A history of Yorkshire in 70 objects – the items which just missed out
PUBLISHED: 15:27 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:11 15 June 2016
Additional items from our history of Yorkshire in 70 objects project
History of Yorkshire extra
Curling on Gouthwaite Reservoir and Glasshouse Dam in Nidderdale was a popular sport in the winters of the late 19th and early 20th century but the glacial temperatures that lead to water being frozen hard and long enough such as when the River Nidd froze for several weeks in 1875 have become more rare. This polished granite curling stone is one of a set of four used by the Pateley Bridge Curling Club until 1929; the stones were then hidden in four feet of water in the Boat House at Glasshouses. The club folded citing a lack of members and insufficient prolonged spells of cold weather to keep water surfaces frozen long enough for the game to be played. Nidderdale Museum, The Old Workhouse, King Street, Pateley Bridge, HG3 5LE 01423 711225, www.nidderdalemuseum.com
This commode is a masterpiece of marquetry manufactured in 1773 and depicts Diana and Minerva, goddesses of the Hunt and Arts inlaid in a medallion on each side of the commode. It was manufactured by Thomas Chippendale who was born in Otley on June 5 1718. First employed as a young man by a joiner and cabinet-maker in York, he later established a business in London in 1748 which grew quickly including cabinet-makers, upholsterers and carvers. He stayed in touch with his county, furnishing some of the wealthiest country houses of the region such as Newby Hall and Burton Constable. Harewood Houses commission was with no doubt, the most lavish that Chippendale ever received. Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds, LS17 9LG www.harewood.org
This cricket ball was used in a match at Darnall Cricket Ground in Sheffield in 1826. Tom Marsden scored 227 runs and helped his Sheffield and Leicester team beat Nottingham. In the 1800s cricket matches in Sheffield drew large crowds, particularly to the grounds at Darnall and Hyde Park. The Yorkshire County Cricket Club was formed at the Adelphi Hotel in Sheffield in 1863 before moving to Leeds in 1890. NOTE: This ball will be featured in the new Sporting Sheffield display opening at Weston Park in summer 2016. Weston Park Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP. 0114 278 2600, www.museums-sheffield.org.uk.
This two-handled loving cup was passed around at special Methodist festival meetings. It comes from the Middlesmoor Wesleyan chapel. John Wesley visited the dale on eight occasions, the first time on July 24 1766. His preaching circuit extended from Birstall in the south, to Whitehaven in the north, from Pateley Bridge in the east, to Preston in the west. Although he was an Anglican minister and insisted that his sect was intended to supplement the work of the church not supplant it, he was refused permission to preach in the church at Pateley, then St Marys above the town. Instead he was taken to Thomas Greens orchard nearby, where the men stood in the rain with their heads uncovered. He was 85-years-old when he last visited Pateley and on that occasion he was able to preach in the first Methodist chapel in the town which opened in 1776. Nidderdale Museum, The Old Workhouse, King Street, Pateley Bridge, HG3 5LE 01423 711225, www.nidderdalemuseum.com
This Gill box is from a flax and hemp drawing frame of four heads of Gill boxes formerly in use by Thomas Gill and Sons at Glasshouse Mill in Nidderdale. The name came from the Gill family, though a Leeds firm also laid claim to this means of drawing fibres, and as Charles Gill never patented his design he cannot be credited as the inventor.
Sheffield and the Valley of the Don was painted by Edward Price in 1863, a year before this entire area was flooded when the Dale Dyke Dam in the hills above Sheffield burst. A fifty foot wall of water swept down the River Loxley into the city damaging homes, bridges and other buildings and claiming the lives of 240 people. The area shown is to the north of Sheffield. The smoking chimneys of the industrial city centre are discernable in the distance as are some of the older water-powered mills along the river Don. This view is taken from just above the graveyard in Wardsend Cemetery and looks down to Hillsborough Barracks in the centre and Owlerton village on the right. The large green field has now been built on and today is home to the Cadbury Trebor Schweppes factory, Hillsborough Leisure Centre and Owlerton Stadium. This painting shows a view of the city from its rural outskirts during a time of industrial development. Improved transport links in the mid-19th century contributed to the citys growth.
