Woodcock Inn stood on an area of land near to where the present
day Bell Holme sports field is today.
photo shows the sports field and the area of Holme. The houses
in the foreground are Warland Gate End. The area is quite
historic, as it is where a family of Fieldens from near Bradford
settled in the 1500's. They came to Horse Pasture and later
were tenants of Top o' th' Fold and Maggotholme farms.
Fielden family married into the Bottomley Fieldens and it was the
beginning of the Fielden dynasty of Todmorden fame. Nicholas Fielden
of Bradford was reputedly the last resident of Maggotholme in the
1600's, and the fields and area around became known as the Holme.
It was here that the Woodcock Inn opened its doors and John Marland
became the landlord. He was there in 1825 and later founded a large
iron roller manufacturing business.
left in 1826 and James Howarth took over in the December of that
year. James was known as Old Jock and was the landlord for quite
a few years. His sister was Susan Howarth, or Sue Poppit as she
became known. She also was employed in the trade, being the landlady
of various pubs in her time, including the Cherry Tree to name just
was born in 1795, married a girl from Deerplay called Margaret Roberts
in 1816 and had two daughters, Mary and Sarah. Mary married Robert
Dawson, a local lad, and they continued to live in the area whilst
her sister Sarah married a Sutcliffe and went to live in Erringden.
Mary and Robert's daughter, Margaret Dawson, later married Hamer
Hollinrake and followed in her grandfather's steps by running the
Hollins Inn with her husband.
Jock also ran a timber business, so with their two daughters married
off and only themselves at the Woodcock, he and Margaret would have
quite a good lifestyle for that time. Margaret would take on the
pub duties whilst her husband made a nice bit of money from the
wood trade. The pub trade would mainly be the farmers, canal carriers,
carters and quarrymen, along with the local hand loom weavers, a
tight bunch who usually were reluctant to fritter their money away
in the beerhouses and pubs.
and Margaret had left the Woodcock by 1849 and on 7th. February
1850, he went missing. A search yielded no sign of him and
it was not until the 11th that his body was found in the canal
opposite the Sun Inn. He is buried at St. Mary's with his
back of the Sun Inn can just be seen as the building furthest
away from the canal.
may have also taken in lodgers, as a William Law of Ramsden Wood
and his second wife Betty, who was a Stansfield, were known to be
there from August 1845 until May 1846 at the least. It is a long
while to be lodgers and William may have been the landlord. William's
first wife was his cousin Sally Law. She was the daughter of Abraham
Law of the Clogger's Arms, who later built the Cross Keys, so there
is evidence of a pub connection. No evidence of William being the
landlord has come to light, so this is just supposition.
next recorded landlord is Thomas Fielden who took over on 24th December
1849. At the time, he was single, but he was married on the 31st
of December the same year to Mary Dawson, the daughter of John and
Hannah of Stonehouse. As they already had a daughter aged four,
Thomas must have thought that it was time he made an honest woman
out of Mary. Thomas' trade was a mason, but gave this up and spent
most of his life as an innkeeper.
was a local man, born in 1824 to John and Hannah, both Fieldens
and residents of Warland. Thomas and Mary had five children. They
had moved on by 1853 to keep a pub at Sleighty, in Wardle. He died
in 1867 aged 44 having moved to Spotland, and was possibly at the
Birches Inn at Healey, which is where his widow was in 1871, named
as the publican. Their son Samuel followed into the trade and became
the landlord of the Dog Inn at Milnrow, which is where his mother
Mary died in 1879. Thomas and
his wife Mary are buried at St. Peter's, Walsden.
Lock. Photo taken from
is the next known landlord, taking over some time after 1853.
He was born around 1812 at Knowl Top to Abraham and Sally.
