Stones of Sitlington

A preview of my article for the next edition of Coxley News. The Parish of Sitlington, south-west of Wakefield, includes Netherton, Middlestown and Overton.

dogstoneThe Dog Stone

Also known as the Stocks Stone, can be found on a corner east of the church at Netherton. Did the village stocks once stand here? Its worn upper surface suggests that it might have been used as a mounting block.

Turnpike Road Milestone

milestoneNow preserved near Lady Ings Farm on Low Lane, Middlestown, my guess is that it must originally have stood at the junction of Low Lane and New Road, on the left as you climb Middlestown Hill, because the inscription on the other side is ‘TO Huddersfd 9 Miles’.

New Road dates from the early 1840s and was a turnpike, replacing an earlier turnpike route along Sandy Lane which had been approved by an Act of Parliament in 1759.

The toll bars were removed in 1882.

quarrystone2Coxley Quarry Stone

This carved stone, downstream from Coxley Dam was, so I’m told, carved by a man who lived in one of the cottages at the bottom of Coxley Lane. He had time on his hands because, like so many in the 1930s, he was out of work. He once rescued a boy from Coxley Dam.

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    1. Thank you! I keep thinking that I’m catching up at last but it’s like running up the down escalator, just when I think I’ve only got a few more steps to go, I find myself drifting back again. But I enjoyed putting together this article. It made me think about doing another local publication, something I haven’t got around to for years now.

  1. Hi Richard. I am looking for information on Coxley dam, when it was built and restored. Can you please direct me to a good source. Thank oyu

    1. Coxley dam is a bit of a mystery and of course there are two of them. I’m trying to find out if there was a third dam downstream. When I researched my booklet on Coxley Valley, this is all that I was able to find out: Matthew Bryam built a water-powered textile mill in c.1787. It was destroyed by fire in 1926 and again in 1946. In the 1960s I remember that the dam wall was broken. Alan Sykes, who has rebuilt the engine house on Coxley Lane, knows all about that as his family restored it, which I guess would be in the early 1970s.
      Wakefield local history library at Wakefield One, the council headquarters would be a good place to start any research. The only book that I know about the area is ‘The Sitlington Story’ by Richard Woodhall, which they’ll have at the library. That was where I found the reference to Matthew Bryam’s mill.
      In the 1870s or 80s there was a scheme to turn the upper dam into a pleasure gardens. That never really got off the ground.

  2. Re the Coxley Valley Stone.J.Ellis was my grandad.The story as I know was that he was brought up by his uncle,then discovered that his father was called Lister and as an act of thanks,carved the inscription.There was a story in the Wakefield Express/Horbury Ossett observer nearly 40 years ago explaining the story and showing his great grandson Jonathan stood next to the stone.

    1. Correct. Jack Lister was my Uncle. Times were hard in the 20s and my Grandad, Bernard Lister and his wife Laura had three more mouths to feed with Jack and his two sisters, Mabel and my mother Elsie – so Laura’s childless sister, also Elsie, and her husband Walter Ellis took care of the boy – hence the carved named of Ellis rather than his correct name of Lister.

      1. Thank you, I’d always wondered about that. We’ll pass that story on to a J Ellis who we know; my brother-in-law John.

    2. Yes Jack Ellis as he called himself then was my Uncle. His mother and father were Bernard and Laura Lister but as times were hard in the inter war years and they had two daughters as well, Mabel and Elsie (my mother) and as my Grandma’s sister and after whom my mother was named ) Elsie married to Waller Ellis were childless they took the boy on board (hence the Ellis name on the stone though he really was Jack Lister.).

      1. I’ve just looked on the 1939 Register and Annie Lister was by then a widow doing ‘unpaid domestic duties’, born 27 June 1866. Next door neighbours were Henry and Rosetta Boocock; Henry was a retired cotton weaver and overseer. On the other side Arnold Hutchinson, poultry farmer and his family.

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