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DEANROYD FARM

WALSDEN

   
Deanroyd can be seen clearly from the valley bottom at Walsden, perched part way up the eastern slopes with a long, steep but straight path leading up from the canal. It is still standing and is occupied as a private house, surrounded by green fields and hills.
   
This is an ancient farm, with records in existence dating from 1430. The earliest date stone to survive says 1675 IAG and was above a farm building. The present house was built to replace an older one on the same site, and has a date stone over the main doorway inscribed I.G.M.G. 1715 (John and Mary Greenwood). This branch of the Greenwood family held the land over many generations as yeoman farmers and cloth manufacturers. The last Greenwood known to have farmed there was James who married Betty Law, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Crossley) in 1789.
   
In the early days of Wesleyan Methodism in Walsden, James allowed his home to be used for meetings and services. The main Sunday school was at that time at Bottomley Farm, but as Deanroyd was larger and more conveniently located, larger gatherings and anniversary parties were held there.

Deanroyd about 1900

   

James and Betty moved to Woodbottom about 1813, leaving the lease on the farm to Betty's brother, Thomas Law. Thomas became known widely as Tummy O' Deanroyd.

Deanroyd was a substantial farmhouse with cottages and other buildings attached to it. The house was known as a genteel family residence and was much admired at the time Thomas and his wife Alice were there. Alice was known to be "a kindly woman who kept a good and clean house." At the time Thomas moved to Deanroyd, he was a partner with two of his brothers in the Smithyholme Mill at Copperas House in Walsden. He combined farming with developing the cotton business and became very successful.

   
Whilst he lived at Deanroyd, Thomas bought a plot of land and built four cottages on it, together with a stable, designed so that it could accommodate a fully laden lorry. Many such lorries used this as an overnight resting place as they returned from Manchester and other places. The stable barn can be seen in this photo.
   

The area of land at Deanroyd was quite substantial and contained a lot of heavy timber, which again was a lucrative source of income for Thomas. In 1843, Woody Bank was 34 acres, and Deanroyd Wood was over 6 acres. The land was in the ownership of James Taylor of Todmorden Hall.

In 1820, Thomas and his brothers built a new much larger and more modern mill at Ramsden Wood, selling their interest in Smithyholme Mill to the Fielden Brothers. The rearing dinner for the new mill was held at Deanroyd on 6th February 1820.

   
The railway works in this part of the valley gave a great boost to the pub trade, and John Thomas, who had formerly been a farmer at Inchfield, occupied two of the houses at the end of Deanroyd Lane as an inn, and for a time he did a roaring trade amongst the navvies; the village constable being frequently occupied at this place. There was also a block of 4 or 5 cottages on Deanroyd land built before the canal, known as Light Bank.

Deanroyd from the rear, showing the old packhorse trail leading from Bottomley to North Hollingwood.

   
Living with Thomas and Alice at Deanroyd was William Southwell. He was a young man who endeared himself to the whole extended family and worked for the brothers as a carter for many years.
   
After the death of Thomas in 1842, his son Matthias took over, farming the land on his own. However, he was more interesting in teaching children than farming, and by 1861 he was the teacher at Lanebottom School and had moved down the hill to a cottage at Deanroyd Lane End. He was the last of the Law family to farm at Deanroyd.
   
   

DEANROYD LINKS

 

COMPLETE CENSUS TRANSCRIPTION FOR DEANROYD 1841 TO 1891 AND 1843 SURVEY

THOMAS LAW OF DEANROYD

LANEBOTTOM SCHOOL

 

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