One estate agent’s brochure, produced sometime after 1970, stated that the cottage was built in 1730 whereas another, more recent one, stated around 1780. With this information in mind I began my search by looking at the:  

OSSETT INCLOSURE AWARD 1807 – 1813Sth Ossett Triangle 1807 rotated

Horbury Bridle Lane, now known as Horbury Road, is on the left of the plot.   

Please click on this and following images for a better view.

The Commissioner wrote: I assign, allocate & award unto John CRAVEN all that allotment on Ossett Common containing 1 acre & 25 perches bounded east by land awarded to Duke of Leeds; west by Horbury Bridle Road; north by land awarded to James CONINGTON, John LOFT and Elizabeth CODD; south by allotments respectively awarded to Joshua HAIGH the younger and Thomas MITCHELL. I order and award that the said John CRAVEN should maintain good & sufficient fences on the west and south side of the said allotment and declare that 1rood & 11perches on the north side is Freehold; 1rood & 14perches in the middle is Copyhold compounded for the Manor of Wakefield and the residue, being 2roods on the south of the same to be Freehold & Copyhold compounded for the said Manor undistinguished. 

1813 Enclosure Award Diagam

Diagram showing details of Freehold, Copyhold etc.

I knew that this was the correct Plot as the size and position on the map were identical to the Plot shown on the Deed when my parents bought the property in 1964. According to the map and the description there were no buildings on the Plot.

I then looked at the next official reliable source which was: THE OSSETT TITHE AWARD FOR 1843. This showed the owner as William LEE and the tenant Wm. MITCHELL Jr. The description and size of the Plot No. 489 (1 acre and 25 perches) was the same, but yet again no mention of any buildings.


William LEE of Horbury, yeoman 1st Part Jane Ann Craven LEE, spinster and Adelaide Craven LEE, spinster both of Horbury, (only surviving children of William LEE) 2nd part and Joseph MARSDEN of Storrs Hill, Ossett 3rd Part. All & concerning all that is freehold or mixed tenure undistinguished held by Deeds etc. All that close of land situate on Ossett Common – 1 Acre 25 Perches approx, East by land allocated to the Duke of Leeds West by Horbury Bridle Rd., North by land awarded to James Connington, John Loft & Elizabeth Codd South by land awarded to Joshua Haigh the younger and Thomas Mitchell And which said allotment or parcel of land was awarded to John Craven by the Commissioners of the Inclosure award 1 rood & 11 perches northward side freehold; 1 rood 14 perches middle copyhold compounded for the Manor of Wakefield and the residue thereof being 2 roods on the southward side of the same freehold & copyhold compounded together withappurtenances to the same belonging. (Ref: Vol QT/356/399)

1854 OS Map

There is still no mention of buildings on the Plot nor are any shown on the 1854 Ordnance Survey Map


Joseph MARSDEN, Storrs Hill, Skinner & Ellen his wife 1st Part; John HARROP of Ossett Common, Woollen Cloth Manufacturer 2nd Part; Nathan MITCHELL of Ossett Common, Farmer, 3rd Part. All that parcel of land etc … 1 Acre 25 perches; east by land awarded to the Duke of Leeds; west by Horbury Bridle Road; north by James CONINGTON, Joseph LOFT & Elizabeth CODD; south by Joshua HAIGH the younger and Thomas MITCHELL, awarded to the late John CRAVEN, Ossett Inclosure Award – (same details as LEE to MARSDEN re. land details and all other tithes belonging to Joseph MARSDEN and premises & appurtenances. HIGHFIELD PLOT (Ref: Vol SR/234/251)

The Deed shows Nathan MITCHELL, Farmer, whose land was the next plot to Joseph’s, has some involvement, which probably meant that he was farming this land as well as his own. There was mention of a Mistal (a building where cows are milked) which suggests that Nathan MITCHELL had kept cows on the land and Joseph MARSDEN, a skinner or fellmonger, used the skins. Joseph MARSDEN, who never actually lived on the Highfield Plot, died in 1860, aged 50 yrs. Nathan MITCHELL may have carried on using the land for cattle after it was sold to John HARROP. There is no evidence of Nathan MITCHELL ever owning this plot.

