Heyhead, on the Lumbutts Road out of Walsden, just before
you come to the hamlet of Lumbutts itself, is the Shepherd's
Rest, a popular inn with walkers and almost everyone else
on a fine summer's day. Its location makes it an ideal stopping
place for ramblers on the many paths in the area.
photo shows its wonderful countryside location. Taken from
Mankinholes, the pub is the white building towards the top
of the photo, with Lumbutts at the bottom.
looking as if it has been a pub for all of its existence, this is
not the case. It was originally a hill top dwelling providing accommodation
for a working family, like many others of the same ilk that were
scattered over the Langfield area. In the late 1830's and early
1840's, the family of Abraham Stansfield, a sawyer, lived there.
had gone by the mid 1840's and James Greenwood then made it his
home. James was a mule spinner by trade and a local man, born and
raised in Langfield. He married Susan Shackleton and they
were established at their Heyhead home by 1846.
This is much how it must have looked in previous times. Very
little changed from today. Photo by kind permission of Frank
was an eccentric of sorts and a great collector of oddities.
He decided he wanted to share his collection for all to see,
so he opened his home as a museum.
came from all over the place to see the artifacts on show, possibly
the first tourist attraction in the area. On the few holidays allowed
to them, folk would make a day of it, with a walk and a stop to
view the museum where they could also get refreshments of various
kinds, before going back down to the valley and the hum drum life
the 28th of May 1854, a crucial battle in the Crimean War was fought,
the Bombardment of Odessa, which was a great victory for the English.
James decided to celebrate the event by holding a gala at the museum
on the 26th August 1854. Thousands attended and enjoyed a day of
entertainment and dancing. The music was provided by the Heptonstall
Drum and Fife Band and at the end of the day, a great firework display
representing the "Bombardment of Odessa" brought the day to a resoundingly
entertainment may have included the popular game of Knur and Spell,
which was enjoyed throughout the area. At
this time, Knur and Spell, also known as "tipping", was one of the
most popular games in the district for the workingmen, attracting
huge crowds with hundreds of pounds changing hands in wagers.
Knur was a ball, about the same size as a golf ball, normally made
of clay. It was placed in a sling that was suspended from a stick
firmly rooted in the ground. The Spell was a type of slender wooden
bat, broader and flattened at one end. The object was to hit the
Knur with the Spell and send it as far as possible into the distance.
This was known as a Knock. The match was decided by the longest
knock, or the best average in an agreed number of knocks. Matches
were normally between twenty and thirty knocks, with each player
taking five consecutive shots in turn. A referee supervised the
contest and the rules were observed rigidly. Young boys stood along
the course to watch for the knur as it landed, and measurements
were taken over walls, huts or other obstructions. The course was
marked with vertical pegs at intervals of 20 yards to facilitate
measurement. A first class player could knock the knur about 300
yards. Interest in the game dwindled as wages rose and the ordinary
man could afford a round of golf. However, it is still played in
parts of Yorkshire.
such match was played at Heyhead in May 1890 between John Whittaker
of Hanging Ditch and Paul Greenwood of Castle Street. The stake
was £5 a side, a fair amount for the time. John Whittaker
was the victor, but maybe the Shepherd's Rest was the real winner
in the end, if he spent his winnings over the bar.
Uttley, a landlord of the Rose and Crown at Castle Street, was an
expert maker of spells, also known as batsticks.
Halstead, shown in the photo, was the local champion about
1920 when the photo was taken. He was one of the most famous
players in the North of England, winning 29 out of 39 of
his big matches. His best performance was in a Handicap
at Walsden, in which he made two hits of 248 yards.
by kind permission of Roger Birch
Greenwood and his family left their home at Heyhead in 1859 and
went to Accrington, taking the collection of curios with them. The
new life of the cottage was about to begin. William
Butterworth, who had come from Rough Bank, near Ogden, Newhey, bought
the premises and applied for a beer licence, which was granted,
so he went ahead and opened the new beer house which he named The
married a lass from Langfield called Betty, but they did not have
much time together at the new pub as William died in March 1860
just a few months after becoming the proud new landlord. He
is buried in the graveyard at Lumbutts Chapel.
