Methley Grange is now demolished.
Returning from the River Aire, Methley's boundary, a track on the left led
to " the old river". At this corner on the south side, stood this fine
residence, mentioned in the 1817 records.
Formerly owned and occupied by Mr. William Read, gentleman, who held musical
evenings there, and James Wade, maltster, and then later by Mr Giles Denison
as a freehold farm, the property was offered for sale by auction at the Rose
and Crown Inn, Methley, on August 28th 1862. It was described as a valuable
freehold farm in the occupation of Mr Giles Denison and called Boatstake or
Methley Grange. It offered a comfortable residence for family and servants,
had garden in front, vegetable garden at rear and orchard. There was a good
water supply (actually from a well), mines of excellent coal, estate tithe
free and near to the navigable River Aire.
The property was bought 1862 by Lord Mexborough for £7000. Mr Giles Dennison
and later his son, Thomas, continued to occupy the property until the death
of the son in 1904. The house was later occupied by tenant farmers of the
Mexborough Estate and was eventually divided into two houses.
In 1915-1916, the land at Boatstake was
occupied by S. (Sunny) Huddlestone from F.Denison. Huddlestones became large
market gardeners in the village, later principally at Moorhouse Farm.
Huddlestones had land at the Coney Moor 1923-24.
On the north side of the track to the old river, just further along than the
Grange, were five cottages, most probably occupied by workers on the estate.
The cottages are shown on the 1786 map.
Oxbow Ponds, Lower Mickletown
Oxbow Ponds, the large pond in 1992, commonly
called "The Old River".
Two lakes were formed when meanders in the river became so pronounced that
flood conditions cut off the bend altogether. Later the 'cut off' portion
silted up, isolating the bends for ever from the river and forming two
curious horse-shoe shaped lakes. They were becoming overgrown and rather
derelict after being tried and then abandoned by several angling clubs.
In 1991 the 16 acre site was leased from the Methley Estates by a Pickering
businessman, Mr. James Over and developed for fishing and also to encourage
wild life - flora and fauna. A car park was been made, a bailiff appointed,
the lakes cleared of overgrowth, while trees, shrubs etc. on the banks were
preserved, walkways round the lakes were opened up and the whole area
improved. The lakes themselves were restocked with carp, tench, rudd, roach,
pike and perch and over 70 angling platforms placed. The area was opened for
fishing September 1991 and is proving to be a popular amenity. Water fowl
and Water plants flourished and there were water lilies on the small pond.