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Grove House, Walton

Grove House.Grove House has had some interesting occupants in its day.
Amongst the earliest occupants was Henry Clarkson (17th Dec 1801- d. 8th June 1896, Alverthorpe Hall).

Henry Clarkson was a surveyor for the North Midland Railway (Leeds to Derby line). He was working under the direction of George Stephenson ("THE Engineer of the day.").

The following article is based upon his book, Memories of Merry Wakefield, 2nd. Edition, 1889. Chapter IX Railway Times. (1) Additionl material by the Yorkshire Post (2).

Clarkson wrote about his encounters whilst surveying the route at Chevet. 16th September, Clarkson's office was in the Manor House Yard. He walked from there to Chevet to start his work on 1st October 1835, Whilst surveying Chevet Estate, he had an unpleasant encounter with Sir William Pilkington (pp 116 - 119). Pilkington threatened to commit Clarkson to the House of Correction if he trespassed on hid property again. He fared better on the adjoining estate of Mr. Godfrey Wentworth, who was not opposed to the railway. A few days later Mr. Wentworth accompanied Clarkson to Chevet to discuss the matter with Sir William to no avail. The next encounter with Sir William Pilkington was on the following day. Sir William was accompanied by his old friend, Charles Waterton .

Waterton tried to put an end to the unpleasant scene and took Clarkson to one side. Waterton gave him friendly advice, suggesting that Clarkson pack his tools and go home as he would not get paid as the scheme was only promoted by London stock jobbers for their own ends.

Eventually, Sir William Pilkington's oppostion died away when the company agreed to pay what was the considered an extravagant price for the land taken and the "comforting compromise of a stone viaduct instead of an embankment over certain parts, added to the diversion of particular roads, which really improved the estate". (See Pilkington's Chevet Viaduct at Haw Park Lane on the Chevet Viaduct page and the Walton History page, 1835 Railway Mania.)

Some time later, presumbably in 1836, the line was re-surveyed. Clarkson was living in a house in Sandal at the corner of the road where Cock and Bottle Lane branches off to Sandal Castle Hill.
"As soon as I could, I moved my offices to Walton [from Sandal], where I had a capital room for my purpose - a long building attached to farm premises, now pulled down, but then standing on the site of Grove House. It had been built by the late Mr. Pearson Walton, a native, I believe of the village, who left it in early life, and acquired a large fortune in London, and came back to spend his latter days in his native place, where he built the house so long occupied by the latre Mr. John Marsden. Mr. Pearson Walton was a very pleasant, gentlemanly old man, much respected and liked by his neighbours.
During this time the severe winter of 1836-7 setin, and over and over again, I have left my house at Sandal early in the morning to walk to Walton, and crossed the fields up to my knees in snow, no one having been before me." (1)

It is said that amongst the visitors to the house was George Stephenson's son, Robert (16 October 1803 – 12 October 1859), builder of the Rocket, the most advanced steam engine of its day. According to the Yorkshire Post: "Rumour has it that a visitor during that time was the celebrated civil engineer Robert Stephenson, builder of the Rocket, the most advanced steam engine of its day." (2)

After Clarkson - More Historical Occupants
Over the next 50 years a succession of tenants including Joseph Atha, James Augustus Erskine and Frederick Hurd gave Grove House as their address. In 1876 the nearby Walton Hall and Park were sold by Edmund Waterton to soap manufacturer Edward Simpson for £114,000. Simpson also owned several cottages and had four principal residences, amonst which were Grove House and Walton House (now known as Walton Manor).

By 1890 Sharlston Colliery had sunk a new shaft at Walton, Sharlston West, which was eventually to become Walton Colliery. The manager, William Creswick came to live at Grove House and did so for many years.

1. Memories of Merry Wakefield by Henry Clarkson, 2nd. edition, 1889.
2. The Yorkshire Post, Open Door on the Past, Monday 05 September 2011, by Julie Marshall.

More about the Stephensons:

George Stephenson.a. Wikipedia - George Stephenson (9 June 1781 – 12 August 1848), English civil engineer and mechanical engineer. Renowned as the "Father of Railways". He also invented the Geordie safety lamp for use in inflammable atmospheres in 1815. It was used in coal mines to prevent explosions due to firedamp.
Picture of George Stephenson by and published by Alfred Krausse, printed by F.A. Brockhaus AG, line engraving, 1848 or after. NPG D42126. © National Portrait Gallery, London.

