Dating friends reunited census family

7 & 9, HAGGS HILL ROAD Alan and Pat Howe live in one of a pair of semi-detached cottages on Haggs Hill Road and their son-in-law and daughter, Ashley and Emma Wild live in the other with their son Jack.

It is thought that the cottages were at one time a farmhouse built by Joshua Haigh, a local landowner who lived at Longlands House in Ossett.

‘Ikey Pickard’s Passage’, in Isaac’s ownership, linked the cottages and their garden to two larger pieces of land (of about 3 acres in total) known as Wheatley's Closes, which on modern maps would be located on the opposite side of Queens Drive near to the Two Brewers pub.

The final area of land stood opposite the cottages on the other side of what was then South Parade.

The Pickard family were tenants and later owners of the cottages for close to 200 years, between approximately 17.

The Pickards, living in Low Common, Ossett were traditionally weavers and woollen cloth workers and in 1841, there were 45 Pickards living in close proximity as members of six separate families.

However, Isaac Pickard junior, who had been a weaver and a dealer in malt, but by then was a farmer and market gardener, went one step further than his ancestors and bought the cottages with 4.5 acres of land for £450 in February 1918 from the Misses Steele, who were by now the owners of the property.

There were actually four separate, but connected pieces of land, in the conveyance.

There are still one or two very old houses in Ossett that date back even earlier to the 18th century.

The value of the property for tax purposes was £1 10s 0d, suggesting that it was larger than some of the other properties on Low Common.

The record indicates that the house wasn't occupied by tenants, and it is more likely that the Haigh family occupied the building themselves. A woolstapler would buy raw wool and take it (by packhorse) to the homes of workers where it would be hand combed, spun into yarn and woven into cloth on handlooms.

One such pair of cottages in Haggs Hill Road, Ossett date back possibly to 1745 or earlier.

In 1838, there were at least three large stone-built mansion-type houses in Ossett: Springstone House, Spur Hall and Longlands Hall.

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