Halifax Road


The Rose and Crown goes back to the early 19th century and was known to be in existence as an inn before 1821. It was originally three cottages, which were later converted into the building you see today. It was owned by the Sutcliffe family who obtained its licence from the Lower George, a pub in the Cross Stone area.

The first recorded keeper was Thomas Law but in 1825, a James Law was the landlord. Possibly relatives. The pub passed to the Greenwood family by 1830 and was to stay in this family for a great number of years.

Paul Greenwood was the son of Paul and Sarah of Hawkstones, and was born around 1789. He married, and he and his wife Mary decided to have a mass baptism for four of their children at St. Paul's, Cross Stone on 29th April 1836. With four children ranging in age from 18 down to three, they set off for the christening service and no doubt had a jolly good party on their return from church. Paul died three years later aged 50 and was buried at Cross Stone.


After Paul's death, his widow Mary took over the running of the pub, ably helped by her son Paul. There were still the three daughters at home as well, Sarah, Ann and the youngest, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was later to marry Edmund Lord of the Black Horse at Knowlwood.


Mary died in 1848 and when her son Paul took over, it would be business as usual, the regulars knowing him and his ways. Paul had taken a wife named Hannah around 1842, and they produced many children, amongst them a son named Paul, so carrying the name through to another generation.

In September 1849, Paul disturbed a robber at his pub. About 2 o'clock on a Tuesday morning he was awoken by the sound of his front door being unbolted. He jumped out of bed and opened the bedroom window from where he saw a man leaving the pub and running away down the road. Paul cried out for assistance, jumped out of the window and gave the man chase wearing just his night shirt. It was dark and he lost sight of the man near the railway line. On returning to his house he found thief had carried off two rounds of beef, a cow's tongue, a quantity of butter and some cigars, worth £1 17s 6d. Some quantities of boiled meat, a few cigars and a shoe were found on the road down which the thief had fled. The thief remained undetected.


Paul moved on by 1861, possibly earlier, and became a railway worker, still living near to the pub and probably frequenting it as a customer. A change for him, as it had been the focus of his life for a long time. He died by 1881, leaving Hannah with the children and grandchildren. Hannah died by 1901 and by then, the family branches had spread their wings and gone their separate ways.

The next recorded keeper is Samuel Law. Samuel was born around 1834, the son of John Law and Sally Haigh, the second of John's 3 wives. John had eight children in total, but only two survived to adulthood, Samuel being one of them. He lived at SQUARE in Walsden and became an apprentice shoemaker. On his father's death in 1853, he inherited £5 and two cottages in Square.

The cottage on Square where Samuel was born


Samuel had become the landlord of the Rose and Crown by 1861 at the young age of 27. His uncle Abraham Law kept the Cloggers' Arms at Square, so he was probably well versed in the ways of pub life. He and his wife Grace employed one servant as help with the running of this busy pub. Samuel's life was cut short when he died at only 34 years old. Grace continued to run the pub with the help of the one servant but even so, it must have been a hard life for her with no man to help with the heavy work.


Two other families maintained separate households at the Rose and Crown in 1871, upholding the fact that it was indeed three cottages. One was Mary Helliwell aged 46 and her son Joseph 24, who was recorded as a lunatic. Mary worked as cotton operative. The other household comprised of one William Uttley, a bachelor of 64. He was a cotton weaver and would probably have given Grace a hand in his spare time with any heavy tasks that needed doing when she was stuck. He would undoubtedly get a free pint or two for his help.


Grace died in 1873 and was buried at St. Paul's, Cross Stone, with her husband. Mary Helliwell and her son Joseph are in the same grave, dying in 1896 and 1892 respectively.


Above the pub, running the full length of the upper floor, was a room that was used as a courtroom for inquests and served as the clubroom for meetings and functions. It seems strange to us nowadays that a pub was used for inquests, as today it is definitely not allowed. A few examples of the variation of the type of inquests that were held are shown below.


This particular one was reported in The Halifax Guardian of 7th Nov 1863, and is submitted by Alan Longbottom:

Inquest - Fatal Road Accident - On Monday the inquest was held at the Rose and Crown Inn, Castle Street, before J.R. Ingram, Esq., deputy coroner, on the body of Joseph Crowther Carter aged 78. On Saturday, a party of gentlemen had been out hunting, and were returning home at seven o'clock, and rode up the road from Eastwood at a quick pace. The deceased heard the tramp of the horses, and went, as he supposed, out of the way, taking shelter behind a cart, which was drawn up at one side of the road, near Castle Lodge. The horse of Mr. O. Barker, manufacturer, came against him with such force that he was fatally injured, and died at three o'clock next morning. The inquest lasted from half-past four p.m. until eleven o'clock, and ultimately resulted in a verdict of accidental death the jury recording their opinion that Barker was not entirely free from blame.


