Shadwell News

Gloria Ford

0113 266 3883

Shadwell Historical Society: Robert Dyson led the group of 40 on a history walk around Shadwell on Friday, after a depressing day weather-wise it was a lovely evening for a walk. They started at the library and Robert gave a brief out line of the history of the library which had started as a farm house, then became a Methodist chapel when in 1794 a certificate was granted to Matthew Dodgson, farmer, to hold meetings in his farmhouse. Matthew Dodgson, his family and three other people are actually buried under the grassed area beside the library. In 1891 a piece of land opposite was sold to the Methodists in to build a new chapel. The chapel was built with some stone from Hobberley Quarry and the new chapel was opened in October 1892. Moving on from the library the next stop was Collier’s Lane which boasts the best view in Shadwell across the fields. Robert explained that the fields had been farmed by villagers in the ancient strip system before the land was enclosed by the landowner. Then it was on to Holywell Lane. The stone terrace houses in Holywell Lane had been built during the period 1830 till 1850 when the Irish navvies were digging out Eccup reservoir. The conditions in the cottages must have been pretty grim with several families living in one house. There was no mains water or sanitation so it must have been quite smelly. The present recreation centre in Holywell Lane started its life as a scout hut and was used by them for many years: the dramatic society, Shadwell Players held their meetings there every week and performed two or three plays each year. When the hall became in need of much repair work being carried out the scouts and drama group moved out. Since then a lot of money has been spent on it and with the help of the parish council it is now as busy as ever. Walking up the rest of Holywell Lane the group were shown what is believed to be the site of the old well, Robert explained that the names well and spring are interchangeable and there is definite evidence of a spring but not a well as we imagine one. There was a stone trough in the lane and the spring water was piped into this. There is also a spring in the garden of Spencer House which never dries up so either of these places could be the site of the Shadwell Holywell. The last two stops on the walk were Temperance Cottage and Dan Quarry. The Temperance had been a Temperance hotel a popular meeting place for the villagers. The big room at the back was used as a dance hall and there were also wrestling matches held there. The field behind was an excellent venue for Sunday school outings where they were able to run races and have Sunday school picnics. During the Second World War the Temperance Cottage became the A.R.P. Centre for the village and used to have a plaque on the wall referring to this. The stone in Dan Quarry had been used for the building of several of the large houses in the area. After all the walking everyone was happy to arrive at the Red Lion for a meal and something to drink.