Manor Fold

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This page will include what is known about Manor Fold, Manor Croft and Fountain Fold.


Manor Fold was off the bottom of Hallcliffe leading to Manor Croft and Fountain Fold. These were demolished in the 1960s and the Ian Clough Hall, Library and car park built and Browgate widened.

Pre 1928 east from Moravian Church

In this view above, taken pre 1928, from the top of the steps going up to the Moravian Church, we are looking over Browgate. The buildings are Fountain Fold, Manor Croft and Manor Fold. The sign reads "Harry Ambler - Wood Carver". The 1911 Census has a Harry Ambler, age 42, living at 13 Briar Garth with his mother, Ann Ambler 74, and aunt, Sarah Kitchen 77. His listed occupation is "Wood Carver and Teacher at City Art Schools". To the right of that is a sign on the building behind "...ville - Oat Bread Baker" Further left, out of shot is the Mechanics Institute and Towngate. The slope down to the right is going down to Kellcliffe Bridge and the Primitive Methodist Chapel. In the far background is St John's parish church. The tower that is on the church now was built in 1928[1][2] Just to the middle left is the dark passage that ran front to back between the houses giving access onto the landing and so access to the houses facing us. They were all back-to-back in this block. The right hand end of the landing can be seen in the centre of the photo with the iron railings. Below the landing there were more back to back houses. Winnie Proctor and her mother lived in the house just to the left of the passage. The big house on the left was where Teddy Horacks, the rag and bone man, lived with his family. The house on the right was bordering St Johns Churchyard and has an orchard bottom right. The source of this info got caught a few times steeling apples. As would be expected of the time he was held by the ear so they couldn’t run away, got a telling off, then a boot up the backside.[3]

Early 1960s east from Moravian Church. Harold Ellis

This early 1960s photo, taken by Harold Ellis, is the same view from near the Moravian Church looking over Browgate and showing St John's Church with the tower (built in 1928). The houses and workshops of Fountain Fold, Manor Croft and Manor Fold have all been cleared.

2018 east from Moravian Church

This photo taken by Paul Marfell in 2018 is from the same viewpoint but now shows the Ian Clough Hall and the car park.

Building Use

40 Manor Croft.

  • 1959. Halliday & Hodgson Ltd. Joiners & Funeral Directors. Res: Bank Walk House. Ads. 1955, '57, '58, '59.[4]

Manor Croft

  • Art Metal Works. Wrought Iron. Albert Halliday. Ads. 1936.[4]After the death of Albert Halliday Josef Gurtner took over and was written about in the Shipley Times and Express (see below). Ads. 1953[4]
  • Dunwell, Kendall & Co Ltd. Hosiery manufactures. Apprentice wanted. Ads: 18 Dec 1950[5]
  • H & J Craven, joiners. Ads. 1902[4]
  • Harry Ambler. Wood Carver

Albert and his father Mark may have already been doing bent-iron work but prizes and scholarships will have helped the business take off? ...

Shipley Times and Express - Friday 10 August 1906
Mr. Albert Halliday, son of Mr. Mark Halliday, blacksmith, of Baildon, has achieved further successes in designing for wrought iron work at the national competition at South Kensington in connection with the Board of Education. The designs which he submitted for an altar and inn sign have gained him a silver medal.
Shipley Times and Express - Friday 12 October 1906
Mr. Albert son of Mr. Mark Halliday, blacksmith, Westgate, will proceed to London on Monday next to take up the study of bent-iron work, he having won a scholarship the value of £6O offered the West Riding County Council.

And is this when he bought the property in Manor Croft to get setup there?....

Shipley Times and Express - Friday 29 November 1918
Four cottages and two cellar dwellings at Manor Croft were sold at the Angel Hotel on Tuesday evening to Mr. Albert Halliday, ornamental ironworker, Baildon for £555. Mr. Francis Lister was the auctioneer. 
Shipley Times and Express - Wednesday 09 December 1953
The real craftsmanship that has gone into the gates, railings and walling at the entrance to The Dell, in Baildon Road, has Whetted the appetite of Baildon people for more. They are keenly hoping that the whole of the entrance scheme will be carried out the same high standard. Then all will agree that it has been worth waiting for. The handsome wrought iron gates were the work of the late Mr. Albert Halliday, a true craftsman of the old school. They were intended for post-war repairs and improvements to the Roberts Park Recreation Ground at Woodbottom, but while the future of this area hung in the balance, Baildon Council kept them in store and brought them out as the showpiece of the new recreation ground they are developing at The Dell to replace the former Woodbottom facilities. In them Mr. Halliday’s skill will live on for all to see, as it does at the entrance to Northcliffe Playing Fields and Northcliffe Woods, Shipley. The railings flanking The Dell gates are the work of Josef Gurtner, the Baildon art metal worker, and the superb walling was carried out by John Simpson & Son. Emley Moor, near Huddersfield. The walk before and inside the gates is to be stone flagged, and the slope behind the gates laid out with shrubs. It should eventually provide a most attractive and appropriate entrance to the woodland walks and recreational facilities that will developed between the Baildon Road frontage and Cliffe Lane.
Shipley Times and Express - Wednesday 31 December 1953
An ancient craft still carried on at the Art Metal Works, Manor Croft, Baildon is that of wrought iron work. At the anvil stands Mr. Josef Gurtner, an Austrian, who is expert in the work, and he has the assistance of an old blacksmith. The firm is now in the hands of Albert Hallidays Successors, and the new principal is Mr. H. Farrar Peel, of Moorfield, Baildon. Some especially beautiful wrought iron flower stands have just been completed in the smithy for the Chelsea Flower Show.
Art Metal Works 1953

