from The Barwicker No.46
June 1997

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In a previous article (see 'The Barwicker' No.45), it was shown that the medieval territory of Woodhouse in the manor of Barwick became deserted, probably in the 16th century as a result of the enclosure of its open fields. It remained in its depopulated state for two centuries or more. George Denison Lumb's 'Wills, Registers and Monumental Inscriptions of Barwick-in-Elmet' makes no reference to Woodhouse until 1782, when the burial of a woman called Jane Carlin is noted. The land in Woodhouse at that time still belonged to the Ellis family, formerly of Kiddal Hall. Perhaps more significant than a burial is the birth in 1788 of Edward, son of John and Sarah Brogden (nŠe Marshall) of Woodhouse, farmer, who had married in Barwick in 1787 The birth of a baby there signifies the return of life to this long deserted place. The farm was not named but later references show that it was Woodhouse Farm, which must have been built about this time.

Lumb's 'Records', especially the baptism entries, enable us to identify the tenant farmers at Woodhouse for a century or more. John and Sarah Brogden had another son John baptised in 1792 and then they then moved to a farm in Morwick. They were replaced at Woodhouse by John Wetherill, a farmer, and his wife Sarah, who had a son John in 1793 and a daughter Hannah in 1795. By 1797 they had left for a farm at Whinmoor Stile. At that time, William Burnhill, a farmer, and his wife Ann were living at Woodhouse. They had two sons, Thomas baptised in 1800 and John in 1802.

It was a time of significant change in the locality. The Barwick Enclosure Award of 1804 made no mention of Woodhouse, confirming that the land had been enclosed at an earlier date. In the same year Woodhouse Farm had a new owner. Ellis Burroughes, who had inherited the Kiddal estate, from his mother Elizabeth Maria Burroughes (nŠe Ellis), sold it to Edward Wilkinson of Potterton for the sum of £10,500. The estate measured 314 acres and was clearly the lands of Kiddal Hall Farm and Woodhouse Farm.

Both this sale and the enclosure award are anticipated in the Barwick Valuation Book of 1803. The owner of the farm is given as Edward Wilkinson and the tenant is Willliam Burnill. The farm consisted of the 20 numbered and named parcels of land listed opposite, with their acreages and annual values. The field names are clearly of recent origin. Each piece of land is labelled with an initial letter or letters, which indicate the use to which the land was put, that is a & m (arable and meadow?), P (pasture), Ar (arable) and F (Fallow?).
No. Name Use Contents
Annual value
558 Rakehill a.&.m 5.1.39 4. 2. 5
559 Six acres Ar 6.2.33 4.16. 0
567 House, yard, etc. -. 3. 0 1.10. 0
568 House Close P 8.3.39 6. 5.11
569 Soupasture P 4.3.39 3. 9.11
570 Old Pasture P 5.2.35 3. 8. 6
571 do. do. P. 4.1.30 2.13. 3
572 Ing a&m 4.0. 2 3. 0. 2
573 Four Acres Ar 4.0.14 3. 1. 3
574 Nine Acres Ar 8.2.36 6.10. 8
575 Four Acres F 4.3.32 3. 8. 6
576 Eight Acres F 7.3.34 5.11. 6
577 Ing a&m 5.2. 5 4. 2.11
578 Twelve Acres F 11.2.27 8.15. 0
579 Rakehill F 6.0.29 5.11. 3
580 do. Ar 6.1.21 4.15. 6
581 Four Acres Ar 4.1.32 3. 6. 9
582 Crabtree Close Ar 6.3. 2 5. 8. 2
583 Ing Ar 4.2. 5 3. 7 11
584 Slater Close Ar 3.3.36 4.15. 8

The total contents measured 118a.1r.1p. and the total annual value was £87.19.3. It was a mix of arable and grassland common in farms at that time. No contemporary map or plan exists to locate this land but it seems likely that it was similar to that shown in later surveys.

Lumb's 'Records' show that William and Ann Burnill had by 1804 moved to a farm in Barwick. They were replaced at Woodhouse by Robert Dutton, a farmer, and his wife Elizabeth, whose son George was baptised in 1806 and daughter Mary in 1810. Soon afterwards the Duttons moved on.

Lumb's 'Records' and their invaluable index end in 1812 but the parish records have been copied onto microfiche at Sheepscar and have been used to continue the story of the Woodhouse tenant farmers. The Duttons were replaced by Edward and Mary Stead who had a daughter Elizabeth baptised in 1814, followed by a son Richard in 1815. Another daughter Elizabeth was baptised in 1816 probably following the death of the elder girl and another daughter Catherine followed in 1817.

The hit-or-miss method of identifying the Woodhouse tenants from the parish records is shown by the fact that only two baptisms are recorded at Woodhouse in the next 30 years; Jane, daughter of William and Elizabeth Tomlinson, in 1831 and Mary, daughter of George and Rachel Spence, in 1832. Both Wiliam Tomlinson and George Spence are described as labourers which leads one to wonder if the farm was being run by the landlord's agent with the help of labourers living at the farm.

