Bierley, North

BIERLEY, NORTH, a township, in the parish and union of Bradford, wapentake of Morley, W. riding of York, 2 miles (S.) from Bradford; containing 9512 inhabitants. This township comprises by computation 3264 acres, of which 2250 are pasture, 276 arable, 238 woodland, and about 500 waste. The old Hall has been rebuilt in a handsome modern style; it is beautifully situated in grounds tastefully embellished, and in front of the house is a noble cedar of Lebanon, presented when a seedling to Dr. Richardson of Bierley by Sir Hans Sloane, more than a century since, and which has attained a stately and majestic growth. Royds Hall, which has been for many years the residence of the Dawson family, was originally built by the Rookes, who held the manor from the time of Henry VIII., till the close of the last century; it is in the ancient English style. The manor of Royds Hall, together with the minerals underneath the estate, was purchased from the last proprietor in 1788, by the ancestors of Messrs. Hird, Dawson, and Hardy, who originally established the celebrated Low Moor iron-works, now the most important in the north of England, both for extent, and for the superior quality of their produce. The works comprise furnaces, forges, tilts, and mills, on a very extensive scale, both for the manufacture of pig and bar iron, and for rolling and slitting it into sheets, bars, and rods, with foundries for the casting of cannon and ordnance of all kinds. Boilers for steam-engines, sugar-pans for the East and West Indies, water-pipes of large calibre, and a great variety of other articles, are manufactured here. The Bierley iron-works were commenced in 1810 by Henry Leah and James Marshall, Esqrs., and their partners, who hold on lease from Miss Currer all the minerals under the east end of Bierley, together with those under her estates in the townships of Bowling and Okenshaw. These works are confined to the manufacture of pig-iron, which, being the produce of ore from the same mine, is equal in quality with that of the Low Moor and Bowling works; they are conducted on an extensive scale. A worsted-mill has been built near the Low Moor. Bierley chapel was erected in 1766, in the township of Bowling, though immediately bordering on the north-east of North Bierley, by Richard Richardson, Esq., son of Dr. Richardson, but was not consecrated till 1824; it was enlarged by Miss Currer in 1828, and 1831, principally for the accommodation of the poor, and is a beautiful structure in the Grecian style. The living is a perpetual curacy, with a good house, and is in the patronage of Miss Currer, whose liberal addition of £40 per annum augments the income to £200.—See Wibsey.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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