|Deep Arse [House] Delph|
'Deep Arse Delph', was the original name of a Sandstone Quarry on the outskirts of Oxenhope near Keighley, and here is the story of how it got its name together with the details of the Bancroft family who ran it for about 30 years.
There were many Bancroft men involved with the stone business in Yorkshire, either as Stonemasons, Quarrymen [also known as Delvers], Labourers, Carters and Quarry Owners, and Joseph Bancroft was one of them. He was born on 11th February 1820 on an isolated farm called ‘White Hill’ on the outskirts of Oxenhope, the son of John and Susannah Hartley. His father was a tenant farmer and weaver, and had a large family of at least eleven children.
The men worked with hand tools in this bleak open moorland with no safety equipment, using only hammers, picks, crow bars and sledge hammers forcing the stone from the rock face after removing the overburden of clay and soft rock to expose the usable flat top surface of the bed. They would first mark out the extent of the block to be broken free. Then rows of tapered holes would be cut along the marks and wedges hammered into the holes to split the rock, allowing the block to be prised free with crowbars, and then lifted out either by horse and man power, or in later periods by a crane.The block of sandstone, weighing several tons,could be then moved to the work area to be split again into manageable sizes and the masons could finally shape the sandstone to the correct measurements.
|Haworth Valuation List|
|Lowertown Burial Ground - Oxenhope|
The following map, circa 1900, show the proximity of the various locations….The quarry, by now renamed as 'Deep House Delph', is marked in red…. Joseph’s birth place at White Hill, marked in green….. and the Dog & Gun Pub marked in blue
|Circa 1900 Map|
Handling heavy stones has always presented a problem for quarrymen. So it is not surprising that as quarries expanded in the late 19th century, cranes became one of their dominant features. Most working quarry had at least one crane which would be used to lift the stone and swing it into a new position to be worked on. They were also used for removing waste. They were positioned at the edge of a quarry hole for lifting the stone out and the above map shows two cranes in operation which, at the time would have been hand-operated rather than mechanical. There is some evidence on site of where the cranes were possibly situated, by the following photographs which shows the bases of them.
On a recent visit to the quarry, you can see from this photo how it is hidden from the front by all the overgrown waste heaps. It is clear from all this waste which was dumped all around the edge of the quarry when it was operating, that it must have been quite a scar on the landscape because it would have been visible from many miles away. Thankfully today with all the heaps being so overgrown, the quarry itself is now quite hidden from view.
|Flappit Quarry - Cullingworth|