Home Forums Local History The ‘Providence Inn’, Forge Lane, Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury

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    • #42425
      Keith Wood

      One of my new-found Australian cousins and I have been trying to locate this pub for almost 12 months now. Our mutual gr-gr-grandfather (Samuel Wood: 1836-1894) was listed as the publican there in the 1891 census and the address given is clearly ‘The Providence Inn’ at 9 Forge Lane. I’ve checked all the records I can access on-line including census record from 1861 – 1911, relevant old photos, Trades Directories, Lost Pubs websites, and ordnance survey maps. There is no reference at all to ‘The Providence Inn’ in any of them. There is, however a constant reference in all these records and photos to ‘The Perseverance’ and we’re left thinking the 1891 enumerator made a mistake on the census return. In the 1890s Forge Lane was home to two huge industrial sites – the Empire Iron & Steel Plant (later Austin’s Steelworks) and the Kilner Providence Glass (Bottle) works. Jointly, these two sites employed over 1000 workers and given the environment in which they laboured, many would almost certainly have worked up a fair thirst. We are coming to the conclusion that due to its proximity to the Providence glass-works, ‘The Perseverance’ pub assumed an identity locally as ‘The Providence Inn’, and the enumerator entered the colloquial name without checking the nameplate on the pub wall. The ‘Perseverance’ building is still there, although it is now an educational business (Brilliant Minds). We would like to add the proper information to our tree so would be grateful for any clues that might point us to certainty or clarification about the possible confusion in pub names.

    • #42468

      There is no doubt the correct name was Perseverance Inn.

      With the sole exception of the 1891 Census, in every record I have viewed from the 1852 O.S.Map to the 2017 Planning Application for change of use (both of which may be considered as authoritative), the name of the Inn is Perseverance.
      Further, as the enumerators of the 1881 and 1901 Censuses clearly wrote ‘Perseverance’, it is doubtful it was known locally as the Providence in 1891.
      The most likely explanation for the confusion is that the enumerator simply made a mistake.


    • #42506
      Keith Wood

      Many thanks for your swift response confirming our suspicion about the error on the 1891 census. It puts the matter to bed and will save us hours of fruitless research..

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