History of The Grouse Inn

The Grouse Inn is at least 170 years old, and possibly as much as 250 years old, as it lies on an ancient ‘pack-horse’ route.

Local farmers would supplement their income by brewing ale from some of their own produce and selling it to the passing travellers. The popularity of the Grouse Inn dramatically increased, when the Toller Lane, Haworth and Blue Bell Turnpike Trust was established in the middle of the 18th century to improve the road connecting Bradford & Colne: it ran from Heaton in Bradford to the Blue Bell Inn in Two Laws near Colne.

The Toller Lane, Haworth and Blue Bell Turnpike Trust was founded in 1755 by John Field of Heaton Hall (1701-1772) along with Abraham Balme (1706-1796), John Hustler (1715-1790) and Thomas Hardcastle. This Turnpike (toll) road is the road that runs along the front of the Grouse Inn, which must have benefited from the increased traffic.

The Grouse Inn is clearly marked on an old map from 1852, and so was clearly an established tavern at that time. Click on the image opposite to see if you can spot The Grouse Inn.

It is therefore quite probable that it was in the late 18th century the farmer who brewed a little ale to supplement his income, became a publican who did a little farming to supplement his income. It was from these ancient roots that the current Grouse Inn developed.

The 1841 census shows Samuel Heaton (and his wife Hannah) employed as Publican in Harehill, and as far as we know he is the earliest known landlord of the Grouse Inn. Samuel was born in Laverock Hall, Oldfield, Keighley in March 1789, one of several children born to Joseph Heaton and his wife Martha (nee Tatham). The ‘Heaton’ family has strong local links with the Harehills area, and many of Samuel’s close neighbours in 1841 were his brothers, and other relations.

The 1841 Censusx

The 1841 UK Census

When Samuel Heaton died in 1843, local Weaver Joseph Butterfield took over from him as the new Publican of the Grouse Inn. Joseph Butterfield, who was born at ‘Two Laws’, Harehills in 1817, and was another early and long-serving landlord. Although the 1851 census does not specifically name the Grouse Inn, Joseph is seen as an unmarried 34 year old Inn Keeper living at Harehills.

The 1851 Censusx

The 1851 UK Census

In August 1854 Joseph Butterfield a married local girl 9 years younger than himself: Sarah Bancroft, from Cragg Bottom, Keighley, and in February 1861 they had their only child: a daughter named Sarah Ann Butterfield. In the 1861 census Joseph is now a well-established Inn Keeper and Farmer.

The 1861 Censusx

The 1861 UK Census

The later censuses from 1871 onwards all have the inn itself is clearly named ‘The Grouse Inn’.

The 1871 Censusx

The 1871 UK Census

The 1881 UK Census RG11/4346 Folio 88 Page 2 (Keighley District 6)x

The 1881 UK Census RG11/4346 Folio 88 Page 2 (Keighley District 6)

Landlord Joseph Butterfield died shortly after the 1881 census in November 1881 aged 64, having been the Inn Keeper at the Grouse Inn for 38 years.

The 1891 census finds Thomas Midgley from Keighley owning the Grouse Inn, along with his wife Kate from Staffordshire, and 1 month old daughter Mary:

The 1891 Censusx

The 1891 UK Census

The 1901 census sees Samuel Wallbank, born 1852 in Oakworth as the Innkeeper of the Grouse Inn, with his wife Mary Ann, who was 2 years younger and came from Gisburn:

The 1901 Censusx

The 1901 UK Census

Following Samuel Wallbank the Grouse Inn passed to Mr Metcalfe Bailey. Metcalfe Bailey was born in 1876 in Brampton, near Bedale, and he kept the Grouse Inn along with his wife Annie (nee Wilson) from Cowling, whom he married in 1904. Metcalfe & Annie along with a 17 year old servant, Elizabeth Litchfield, from Rotherham can be seen here in the Household Return and the Summary Book from the Census of 1911.

Metcalfe Bailey was a prominent local Licensee, and past-president of Keighley Licensed Victuallers Association. (Hopefully unrelatedly he was also the proprietor of an undertaking business!) Metcalfe Bailey owned the Grouse Inn until 1913, when he left to take over the White Horse Inn in Keighley. The White Horse Inn was a small public house, which was on Wesley Place, off Halifax Road. It pulled its last pint in the 1960s and is now a private dwelling. Metcalfe died in 1952 aged 76, and is interred at Oakworth Cemetery.

The Grouse Inn was bought by Timothy Taylor’s Brewery.

James Booth was landlord from 1978 until 1983 having taken over from a Mr Shackleton. James Booth was in turn replaced by Joseph Procter, who was then the landlord of the establishment for 16 years – from 1983 until 1999.

Mr Procter then was succeeded by Mark Narey and following a major refurbishment the Inn re-opened in February 2000. In 2003 Mark formed a business partnership with head chef Karl Rowlett, and together they formed the company, ‘Traditional Catering Ltd’. Karl & Mark still hold the business tenancy with Timothy Taylors.

The Grouse Inn was closed for 5 months at the start of 2005 for a new extension, with a complete refit & refurbishment.

The Grouse Inn
Harehills Lane, Oldfield, Keighley,
West Yorkshire, BD22 0RX

Tel: 01535 643073

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