The insufficent data given in the Barwick census returns of 1841 make it impossible to pick out Woodhouse Farm. In the returns of 1851, the farm is not named but it can be identified as the next entry to the Half Way House (now Flying Horse Farm). Nicholas Tilney aged 60 and born in Barwick was the tenant and is described as a farmer of 117 acres employing one labourer. His wife Grace was 60 and born in Church Fenton. Their son John aged 19 and employed on the farm was born in Leeds. Also living at the farm were George Child aged 19, a (farm?) servant born in Barwick, and Emma Wood, aged 16, a house servant born in Milford.

The 1857 directory lists John Greenwood as a farmer of Winmoor and this seems likely to refer to Woodhouse as he was there at the time of the 1861 census. He was 53 and is described as a farmer of 124 acres and born in Walshford. His wife Jane was also 53 and born in Green Hammerton. Also living there was William Holmes, a plough boy aged 15 born in Rigton East.

The Barwick Valuation Book of 1862 gives a comprehensive picture of all the land holdings in the township. Woodhouse Farm is included in the Wilkinson lands and John Greenwood is the tenant. There was a farmhouse, barn, stables, cowhouse, sheds, yards and garden. There are 24 numbered and named parcels of land (listed opposite with their uses, contents and estimated value).

There have been some changes from the 1803 list. The total extent has grown from 118 to 124 acres and the number of parcels of land from 20 to 24. There have been some changes in the internal divisions within the farmland. Given that another survey would have produced some slight changes in acreage, it would appear that about two thirds of the 1803 closes remain. We do not yet know the origin of the name Isott. The positions of the parcels of land can be traced from a plan of the Barwick land holdings dated 1870, which shows them to be similar to those shown in later more accurate maps.

The uses of some of the closes have changed. The total for each use is: Grass (25 acres), Arable and grass (14 acres) and Arable (83 acres). The proportion of between a quarter and a third grassland was about normal for a mixed farm of the period in this locality.

Kelly's Directory of 1867 lists William Ralph Wilkinson, farmer of , Winmoor but this clearly relates to Woodhouse. The 1871 census records him there, a farmer of 124 acres, aged 40 and born at Scarborough. He was the eldest child of Matthew Wilkinson of Rectory Farm, Barwick, who married, as his second wife, Sarah the daughter of his neighbour William Thompson, a farmer of Main street. They had five daughters incuding Amelia who was a school mistress at Barwick School for many years. William Ralph Wilkinson married Frances, another daughter of William Thompson and so became his father's brother-in-law.
No. Name
495 Farmhouse etc. 0.1.13 9.12. 0
494 Garth Grass 0.2. 0 0.10. 0
490 Low Home Meadow Grass 5.0.13 3. 0.11
496 Home Meadow Ar & grass 8.3. 9 7. 0.11
496a Stripe Ar & grass 0.3. 0 -
497 Rough Close Grass 5.2.35 2.14.10
498 do. do. Arable 4.1.19 3. 9.10
463 Corner Close Grass 1.1.10 1. 1. 0
464 Long Tongue Grass 3.3.31 3.18.11
499 Part of House Close Arable 2.2. 5 2. 2. 6
500 Wood Close Grass 4.2.25 4. 1.11
501 Four Acres Grass 4.1. 2 3. 8. 2
502 Eight Acres Arable 8.3.16 7. 1. 7
503 Four Acres Arable 5.0. 6 4. 0. 7
504 Eight Acres Arable 8.0.17 6. 9. 8
505 Newsham Flatt Ar & grass 4.2.39 3.15.10
506 New Flatt and part of Close House Arable 8.0. 3 7. 7. 6
507 First Isott Flatt Arable 6.2.31 5.17.10
512 Second Isott Flatt Arable 4.1.25 3.17. 7
513 Third Isott Flatt Arable 6.2. 0 5.14. 5
508 Twelve Acres Arable 11.2.30 9. 7. 0
509 Little Beck Arable 6.2.20 5. 6. 0
510 First Beck Close Arable 5.1. 3 4.12. 9
511 Second Beck Close Arable 5.3.16 5.12. 3
Total content 124a.0r.6p
Gross Estimated Rental £110.4s.0d

In 1871, William Ralph Wilkinson and his wife Frances, who was 38, had nine children living with them, Louise (17), Henry (15), Richard (10), William (8), Matthew (6), Thomas (5), James Edward (2), Frederick (1) and Elizabeth (3 months). All were born in Barwick parish except Richard and William who were born in Seacroft. Also living at the farm were two farm servamts, John Charles Robshaw aged 21 and George Abbott aged 14, both born in Barwick. Mary Townsend aged 20, a servant born in Methley, and Susan Spence aged 11, a nurse born on Aberford, made up the large household. William Ralph Wilkinson is listed at Woodhouse in Porter's Directory of 1872.

