Harrogate’s Cenotaph is located in the centre of Harrogate facing Parliament Street with Cambridge Road and Cambridge Crescent on either side. The front brass plate is made up of 3 panels of 3 columns with the name of 641 people who lost their lives in the First World War. On the rear plaque there are another 238 names of those who also lost their lives in the First World War. On the lower half of the rear plaque are 314 names of people who died in the Second World War.
Whilst this story covers my grandfather, who had no connection to Harrogate, I have focused on how I have conducted the research, and using my grandfather as an example of what publicly available documents can reveal about someone who lived in the first half of 20th century. I hope you will find it interesting and provide some hints and tips to get past those road-blocks, especially should you be researching: a family company; somebody who served in World War I and II; researching common names; somebody who may have travelled in unusual circumstances, and how local newspapers can assist your research.
The chapel was built in 1862 and is a Grade II listed building. The façade is Hexastyle Corinthian. Before 1862 the chapel had been at the corner of Beulah Street and Oxford Street. The Chapel was extensively refurbished in 1994 when the foyer at the entrance to the church was created and major alterations made to the facilities in the Lower Hall. A book entitled Celebrating 150 years The History of Wesley Chapel Harrogate 1862-2012 is available.
The Royal Baths were built in 1894-7 by Baggerley Bristow. They were once Europe's premier destination for spa treatments and the pampered rich. Politicians and royalty came to 'take the waters'. There were also assembly rooms and a winter garden lounge.
Since 1660 there have been many buildings called "The Crown". In 1847 The Crown Hotel on Crown Place had a central section rebuilt in a chaste neoclassical design. In 1870 the Crown estate ran as far as Parliament Street, was acquired by George Dawson, who employed J H Hirst of Bristol as his architect. The Crown’s Georgian wings were removed and replaced with a powerful pair of Italian Renaissance replacements which gave the building great character. George Dawson also planned a tower and new shops in Crown Place and Crescent Road, all of which were built after Dawson’s death in 1889.
In 1796 Ellen the Dowager Countess Conyngham purchased Coghill Hall with 51 acres of land from Sir John Coghill and changed the name of the estate to Conyngham House. Ellen was the widow of Henry Conyngham (Earl Conyngham of Mount Charles). Ellen was born in 1725 and married Henry in 1744. He died in 1781 leaving Ellen as Countess Conyngham of Mount Charles. She died in 1816.
The 1851 Census shows Marcus and Harriet Worsley occupied the hall. He was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and Landed Proprietor with 10 servants, including butler, housekeeper, cook, coachman, footman, lady's maid, two housemaids and a kitchen maid.
On 27 February 1856 the hall was bought by Basil T Woodd, who was Knaresborough's Conservative MP during 1852 and 1874. The 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 Census shows that the Woodd family still occupied the building. Basil Aubrey Holland Woodd subsequently sold to Charles Ernest Charlesworth on 8 February 1905. Charles E Charlesworth died on 9 September 1919. Sir Harold Mackintosh, the Halifax Toffee Magnate,leased the hall and grounds from the Trustees of the late C E Charlesworth from 1925-1942.
In April 1941 the hall became an annex to Harrogate District Hospital and was used as a temporary hospital for injured soldiers. The hall was sold to the Urban District Council of Knaresborough on 3 June 1946 for an estimated £17,500.
The hall was opened as a business centre in November 1995 with funding from the European Commission, North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council.
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