Another one concerned a case of drowning. Albert Marshall was nine and like most lads of this age loved playing dangerous games, generally mucking about and taking on "dares". A normal lad. Water, as is still the case today, was an added attraction. Maybe it was a dare that led to his sad demise on an August day in 1870 when he and some other lads were playing near the canal lock at Shaw Bridge. You can imagine them larking about, each issuing more daring dares and getting increasingly excited. One thing led to another and before anyone could stop him, Albert crossed the lock gates, lost his balance and fell into the canal. Efforts to get him out failed and he drowned.


The lock gates where Albert drowned

Who could imagine such a tragedy on a lovely summer's day? The inquest was held in the courtroom at the Rose and Crown and a verdict of accidental drowning was recorded. Unfortunately, it still happens today as lads will be lads and water is still the attraction it always was on a warm summer's day.

On the other side of the coin, violence was never far away where alcohol was involved, some not being able to hold their drink. John Taylor of Castle Street, in June of 1872, had more than he could handle, became aggressive, and tried to kick down the door of the pub at 11-20pm. He was apprehended and at the Todmorden Petty Sessions, he was fined 10 shillings plus costs for his actions. A dear night out. Maybe he learned his lesson, maybe he never did.


Perhaps the saddest case of all was the inquest held on the 2nd of March 1896 on one Herbert Crabtree. He was only 9 weeks old and lived with his parents Jane and Joseph Crabtree at Castle Street for the few short weeks of his life. He died on 28th February of starvation. At the inquest, the jurors found that Jane, his mother, had hastened, or even caused his death by wilful neglect, and brought in the verdict of manslaughter against her. A tragic story which perhaps we need to know more about before condemning Jane too much.

The room served many more purposes and one was noted by John Travis, the local historian, who recorded:

"Many people who had attended the "old" church had moved over to the Langfield side of the Calder and there was no church specifically for these people, who were a pretty large group. Two or three missions were set up in connection with Cross Stone but none lasted for long. The first was set up at the Rose and Crown Club room and nightly services were held in Mr. Brown's time."

It is not certain who Mr. Brown was. Maybe a vicar, maybe a landlord.

Mr. John Ingham, the owner of the CINDERHILL MILL, which stood right next door to the pub, also used the club room. He owned farms in the area and the tenants would pay their rents at the pub. They were then treated to a sit down dinner in the clubroom, which was specially arranged with long tables for the dining. A special treat for the tenant farmers, and a nice gesture from their landlord.


In 1833, the Castle Street Methodist Chapel held their first anniversary in the room. They must have been hard pressed to find other accommodation, having had to resort to licensed premises.


The Royal Foresters Court (No. 168), known as the Court Sublime, also used the clubroom for their meetings and other functions. They were established on 28th September 1831 and other existing "Courts" each held their meetings at different inns in the town. In 1893, the Court Sublime Order was dissolved and each member, in total 88, received £10 10s each. The Order of Foresters were Friendly Societies, set up all over England and abroad as a sickness, funeral and benevolent fund for their members and other deserving good causes.


A new chapter in the life of the pub began after Grace Law died in 1873, with Joseph Uttley taking over. Maybe he was related to the William Uttley who was at one of the cottages in 1871, although Uttley is a very common name in the area.


Joseph came from a large family who lived in the Mankinholes area of Langfield. His father was a butcher and Joseph followed him into the trade. He married Grace Hirst and they lived for a time with his in-laws at Mankinholes. He and Grace had four daughters and a son Mark. Sadly, Mark died when he was only 19 months old, leaving Joseph and Grace with only daughters. Grace died in 1869 still at Mankinholes and was buried at Lumbutts Chapel with her son Mark.

Joseph carried on living at Lumbutts, near his own family, and farmed 14 acres as well as continuing in the butchering trade. He remarried in 1877 to widow Mary Haigh from Walsden. She had been Mary Fielden and her husband, James Haigh, had died in 1862, so both Joseph and Mary had been on their own for quite a few years. They became established at the Rose and Crown by 1881 and were helped by Joseph's second eldest daughter Ellen, who worked as a bar maid. His eldest daughter Hannah had married and set up home with her husband Charles Sutcliffe who was a successful cabinetmaker. His third daughter Harriet may have married by this time, as there is no sign of her at home. His youngest daughter Mary was also helping at a pub, but not her father's. She was working for her Uncle George Uttley at the Royal George in Church Street.


