100 Items About the Museum and Huddersfield – 11 to 20

11. Foundation Stone from a prison.

This stone was the foundation stone of a prison which may have been in Bull and Mouth Lane, Huddersfield. When the prison was demolished this stone was saved and installed on a wall of a shop near the site. It was later removed to the Museum and can now be found on the rear outdoor wall. (Tolson was never a prison!)

12. Sir John Ramsden, at the laying of the cornerstone of the Victoria Jubilee Tower 1898 (Advertiser Press Ltd).

Sir John Ramsden (1831 – 1914) was MP for the West Riding (1859 – 65). John William Street was named after him.

His ancestors, who were either named John or William, bought Huddersfield from Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1599 and were lords of the manor. They were granted the Huddersfield Market Charter in 1689. His great-grandfather Sir John Ramsden (1698 – 1769) built the Cloth hall in 1766 and his widow had the Broad Canal constructed which was opened in 1780 and named after him.

The family owned Longley Hall (now privately owned) and built new Longley Hall (now a school which I attended in the 1950s). The Ramsden Estate was purchased by Huddersfield Council in 1920 and subsequently taken over by Kirklees Council. Kirklees Council sold the estate to a London company.

13. Spring Wood hoard.

Tolson Memorial Museum

Where would you hide your money when on the run? A soldier escaping after the Civil War chose Spring Wood, Magdale, Huddersfield. Was he subsequently killed or forgot where he stashed it? We shall never know but Mr Hinchcliffe out walking in 1897 in these lovely woods made this amazing discovery – a hoard of 81 coins dating from 1550 – 1641.

14. Tender Posts. Cloth stretch on a frame.

The producing of cloth was a complex process which changed over the years. At one time In the process the wet cloth was stretched on tender posts. They consisted of a row of posts with their ‘distinctive cut-outs’ to take the wooden frames. These can still be seen surviving on Ware House Hill in Marsden. To the wooden frame, long cloth pieces were fastened by ‘tender hooks’ to dry and be gradually stretched to the correct width and length.

Many place-names mark the sites of tenter-fields such as Tender Hill Deighton and Tender – Gate Paddock. The phrase of being on ‘tender- hooks’ comes from this process.

15. Woodsome Panels.

The Kaye family owned Woodsome Hall, now a golf club, and it has been said that ‘a finer Tudor house, it would be difficult to find’. The Kaye family owned the manors of Farnley Tyas and Slaithwaite and built and developed this house. John and Dorothy Kaye who lived there in the 16th century had themselves painted in all their finery on these wooden panels. They also include their ancestors on the paintings.

These panels are one of the 10 treasures in Tolson Memorial Museum. You can still enjoy the experience of dining in the great hall, which I have done several times.

16. Carding, another step in the history of textiles.

The first stage in the making of cloth is to take the wool from the sheep and beat it. This wool is then ‘teased’ by working it between two hand cards and this process is called carding.

The cards are two wire brushes about 12″ by 5″, one was held in each hand, and pulled across the wool. This is done until the wool becomes a ‘flossy rope like sliver’. This was frequently done by children.

The process eventually became mechanised and carried out in scribbling mills.

17. Weaver’s Cottage.

The weaver’s cottage in the 19th Century in this area usually had a spinning wheel. There was no running water and light was provided by candle. Food was cooked on the fire, which also provided warmth in the cottage.

There are many weaver’s cottages in the countryside in the Huddersfield area. Hidden in this room are several ‘visitors’ for you to find.

18. Saddle Stones.

These are to be found outside to the rear of the Tolson Memorial Museum. On these stones, which were found in Thurstonland, you would have found a barn or hayrick. They were placed on stones to keep them dry and prevent vermin getting at their contents.

The barn or hayrick is portable so if the owner had to move house he could take his barn with him! Useful if you were a tenant.

19. Pack Horse Trail.

Picture in the Transport Gallery

Pictured are two gentlemen taking cloth on pack horses to market to sell. Highways and lanes were poor in the whole district. In the 17th century tracks were laid down with stone so that a horse ridden or laden would be able to progress whatever the weather. Called causeys, these single width stone ways can still be seen and walked in this area; sometimes just pathways but in other places at the side of roads.

20. Cloth Hall Tower.

Huddersfield had a huge circular Cloth Hall built by Sir John Ramsden in 1776. It was at the top of Cloth Hall Street where the Sainsbury store is today. The Cloth Hall was opened every Tuesday morning and closed at 12.30. It had 150 stalls and over 500 clothiers would buy and sell there.

Sadly the Cloth Hall was demolished in 1930. Had it been retained it could have rivalled Piece Hall! Bricks from, the main entrance, pillars from the inside and the cloth tower and cupola were taken and rebuilt in Ravensknowle Park.