It can be very difficult to orient yourself correctly when examining an old map. Map-makers often did not identify the direction of north and a building that would have provided an obvious fixed point, such as the parish church in the centre of Bradford, may not be drawn. The names of roadways may not be given, or if they are included they may differ from those known today. A plan of Manningham from the reserve collection exemplifies such difficulties.
The first image constitutes about half the original map which is annotated ‘late Miss Booth’s property, Manningham’. The crucial fact is that the road labelled as Lilly Croft Lane is now called Heaton Road. This thoroughfare leads from Bradford to Heaton, as the map indicates, in a direction that is a few degrees west of due north. Today there is another Lilycroft Lane, which is the road entrance leaving Heaton Road to the left. The block at the top left of the plan is a row of cottages, no longer existing, which were in front of the first Manningham Mill. This mill was rebuilt by Samuel Cunliffe Lister in 1873 after a disastrous fire. The mill building itself, which would have permitted instant positional recognition, is not drawn.
Moving east we cross the property of E.C.L. Kaye. He was Samuel Cunliffe Lister’s brother who retired early and took no part in the commercial life of Bradford. The field patterns here resemble closely those of the first OS map of the area; this was surveyed in 1847-50 and so provides an approximate date for our map. Skinner Lane in Manningham village has kept its name and the property outlines that are drawn again resemble those of the the first OS map. The road leaving the village to the east, and reappearing on the second image, is Dewhirst Lane.
In the first OS map this is called Duce Lane. I assume that Dewhirst is formally correct but that ‘Duce’ was a contraction by which it was generally known. Today it is Oak Lane. Whatever its name the lane ends at property belonging to Thomas & Isaac Rhodes. Here it joins Esp Lane, often called Hesp Lane, which evolved into North Park Road when the land surrounding Manningham Hall was developed as a public open space (Lister Park) after 1870. Where you may just be able to make out the words ‘to Bradford’, at the bottom right of the image, is approximately the position of the beautiful Manningham Park gates. The road shown here links to Manningham Lane – Keighley Road, which is not drawn.
So, who was the late Miss Booth? As so often Cudworth provides the answer. He writes: (Skinner Lane) ‘was formerly the only outlet from Manningham to Duce Lane (now Oak Lane) which obtained its name from one Dewhirst (locally pronounced Duce) having long been resident there. In one square house, which is still standing in Skinner Lane, lived Jonas Booth with his maiden sister Catherine. Booth was one of the old race of stuff-makers, his warehouse being in the rear of his house. He died in 1837 bequeathing his property to his sister, who died the following year.’ Our map therefore presumably dates from 1838-39.
Derek Barker, Local Studies Library Volunteer