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Walton - Wakefield - West Yorkshire
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WALTON, LOWTOWN - BRIDGE HOUSE
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Bridge House, 23 School Lane, is a stone-built semi-detached house, with the other half being Manor House, formerly Wernath House). Bridge House has been in a state of disrepair since at least 1985 (see Peter Wright's History).

The Junior School was built on the site of Miss Mary Pilkington's National School, opened in 1857. The two cottages (Bridge and Manor Houses) were built in 1867 for Miss Pilkington's Training, Laundry and Cooking School, which opened in 1871.

For some time there has been an interest in building more houses adjacent to the Manor Estate on the old Waterways Land, which lies behind the house.  Access to the land has been an issue that, so far, successive developers have not been able to resolve.

Sadly, to add to its woes, Bridge House was further damaged by an accidental fire caused by a stray firework at the end of 1999. 

At the time of writing (2010), the future of this blot on the landscape seems uncertain.  Perhaps it will be restored. Sad that an area can be blighted in this way. The building, if restored, would certainly be an asset to the village.

Until July 2001, there had been no attempt to restore Bridge House; however, work then started to make good the building (to the extent of putting a roof on, at least) to prevent damage to the adjoining residence, Manor House.

Happily, since the above was written, the building has been purchased and is in the process of being restored (2012).

Click images to enlarge.
Click to enlarge
Walton - School Lane (Low Town end), showing Bridge House. May 2000 School Lane (from the direction of Shay Lane). The old junior school* is to the left, the disused Barnsley Canal is just to the right of Bridge House on the bend in the road. (* it closed in 2007 and relocated to a new site in the village)
Click to enlarge
Repairs underway at Bridge House (with Manor House attached on the left) viewed from School Lane, 23 July 2001.
At the time, the owners of the Bridge House, i.e. half of the building, were understood to be the Persimmon housebuilding company. The company had commissioned work to restore the roof of the house to prevent damage to the attached house - Manor House (to the left), which is still occupied.
Click to enlarge
Awaiting redevelopment - the site of the old junior school. Before too long, new town houses and apartments may occupy this site. Until then, the area remains an eyesore.
© John S. Sargent.
Click to enlarge
Bridge House photographed on 4th March 2009. The wall, knocked down by a vehicle that failed to negotiate the sharp bend, has since been repaired. The buildimg continues to be a blot on the landscape. If restored, this stone building would surely add much value to this area of the village.
© John S. Sargent.
Click to enlarge
Still empty after all these years, but now an 'exciting development opportunity'.
© John S. Sargent 2010.
Click to enlarge
Bridge House, viewed from the canal route. Whatever garden there was, has long gone.
Picture taken 24th December 2009. © John S. Sargent.
Footpaths and Bridleways
For more information about public rights of way in the Wakefield district, visit the official Wakefield website.
Click here for Walton's Public Rights of Way.
WALTO, LOWTOWN - BRIDGE HOUSE
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