Butterworth, who was a few years older than William, was left in
charge and she managed to compliment her income from the beer house
by taking in lodgers for a while. Betty's sister Maria lived nearby
at Croft Carr with her husband Abraham Crabtree and two children,
Betsy and James. Abraham died in 1856 and Maria and her son James
went to live at Heyhead.
frightening occurrence happened to Betty in October of 1863 and
was reported in the Halifax Guardian:
breaking - On Thursday at the Magistrates Court, Thomas Astin,
Thomas Nixon, and Thomas Leek, all lads from Knowlwood, were charged
with having broken into the beerhouse of Mrs Butterworth at Heyhead
in Langfield. At half-past eleven on Sunday morning the house
was entered and the drawers ransacked. The prisoners were identified,
but were remanded for a week, until James Leek and William Whitehead,
who had been of the party, but had absconded, were apprehended.
These lads were taken at Bradford the same day.
week later on 31st Oct. 1863 the following article appeared in the
breaking case - On Thursday at the petty sessions the lads James
Leek and William Whitehead charged with breaking into widow Crabtree's
house, at Heyhead were committed for trial. They pleaded guilty.
view of the pub and a glimpse of the beautiful countryside
Crabtree and her son James eventually joined forces with "Owd"
Betty Butterworth, as she was known, and in 1871, with Betty
aged 59 and her sister Maria 57, the pub continued to offer
refreshment and drink to both workers and weekend trippers.
Maria's son James Crabtree, a mechanic by trade, helped the
widowed sisters with the heavier work.
a separate household at Heyhead at that time was Thomas Fielden,
a stone dealer in his 40's who was born in Walsden. He was married
to Betsy Crabtree, daughter of Maria and Abraham and they had four
young children, Betsy, Abraham, Hannah and James.
The family connection with the pub would be carried on in the future
by this Fielden family.
particular sport, which was popular around that time as well as
Knur and Spell, was sparrow shooting, and in October 1870, a match
was held for a £1 a side. Not a sport that has continued into
the 21st. Century.
Crabtree, Maria's son, took over as the next landlord. James ran
the pub and his elderly mother had help in the house from her granddaughter,
Betsy Fielden, now a young girl of 18, whose mother was widowed
in 1877 and who still lived at Lower Heyhead, farming 12 acres.
Her son Abraham helped on the farm whilst daughter Hannah Maria
at 13, worked at the cotton factory. The youngest son James Howarth
Fielden was still at school, aged 10. Maria died in April
of 1891 and was buried at Lumbutts with her husband. She lived to
be 82, a grand age for that time, when life expectancy was short.
granddaughter, Betsy Fielden, became the next licensee of the Shepherd's
Rest, taking over from her uncle James Crabtree. She married Stansfield
Hollows of Longfield early in 1882 and they had four children, but
by 1890, she was a widow as Stansfield died in 1890 aged only 33.
She was left with three young children, between seven years and
eight months, so running the pub was one way of making some money
and being at home to look after the children. Her widowed father-in-law,
also called Stansfield, and his son George Hollows, lived at the
pub with her, giving her a lift when necessary. Her sister Hannah
was also living with them, supplementing the upkeep of the household
from her wages as a cotton weaver.
other household at Heyhead was now a farm run by Alfred Bentley.
Betsy did not stay a widow for long and married Charles Walton from
nearby Lee in 1893. They ran the pub together and were still there
in 1908. The couple both died
in 1935, Charles in June and Betsy just two months later in August.
They are buried at Lumbutts Chapel with Betsy's first husband Stansfield
1922, Robert Coupe had taken over and this lovely photo of
him and his wife outside the pub is by kind permission of
Robert, a local family, the Winfields of Croft Gate, ran it
for many years, continuing in the tradition of welcoming clients
with food, good beer and hospitality.
other landlords have been and gone over the successive years and
it was not until 1960 that the pub obtained a full licence. It underwent
a complete transformation, being brought up to date and able to
cater for the new sort of clientele who, with their motor cars and
trips out into the country, now required more than a snack and a
are the old farmers and shepherds from the early days who
would sit huddled round the fire on a cold night or wander
in on a warm summer evening to chat about the day in the company
of their own kind, with a glass of beer or two, of course.
man who well remembered those days was James Hollows, son of Stansfield
and Betsy, who was born at the inn in 1886 and who lived to see
these changes. He enjoyed nothing more than reminiscing about those
times gone by to the new customers of the Shepherd's Rest.