One of the most unusual features of Temple Newsams Chinese Room is its hand-painted Chinese wallpaper which was a gift from the Prince of Wales and was hung in the room in 1827. Not quite satisfied with it, Lady Isabella Hertford added additional birds, cutting them from a book she had recently received, Audubons Birds of America at the time one of the most expensive books ever produced. Many of the American birds are pasted over the joins in the underlying Chinese paper, making them slightly easier to spot. Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, LS15 0AE 0113 336 7461, www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsam
This magnificent object is made from solid silver and is over a metre long. It was made in 1705 for Thomas Wentworth of third Baron Raby of Wentworth Castle. Thomas was appointed as ambassador to Berlin that year and this wine cistern was just one part of a lavish group of objects he received as a perk of the job so he could entertain his diplomatic guests in style. It would be filled with ice and water and used to cool bottles of wine as part of a glittering sideboard display. In 2011, the wine cooler was at risk of leaving the country, but was purchased for Temple Newsam following an export stop and successful fundraising campaign. Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, LS15 0AE 0113 336 7461, www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsam
In 1884, relatively early in his career, the celebrated American portrait painter John Singer Sargent visited England. His purpose, as he wrote to his friend Vernon Lee, was to paint several portraits in the country and three ugly young women at Sheffield, dingy hole. However uncomplimentary Sargent might have been about the prospect of painting the Misses Vickers, his detailed portrayal of them captures an awkward elegance which makes for a striking portrait. It is a favourite of Sheffields art collection. The girls were the daughters of the wealthy steel industrialist Thomas Edward Vickers and the portrait was painted to mark the 21st birthday of Mabel Frances Vickers (centre). She is shown with her sisters Florence (left) and Clara (right). The contrasting gazes, expressions and poses of the three sisters give the painting a tense atmosphere.
This torc or neck ring dates from the first century AD and was found in Dinnington by a metal detectorist. It is the first example of this type of object to have been found in South Yorkshire and is a fine example of elaborately decorated craftsmanship. It is made from copper alloy, lead and iron and is hinged so it can be placed around the neck. The beaded decoration is inspired by necklaces of glass beads. The torc combines design elements common to both northern and southern British objects. This perhaps reflects the border position of the Don Valley, which lay between the Brigantes to the north and the Cortani, who controlled the East Midlands, to the south. It is likely, therefore, that the torc was worn by a local Celtic warrior and one who may have helped to resist the Roman advance northwards sometime between AD 50 and AD 80. Wear marks on the torc suggest it was worn for a long time. Weston Park Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP. 0114 278 2600, www.museums-sheffield.org.uk.
This Dutch oven was found during excavations at Sheffield Manor in 1970. Sheffield Manor started as a small hunting lodge in a medieval deer park. By the 16th century a large house had been built. The house was abandoned and the land reused from the 18th century. A Dutch oven is used to reheat food. It was placed in front of the fire and the food for reheating was placed inside. As it is an open pot, food would reheat without boiling and ruining. The oven has been reconstructed from fragments, only the base is complete. The inscription on the base links the object directly to the 18th century potter John Fox whose pottery was on the site of the manor. The date 1715 and the initials of John and his wife Elizabeth are inscribed on the bottom. Weston Park Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP. 0114 278 2600, www.museums-sheffield.org.uk.
This pair of watercolours by John Bird (1768-1826) show Whitby around the turn of the 19th century. The first shows a Whitby collier as she leaves harbour. The East Side is densely built up, with buildings apparently five or six stories high. In the foreground is the battery with a gun showing through the reinforced walls, built to protect the harbour from privateers common in the North Sea during the American and French wars. The second shows Bagdale, near the bottom of present day Pannett Park, with elegant town houses. Across the river, a great deal more of the Abbey still existed then than survives now. Captain Cook Memorial Museum Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Grape Lane Whitby, YO22 4BA 01947 601900, www.cookmuseumwhitby.co.uk
Spring Rock is a row of four weavers cottages which now house the Colne Valley Museum. Built into the hillside in the 1840s by James and Sally Pearson, for the purpose of handloom weaving, Spring Rock was saved from demolition in the 1970s by a group of enthusiasts. The homes now display the looms, spinning wheels and domestic items and furnishings, plus the contents of a clog-makers shop. Colne Valley Museum, Cliffe Ash, Huddersfield, HD7 4PY 01484 659762, colnevalleymuseum.org.uk
Although this tea service, which belonged to Henry Isaac Butterfield of Cliffe Castle, Keighley, has traditionally French decoration and doesnt have visual links with Yorkshire, it does illustrate the international and cosmopolitan links that many Yorkshire textile families had.