According to several reports in the Shipley Times & Express not only was Josef Gurtner very very good at Wrought Irn Art Work he was also happy to try to pass his knowledge on to others.

Bradford Observer - Monday 05 March 1956
Teachers see his artistry at the forge
PEOPLE who bemoan the passing of the old-time craftsmen are apt to forget that often in the past, craft guilds and unions jealously guarded the secrets of their skills.
Even today it is unusual to find an artist as willing to impart his knowledge as Mr. Josef Gurtner, an expert in ornamental iron work, who carries on business at the forge of the late Mr. Albert Halliday in Manor Croft, off Towngate, Baildon.
On the past five Saturdiay afternoons, groups of metalwork teachers have visited his forge, seen demonstrations by Mr. Gurtner and inspected artistic examples of his work.
When Mr. F. K. Kemp, handicrafts adviser for the West Riding invited 85 metalwork instructors to visit the Baildon forge, they accepted almost without exception.
Mr. Gurtner, a 43-year-old Austrian, is a descendant of generations of smiths skilled in ornamental ironwork. It is to his family that Salzburg owes the great entrance gates to the Friedhof.
A British major —now Mr. Jack Denby, a Baildon man well known around Bradford in the wool trade and in farming- suggested that he should come to England, and he did so in 1947. For two years Mr. Gurtner worked as a chauffeur-handyman before buying the smithy at Baildon.
Today, with the help of an engineer, Mr. John Layard and Ian Bretherick -a 17-year-old apprentice from Wibsey of whom he speaks very highly- Mr. Gurtner carries on the tradition of the late Mr. Halliday, who won considerable renown as an ornamental blacksmith. The largest example of Mr. Gurtner's work seen by his teacher-visitors was an impressive pair of wrought iron gates, in which scrolls flow naturally out of the basic tracery. The pattern of one gate includes the bird's head device which Mr. Gurtner uses as a trademark in all work that satisfies his own high standard.
Shipley Times and Express - Wednesday 08 January 1958
Eight people enrolled for the Baildon evening class "Ornamental Ironwork" at the first night of the session on Monday. The class is one of several novel subjects included in the Spring Term syllabus of the Baildon Centre of Further Education. It is conducted by Mr. Josef Gurtner at his forge in Manor Croft, off Towngate. Another student or two can be accepted, and if a nucleus could be formed, a second class could be held on Tuesdays. Information about a well varied syllabus, including a course of six lectures on "Football." at Feerniehurst School starting to-morrow (Thursday); four fortnightly lectures on "Democratic Government" at Baildon Church School; and "Conversational French" at Sandal School on Tuesdays; can oe obtained from Mr. D. Aylifle-Robson, 16b, Moorfield Drive, Baildon. (Shipley 51767).
Shipley Times and Express - Wednesday 31 December 1958
This is another entirely new venture which was begun last year. Students receive instruction from Mr. Josef Gurtner, one of the north’s master craftsmen, in his Baildon forge. Opportunity given to study one of the ancient crafts. All aspects of wroughtironwork are expertly dealt with. This class will continue for a long time as amateur interest in the art in the township is developing.
Special emphasis has been laid on the fact that all the, tutors are qualified, and fit to impart their knowledge in proper and interesting manner.
In the past, exhibitions of work done in the classes have been held. In every case they have proved very popular. The Institution’s next exhibition, when a good cross-section of articles will be on view, is to be held at Easter. The exact date has yet to be decided.
Arthur Edwick handwritten notes
Albert Halliday[6]
This man was a very good "Art Metal Worker" who was in business in Baildon in the early 1900s. His workshop or forge was in Manor Croft. Mr Halliday was commissioned to make a pair of gates for Hampton Court Palace, London.
The gates of the entrances to the following places were also made by him:-
*Manningham Park (Oak Lane entrance), Bradford
*Northcliffe Park, Shipley
*The Dell, Baildon (these gates were originally made for the prposed entrance to the Robert's Park Recreation Ground Woodbottom but kept in store until being erected at the Del on 28 Nov 1953)
*Batley House, Baildon
*Charlestown Cemetery, Lowerholme entrance
*War Memorial Home, Browgate.


  1. A History of Baildon Parish Church - Canon Bruce Grainger
  2. The Story of Baildon - John La Page
  3. Via Facebook - Ralph Dickson, born 1937.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Shipley Times & Express advert
  5. Bradford Observer
  6. Arthur Edwick. Green folder hand written notes