Greenland Farm

Greenland farm house.

From about 1932 Greenland and Manor farms were tenanted by Thomas Knowles and his family who had come from Arkendale near Boroughbridge. They were probably related to George Knowles who had been a labourer thirty years earlier for Thomas Murtland, a previous tenant of Greenland Farm.

In 1942 Fred, the eldest son of Thomas Knowles, married the daughter of a Water Haigh miner who had himself migrated from Wales. Fred went on to run Greenland Farm and his brother, Ronald, took over Manor Farm. Both had strong working relationships with Sadler’s piggery which had been established in a disused quarry off Quarry Hill. 

After serving in the army, another brother Cecil, who went by the name of Cyril Knowles, became a professional wrestler and promoter. After his death his daughter, Wendy, accepted a lifetime achievement award at a professional wrestlers’ reunion at the Harold Hall in Oulton in March 2011. 

Greenland farm during work to turn the barns into housing.

Click on the links below to hear Fred Knowles’ son David, who was born in 1945, talk about farm life and the thriving bus and transport business his father built up.    

Greenland and Manor Farms

Package holidays and day trips

Coming a cropper in the crops

Freddie Knowles’ double decker, affectionately known as the “Red Devil”, at the corner of Station Lane and Pottery Lane one afternoon in 1968. It was used to ferry pupils to Pennington Lane Secondary Modern School. Ex-pupil Michael Free remembered the fare was 3d. The conductor was a man called Walter (or old Wally) who smoked a pipe. He collected the money in an old leather shoulder bag. In the mornings the bus ran from the farm to the Old Masons Arms, then turned left up Quarry Hill and Oulton Lane, then past Woodlesford School and the station and back along Aberford Road. It went the opposite way round in the afternoons. Photo by Paul Haywood (
This is the first “Red Devil”. BWY 982 was a Bristol K type used after phase 2 of Rothwell Secondary Modern opened in 1959. The bus first saw service in November 1937 with West Yorkshire Road Car Company based in Harrogate and remained there until 1949. In 1959 it was sold to a dealer in Dunchurch who in turn sold it to Knowles Coaches. It was scrapped in 1964. (Info from Granville Foster.)
Farrer Lane from a postcard dated 1917. A man stands with his bicycle on the bridge, once known as Dye House Bridge, over the Oulton beck. Greenland farm buildings are in the background.
A boy rides his bike through floods on Farrer Lane in 1932. Greenland farm house is in the background.