Whilst researching the material for my first ‘House History’ project, ‘Highfield House & Sowood House’, (2010), I collected a great deal of information concerning other neighbouring land and buildings. After a great deal of thought I decided it was a shame not to make use of this material. The result of this decision was the production of two more Local/House History publications.

The first of these two new books ‘The History of the South Ossett Triangle’ is a potted history of the land shaped like a triangle, bordered by three roads, now called Horbury Road, Manor Road and Sowood Lane. On this land was built the Parish Church, the Vicarage and the two Schools.

This second book I have called ‘The History of Clarendon Villas and Greystones House.

These two books, along with the ‘Highfield and Sowood House’, will complete a trilogy of publications covering all the large houses as well as the ecclesiastical buildings on this area of land, built in the 19th Century.

I have particular interest with both Clarendon and Greystones House, as I had with Highfield Cottage, my former home.

My mother Nellie was the fourth of eleven children born to Walter and Sarah Smith (yes I endedup marrying a Smith too!) in Hightown, Castleford, West Yorks. The two eldest children a boy (John James) and a girl (Ivy) died in infancy and the sixth child (also named Ivy) was burned to death aged 2. The eldest remaining child was Sarah Emma, who when she was a teenager went into service at Clarendon Villas, the home of Joseph and Annie Louisa Marsden. When Emma married Robert Atkinson in 1928 my mother Nellie aged 19, was sent to replace her. When my mother married my father, George Worth, on 17th April 1933, she was replaced by the next sister Elsie, and when she married John Ainsworth in 1936 Charlotte (Lottie) took her place, until she married Jack Thorpe in 1938! I think the Marsdens must have been pleased with the Smith sisters!.

Highfield House and Cottage were situated up the next driveway to Clarendon Villas.

The bottom of the garden of Greystones House backed onto the garden of Highfield Cottage. The daughter of the family who lived in part of Highfield House, Gwen Hopkins, married John Judge and they bought No 18b which included the garden of Greystones. My parents allowed Gwen to come into our garden and pass through our garage in order to visit her parents, thus saving about a half mile journey!

I have tried my best to verify all the information used in this publication but mistakes do happen and I crave your indulgence for any that may have been made. 



The subjects of this book are Clarendon Villas and Greystones House, Vicar Lane, Ossett. They are both situated on the area of South Ossett marked in red (almost a triangle) on the map shown below. In 1807, where my research begins, it was known as part of the Upper Common, and sometimes referred to as Giggal Hill (the North West of the area and not just the small road leading from The Green to Vicar Lane as we now know it.) 

Sth Ossett Medieval edited


 (Please click on images to enlarge)



Horbury Road is now known as MANOR Road, Horbury Bridle Lane is now the road known as HORBURY Road and Sowood House Road is now SOWOOD Lane.

OSSETT COMMON – (Upper Common/Giggal Hill) DUKE OF LEEDS LAND (marked in terracotta) Cottages 92 & 93; Joseph MITCHELL and Elizabeth RAYNER – 2 roods 4 perches Cottages 94 Benjamin BAINES; 96 Benjamin GIGGAL; 97 James DEWS; 98 Benjamin MARSDEN; 99 Samuel AUDSLEY – 4 acres 2 roods 19 and a half perches Cottage 95; John WILBY, carrier -1 rood 2 perches.


The first few pages of this publication may be found in the second book in the Trilogy, ‘The South Ossett Triangle’ as they are relevant to both of these buildings.              


JOHN DAWSON of West Bretton, parish of Sandal Magna farmer who am or claim to be seized, possessed of the cottage land and hereditaments hereinafter described and intended to be conveyed with the appurtenances (except the mines and minerals in and under the same) for an absolute and beneficial estate? Of inheritance in fee simple in possession AND William DAWSON late of Lofthouse, but now of Charles Street, St Helier on the Isle of Jersey, yeoman (a trustee for and on behalf of the said John Dawson) in consideration of the sum of ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY POUNDS sterling to me the said JOHN DAWSON paid by the GOVERNERS OF THE BOUNTY OF QUEEN ANNE for the augmentation of the Maintenance of the Poor Clergy out of a fund in their hands appropriated and belonging to the Curacy of South Ossett in the County of York and Diocese of Ripon. And as to the said William DAWSON at the request and by the direction of me the said JOHN DAWSON notified by my execution hereof DO and each of us DOTH hereby as to the said cottage, land and hereditaments with the appurtenances, (except the said mines, minerals) grant and convey. AND I THE REVEREND DENIS CREIGHTON NEARY, of South Ossett aforesaid, clerk, who am claim to be seized or possessed of the Mines and Minerals in and under the said cottage & land and hereditaments for an absolute and beneficial estate of inheritance in fee simple. In consideration of the said sum of One Hundred and eighty pounds so as aforesaid paid to the said JOHN DAWSON by the said Governors DO hereby (as to the said Mines & Minerals) grant and convey to the said Governors their Successors and assigns ALL that cottage or Dwellinghouse with the Gardens & Conveniences thereto adjoining and therewith usually occupied and a parcel of formerly allotted land adjoining to the south side of the said gardens and a portion of another parcel of formerly allotted land adjoining to the north side of the said cottage or dwellinghouse. Which said premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be are situate on Ossett Common in the parish of Dewsbury in the County of York and contain (including the site of the Buildings) two thousand five hundred and forty two square yards or thereabouts and are bounded by the residue of the said last mentioned parcel of formerly allotted land on or towards the north by land of Miss MARSDEN on or towards the east and south east by the Church Yard of South Ossett in part and by land of Mr THORNS in other part on or towards the south west and the same are shewn by delineation on the plan drawn in the margin of these presents ? And therein distinguished by a pink colour. And also all the mines, veins, beds or seams of coal and all other mines and minerals within and under the said cottage or dwellinghouse, gardens land and premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be. Together with all such rightsliberties and privileges of working getting and disposing of such mines, veins, beds and seams of coal and other minerals as the said DENIS CREIGHTON NEARY is entitled to. Together with all ways rights and appurtenances to the said premises hereby conveyed or intended so to be belonging And all such estate right title and interest in and to the same and every part thereof as we or any of us are or is or shall become seized or possessed of TO hold the said premises to the said Governors their successors and assigns for ever to be by their applied and disposed of for the augmentation of the maintenance of the Curate of the Curacy of South Ossett aforesaid And to the Intent that the said cottage or dwellinghouse may be taken down and that the site of a House and Offices with a garden and glebe thereto for the residence of the Curate for the time being of the Curacy of South Ossett aforesaid. Witnesses etc., 24th June 1853. (Ref:1853SF 91 96) (Land for Vicarage). 

South Ossett Christ Church Vicarage built 1853

20a) Vicarage (re. nev)

1871 Census (NB the numbers in the left hand column are not house numbers)

 1871 Church Lane 1

1871 Church Lane 2

1871 Church Lane 3


1881 census Church Lane (formerly School Lane – now Vicar Lane)

 1881Census-Church Lane a

1881Census-Church lane b

1881Census-Church lane b

1891 9 Manor Rd

1891Horbury Rd 2nd part no 1

1890 Ordnance Survey Map

1890.jpg Giggal Hill area


Gate posts belonging to Clarendon Villas. Photo taken in 2016 by Anne-Marie Fawcett

Clarendon Villas
Photo from the family collection of Michael Ball,
courtesy of Ossett Through The Ages