Denison Square
Denison Square, Methley.

Denison Square

The photo shows the backs of the houses which fronted on Main Street, i.e. those mentioned on the previous page, where Broadhurst’s shops were.

Denison Square is said to have been built by the Denison family c1880-1890, maybe 1889. There were 46 houses in the Square, some ‘back-to-back’, others ‘through’ houses. There were outside toilets. The original ‘ashpits’ or ‘middens’ replaced by dustbins. Samuel Denison lived from 1785-1866. They were a prosperous Methley family and manufactured heavy weighing machinery in Leeds.

They also built other properties in the village.

Top of Main Street, early 1900s

The south side, facing up Main Street towards the Savile Pit. A group of children have been assembled for the photographer; they look rather dishevelled. Note the clothes of the boys and girls.

Times were hard, wages low, families large and houses small and had no conveniences, no hot water, no pit-head baths for miners, only a tin tub on the hearth. Women had to work hard in the home.

The children are standing almost opposite to the entrance to Denison Square. Behind them is a row of cottages, now demolished. Far two stood at the top of Mill Lane. Down Mill Lane at one time was the village corn mill. There were also houses down Mill Lane.

The shop with the sign above the door and shutters each side of the window was that of Mr. and Mrs. Atack, a sweetshop and newsagents. It was a low, dark shop. You went down steps into it. Mrs. Atack was a small, elderly lady who always wore a shawl and small gold-framed spectacles. Mr.Atack had a long white beard and always wore a skull-cap. They collected the newspapers from the LMS station in a dog-cart.

Top of Main Street, early 1900s

The window in the foreground is that of Parker’s, later Barker’s grocery shop. This window was the store-room window.

Actually this property, which stood directly on the pavement, comprised two shops, with living accommodation behind, i.e. the large grocers’ shop and (not on photo) a draper’s shop, Asquiths, and later Mrs Milner and then a small knitting wool and haberdashery shop.

Mrs Atack’s shop and cottages ‘stood back’ and you can see the corner of a larger property jutting out. Between Mrs Atack’s and the grocery shop was a large gateway leading to the rear of the grocers and drapers.

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