                                                        HIGHFIELD HOUSE 1930                                                                       Photo sourced from Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA)

Highfield House


Picture adapted from the photo taken in 2010. I apologise for the artistic licence taken but I hope to give the reader some idea of the house as it was when it was built. The house would have been quite grand at the time. The stonework has suffered badly over the years due to the sun and the result of over sandblasting. In front of the house was a very large, lawned area, surrounded by shrubbery. At the bottom of the garden was a hedge which separated the house from the croft or field, in which houses were destined to be built.

3) Highfield House 14th May 2010


John HARROP, whose address on the 1861 Census was Horbury Road, made a Will. In this he describes his ‘Homestead at South Ossett consisting of a Messuage or Dwellinghouse, Shop, Stable, Outbuildings and Appurtenances’ suggesting that the buildings were erected between 1854 and 1862.

DEATH OF JOHN HARROP 6th January 1865

JH Will 1

JH Will 2

JH Will 3

JH Will next to last

JH Will last

His Will was proved on March 9 1865 (see above). The following is a brief summary of the other bequests; John Harrop’s eldest son William died in June 1854 and was buried in South Ossett Church Graveyard.

To my son Isaac the cottage or dwellinghouse at South Ossett occupied by the said Isaac Harrop; to my son Jacob all those two cottages or dwellinghouses adjoining at South Ossett occupied by the said Jacob Harrop and David Fothergill; to my son Robert Harrop all those two cottages or dwellinghouses adjoining at South Ossett occupied by the said Robert Harrop and Samuel Cawthorne; to my daughter Mary Wilby all that one moiety or equal half part of and in all those three cottages or dwellinghouses with the vacant land thereto adjoining lately occupied as a garden etc., lately occupied by William Bentley, Henry Illingworth and Robert Littlewood; to my daughter Martha Morton all that other equal half part (as before).

I give and bequeath all those six stands in the Cloth Hall at Leeds unto my sons Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Robert, Mark and John Harrop.

I give and bequeath all that my homestead at South Ossett, consisting of a messuage or dwellinghouse, shop, stable, outbuildings and appurtenances thereto belonging together with the croft or close of land thereto adjoining, and all those my five shares in Healey New Mill and all lands, hereditaments etc. belonging to the said Mill and all that one other stand in the Cloth Hall at Leeds, together with all the residue of my real estate, goods etc. unto my friends George Illingworth and George Harrop, both of Ossett aforesaid, manufacturers and my said sons Abraham and Isaac Harrop, their heirs executors etc., hereinafter called my trustees and shall as soon as conveniently may be after my decease will collect in and receive all the real and personal estate etc.. and to dispose as they see fit and after all expenses have been deducted to give the following sums of money to my son Mark Harrop two hundred and fifty pounds, my son John Harrop two hundred and fifty pounds, my son Isaac Harrop one hundred pounds, my son Jacob Harrop fifty pounds, my son Robert fifty pounds. The residue of the estate after all expenses has been paid, if any, to be divided between my said sons and daughters.

The Leeds Mercurypublished an advertisement for the auction of the property at South Ossett, with details of a dwellinghouse, weaving shop etc.(recently erected by the deceased) etc. There is no mention of another cottage close by.

Leeds Mercury Advert

All John Harrop’s sons were weavers. It is possible that they made use of the Weaving Shop until 1873 and rented out the dwellinghouse, or perhaps his two youngest sons lived there.


A Memorial registered of the Probate of the last Will & Testament of John HARROP the elder. Signed 23rd August 1862.

2 cottages in South Ossett occupied by Abraham HARROP & Thomas WILBY,1 cottage occupied by Isaac HARROP & 2 cottages adjoining, lately occupied by Robert HARROP & Samuel CAWTHORNE. Also 3 cottages or dwelling houses with vacant land thereto adjoining lately occupied as a garden, together with appurtenances thereto belonging, situate at South Ossett & then or lately occupied by William BENTLEY, Henry ILLINGWORTH & Robert LITTLEWOOD, also all that his (Testator’s) Homestead at South Ossett consisting of a Messuage or Dwellinghouse, Shop, Stable, Outbuildings & Appurtenances thereto belonging together with the Croft or Close of land thereto adjoining & all those Testator’s 5 shares in the Healey New Mill in the Town of Ossett and all the lands, hereditaments & premises and other real estate belonging to the said Healey Mill Co., & rights, members, privilege & appurtenances respectively belonging with the residue of his (Testators) real estate (if any). Probate was granted to Isaac HARROP one of the Devisees. (Ref: Vol 696/696/825)



