Methodists & Methodism Washburn Valley – Norwood/Havarrah Park to West End

By Stanley Merridew

North Yorkshire Record Office holds Pateley Bridge Circuit records which cover the chapels from Brown Bank to West End. These include baptism records from 1825 to 1961.  All the chapels are together in each volume but the place of residence is shown.

Norwood/Havarrah Park

Known as Brown Bank, this chapel was situated off Watson’s Lane, now a private house.  Northallerton record office have a copy of the Sunday School register 1941-1979. Several names are shown on the Wesleyan Roll:  Darnbrook,  Grange, McKenzie, Gill, Hobson, Hutton


The chapel opened as early as 1763 and was enlarged in 1894 when there were 26 members.  It closed in 1959, also now a private house.  Marriage records 1908-1943 at are held at Northallerton.  At NYRO I came across a list of seat rents for 1910 which mentions the following names:

Mr H Beecroft, John Beecroft, James Hart, Mrs Luty, Mr T Newall, Mrs Patten, Miss J Pennington, Mr F Pennington, R Pennington, Mrs Umpleby, T Varley, Mr W Yeadon.   The only names shown for Fewston on the Wesleyan Roll are John Myers & J Bramley.

Hardisty Hill

The chapel, situated on a lane just to the east of Hardisty Hill opened in 1838 and closed in 1994. 

There was also a Reading Room until relatively recently at the foot of Hardisty Hill.  The North Yorkshire Record Office holds a copy of the Sunday School register, attendances shown below:

John W Andrew 1896 to 1898            Dewhirst Beecroft 1909 to 1911

William Beecroft 1895 to 1897 & 1909 to 1911     James E Gill 1892

George Hardcastle 1892 to 1895         Charles Harrison 1897 to 1898

Richard Knowles 1910 to 1911           Andrew Maud 1893

Bradley Maud 1895 to 1898               Titus Maud 1894 to 1895

Ethel Maud 1897 to 1898                   Lucy Maud 1895 to 1898

Emily Neal 1896 to 1898                   Annie L Newall 1909

Annie M Watkinson 1894 to 1896      Richard Watkinson 1895 to 1896

Charles Watkinson 1895 to 1897                          

Five members of the Gill family contributed to the Wesleyan Roll ( 20th Century Fund), Michael, John , Wilks, Sarah & Esther.

West End

Taken at the centenary celebration in 1936

An article in the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer 12th May 1962 regarding the above chapel,  just before closure, states it opened in 1836 and was built on land previously owned by John Hall of Thruscross.  The chapel was located at the top of Clogger Lane.   Some of the families involved in the past are mentioned: Newbould, Wigglesworth, Gill, Bulmer, Metcalf & Verity.  It also states that the tea at the Centenary was served by Mrs F Nelson, Mrs Wood, Mrs Newbould, Mrs J Verity, Mrs V Verity, Mrs Smith, Mrs G Marshall, Miss S Peel, Miss S Walker.

There was also a Primitive Methodist chapel.  From documents of a land sale held by Mikki French, one of her ancestors, Godfrey Horsman  of West End, sold to Joshua Hardisty (cordwainer), Joseph Dinsdale (linen weaver), James Fryer (flaxdresser), Thomas Shepherd (weaver) all of Thruscross, Joseph Stott (farmer), Francis Sutcliffe (miller), both of Stonebeckdown & John Watson (wheelwright) of Stonebeckup in 1929  a plot of land for the purpose of building a Primitive Methodist Chapel.  The document states the plot of land was close to Holmefield and Brecks Lane.  This site was, I believe just north of the present Reservoir Road.  The building was sold in 1902, so I assume the two congregations came together.  See the first paragraph regarding baptism records.

Just two names appear on the Wesleyan Roll: Enoch Garth & John Verity.

In an account book dated 1811 there is a list of where collections were received.  At this early date many of the chapels were not in existence and these may have been house meetings.  Amongst the places mentioned, Bramley Head and Bramelane are shown.  The Wesleyan Chapel at West End (opened 1836) was close to Bramley Head and Bramelane is near to Brown Bank.   .       

A list of Circuit members dated 1838 for each chapel within the Pateley Bridge Circuit: 

