Beecroft Yard

Plan showing Beecroft Yard in 1920. The land coloured red belonged to Mary Stringer who lived in the large house at the corner of Beecroft Yard and Church Street.

FATAL BURNING CASE. Rothwell Times, Friday 15 April 1887.

An inquest was held at the White Hart Inn, yesterday morning, before P.P. Maitland Esq., deputy coroner, relative to the death of an infant aged 11 months, the son of William Axley, Woodlesford, which took place on Wednesday, in consequence of serious burns sustained on Friday last.

From the evidence of the mother, a deplorable state of things was revealed. It seems that Axley, with his wife and two children, have occupied a house in Beecroft Yard,for some time, but they had no furniture. They used a bed composed of straw which occupied a place near the fire. 

On Friday last, the father being away, the mother found it necessary to leave the children in the house alone for a short time where she laid them on the straw. 

On returning in about five minutes the mother was horrified to find that the straw had been set on fire, and that the baby was badly burnt about the head, although the older child escaped unhurt. 

Medical aid was obtained, but little could be done for the suffering child, who succumbed to the injuries as stated. A verdict of “accidental death” was returned, to which was added a rider, in which the parents were blamed for having the bed so near the fire place.


Yorkshire Evening Post. Monday 12 March 1894.

The Leeds City Coroner (Mr. J. C. Malcolm) today resumed the inquest at the Hunslet Workhouse touching the death of the infant female child of Kate Regan, a young woman 25 years of age, who lived with her parents at Beecroft Yard, Woodlesford. 

The child died within twelve hours after birth on the 24th ult., and the mother, who was confined in the workhouse, was unable attend when the inquiry was opened on the 26th.

The evidence given by her today showed she had for about eight months been keeping company with Arthur Porter, a young man who lodged at the house of her parents, and they had on several occasions walked out together. 

A few evenings prior her admission to the workhouse on the 23rd she was out walking with Porter, when they began to quarrel. He “called her names,” and she replied by telling him that the quarrel was a “good get out” for him, adding that if he wanted to leave her he might do so without causing a row. 

He declared that he came to the house to marry her, and she declined to believe the statement. He therefore struck her with his fist on the temple, knocked her against the wall, then struck her another blow on the head near the ear, besides several other blows on other parts of the head, and when her back was turned took a “running kick” her. 

After this performance they returned home together, and she did not tell her parents of what had occurred, as Porter had told her that she must not do so. She then lay down on the sofa, and as Porter was passing her on his way to bed, and while her father was reading in the kitchen, he kicked her again, this time in the stomach. She did not cry out, nor did she tell her father. 

Next day she was ill, and she was afterwards taken to the Infirmary at Hunslet Workhouse, where she had since been an inmate. 

At the previous inquiry Dr. Shirley gave evidence to show that the death of the child was due to premature birth, resulting from the assault committed on the mother, and the jury returned a verdict this effect today.

It was stated that a summons to attend the inquest was served on Porter at Wakefield, but he had not taken any notice of it. The Coroner remarked at the close of the inquiry that with regard to the assault it would be for the West Riding Police to take such proceedings as they might think fit. 

11 Beecroft Yard was advertised to let in the Yorkshire Evening Post by rent collectors Linsley and Holmes in July 1899.