George HARROP, Ossett, Manufacturer and Abraham & Isaac HARROP, clothiers of the 1st Part, and Samuel PICKARD, Gent. (Retired Manufacturer) of the other Part. All & so much & such portion parts as in or are of Freehold Tenure & holden by Deed of and in all that allotment or close of land situate at Ossett Common containing 1 acre & 25 perches approx., bounded eastward by an allotment awarded to the Duke of Leeds; westward by the Horbury Bridle Road; northward by an allotment awarded to James CONINGTON, John LOFT & Elizabeth CODD and southwards by allotments respectively awarded to Joshua HAIGH the younger and Thomas MITCHELL & which said allotments or parcel of land was awarded to the late John CRAVEN dec’d by the Commissioners (Inclosure Award) who declared that 1 rood & 11 perches on the northward side of the said allotment was Freehold and 1 rood & 14 perches (being the middle of the same) Copyhold compounded for the Manor of Wakefield and the residue thereof being 2 roods on the southward side of the same was Freehold and Copyhold compounded for the said Manor undistinguished. And also of and in all that messuage or dwellinghouse with the weaving shop, burling house, stable & other outbuildings erected & built upon the said allotment……And all great & other tithes if any arising or issuing out of the said premises and of and in all the appurtenances …  HIGHFIELD (Ref: Vol 704/356/414)

NB George HARROP, who built Rock House on Storrs Hill, was an executor of John HARROP’s Will and was named as a ‘friend’.

1871 Census – Samuel PICKARD & Jane his wife, Alfred Hinchliffe PICKARD & his family are all living on Church Lane, (also known as School Lane and eventually as Vicar Lane), South Ossett (2 schedules, for 1 dwelling). Perhaps they are already renting the large house?

1881 The Census shows Alfred H PICKARD is living on Horbury Rd., not far from South Ossett Church. His father Samuel Pickard is on Sowood Lane. Shortly before Samuel died he passed the property on Sowood Lane over to John Wm. PICKARD his grandson, (mentioning the lately erected dwelling). On the 1891 Census John Wm. PICKARD & Jane, his grandmother, are listed at SOWOOD HOUSE.


Pickard Will pg 1 Pickard Will pg 2

 Pickard Will pg 3

Pickard Will pg 4

The death certificate states his address as Manor Road; Sowood House was near the corner of Manor Road and Sowood Lane.

In his Will he bequeathed to his son Alfred Hinchliffe PICKARD : All that dwellinghouse now already occupied by Alfred situate at Horbury Lane *, South Ossett together with the three cottages, mistal and a close of land adjoining the same (also the fourteen cottages situate at Richmond Hill, Leeds, also the six cottages situate at Westgate Common, Wakefield, also six cottages situate at Park Square, Ossett Common aforesaid…..all with their respective appurtenances. Also shares in many companies (including the Healey Low Mill)).

* Horbury Lane later became Manor Road, and the entrance to the property would have been from there. An entrance on Horbury Road must have been made later.

There is no mention of another dwelling close by. Was the weaving shop later converted by Alfred?

1890 Ordnance survey map

1890 Ordnance Survey Map

 Highfield House is marked. South Place refers to the houses across the road.

1910 Valuation Map

1910 Valuation Map

1910  Valuation Records show Alfred H PICKARD owning a house & land, including Mistal and House close by occupied by Chas. Priestley. (HIGHFIELD COTTAGE)

Alfred Hinchliffe Pickard Died January 18th 1912


 AHP Will pt 1

AHP Will pt 2

 AHP Will pt 3

AHP Will pt 4

AHP Will pt 5

AHP Will pt 6

His will (made in 1907) mentions “the dwellinghouse and garden near thereto in the occupation of Harry A. COX and the stable (now unoccupied) outbuildings and appurtenances to the said premises also belonging”. (All now occupied by Chas. Priestley.)                                                                                      

1901 Census RG13 – 4273 fol 89 pg 20 for Ossett shows Alfred H Pickard aged 56 at Highfield House. Also on 1911 Census aged 66.