The Theatre Royal in Bradford opened in 1864, was converted into a cinema in 1921 and closed in 1974. It was demolished in the 1990s. One of the theatres most notable performers was Sir Henry Irving, who died at The Midland Hotel, Bradford on October 14 1905. He was considered one of the greatest actors of the Victorian age and was managed by Bram Stoker who can be seen in this picture, leaving the Theatre Royal the day after Irvings death. Bradford Industrial Museum, Moorside Mills, Moorside Road, Bradford, BD2 3HP 01274 435900, photos.bradfordmuseums.org/home.
This unusual hand-axe was found at a quarry near Rossington, some time before 1944. It dates from the Later Palaeolithic, a period that lasted from 2.5 million to a quarter of a million years ago. The modern humans used a particular type of tool-manufacturing technology that came to be called Acheulian. These tools were characterised by heart-shaped hand-axes, which were actually multi-functional cutting, piercing and hammering tools.
Today John Harrison is remembered as the man who came up with the first reliable way of establishing longitude at sea. While others looked at the stars for an answer to the longitude problem Harrison realised the solution lay in creating a timepiece that would provide precise time anywhere in the world. He spent most of his life developing special mechanisms designed to overcome these problems. He was born on the Nostell estate circa 1693 when his father, Henry Harrison, worked as estate carpenter for the Winn family who owned the house and estate. Having followed his father into the carpenters trade, John Harrison found himself repairing and then making clocks. On display at Nostell is one of only three of Harrisons wooden clocks that still survive today and the one at Nostell is probably the most accessible, on display in the Billiard Room. Nostell Priory, Doncaster Road, Nostell, Wakefield, WF4 1QE 01924 863892, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nostell-priory-and-parkland
This indenture, of 1735, for a seamans apprentice tells something of the lives of the thousands of Yorkshire lads who crewed Whitby ships in the 18th century. The apprentice, Thomas Pearson, was from Rossdale, surely Rosedale as we now call it. Thomas is to serve his master faithfully and in return will be taught the trade, mystery or occupation of a mariner but in the hand-written terms of the contract, far from assuming a year-round responsibility for Thomas, Thomas is not going to be looked after in the winter board and lodging is provided except in winter seasons while ship is laid up. So what happened to Thomas? He walked home to Rosedale in late autumn and spent the winter with his family. Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Grape Lane Whitby, YO22 4BA 01947 601900, www.cookmuseumwhitby.co.uk
John Logie Bairds 1925 televisor was the precursor to television and the invention that first transmitted moving pictures with light and shade over the airwaves. Bradford has some strong connections to the history of television: the BBCs first television reception outside London happened in Bradford in 1929 and the city was home to Europes largest television factory when the Radio Rentals company manufactured Baird-branded sets in their thousands from the mid-1960s to the late 70s. Caption: John Logie Baird experimenting with his first television transmitter, 1925 © National Media Museum / Science and Society Picture Library National Media Museum, Little Horton Lane, Bradford, BD1 1NQ 0844 856 3797, www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk
Enoch was the nickname given to the heavy hammers used by the Luddites to smash the new cropping machines. They were named after Enoch Taylor, a Marsden blacksmith, who with his brother James, not only made the shearing frames but also the sledgehammers that were used to destroy the machines.
John Atkinson Grimshaw is one of the best known Leeds artists of the second half of the 19th century. This scene of Park Row in Leeds was commissioned by the directors of Becketts Bank to record Gilbert Scotts splendid gothic building, seen to the right. On the left can be seen the portico of the Philosophical Hall, the museum of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society and the original Leeds City Museum. Park Row was one of the main commercial thoroughfares of the new city, large imposing buildings exuded self-confidence and an exuberance which characterised the growing city. Several of the buildings in this scene have been demolished the museum was damaged by a bomb in the Second World War and eventually pulled down in 1965 and St Annes Roman Catholic Cathedral, seen at the far end, was demolished in 1901.
