Echoes of the past: Where did the name Larkfield come from?

VE Day at Larkhill Terrace off Church Lane
VE Day at Larkhill Terrace off Church Lane

While Churchfields Road, Haigh Street and just part of Barton Street still exists Larkfield Terrace was demolished and now forms part of the car park outside the parish church. Although the Larkfield Street name has disappeared, the nearby development Larkfield Court retains the Larkfield connection.

I have written about the origins of street names many times - so where did the name Larkfield come from?

In the grounds of Larkfield Court many years before the large house which stood on the site was used by the Leach Colour Group, the house was used as a private school, Larkhill Academy.

In the far off pre-1870 education act days, children had schooling delivered either privately, through the church or possibly some charitable organisation.

With the prosperous times of the mid-nineteenth century, in Brighouse there was a growing number of private schools to match an increasing population. This was due largely to the fact that the two grammar schools, the British School at Rastrick, the National School at St Martin’s and Mary Bedford’s charity school were not able to take the increasing numbers.

One of the new private schools to take in the increasing numbers was Larkhill Academy at the top of Church Lane, which was established by Doctor William Lundy.

Dr. Lundy left Borough Road College, London in 1837 to be appointed the first head teacher of the Rastrick British School in Rastrick Common.

In 1858 he left to start his own private academy in Prospect Place at the bottom of Halifax Road.

William Lundy was born in Malton and the author of a number of educational books. In 1855 he received the degree of AM and LL.D (from the University of Geissen in Germany). As Dr. Lundy MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians), AM (Master of Arts), he became the Principal at Larkhill Academy.

Dr. Lundy died on June 29, 1860 aged 44. Both he and his wife Sarah, who died on January 21, 1886 aged 71, along with her sister Mary Edwards, who died March 4, 1869 aged 68 were interred at Bridge End Chapel cemetery.

From the little information available the academy was then run by Nelson and Young. I have no further information about these two people nor do I know when the academy closed.

Returning to the VE gathering – from left to right: Joan McCormick, her brother Edward, Mrs Greenwood, Mrs McCormick, Mrs Nutter, Mrs Allen, Miss (Nurse) Allen, Lily Overton, Mrs Marsden, Mrs Brossett and Mrs Nuttall. Seated in the chair is Mr Allen, the small girls are Christine McCormick (left), sadly the middle one is not known, unless you know her, and the last one sat on her three wheeled bicycle is Patrica McCormick.

Some readers may remember Nurse Allen and her connections with the Salvation Army.

Miss Lily Overton worked on the buses during the war as a conductoress and was known for her cheery disposition during those difficult years.