My home – The Olde Smithy


The house sits on the River Calder. Prior to 1800 this was a thriving salmon river and would have been extremely fast running, until the start of the Textile Industry and the production of canals and weirs to slow the flow. The river in this particular era eventually became void of any life, but nowadays with the Government pulling their finger out and stricter laws the river is thriving, with Salmon coming back. Over the years this river as flooded with the worst in 1947, 2008. Fortunately for us this side of the river at this location does not flood but less than half a mile down the road to the right of the property does flood extremely badly, and we found that out 3 months after purchasing the property, with 25-27 feet of extra water at this point.

1703-1730 Approximate build date of the 2 storey which makes it around 300 years old. Looking at the view this is to the left, with the single storey part of the house built approximately 100 years later. This was built as a place of work which was used to manufacture lemonade and more recently a Joiners shop up until 1983 when it was converted to a dwelling.

We know that the house in its earlier days was a Blacksmiths which would have supported amongst other things a nearby stables which is 150 metres away. This stable was built in 1650 and is now a local and thriving public house, the Flower Pot.

From 1860 the house was owned by the Roebuck family where the manufacture of lemonade took place which included my favorite, dandelion and burdock. This was transported on horse and cart to the various outlets/shops in and around the Mirfield area between the years 1860-1914. This would cease due to the start of the 1st World War and a ration on sugar, the main ingredient used to produce lemonade. The water used came from a “Well” which is still on the land and outside the main door to the 2 storey property. This is covered with a hefty piece of “York Stone” and I presume capped, but a project would be to investigate this and maybe open this as a feature.

From around 1930 this single storey property was leased to a local Joiner, Fred Stead who built several of the houses across the road from here and who lived in one of the detached properties, and to this day is occupied by his son David Stead who was a joiner himself.

As the story goes which is actually true the joiner Fred Stead employed an apprentice and one day there was a bad accident in the work-shop where the apprentice lost some fingers! Filled with guilt Fred could not live with this and one day came across to the workshop which is now our kitchen, conservatory, office, downstairs toilet, Utility room, Snug and on-suite bedroom which was the entrance to drive the truck into for loading and unloading, and took his own life. You may be thinking is the house haunted; well it is and we believe the presence could be Fred but we can’t be sure and are not prepared to bring in a spiritualist for obvious reasons. Many things have happened and too many to list but at times things do happen, such as things disappearing and re-appearing, certain smells as though someone is passing you, the feeling that someone is watching you. I remember we had just purchased a new samsung tv which was expensive, and we were arguing about something or nothing and the TV started to switch on and off several times until it got our attention, which incidently was straight away and no one was near the remote.

Maybe it is Fred or maybe a member of the Roebuck family who owned the property between 1860-2007 we don’t know!!

Whatever it is means us no harm because the house has a warm and loved feeling about it and we walk about the house in the dark without any fears whatsoever.

I have attached a few pictures to view if you are interested.


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