BlubberhousesIsabellaCadmanBrown BankJohnRenton
BlubberhousesJamesChildBrown BankDinahRenton
BlubberhousesMargaretChildBrown BankThomasRobinson
BlubberhousesThomasElliotBrown BankThomasSimpson
BlubberhousesAnnElliotBrown BankMaryStockdale
BlubberhousesMatildaElliotBrown BankGraceStubbs
BlubberhousesHannahKeswickBrown BankSarahThackrey
BlubberhousesEllenLawyerBrown BankJosephTodd
BlubberhousesRobertMetcalfeBrown BankElizaTodd
BlubberhousesJohnNewellBrown BankHannahTurner
BlubberhousesSusannahNewellBrown BankWilliamTurner
BlubberhousesMargaretSunterBrown BankElizabethWhitaker (child)
BlubberhousesEllenTerryBrown BankJonathanWhitaker |(child)
BlubberhousesJohnThackrayBrown BankHannahWilson
BlubberhousesMaryThackrayBrown BankRobertWilson
BlubberhousesMaryWebbBrown BankBenjaminWilson
Brown BankJosephAinsworthFewstonAnnBramley
Brown BankJonathanAndrews (child)FewstonMaryBramley
Brown BankHannahBoltonFewstonMaryBuck
Brown BankHannahBoltonFewstonElizabethBuck
Brown BankRobertBramleyFewstonSarahBuck
Brown BankHannahBramleyFewstonSusannahBuck
Brown BankJohnBramleyFewstonHannahDemaine
Brown BankWilliamBroadbeltFewstonMarkDemaine
Brown BankSarahBroadbeltFewstonMatthewDemaine
Brown BankMaryDarnbrookFewstonJaneDickinson
Brown BankAnnDarnbrookFewstonElizabethDunwell
Brown BankMaryDibbFewstonThomasElison
Brown BankThomasDriverFewstonMaryElison
Brown BankMaryDriverFewstonGeorgeHardy
Brown BankAnnEmsleyFewstonHenryJackson
Brown BankCharlesEmsleyFewstonHannahMorris
Brown BankMary AnnEmsleyFewstonThomasPeel
Brown BankHannahFerndaleFewstonSusannahPeel
Brown BankJosephGrangeFewstonSamuel 
Brown BankWilliamGreenFewstonElizabethReed
Brown BankDanielGreenFewstonJosephSettle
Brown BankSamuelHudsonWest EndElizabethAbbot
Brown BankMaryHudsonWest EndWalterBuckle
Brown BankJosephIrishWest EndSarahBuckle
Brown BankBenjaminJacksonWest EndEllenGarrs
Brown BankJosephJacksonWest EndAnthonyGarth
Brown BankElizabethJacksonWest EndStephenHardisty
Brown BankHenryJacksonWest EndSarahHolmes
Brown BankMaryJacksonWest EndEllenHolmes
Brown BankWilliamMargerisonWest EndElizabethImeson
Brown BankThomasMoonWest EndBettyImeson
Brown BankWilliamMoonWest EndAnnMyers
Brown BankJanePeelWest EndMarthaNewbould
Brown BankRobertPeelWest EndEmmanuelShepherd
Brown BankJosephRawsonWest EndElizabethWaite
Brown BankSusannahRawsonWest EndAmeliaWilkinson
Brown BankSusannahRawson   

I assume those headed under “Blubberhouses” refers to Hardisty Hill Chapel.

At the archives there is also a Society Roll Book dated 1931. 

Washburn Valley takes at last to Football

Yorkshire Post 13th Nov 1948

For as long as anyone can recall most of the young men from the Washburn Valley have spent their Saturday afternoons visiting shops and cinemas in Harrogate and Otley.  Tomorrow eleven of them will come together to play in a football match – probably the first ever staged in this valley of the reservoirs.

They will wear black and white jerseys because some of the team thought they were the colour of Arsenal.  After the match they will drink tea made on a stove in the Parochial Hall with water carried two hundred yards from the Post Office.

There are 24 men and boys in the football club but there were fewer than 24 names on the list that were sent to the selectors.  That was because there is a ploughing match at Kettlesing tomorrow.  Some of those hoping to play football will be ploughing instead.   The ploughing match will go on for five Saturdays.  The football team wonder how long they will be able to carry on if ploughing continues to attract players away.

This is the team for the first match against Pool Reserves:

B Newbould (joiner) A Armitage (joiner) L Spence (farmer) C Lancaster (reservoir worker) J H Noble (head forester & captain) F Beecroft (farmer) R M—? (ex German POW & farm worker) E Spence (mason’s labourer) W Ellison (schoolboy) J Marsland (driver) K Boyce (electrician).

Wilson Ellison is the youngest player – 15 and Jock Noble is the eldest – “into his thirties.”  Mr Armitage, husband of the Postmistress, said “I played rugby for 10 years when I lived at Horsforth but the last time I played football was two years ago in Burma.”  Twenty five year old Eric Spence said, “Apart from the war, I have always in the valley.  I was 18 when I went into the Army.  Up to then I had never played in a football match and never seen one.  I had heard a few broadcasts.”  The Vicar of Fewston, Rev. H Clegg, started the club, has received a letter from P.C. John W Heley of Halifax Borough Police who was formerly Fewston’s policeman, he sent them this message: “It is an amazing achievement.  Aston Villa were formed under a street lamp, anything can happen.”

No one can estimate what size the crowd will be.  If everyone in Fewston, Timble, Blubberhouses and Norwood (which covers 43 sq miles) came along the re could only be 470 spectators.

Blubberhouses Methodist Sunday School Register


John W Andrew 1896 to 1898  

Dewhirst Beecroft 1909 to 1911

William Beecroft 1895 to 1897             

James E Gill 1892

George Hardcastle 1892 to 1895         

Charles Harrison 1897 to 1898

Richard Knowles 1910 to 1911

Andrew Maud 1893

Bradley Maud 1895 to 1898      

Titus Maud 1894 to 1895

Ethel Maud 1897 to 1898                                  

Lucy Maud 1895 to 1898

Emily Neal 1896 to 1898                        

Annie L Newall 1909

Annie M Watkinson 1894 to 1896       

Richard Watkinson 1895 to 1896

Charles Watkinson 1895 to 1897