Directories of 1875, 1877 and 1878 show John Bedford, farmer, at Woodhouse Farm. The 1881 census returns for the area are very difficult to decipher but it is likely that the occupant at the time was William Green, aged 53 and a farmer of 119 acres. He lived with his wife Ann (52) and their children Hannah (21), Peter (19), William (17), Keith (14) and Grace (11), who is described as a scholar. All members of the family were born in Thorner.

The 1881 and 1887 directories have no entries for Woodhouse but the latter shows Joseph and Sam Jagger as a farmers on Whinmoor. This perhaps refers to Woodhouse Farm as the 1891 census shows that Tom Jagger, perhaps a relative of the above, was farming at Woodhouse. He was 30 years of age and was born at Brighouse. His wife Emily was 26 and was born in Hoylandswaine. They had three children, all born in Barwick parish, Florence (3), William (2) and Catherine (3 months). In addition, three unmarried farm servants lived at the farm, Edward Lyman, aged 36 and born in Suffolk, George Britton (18), born in Leeds, and Alfred Hardy (16) born in Tadcaster.

Kelly's 1904 Directory lists John Robinson Brown as the tenant at Woodhouse. At that time he was aged ahout 59 so it is likely that he had been there for some time. He was a staunch Methodist and was on the Barwick Chapel Trustees List of 1907. The late Carrie Prince related how he used to walk to the chapel from the farm across what she called the 'bad field' off Rakehill Road.

In 1917, Rev Bathurst George Wilkinson put up for auction his estates at Potterton, Kiddal and Woodhouse. The sale catalogue gives comprehensive information about the farm and the land. Lot 3 is named as Woodhouse Farm and the tenant was John Robinson Brown. The lot comprised:

'The Farm House containing on the ground floor two Living Rooms, Kitchen, Wash Kitchen, and Dairy, and on the first floor three Bedrooms, Man's Room and bacon chamber.'  
'The Farm Buildings comprise a Large Barn, Blacksmith's Shop, Shed, Cattle Sheds, Two Stables, Fotherum, Boxes, Hen House with Chambers over, Chop Place and Mistal for 20 beasts. Chop was a mixture if finely cut hay and straw use for feeding horses.  

Woodhouse Farm showing the field divisions in 1917

There were 14 named parcels of land, numbered as on the 25" Ordnance Survey map of 1891 and shown opposite. The list is given below:

No. Name State Quantity (acres)
645 Buildings, yard, garden and garth 1.154
635 Low Home Meadow Grass 5.201
643 Home Meadow Grass 8.794
642 Rough Piece Grass 5.932
641 ditto Grass 4.468
638 Long Tongue Grass 5.290
688 Wood Close Grass 12.083
644 Four Acres Grass 4.607
687 Twelve Acres Grass 14.057
686 Eight Acres Arable 8.073
694 Issot and Low Flat Arable 31.298
693 Third Issot FlatArable 6.788
696 Little Beck Close Arable6.655
695 First and Second DittoArable11.540

The annual rent was £101. The total area of land had increased slightly to 126.14 acres, although the number of parcels of land had reduced from 24 to 14. Almost all of the field names listed are present in the 1862 survey. Only about half of these kept their 1861 acreage, the others having been augmented by parts or the whole of other pieces of land. Would this involve removal of the internal boundaries or hedgerows? Perhaps the biggest change was in land use. Almost half the land was then under grass showing that pasturing of cattle for milk and/or beef was an important aspect of the farming there.

We do not know if the farm was sold at this time but in later years it was in the ownership of Mr Joss Rayner of York Road. John Robinson Brown died in 1927 aged 75 and is buried with his wife Sarah in Barwick churchyard. His son Fred Brown continued to farm at Woodhouse. He died in 1936 aged 61 and is buried with his wife Martha in the same grave as his parents.

After Fred Brown's death the farm was bought by Hindell's Dairies of Leeds but in the early 1950s the owners were Craven Dairies. They owned much land in the area in addition to Woodhouse Farm, including Flying Horse Farm, Kiddal Hall, Woodland Farm and also property in Sherburn-in-Elmet. The manager was Tom Jeffries, who lived at Flying Horse Farm, and a stockman called Marshall lived at Woodhouse Farm. It was predominantly a dairy farm.

Craven Dairies was transformed into the retail giant ASDA and in 1961, Woodhouse Farm was sold to FR Evans of Leeds. Mr Wesley Pounder farmed there and we are grateful to him for supplying much of this later information about farming at Woodhouse. In 1963 he moved to Flying Horse Farm where he and his wife have lived ever since but he continued to farm at Woodhouse, a stockman called Beevors living in the house. It was mainly dairy farming with a herd of about 200 cows on the two farms.

Woodhouse Farm was bought in 1980 by the Butt family. A year or two later most of the land was sold to John Wilson of Swillington. Mrs Butt remains at Woodhouse Farm House which has undergone alterations and renovations, with extended living quarters. She has 30 acres of land and stables for about a dozen horses. The farmland is now used mainly to grow cereals to fatten cattle for the Wilson retail butchering business.

Most of the internal hedges of the farm land have been removed, which gives this ancient farming area a very different appearance from that of former years.


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