Extract from "History Gazetteer & Directory of the West Riding 1837
Volume II" by William White.
NORTH BIERLEY township, celebrated for its extensive coal and iron works, has 7254 inhabitants, and 3090 acres of land, extending from 2 to 4 miles S. of Bradford, and comprising the large village of WIBSEY and the scattered but populous and contiguous hamlets of BIERLEY LANE, CARR LANE, HILL TOP, HODGSON MOOR, WOODHOUSE HILL, REVOE HILL, FOLLY HALL, WIBSEY SLACK & LOW MOOR; the two latter of which have large commons, or moors, rendered wild and steril by numerous heaps of shale and other refuse, raised round the mines of coal and ironstone.
Horse fairs are held at Wibsey, on Oct. 5th and Nov. 25th. North Bierley Hall, now occupied on lease by Henry Leah, Esq., is celebrated for its large cedar tree, planted, by the learned Dr. Richardson, whose property and taste is now inherited by his great granddaughter, Miss Fran. Mary Richardson Currer, of Eshton Hall, the present lady of the manor of Bierley.
The minerals under her estate are leased to Messrs. Leah and Co., who established the Bierley Pig Iron Works, in 1810.
The manor of Wibsey belongs to the proprietors of the Low Moor Iron Works, which rank among the largest in the kingdom, and were commenced about 50 years ago. The partners, Messrs. Hird, Dawson, and Hardy, have several neat mansions near this gigantic Cyclopian establishment, one of which is Royds Hall, anciently the seat of the Rook family.
NORTH BIERLEY CHAPEL stands near the hall, 2 miles S. by E. of Bradford, and was built by Dr. Richardson, and licensed in 1766, but not consecrated till 1824. It is a plain structure, and was enlarged, in 1828 and 1831, at the cost of its present patroness, Miss Currer. The curacy, valued at £135, was augmented in 1825 with a parliamentary grant of £1800, and is now enjoyed by the Rev. J. Bordsley. WIBSEY CHAPEL, (Trinity,) supposed to have been founded in 1606, by the Richardsons and Rooks, formerly of Bierley and Royds Halls, stands near LOW MOOR, and was enlarged in 1820, at the cost of £500, and again in 1837 and '8, at the cost of £1200, raised by subscription; so that its sittings have been increased from 750 to 1270, of which about 300 are free. It is a curacy , valued at £157, and augmented with £400 of Q.A.B., in 1720 and '55; a parliamentary grant of £300, in 1815, and with £600, given by Rd. Richardson, Wm. Rook, Edw. Leedes, and Rev. R. Powell, in 1720, 1754, and 1815. The Vicar of Bradford is patron, and the Rev. Joshua Fawcett incumbent. The CHURCH AT BUTTERSHAW, now building at the sole expense of John Hardy, Esq., of the Low Moor Company, was commenced in August, 1837, and will be a handsome Gothic structure, and the third episcopal chapel in this township which has considerably more than doubled its population since 1801. The Wesleyans have chapels at Low Moor and Wibsey, the former built in 1807, at the cost of £1500, and the latter in 1838, at the cost of £1000. In 1669, John Wilton left Penny close, now let for £12 a year, to pay 40s. per annum to the poor, and the rest of the rent to the curate of Wibsey. The National School, at Low Moor, was built by the proprietors of the Iron Works, in 1814, at the cost of nearly £1000. Sunday Schools are attached to all the places of worship, and that in Wibsey, belonging to the Wesleyans, was built in 1819, at the cost of £250. The Independents have also a school and preaching-room at Wibsey.