Manor House, Manor Road, Ossett

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Manor House, Manor Road

Manor House, off Manor Road was built by Mark Wilby in 1870 when he was one of the proprietors of Manor Mill, which was located very close to this grand house. Mark Wilby died in 1912 aged 85 and here is a small part of the obituary that appeared in the "Ossett Observer"

"With the advent of power loom weaving, he became a cloth manufacturer in a large way of business, occupying Manor Mills and amassing considerable wealth. One of the hard-headed, frugal type of Yorkshireman, even in the days of his prosperity, he lived in a cottage in Park Square, until he built Manor House, the large residence near the mills, where he lived until he retired from business.

The late Mr. Wilby is survived by four daughters and one son. One of the daughters is an ex-mayoress of Ossett, the wife of Alderman T.W. Phillips and another is the wife of Mr. J.W. Cussons, formerly of Ossett."

In 1905‐06 John Thomas Marsden is shown in the Ossett Burgess Roll living at Manor House, Manor Lane after Mark Wilby had moved to live in the Lancashire seaside resort of Southport where he died in 1912 aged 85. Marsden, was the managing director of Marsden Brothers, Extract Wool, Rag and Mungo Merchants, and also a director of the Woodkirk Stone and Brick Company. He had been born in Ossett in 1852, the son of Joseph Marsden and married first Hannah Nettleton (daughter of George Nettleton) in 1879 and again in 1896, Annie Glover (daughter of John Glover) after his first wife Hannah had died aged 41 in 1895.

The Inland Revenue Valuation record for 1910 shows that Manor House is still owned and occupied by John Thomas Marsden who was Ossett's mayor in 1907/08, when the new Town Hall was opened. In the garden and grounds of Manor House stands a “reservoir”, greenhouse, vinery, stable, coach house and wood shed. The Burgess Roll for 1913‐14 also shows J.T. Marsden still at Manor House. However, in 1927 Manor House is occupied by the Misses Marsden, presumably the unmarried daughters of J.T. Marsden.

Wilby's Manor Mill has long since been demolished and replaced by housing. Bennett Brook (1891-1980), farmer and owner of Sowood Farm moved to Manor House from Rock Cottage, Westfield Road Horbury in 1955 and lived there until the early 1970s. In those days it was possible to see Sowood Farm across the fields from Manor House. The House still exists today, on Cavewell Gardens, but has been converted into apartments.