Sale of Holebottom in 1886
After the Grassington Moor mines closed in 1882, the 7th Duke of Devonshire, who was under some financial pressure at the time, resolved to liquidate his assets in Upper Wharfedale. Accordingly, on the 30th June 1886 an auction was held in the Devonshire Hotel in Skipton, conducted by Messrs Dacre & Son. For sale was:
"Value freehold properties situate in the townships of Craco, Draughton, Grassington, Hebden, Threshfield, Linton, & Skipton comprising farms, accommodation land, dwelling houses, and an old established public house; also grouse shooting on Grassington Moor, comprising about 2,000 acres, and one thousand acres of grouse moor situate in Threshfield and Linton, all easy access from Skipton."
Lot 1 of the auction was Holebottom Farm, with about 111 acres of land. This had been originally bought in 1796 by the 5th Duke of Devonshire to enable him to construct a sough to drain the the mines of Grassington Moor and Yarnbury, in Hebden Gill. The originally acreage had been augmented by some 72 acres as a result of the 1857 Enclosures.
Below is a copy of the auctioneer's details for the Holebottom Farm lot, together with a map shewing the area concerned, which is in David Joy's collection. It is of particularly interest for two reasons. Firstly, it gives the names of the fields. These so often become forgotten or corrupted. What is currently known as "Wet Scar" was then known as the more logical "West Scar". The corruption from "West" to "Wet" appears to have happened during the first Ordnance Survey mapping in about 1850.
Secondly, although the 7th Duke was keen to sell the freeholds of the properties, he retained all manorial and mineral rights associated with them. This was possibly because so much of the Devonshire wealth had come from mining, that he couldn't bear the possibility of losing out if mineral exploitation once again became viable.
The lot failed to sell at the auction, but Richard and David Joy of Garnshaw Farm bought it privately from the auctioneer, together with a 74-acre allotment on Bolton Haw End which had been allotted to the Duke by the Enclosures Act, all for £2,050.
The Auctioneer's Documents
The following is a copy of the auctioneer's listing for Holebottom Farm. Unfortunately, the first page has some text missing from the bottom. Click on any image to make it readable.