The desk shown in the painting, along with the rest of the furniture, was designed for the Library by Thomas Chippendale. Chippendale was born in Otley in 1718 and went on to become one of the most famous English cabinetmakers. In spite of his skills, he was not held in the same esteem as Robert Adam and was instead treated as an ordinary tradesman, in contrast with Adam, who was regarded as a professional man. The desk is still on display in the Library and the Chippendale furniture at Nostell is regarded as one of the finest furniture collections in the country with over 100 pieces on display in the house. Nostell Priory, Doncaster Road, Nostell, Wakefield, WF4 1QE 01924 863892, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nostell-priory-and-parkland
The Joseph Dawson Mineral Collection dates from the late 18th century and was donated to Bradford Museums in 1904 by the Bradford Philosophical Society (BPS). The Rev Joseph Dawson, a founding member of the BPS, was a partner in the flourishing Low Moor Ironworks in Bradford in 1791 and founder of the Yorkshire and Derbyshire Iron Founders Association. His collection, with its remarkable handwritten catalogue dated 1810, is a rare survivor from this important early period of English geology. The collection contains mineral specimens from all over the world, and also locally. Cliffe Castle Museum, Spring Gardens Lane, Keighley, BD20 6LH. 01535 618231, bradfordmuseums.org/venues/cliffe-castle-museum
This tobacco jar, with ingenious built-in candlestick, is part of a collection of Burton-in-Lonsdale pottery, donated by a former resident of the village. Burton was home to a flourishing pottery industry for more than 200 years. All the raw materials were close at hand and nearly every family in the village was involved in some way. Although the potteries main stock-in-trade was stoneware bottles and jars for the grocery and spirit trade both locally and overseas, many of the potters were skilled in making decorative pieces and the tobacco jar is an example of agate ware. The marbled effect was produced by mixing dark and light clays together during throwing and applying liquid clay or slip to complete the decoration. These items were often made as presents to celebrate a particular anniversary or occasion and inscribed with the recipients name. Museum of North Craven Life, Victoria Street, Settle, BD24 9HD 01282 877686, www.ncbpt.org.uk/folly
This heraldic pendant with enamelled decoration and gilding was probably attached to a horse harness or to the strap across the horses forehead. It bears the arms of Edward II who visited Rievaulx Abbey in 1322 after the battle of Old Byland and may be from one of the horses in his entourage. The pendants were suspended from straps via small mounts with a hinge riveted to the leather, the pin which held pendant was usually made from iron, it was often this with the movement of the harness that wore through causing the pendant to be lost. Rievaulx Abbey, Rievaulx Bank, Rievaulx, Helmsley, YO62 5LB 01439 798228, www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/rievaulx-abbey
Born in Thurlstone, Nicholas Saunderson was a notable scientist and mathematician. His achievements in these fields are all the more commendable due to him having been blind. This original book of formulae was printed within a few months of his death. Experience Barnsley Archives and Discovery Centre, Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2TA 01226 772500, www.experience-barnsley.com
In 1821, road workers near Kirkbymoorside discovered some strange looking bones in a cave nearby. These were identified as elephant, mammoth, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, hyaena, bison, reindeer, giant deer, and many other animals, most of which dont live in Britain. At the time, the only available explanation was that they must have been washed to Yorkshire by Noahs Great Flood, as described in the Old Testament. The bones came to the attention of Dr William Buckland, the first reader in geology at Oxford University. Buckland concluded that the cave was a hyaena den, and that the hyaenas were feeding on the animals present in the landscape in ancient times. In 1823 he wrote Reliquiæ diluvianæ, based largely on his findings at Kirkdale, which laid out a different way of interpreting ancient history not reliant on the account in the Bible. This caused considerable controversy, and led to the founding of the Yorkshire Museum. We now know these fossils are around 120,000 years old, from the last intergl
