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'Pastures' House


The '2nd' Shackleton family at Widdop


  The will of John Shackleton of Den, Stansfield, dated 26 Feb. 1789, ''gives and devises unto my son William all those parcels of land called The Pastures-----and all my tenant right or interest in that farm or tenament in Widdop aforesaid whereon he, my said son, William, now dwells''.[even though it was freehold there was a 'ground-rent' paid].  In the son William's will of 3 March 1818 [died 1821] it refers to ---'' I give and devise to my son William all those several closes of land of freehold tenure commonly known as Pastures otherwise Widdop Head now in my occupation''. This will also refers to --''one messuage or dwelling house at the EAST END of the closes now in occupation by Joseph Uttley and Sally wife of William Helliwell''. Initially I thought that this meant the 'additional wing'' at the east of the building but my 'fields chart' explains that William Helliwell's family were definitely at New Laithe Hey farm which IS at the east end of the CLOSES!!


present-day site of Pastures House


History of



The archives


 The Pastures House, later known as The Travellers Rest Inn, was the last building going out of Widdop towards Lancashire. In the accompanying photograph, from a local newspaper in 1894, it is shown as a typical Pennine farmhouse building with a central barn with arched doorway, animal accommodation at one end, human accommodation at the other end AND, in this case, an additional 'wing' for extra accommodation. The accompanying newspaper report referred to it as--'' run by  Shackletons ; always known as a notorious den of rogues, as it was convenient to go over the border into Lancashire for mischief and roguery ''.

    The first archive which I have discovered [WYAS Nottingham DDSR/10/297 ] refers to 'Bargain and sale to William Wadsworth of Heptonstall, yeoman, of  of 10 acres of common at Widdop,10shillings annual rent dated 13 November 1657.

   Subsequently the FREE rental lists show-Henry Wadsworth 1667-1688; James Shackleton 1688-1713; John Shackleton 1713-1726@; John Shackleton Junior 1713-1789.

  Later [WYASKirklees DS/1/243] referred to a Court Roll of 1733--'' and also this day and present that John Shackleton Jun. who held of the Lord by the same service one moiety[half] of two closes LATELY inclosed at Widdop head, the rent for the whole of 10/shillings is dead; by his last will devised the same to Sarah the wife of Jonathon Greenwood his sister ''--there's also a small land   John Shackleton Sen. 5 shillings & John Shackleton Jun. 5 shillings. In the same archive is a memorandum----'' memorandum of 10 shillings rent paid by Widdop Pastures farm----purchased Sep.24/55'' [presumably1755] for a new enclosure.

   Recently[2012] discovered a note of 1855  in DS/1/243 which refers to the Pastures Farm 'PURCHASED November 13 1657 by  William Wadsworth. The Savile Estate maps of 1715 and 1779 don't show The Pastures because it was always ''freehold'' and therefore not part of the Savile Estate.

  The Pastures House is next seen in a Savile Estate survey of 1833 in which William Shackleton is occupant of BOTH Pastures House and 'Far Sandy Fields' - at Lower Houses.

   In the 1841 census it appears that William has sub-let the property to Miles Hardcastle and family---a worsted weaver---whereas William is living at the first property in Widdop at Lower Houses-'Far Sandy Fields'.

  In the census of 1851 William is at the Pastures as 'landed proprietor' and acreage given as 10 acres; maps show 2 largish fields adjacent to the building which fits with the 2 fields enclosed in 1733. Looking at the acreage and closes of neighbouring New Laithe Hey farm the two fields at Pastures are about 10 acres.


     On September 24 1855 the property was put up for auction sale but  it's not known what happened; in the 1861 census the property was vacant. Thereafter, 1871-1901, it was occupied each time by a different family as farmers and 'beer sellers', only being referred to as The Travellers Rest in 1891 and 1901. It was demolished sometime in the 1920's.


  In a “Guide to Hardcastle Crags, and Neighbourhood” dated 1879  about Traveller’s Rest:--

''At the head of the reservoir is the topmost house in Widdup, a public house by the name of Traveller’s Rest, or “Sam Garforth’s,” where good homely entertainment can be had. Some 50 or 60 years ago this house was the haunt of a gang of bad characters, one of whom was transported for sheep stealing. After the dispersion of the gang, large quantities of stolen goods were found by keepers and shepherds, hid in the recesses of the rocks on the moor side.''

[Sam Garforth was occupant in 1871 but departed by 1881]

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