Joseph died in 1887 and was buried with his first wife Grace and son Mark at Lumbutts Chapel. His widow Mary carried on as the innkeeper at the Rose and Crown helped by her stepdaughter Mary Uttley. They had a lodger in 1891, Donald Sutherland, a police sergeant born in Scotland. Mary would have had to keep an orderly house with him around.


The owners of the pub, the Sutcliffe family, sold the premises in 1894 to Whittakers, the Halifax brewery. Independent owners were lured by the prospect of a lump sum of money by selling to the larger well-established breweries. Mary moved out by 1897 and returned to Walsden, which is where she died in 1906.

Fred Hirst, the next publican, son of Joseph and Grace and was born around 1856. He became a reed maker, eventually going to live at Walsden, first in the Little Knowl area and then on Hollins Road. Fred married Emma Brock in the early 1870's and they had two children before Emma died in 1883 at the young age of 26.

Fred remarried and by 1897, he and his wife Betsy, along with his children Clara and Sam had become the proud occupants of the Rose and Crown. They did not stay long, maybe not being suited to pub life. He and his family had left by 1904 and moved back to Walsden where he died in 1910. His second wife Betsy died in 1924 and they are buried together at St. Peter's, Walsden along with Fred's first wife Emma.


Watts Taylor, the next tenant, was born and bred in Heptonstall around 1873 and grew up on High Street there with his parents John and Priscilla. He served his time to become a joiner, which was his occupation when met and married Bertha, the daughter of Robert and Ellen Greenwood who ran the Peacock in York Street, Todmorden. Watts and Bertha lodged there in the early years of their marriage, Watts carrying on his trade of joiner, with Bertha probably helping out at the pub and bringing up their daughter Ellen. He had taken over the running of the Rose and Crown by 1904 but had left by 1910. A strange coincidence that he left the same year that the previous landlord, Fred Hirst died.

Another Uttley, this time a Michael Uttley now took over, but no direct relation of the previous Joseph Uttley. Michael came from Longlees at Warland and was no stranger to the trade. His father, John, had kept the WOODCOCK for a few years and his sister Betty, when married, went to keep the Jubilee at Crompton. Another of his sisters, Selina, stayed local and became the wife of James Lord of the RAILWAY INN at Walsden.


Michael married Alice Jackson, who came from another family with close connections to the licensing trade. Her sister Betty ran the BIRD IN HAND at Warland. Sister Mally was the wife of Daniel Greenwood and lived at the SUN INN for a time whilst her brother Martin was the landlord of the DOG AND PARTRIDGE or Top Brink as it is known, at Lumbutts, and also the Bird in Hand at Warland.

Michael and Alice started married life at Longlees, working a 12-acre farm and in the ten years between 1869 and 1879, they had six children, five daughters and one son.


Warland Gate End, Walsden

Alice died shortly after the birth of their only son, Herbert, and the children were split up, living with various relatives whilst their father went out to work as a chemical worker. One daughter had died and his two eldest daughters Annetta and Hannah stayed at home with him at Warland Gate End, leaving the two youngest daughters to be looked after by relatives.
Neither of them was very far away from their father. Daughter, Emma, went to live with her great uncle Ogden Mitchell at the Waggon and Horses in Walsden, whilst Leah was living with her aunt Betty Fielden at Higher Allescholes, her mother's married sister.

Higher Allescholes, Walsden

Herbert, his only son, was with his uncle Martin Jackson, the lock keeper at Longlees Lock.

The family was reunited before too long. Michael got a job as a gas tar distiller, and they moved from the Warland area and went to live in the Halifax Road part of Stansfield. By 1910, Michael was established as the landlord of the Rose and Crown. He was a popular landlord by all accounts. His daughters had all left home except Annetta, who helped with the running of the pub. His son Herbert was also still at home and working as a gas meter inspector. Herbert later became the landlord of the Hollins Inn at Walsden.


Michael died in 1922 and his spinster daughter, known as Neta, a well-known and respected lady, then took over the licence and ran the pub very capably until the 1930's.


From then on, the Rose and Crown has undergone many alterations and had many landlords. It retains its original features, but its future looks uncertain now. It is boarded up and looks a sad sight. Let us hope that it reopens so that it can continue to add new chapters to the history of Todmorden and that we can change this ending to a happy one.