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A potted history of Cridling Stubbs


The earliest full record of the area is in the Domesday Survey of 1086, which was commissioned by William the Conqueror.  Neighbouring Womersley (spelt Wilmersleye) is described as being a village of 18 families but there is no mention of Cridling Stubbs which suggests the area was still covered by woodland.  Around 1327 Queen Isabella, “the she-wolf of France” thought to have ordered the murder of her husband Edward, is described as owning Wood Hall and also the adjacent Cridling Park.


Cridling was probably derived from a person’s name, e.g. Cridela’s or Creodela’s place.  Stubbs is associated with a clearing where tree stumps remain.  Cobcroft could be interpreted in a variety of ways, a great man, male swan, horse or, possibly the most likely, from a hazel nut.


The first national census was taken on 6/7 June 1841.  Cridling Stubbs then had a population of 159 including 15 individuals who were enumerated on barges, boats or other small vessels. More census details here soon…


Commercial directories were published which described village traders, services and prominent people. They were forerunners of the modern telephone directory.


A trade directory of 1838 describes Cridling Stubbs as 4 miles east of Pontefract with 118 inhabitants and 1,380 acres of land partly belonging to Sidney College, Cambridge.  John Ingle lived at the Manor House. He was a lime, bone and cake merchant.  William Appleby ran the beer house and Richard Cook, Catherine Crossland and John Milward were farmers.


Kelly’s Directory of 1858 is a little more forthcoming with geographical details. Cridling Stubbs is said to be 2 miles north by west from Womersley Church, 168 from London and 4 east from Pontefract and the soil belongs to Sidney College, Cambridge. The 1851 population is stated as being 139.  John Catley and Charles Ingle were listed as farmers.  Pontefract was described as the nearest money order office from where letters came.


A directory of 1861 describes the ever present Ingle family represented by farmer/ lime merchant Edward Ingle.  John Catley, farmer, features once more. Total population was 154.


The directory of 1867 lists Edward Ingle as farmer & lime merchant, John Coward, farmer at Cobcroft and John Catley, still a farmer.


The 1877 directory describes a small iron Mission Church and also a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel both erected in 1876 in the village. It states that a Board School is in the process of being built, the rateable value of the village is £2,282 and the population in 1871 was 297.  Trade seems to have been benefiting from the rapidly increasing population.  As well as the usual farmers listed in previous years, there were lots of other people.  John Foulstone, cow keeper, Charles Henry Leng, smith, Newsome Lodge, carpenter, Charles Morley, gardener and John Turner, beer retailer.


In 1881 the population was 200.  The directory for 1888 describes how the Board School was erected in 1878, for 50 children.  However, the average attendance was only 34.  Letters for Spring Lodge and Cridling Stubbs go via Knottingley.  The wall letter box  at Cridling Stubbs is cleared in winter at 4.30pm and in summer at 5.30pm.


The following people are listed –

Thomas Beal, farmer, John Catley, farmer

Fredk Huddleston, farmer at Cobcroft

John William Ingle, beer retailer and grocer

Charles Henry Leng, smith

Newsome Lodge, carpenter & wheelwright

Benjamin Mollett, farmer

William Roberts, lime burner.


Sculptured Stone at Far Park Farm


The Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal Vol X1 of 1891 states “Far Park House has a unique crucifixion scene which must be 700 years old.  It is in a garden wall of good limestone. Built approximately 1180-1220 in the time Of King Richard 1.  It is difficult to account for its presence – it is not a religious establishment”.


According to the present owners of Far Park Farm, this artefact was removed quite a few years ago to Darrington Churchyard.




The population in 1891 was 210.  The attendance average at the school had greatly improved from 34 to 40 pupils and JW Ingle was recorded as clerk and attendance officer.  For the first time the Ancient Shepherd public house is listed along with the following – George Coward, farm bailiff to Mr Rhodes, Manor House

Mrs Ann Eccles, farmer

Fredk Huddleston, farmer at Cobcroft

John William Ingle, proprietor of the Ancient Shepherd and grocer

Charles Henry Leng, smith

Newsome Lodge, carpenter and wheelwright

William Henry Mollett, farmer, Cridling Park

William Roberts, lime burner

William Wilton, farmer.




The iron Mission Church was redecorated in 1896 when a new dossal (an ornamental hanging) and altar frontal were presented by the Countess of Rosse (from Womersley Park).  This chapel could seat 70 people.  John Rhodes esq. of Bradford was Lord of the Manor.  Limestone quarries were worked by Messrs Edward Ingle & Son. The population in 1901 was 211.  School Attendance Officer was Arthur Birtwhistle; the school teacher was Arthur Austerberry and average attendance 52 (the school could accommodate 65 children by then). Commercial entries were as follows -

Christopher Bealby, farmer bailiff to Mr Rhodes, Manor House

William Beaumont, shopkeeper

Mrs Ann Eccles, farmer

Arthur Turner Huddlestone, Ancient Shepherd public house

Fredk Huddlestone, farmer of Cobcroft

Edward Ingle & Son, lime burners and merchants & corn factors, ground agricultural lime works & at Knottingley

George Alfred Ingle, lime burner and farmer

Newsome Lodge, carpenter and wheelwright

Joseph Scholey, farmer Park

William Thompson, farmer,

Frederick Threadgould, blacksmith.




The population in 1921 was 212.  Miss Martha Ellen Turner was the schoolmistress.  Northfield House is described, for the first time, as a private residence of George Ingle.


Commercial entries were-

George Brealey, bailiff to John Rhodes Esq. Manor House

Thomas William Hobson, shopkeeper

Frank Huddlestone, Ancient Shepherd

Frank Huddlestone, farmer, Cridling Farm

Edward Ingle & Son, lime burners

David Jaggar, farmer

George Metcalfe, farmer

Joseph Scholey, farmer, Park

Frank Sellars, farmer

William Wiseman Thompson, farmer




Private Residents

George Ingle, Northfield House



George Brealey, farm bailiff to John Rhodes esq, Manor House

Thos Wm Hobson, shopkeeper

Frank Huddlestone, Ancient Shepherd

Edward Ingle & Sons, lime burners

David Jaggar, farmer

Thos Metcalfe, farmer

Joseph Scholey, Park

Frank Sellars, farmer

Wm Wiseman Thompson, farmer

Public Elementary School (mixed) for 72 children

Miss Martha Ellen Turner, Mistress





Population 211


Robert Edward Ingle was living at Northfield House. Commercial entries were –

Richard Addy, shopkeeper (possibly at end of Wrights Lane near West View)

William Hardwick, Ancient Shepherd

Frank Huddlestone, farmer, Cridling farm, Knottingley 99X*

Harry Hudson, farmer

Edward Ingle & Son, lime burners.  Knottingley 99Y*

George Metcalfe, farmer

Mrs Thomas Metcalfe, farmer

George Milman, farmer, Manor House

Joseph Scholey, farmer of 150 acres or over, Cridling Park

Frank Sellars, farmer

William Wiseman Thompson, farmer of 150 acres or over, Cridling Park. Knottingley* 106

 * These seem to be telephone numbers.


Some local Cridling Stubbs memories


(can we have some more please?)


“The cricket team played in the field behind the pub”


“Arthur Downham (previous owner of Darrington Quarries Ltd) sold logs from Fern Cottage”


“The Johnson's had a fish shop and general store”


“There was another shop which sold confectionery where the cats slept in the bun trays”


“There were about 6 houses down Chapel Yard”