Robert Stephenson.b. Wikipedia - Robert Stephenson (16 October 1803 – 12 October 1859),English railway and civil engineer. The only son of George Stephenson, the "Father of Railways", he built on the achievements of his father. Robert has been called the greatest engineer of the 19th century..

Historical Occupants - continued
FREDERICK HURD (1841-1909). (Grace's Guide)
He was one of the pioneers of the compound silent gas-engine and electrical coal-cutting machine.
One of his best known inventions was the Hurd bar coal-cutter.
1841 Born at Wakefield the son of George Hurd, a Woolsorter, and his wife Mary Ann
1871 Living at Grove House, Walton, Yks.: Frederick Hurd (age 30 born Wakefield), Engineer and Machinist Master employing 102 hands.
With his wife Kerzia Hurd (age 28 born Leeds) and their children;
Louisa Hurd (age 7 born Wakefield);
Frederick W. Hurd (age 4 born Rochdale);
James M' Hurd (age 2 born Rochdale);
and Martha Annie Hurd (age 1 born Rochdale).
Three servants.[1]
1901 Living at 1 Church View, Wolstanton, Staffs: Frederick Hurd (age 60 born Wakefield), Draughtsman Engineers.
With his wife Kezia Hurd (age 58 born Leeds) and their two children
Eliza A. Hurd (age 27 born Wakefield);
and George T. Hurd (age 17 born Glasgow), Apprentice Engineer Mechanical.
Also boarding is Herbert N. Hennor (age 18 born Barbican, London), Apprentice Engineer Mechanical.[2]
1909 Died at Oakhill Hall, Stoke-on-Trent age 68.

Hurd entries in Grace's Guide to British Industrial History
Grace's Guide - Frederick_Hurd (web site)
Frederick Hurd & Co. - Grace's Guide (pdf)
Advertisement, Engineering 5th January 1872 (image)
Silent Gas Engine (image)
Hurd & Simpson's Patent Locomotive (image)
Hurd and Simpson Coal cutting and air compression machinery (pdf). Liquidation 1876, with a mention of Edward Thornhill Simpson of Walton, soap manufacturer and colliery owner.

Grace's Guide material available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence.

Another, somewhat unflattering, view of the Hurd and Simpson Locomotive (pdf).
It suggests that their design was not original work but a copy of the Belpaire & Stevart lever locomotive design. Web site.


The next to leave his mark was Alfred Alexander Haley, a wealthy textile owner who had a mill at Westgate Common, Wakefield. He lived at Grove House with his family who were, by all accounts well-liked and carried out many charitable acts among the elderly in the village. (2)

Alfred Alec (sic) Haley, is listed as a Land Tax Commissioner for the West Riding in the London Gazette, 2nd August 1927.

Windmill Landscape With Stormy Skies.Haley collected paintings, one of the paintings in his collection is a watercolour 'Windmill Landscape With Stormy Skies' by George Sykes of Huddersfield. It was bought from the artist in July 1927. The painting was being offered for sale on the SellingAntiques web site in October 2019. More information here. (pdf)

North Country fisherman and Fisher women on the beach. E. Fowler.Another painting in Haley's collection: E. Fowler 1834, Sepia watercolour, North Country fisherman and Fisher women on the beach, Dated and labelled verso. 8 1/2 x 12 1/2''. Bears Alfred A Haley, Walton, Wakefield Collection label verso. See Arcadja . Web site accessed 17 Oct 2019.

Graces Guide Article
, Worsted Spinners, Westgate Common Mill, Wakefield. Hours of Business: 6.15 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Established by Alfred Haley. Incorporated as a Limited Company in 1897. Directors: Alfred Haley (Chairman), Alfred A. Haley (Vice-Chairman), Ernest Glover, W. P. Webster (Secretary), and J. A. Rowson. Premises: Occupy three mills. Equipped with all up-todate appliances. Staff: Over 330. Speciality: White Botany Yarn. Telephone: No. 32 Wakefield. Telegraphic Address: " Haley, Wakefield." Bankers: Bank of Liverpool, Ltd. (Bradford).

Grace's Guide Grace's Guide: Alfred Haley and Co
Grace's Guide 1914 Who's Who in Business: Company H

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Walton near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.