The ancient origins of Wrose as a place name is hardly realised by the present generation growing up in this pleasant city suburb. Wrose is mentioned as early as 1379 in the Poll Tax returns for that year where it is spelt ‘Wros’. The Poll Tax records of Richard II describes the Manor of Idle consisting of Idle itself and its three hamlets of Wros, Windhill and Thorpe, now Thorpe Edge.
It is likely that Wrose existed as place name long before this date. Within the Manor Wrose had its own lands and boundaries in which were the common fields where the villagers grew their crops and grazed their livestock.
The old houses of Wrose in the main, lay untouched, until the rapid housing expansion of the 1930’s when many of the present semi detached houses were built. Until this time it abounded with fine houses built of stone and dating from the times of Charles I and II and even earlier but they were in the main destroyed to make way for the new semi-detached dwellings. One of these fine houses still stands on Snowden Road on which Thomas Craven and his wife had their initials carved and the date of 1616. Probably the finest of all stood behind the present Wrose Bull, a smaller version of East Riddlesden Hall.
Other ancient houses were at High Ash, Moorhouse Farm, Croft Farm also known as Wrose Farm (which was where the present youth club stands), and Farm lane House. Houses still standing have dates of 1722 and 1668. Other old houses are at Westfield Lane Farm, Miserable corner, Oakbank, Hazlecroft, Colliers Row and Towngate. Fine Victorian houses were built as befitted their owners social standing at the Greenhouse, Well Croft, Westfield House, Moor View House, Ashfield house and many others.
The Georgian frontage of the house which is Yvonne and Miltons hair stylist business belies the much older building behind it to which it is attached. This was originally a farm and is the old ale house of the village where ale was brewed on the spot and sold to locals. In later years it was bought by Hammonds Breweries who gave it the name Hare and Hounds. Although its official name was Hare and Hounds the locals all called it the ‘Bull’ after a large pedigree bull which the farmer kept in a field adjoining the ale house.
The licence and name was transferred by Hammonds to the present site in 1956 but the locals immediately applied to the magistrate to change the name to the ‘Wrose Bull’ which was duly carried out. The present site was formerly the home of Dawson Jowett, a descendant of the Dawsons of Wrose. Dawson Jowett was a well respected man in the community and was Master of the Airedale Beagles and the pack of hounds were originally kennelled here. They hunted across the lands of Wrose and Idle. The pack of hounds was later removed to Eldwick where they hunted for many years. Colin Bell was landlord of Wrose Bull for quarter of a century and there are many fine stories to be told during his occupation.
The other Public House in Wrose is the Bold Privateer built by Tetleys and this opened on the 10th October 1957. It was aptly named after the Earl of Cumberland and 13th Lord de Clifford who in the time of Elizabeth I owned all the land in Wrose. He was the queens champion at Tilt and fitted out some twelve fleets to fight against Spain. His crowning glory was to capture the ‘invincible’ island of Puerto Rico from the Spanish bringing home much treasure, something that Francis Drake had earlier failed in an attempt to do.
The focal point of the village has always been its Elm Tree planted on 5th November 1867 on the old village green. Unfortunately the tree was smitten by Dutch Elm disease and being in a dangerous condition was removed in March 2000. The event was recorded by Calendar and a large Victorian bottle was found under the tree that may have held some papers as a message but water had seeped in and destroyed whatever had been placed there. However, a fine Ash tree Fraxinus Oxycarpa Reywood was planted to celebrate the Millennium and a time capsule placed underneath in a brick built chamber which will only be opened when the tree dies in hundreds of years yet to come. Hopefully, this will carry on a tradition of tree planting on the same spot into the next Millennium and beyond.
Martin Humphreys, Wrose Historian