabits: In the House - one range and a grate, In the Parlour, one range and a grate, In the New Room, one range and a grate. In 1791, when John Ramsden made his will, he left "North Bank", then occupied by John Oddy for his youngest son, Edward Ramsden. Forty years later the Rev. Edward Ramsden sold North Grindlestone Bank to Mr Joseph Riley. The date stone at the back - S R 1843, probably indicates that later Mr Riley altered the cottages. Sun Bank, or the southern house at Grindlestone Bank was left to Mr Ramsden's son Joseph. It was then tenanted by Samuel Alison 1791.

In the middle of the nineteenth century a Mr John Briggs obtained possession of Grindlestone Bank but whether he is related to the earlier Briggs is not known. It is believed that the mother of this John Briggs was a Miss Ramdsen of Jumples before she married. Mr John Briggs, was a worsted spinner at Jumples Mill and he improved the land and rebuilt the house (South Bank), placing the date 1853 over the door, and the name on the arch that spans the entrance to the farm yard. When they were pulling down the old barn a small circular oaken box was found which contained the deeds relating to Illingworth Chapel of Henry VIII and of Elizabeth's reign. In 2004, the arch over the entrance is no longer there but the side supports still exist.

In 1912 Mr Hanson says, "unfortunately Mr Brig's business came to grief. The pit he made for his gasometer is used for the manure; the garden is neglected, and the seat of the Briggs family is now a farm house."

Sometime in the sixties the Ramsdens again obtained Grindlestone Bank.

In 1881 Grindlestone Bank (North Bank) appears to have been divided into two and was occupied by John Varley a farmer of 12 acres, and the other cottage was uninhabited. Sun Bank (Sunny Bank, South Bank),was occupied by James Heap a retired shoe maker, James Green a farmer of 18 acres, Thomas Bates a Milk dealer, and James Butterworth a stone quarrier

Information from Halifax Antiquarian Society, T W Hanson, 1912, Grindlestone Bank, 1881 census.

Sue Johnson Jan 2004

Around 1962, the house was bought by the Beaumonts who still live there today (2006) Terry Williams


This article by:
Sue Johnson ©2004