Stanbury is a township in Haworth Chapelry in the Parish of Keighley.  To the west is Lancashire, and its Yorkshire boundaries are with Oakworth on the north, Haworth to the south, and the Halifax township of Wadsworth to the south-west.

A boundary perambulation was carried out on 12th August 1805, and its report, in the archives of the Manor of Bradford, was transcribed in the Bradford Antiquary as follows (with minor amendments)

Manor of Bradford: The Court Baron of Benjamin Rawson, Esq, Lord of the Manor or Lordship of Bradford and the Court for perambulating the boundaries of the township of Stanbury (parcel of the said manor) held at the house of Mathew Wilkinson, the Cross Inn in Stanbury on Monday the 12th day of August in the 45th year of the reign of His Majesty King George III and in the year of our Lord 1805. Before me, Jo. Bentley, Steward.

Names of the Jurors for the Lord of the said Manor: John 5turges Esq, Mr Geenwood Bentley, Mr Joseph Hollings, Mr Thomas Fearnley, Mr John Key, Mr Mathew Watkinson, Mr William Sharp, Mr Jonas Tasker, Mr John Priestley, Mr Jonathan Walton, Mr James Broadbent, Mr Robert Ray

We the above named Jurors at this Court being impannelled and sworn upon the Homage touching the said Court Baron did, on Monday the 12th day of August instant, proceed to perambulate the boundaries of the said Township of Stanbury, and beginning at a Bridge called Smith Bank Bridge we did find the Boundaries as follows, viz.

A stone marked H; photo by David Garside

From the said Bridge we proceeded up the North  side of the Beck called the Sun Beck otherwise Chart Beck to a place called Withens, and from thence we proceeded southwards, along the said Beck, and from the Head of the same Beck southwardly, across certain Inclosed Lands of Joseph Midgley and John Crabtree to certain Stones upon the Moors called the Nooning Stones, and from thence we proceeded southwardly in a direct Iine across the said Moors to a certain stone called Walshaw Dean Head, and marked with the Ietter H; and from the said Stone we proceeded westwardly in a triangular direction along the north side of an old Ditch to a certain place called Backstone Clough Head and from thence to certain Stones called Awcomb Dean Stones; and from Awcomb Dean Stones we proceeded to a place called Robins Ditch; and from Robins Ditch to a place called White Hossocks, and from White Hossocks to Crow Hill Spring and from Crow Hill Spring we went in a northward direction to a certain Stone called “the Lad or Scarr on the Hill”, and from thence we proceeded in a direct Line, northward, to a certain Beck on the south side of the Highway leading from Stanbury aforesaid to Colne, called the North Beck, and then we proceeded along the south side of the said Beck, until we came to a certain Beck called the South Beck, which runs from the said Bridge called Smith Bank Bridge into the said North Beck, and then we proceeded up the north side of the said Beck called South Beck, until we came to Smith Bank Bridge aforesaid, the place at which we began.

The boundary of the township can be seen in its entirety on the Vision of Britain website, and followed in more detail on the first edition Ordnance Survey maps of the 1850s (West Riding nos 199 and 200).  Several names recorded above are not found on the OS maps, and some have changed, either in minor matters of spelling or altogether, as follows:

Smith Bank Bridge: same

Sun Beck / Chart Beck: OS calls it Sladen Beck and higher up South Dean Beck

Withens: the OS shows three places just called Withins; the one highest up the hillside, marked as Ruins on current maps, is Top Withens, allegedly of Wuthering Heights fame.

Nooning Stones: OS: Noonen Stones

Walshaw Dean Head: some confusion here.  Walshaw Dean is a stream that flows into Hebden Water and thence the Calder, with three reservoirs; Walshaw Dean Head is a couple of miles further north, on the boundary with Lancashire.  But obviously Walshaw Dean Head is what Stanbury folk called the point at the southern end of the township where the township met Haworth township.  The stone marked with an H was one of a number erected by Haworth township on their boundary.  Several of these survive, and one is illustrated above.

Backstone Clough Head: not on OS, but possibly what it calls Blue Scar Clough

Awcomb Dean Stones: OS: Alcomden Stones

Robins Ditch: same

White Hossocks: not shown

Crow Hill Spring: same

The Lad Stone; photo by David Garside

“The Lad or Scarr on the Hill”: not named on OS, but this stone still stands at the point where the boundary turns northward.  It is incised with the words LAD OR SCARR ON CROW HILL.  A story is told (with variations) about a boy (or a man) who lost his way in bad weather and died of exposure on Crow Hill, his remains being subsequently buried on the spot.  Haworth and Trawden both disclaimed liability, but in the event Trawden undertook the interment and then claimed an adjustment in its boundary to take in the land as far as the stone. Although there is a ‘kink’ in the boundary, this appears to be another apocryphal tale of tragic death and burial in a remote place.  The word ‘lad’ is common in the Lake Diststrict for a pile or stack, and lad stones are a pile of stones on a mountain top.  It is also occasionally used for a standing stone.

The Highway leading ,,, to Colne: The Two Laws and Keighley Branch of the Toller Lane Haworth and Blue Bell Turnpike Trust. Two Laws was a house, bridge and turnpike bar just east of the county boundary. The Blue Bell was an inn over the border in Lancashire.

North Beck: this is actually the River Worth, but presumably called North Beck because it is north of Stanbury.

South Beck: the same beck as they started from, called Sladen Beck by the OS, but now with a different name from the two given earlier.

Sources: Transcription by W E Preston in the Bradford Antiquary, October 1927, n s part xxii, pp 71-72; John Thornhill: On the Bradford District’s Western Boundary (Bradford Antiquary, 1989, 3rd series vol 4, pp 11-17).

RWH / Nov 2021