These beautiful and rather heavy ale jars were popular throughout the 18th century as breweries bottled their ale. As the inscription shows, these jars were meant to be returned to be refilled, however these two never were returned and instead passed through generations of a family based in Darlington before the museum acquired them. These jars are from the now-closed Russell and Wrangham brewery, which was based in Malton. The firm was the result of the coming together in 1897 of two separate firms, the Derwent Brewery founded by the Russell family in 1771 and the Crystal Brewery established in 1864 by William Wrangham. As Russells had previously gone into partnership with the flour mill, they produced flour as well as ale. The ale once bottled was then distributed over a wide area both by horse drawn wagons and by their fleet of vessels on the river Derwent. Malton Museum, Malton, YO17 6RT 01653 697777, www.maltonmuseum.co.uk
The boots once belonged to the famous horse rider and trainer Sir Guy Cunard. Born in 1911, Sir Guy Cunard was a well-known figure nicknamed The Galloping Major. He rode over 260 winners. On his retirement in 1968, he had won more point-to-point races than anyone, a record which stood for twenty years. Malton Museum, Malton, YO17 6RT 01653 697777, www.maltonmuseum.co.uk
These ornate little dolls were made by a local artist Dorothea Forsyth who was born in 1882 and died in 1945. The house Dorothea and her GP husband occupied still stands in the heart of the market square with its original house sign Forsyth House. Dorothea was a skilled artist and needlewoman and Malton Museum holds a fine collection of her work including sketches, watercolours, needlework and these beautiful dolls. Malton Museum, Malton, YO17 6RT 01653 697777, www.maltonmuseum.co.uk
Hattersley were founded in Keighley in 1789 by Richard Hattersley and initially manufactured nuts, bolts, screws and small parts for textile machines. In 1834 the company was tasked with creating a power loom that could weave worsted cloth, a fine suiting fabric which Bradford became famous for manufacturing. The companys first power loom was destroyed by handloom weavers, who feared losing their livelihood. A replacement loom was delivered the same year and the company grew and prospered. Hattersley produced a dobby loom, narrow fabric loom, standard and domestic loom. The company closed in 1983, but Hattersley looms continue to be used around the world today. The Hattersley domestic was developed to replace the handlooms used in peoples homes and a working Hattersley domestic loom is on display at Bradford Industrial Museum. Demonstrations happen on Wednesdays and Thursdays (staffing dependent, please visit www.bradfordmuseums.org for details). Bradford Industrial Museum, Moorside Mills, Moorside Roa
Oatcakes were part of the staple diet for the working class in the West Riding. They were used to mop up gravy, crumbled into stews and soups and appeared at most meals. We have two creels used for drying oatcakes at Colne Valley Museum.
The Woodland Scene, was painted between 1818 and 1836, making it the oldest surviving theatre scenery in the UK. It is made up of a blackcloth and eight wings and depicts a path through autumnal woodland and is unusual because it is doubled sided. It was used on stage at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond which was opened in 1788 by the Harrogate-born actor-manager Samuel Butler. The scenery highlights how important Richmond was as a destination in the Georgian period, with many visitors coming to attend the theatre and the nearby races. Georgian Theatre Royal, Victoria Road, Richmond, DL10 4DW 01748 823710, www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk
Our three-part feature on the History of Yorkshire in 70 Objects highlights the varied and fascinating items on show in the museums and historic houses across the county.
The first part of the series appeared in the May issue of Yorkshire Life and parts two and three will be in the June and July magazines.
The items featured do not paint a full picture of Yorkshire’s history, or give a comprehensive account of our past but they do give an intriguing insight into the lives of the people who came before us.
Some items would not have had much apparent historic significance in their owner’s lifetimes – a tobacco box, miner’s lamp or a theatre handbill for instance – but they now offer a glimpse of a lost world.
We have worked with museums across the county – and other custodians of our heritage such as English Heritage and the National Trust – to produce this selection of items but not every museum is represented and not all the items suggested have made the final list. Here we reveal some of the nominated objects which didn’t make the final cut.
To see more items which help to tell Yorkshire’s fascinating story, explore the county’s fascinating museums for yourself.
Look out for our 70 objects in the May, June and July issues of Yorkshire Life.