Categories
Geography History

Barnsdale Turnpike – A639

July 13th 1822 – The Leeds, Pontefract and Barnsdale turnpike road was completed under the Superintendance of JL Macadam. The road passing through Methley and Glasshoughton shortened the distance from Leeds to Doncaster by four miles. The route previously taken was by way of Garforth and Ferrybridge on the Great North Road.

The Methley section of the Leeds Barnsdale turnpike was approved on 3rd June 1820 as the following announcement states :-    Barnsdale Turnpike

To his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace acting in and for the Wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley in the West Riding of the County of York.

A special sessions for the highways will be held at the House of John Wilton, the Rose and Crown Inn in Methley in the said West Riding on Wednesday the seventh day of June Instant at Eleven o clock in the forenoon for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of stopping upand diverting certain public footpaths in Methley aforesaid.
Dated this 3rd day of June 1820
Rich. Beatson Chief Constable for the said Wapentake.

It is most likely that the construction of Methley Lane was undertaken to match improvements to the bridge over the river Calder completed in 1780. Prior to this, the route to Leeds was the track which today goes past Melwood House farm and through Methley woods to a point on the Leeds – Wakefield Road possibly where the Sports Centre is today.    The Methley section of the turnpike was completed just 5 years before completion of the canal improvement from Broadreach to Methley.

Cost of providing this road £13,412