Compensation Agreement between The Manor of Wakefield, Emma Jane PICKARD and Kate Hemingway PICKARD. re. extinguishment of a ‘manorial incident’ (regarding the copyhold part of the Plot). The sum of £8 9s & 5d was paid to the The Manor by the Pickard sisters, pre to the sale of the property, which is described as 1A 25perches (with all the usual details of the Allotment of The Inclosure Act in 1813). Also – The Messuage or dwellinghouse known as “Highfield House” (now converted to two dwellinghouses) occupied by Mr Greaves and Mrs Lord and the Weaving Shop ,formerly two cottages but now converted into one dwellinghouse known as Highfield Cottage, occupied by Mr Wycherley, with the Burling House (now used as a coalhouse) stable and other buildings erected upon the said allotment or close of land and or on some part together with the appurtenances.   (Ref: Vol 174/979/325)

As the land on which Highfield was built was part copyhold and part freehold any transactions involving land/property of a copyhold nature had to have the consent of the Lord of the Manor.


CONVEYANCE DATED January 20th 1939

Emma Jane PICKARD (spinster) and Kate Hemingway CLEGG (widow, formerly PICKARD) both of 86 Thornes Rd., Wakefield 1st Part and Horace BENN of Regent St., Horbury, Colliery Deputy the Other part. (Ref: Vol 10/447/153 – same details of the Plot as Ref: Vol 174/979/325).

CONVEYANCE DATED August 14th 1964

Annie BENN – widow of Horace, – Sells No 1 Highfield House to Phyllis Mary HOPKINS, No 2 Highfield House to Sydney and Emmeline TURKINGTON

3) Highfield House 14th May 2010



Leeds Mercury Advert


This advertisement was dated 1865, shortly after John Harrop died but the Property was not sold until 1874, when it was bought by Samuel PICKARD but it is likely that the ‘Weaving Shop’ was in constant use, either by the Harrop brothers, who were all weavers – OR by Samuel PICKARD . The 1871 Census shows Samuel Pickard, his wife Jane and his son Alfred Hinchliffe PICKARD and his family, on Church Lane in one dwelling with two schedules It is possible that they were renting the House and making use of the shop, as they were manufacturers.

In 1881 Alfred Hinchliffe PICKARD and Jane are living on Horbury Rd., not far from South Ossett Church. (Samuel & Jane PICKARD with grandson John William are now living in a separate dwelling on Sowood Lane).

Samuel Pickard died in 1883 and left a dwellinghouse (now already occupied by his son Alfred) with mistal & close of land nearby to Alfred.

There is no mention of another dwellinghouse close by.

1891Census-Highfield Cottage 03738-00047-000-00025-000-00-06-0096

1891 Census

Although it was originally thought to have been built in 1780 the first mention of Highfield Cottage was on the 1891 Census. The address was shown as Manor Road, whereas the address for Highfield House was Horbury Rd. This suggest that the access to the cottage was from what is now called Vicar Lane, ( formerly Church Lane and School Lane). It is not clear whether schedules 160 or 161 refer to the cottage. George and Lidia FIELD on schedule 160 were Drapers. The census shows that there were only two rooms. Schedule 161 shows not less than five so it seems more likely to have been William (a Plumber & Glazier) & Sarah HAIGH who were at Highfield Cottage. Schedule 162 shows Benjamin MARSDEN and family. The valuation records of 1910 show Benjamin Marsden owning a house on the plot above the Highfield Plot. Schedule 163 shows William DEWS, co-partner of Samuel PICKARD. When William Dews died his property passed to his son John, whose address in 1911 is Vicar Lane. It is likely that this is the property that was known as ‘Greystones’.

1890 Ordnance survey map


1891 Ordnance Survey Map shows the Highfield Cottage building (later used as a garage) extending through to the Plot above, with access to School Lane (Manor Road).  This was owned by the Marsden family, Rag & Mungo Merchants. I have been unable to find any Deeds or other transactions between the Pickards and the Marsdens regarding this. The ‘garage,’ as we knew it had an upper floor and it was evident that it had been part of a larger building.

Highfield Cottage is not mentioned by name on the 1901 Census. Alfred H.PICKARD and family are listed on Horbury Road, schedule 132. However, the preceding 2 schedules mention Sophia HEMINGWAY aged 51, a Cloth Burler on Sched 130 ( 2 rooms) and Christopher Smith aged 37 a Rag Merchant (Employer) and his wife Annie aged 38 (3 rooms).

