Well Head Mansion Part 4 

Following the death of Mrs Doherty Waterhouse in 1916, Well Head’s contents were sold off, but the mansion and grounds were sold separately.  They were purchased by Frank Lee, of Lancastrian heritage, though his wife Kate Ingle was from Bradford.  For many years Frank Lee was chairman and director of W and R K Lee, Ltd, of Lock Hill Mills, Sowerby Bridge and of Triangle, cotton spinners and doublers. W and R K Lee were the sole suppliers of yarn to the Crossley mercerising plant at Dean Clough. In the early 1930s, Frank joined John Crossley and Sons, very soon becoming chairman of the Board. In 1936, the Lee Company was reconstituted and Crossleys obtained a controlling interest. It was during these years, as a consequence, that Crossleys started making new fabrics Duravel and Karvel.

Frank Lee died in 1956; listed building status for Well Head had been achieved in 1954.  In 1958, John Crossley and Sons Limited purchased the whole of the share capital of W and R K Lee, the firm’s name being changed to John Crossley and Sons (Croslee Yarns) Limited. The firm was later known as Croslee Yarns Limited.

Mr Lee’s widow Kate lived on at Well Head until 1968.  She died in 1973 aged 98, leaving one daughter, Frances Joan, Mrs Edward Hoyle.  The house – which had deteriorated badly – was sold.

From the early 1970s, Halifax Corporation (later Calderdale MBC) decided to develop the Well Head estate saving the house but not preserving it. The delay proved fatal. Even its Listed status could not save this ‘John Carr’ house; neglect led to damage beyond repair, and its dire condition meant that it had to be demolished in 1975.  Before long its site was occupied by new houses; and its grounds were slowly re-developed.

Changes ahead at Halifax Antiquarian Society

Halifax Antiquarian Society enters a new era in 2019.  From January, we shall be holding our Lectures in The Caygill Room at the south-east corner of The Piece Hall.  This is on the second floor, and fully accessible by lift; parking is easily available nearby, and the area is well lit after dark.  To hold events in such a great heritage location is quite an honour.

Halifax Antiquarian Society was founded in 1900, and is our oldest Local History group, and covers Calderdale as well as Halifax. A series of lectures on various aspects of our past is held throughout the year, on Tuesday evenings.  You do not have to be a member to attend.  However, members receive a fine volume of historical research articles – The Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions – each autumn.

Each of our Lectures begins at 7.30 pm, and the first three scheduled for 2019 are:

Tuesday 15th January

William Priestley, Mrs Sunderland and friends – Music in early 19th Century Halifax

By David Glover, President

Tuesday 19th February

Paternalism in 19th century Halifax – particularly Col Akroyd and the Crossleys

By Chris Toole, member

Tuesday 5th March

Locked Away: Unlocking the lives of women in the West Yorkshire Asylums 1818 – 1918

By Jennie Kiff, HLF Heritage consultant

We would be delighted if you can join us! Why not take a look at our website?  Membership is only £25 a year.  Perhaps your friend might appreciate a gift membership for Christmas?  If you do not have an internet connection, you can write to our Membership Secretary, David Jennings, at 115 Siddal Lane, Halifax, HX3 9JS.

Hope you all enjoy a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best wishes

David C Glover

President, Halifax Antiquarian Society