He and his seven brothers and sisters were left orphans at
an early age, one of them only a year old. Their father met
a sad end, being drowned near Deanroyd Lock when going home
one Saturday night in 1821, bearing a heavy load of work -
warps and weft for the looms.
was December and would have been freezing cold, so he would have
had not much chance of surviving for long in the cold waters of
the canal. Abraham's wife Sally
survived him only a few weeks, dying of a broken heart.
Sutcliffe married Hannah Schofield of General Wood who died soon
after their marriage, leaving John to remarry, which he did in 1844
to Betty Dearden of Calf Holes. They had three daughters and he
and Betty ran the Woodcock between them. John carried on in the
business of farming, and they took in lodgers, which would be a
nice supplement to their income. So much so that by 1871 John had
made enough money to be able to afford to retire and he and Betty
went to live at Sun Terrace in Walsden to enjoy a well deserved
rest. John and Betty both stayed in that area until they died in
1882 and 1888 respectively.
next to become the landlord of the Woodcock was John Uttley.
John was a local man who farmed at Long Lees farm, which is
very near to the Woodcock Inn.
modern photo shows Long Lees farm in the foreground in the
right hand corner, with the Woodcock would have been on the
main road near the sports field
carried on with farming his 12 acres, helped by his son John. He
and his wife Sarah, a Walsden lass, had a family of seven; some
grew to adulthood, some did not. By the early 1880's, he had gone
back to living at Long Lees farm and given up the pub life. His
family carried on being involved in the licensing trade.
daughter Betty married John Marshall and for a time they lived at
Square, but moved to take over the running of the Jubilee Inn at
Crompton. Betty was widowed by 1891 but carried on with the pub,
helped by her brother John.
Uttley, a son of John and Sarah, married Alice, the sister of Martin
Jackson who kept the Bird I' th' Hand across the road from the Woodcock.
Michael was later to run the Rose and Crown on Halifax Rd. and his
sons and grandsons later ran the Hollins Inn for many years.
pub then passed into the hands of Thomas Greenwood and his family.
Thomas was the publican and also farmed 8 acres helped by his son
Daniel. Thomas and his wife were from Heptonstall, and had moved
around, from Cliviger, where Thomas had been a gamekeeper, to Wardle
and Littleborough before coming to Warland. The pub is still listed
as the Woodcock at this time. His son Daniel was to take over the
Sun Inn in Walsden before 1891.
the Greenwoods came William Mitchell, who had taken over by 1891
the pub was then called the Bell's Arms. How it came to change its
name is not really known. One theory is that Mally Bottomley, a
widow who ran the Inchfield Corn Mill, married one of her employees
named Bell Parkin. Bell was killed, and in his memory, Mally changed
the name of the pub around the 1890's to the Bell's Arms. This theory
is impossible as both Bell and Mally were by this date buried in
St. Paul's, Cross Stone, Bell having died in 1822 and Mally a year
later in 1823. See the story on Inchfield Mill HERE.
Mitchell was not a local man and does not appear to have been a
long serving landlord. He came from Accrington and by 1901 was back
there. Maybe the locals did not take kindly to a "foreigner" especially
one who had such an exotically named daughter as Esmerelda. Whatever
the reason, William left to go back to work in the cotton mill,
which was his job before he dabbled in the pub trade.
Arms 1910 to 1920
by kind permission of Roger Birch
A man by the name of Young
Sunderland then took over. He and his wife Jane both came
from Blackshawhead, a little closer than Accrington, and no
strangers to pub life. He had been a farmer before taking
over at the Woodcock. He also ran the Shoulder of Mutton at
Blackshawhead for a number of years. He had left by 1917 when
Fred Drury was landlord, and Fred Westall had taken over by
old pub had closed by 1936 and the building was later pulled down.
Nothing remains today of the place where it stood, just a lay-by
where a mobile trailer sells snacks to passing trade. The tradition
of wayside stops continues, but in a more modern fashion. It is
The area of the Holme is still
there and the sports field bears the name of Bellholme, so
both the pub and the area are still remembered today.