(It is possible that these are Highfield Cottage when divided into 2 dwellings).

In 1907 (when Alfred H. Pickard made his Will) Harry Anelay COX was renting the property.

1911Census-HA COX

1911 Census

The 1911 Census shows Charles Edward PRIESTLEY and family at Highfield Cottage, on the next schedule to Alfred PICKARD. It is now one dwelling with 5 rooms.

In 1912 Alfred Hinchliffe PICKARD died and in his Will bequeathed Highfield House to his two unmarried daughters, Emma Jane PICKARD and Kate Hemingway PICKARD.

In 1938 a Compensation Agreement between Emma Jane PICKARD and Kate Hemingway CLEGG (who married William CLEGG, son of Joseph and Jane Clegg in 1915) and the Lords of the Manor of Wakefield mentions Highfield Cottage being occupied by Mr WYCHERLEY.

Facsimile of part of the Compensation Agreemen

compensation agreementpg 981 top

Facsimile of part of the Compensation Agreement

Shortly after this Agreement (which also showed Highfield House as now being in two dwellings) the whole Plot was sold to Horace BENN, a former Deputy in a Coal Mine. In 1946 the tenancy of Highfield Cottage was taken on by GEORGE and NELLIE WORTH (who bought the property in 1964 from Annie BENN, widow of Horace.)

3 HIGHFIELD HOUSE (formerly HIGHFIELD COTTAGE) to George and Nellie WORTH  (Ref: Vol 210 790 362)


1964 Deed Top

1964 Plan - top

1964 Plan Bottom

Facsimile of part of the Conveyance Deed to GEORGE & NELLIE WORTH

Highfield CottageBack Door 1961-2

Highfield Cottage Rear Door circa 1962

 Dad cutting the hedge

Highfield Cottage, facing Sowood Lane, cir 1965 – George WORTH.

The view is now completely obliterated by houses.

Corner of Front Garden

Corner of front garden (with Greystones House, Vicar Lane in background).

Pre 1969

Greystones House, on Vicar Lane was built by William DEWS, co-partner of Samuel PICKARD and subsequently owned by John and Gwen (nee Hopkins) JUDGE.

My parents had keys for the garage doors at Highfield Cottage made for Gwen, so that she could get through to visit her parents, John and Phyllis HOPKINS who lived at No 1 Highfield House. In return John Judge built the summer house for my Dad, George.

On 12th November 1969 (signed 5th November) Highfield Cottage was sold by George and Nellie WORTH to Douglas John LINDSAY (Capt. Merchant Navy) and Audrey Elizabeth his wife. (Ref: 282 772366)

Highfield Cottage post 1970 courtyard

Rear of Cottage post 1970

Highfield Cottage post 1970 Front

Front of Cottage post 1970

End Wall Highfield Cottage

End wall of Highfield Cottage showing blocked in ‘Taking in Point’

Highfield No 2 side wall & Highfield Cottage End wall

End wall of Highfield House (No 2) and end Wall of Highfield Cottage, built at right angles to each other. I wonder who the architect was. :>)

The buildings are not as close to each other as this photo suggest and there is a gate on the corner between the two.

In my opinion the Weaving Shop would have been built first. If it had been the other way round then surely the Weaving shop would not have been built in that position, with an upper ‘taking in window/opening’ overlooking the side of the house? The advertisement mentions ‘all the buildings being recently erected to suit Mr Harrop’s convenience’. Recently could mean a few years. The Shop may have been built for himself and his sons (all weavers) benefit and then he may have decided to live on the plot as well? I would think that Alfred H. Pickard would have blocked up the upper window and converted the Shop to two dwelling houses when he took over the property. Perhaps we will never know!

Whilst the Owner always uses her best endeavours to ensure the information on this website is accurate and complete, errors may from time to time occur. The Owner will not be held responsible for the consequence of such errors but will make efforts, where possible, to make corrections.

Wherever possible it is advisable to consult the source material.

Copies of this Publication have been deposited at the West Yorks Archives in Wakefield; Ossett Library; Wakefield Family history Society Library and summaries are available on 0ssett History website – (www.ossett.net)

(The Original contains copies of Deeds, Wills, Census records etc.).