Bairstow Endowed School
In 1711, Paul Bairstow, a native of Sowerby, described by Oliver Heywood as "a wild blade" in his youth, who had later amended his ways and entered ministry, made provision in his will for a charity to be established to pay a schoolmaster an annual salary of £16 to teach twelve poor children "living within the chapelry of Sowerby."
On the 15th May 1820 an advertisement appeared in the Leeds Intelligencer inviting applications for the post of schoolmaster "to teach English grammatically, Writing and Arithmetic", with knowledge of Latin an additional recommendation.
In 1866, however, the school, which had apparently been operating for years "at the lowest state of efficiency" was temporary closed and the twelve free scholars sent to Sowerby National School. In 1875, after application to the Charity Commissioners and appropriate financial arrangements had been made, the new schoolhouse and headmaster's house shown in the photograph were opened at the bottom of Rooley Lane at a cost of £1,862 5s 7d (£1,862.28).
In the foreground, a boy can be seen transporting a younger child in a perambulator made from a soapbox.
Declining population, however, resulted in the closure of the school in 1904, when the funds were utilised for other educational purposes and the school premises purchased by Eli Siddall, a Sowerby Bridge joiner, for £525 and converted into dwelling houses.
We would like to thank Dr John Hargreaves for allowing us to reproduce the photograph and text from his book "Sowerby Bridge in Old Photographs", page 138.
For the location please see the main village photograph
Prospect House & Place
Eli Siddall divided the property into 5 dwellings and renamed the 4 of these as "Prospect Place". The fifth dwelling he named "Prospect House" and took up residence there with his family.