Red Lion, Dewsbury Road

Red Lion

The Red Lion Public House on the old Wakefield to Halifax Turnpike Road with Walter Walker’s Mill chimney in the rear. The chimney was “toppled” in the 1990s. The sketch shows the outcome of a liquid lunch with Alfie Crowther and Herbi Fozard chatting as Jack Crabtree wanders off with his walking stick on his way home, but, unknowingly, heading in the wrong direction.

The Red Lion probably dates from the 18th century but licensing records are rare before 1821, when it is believed that the Inn was owned by Joseph Shepherd, who was also the licensee. By 1891, the Beverly Brothers Ltd, Eagle Brewery, Wakefield acquired the premises and the 1950s sketch carries the same name. Ann Jackson was the licensee at this time, having taken over in 1926, and she held the license until 1960. Ann held the license for longer than any other licensee in the Inn’s history.

The Inn is also said to have a ghost of an 18th Century highwayman whose name was Robert Chappell and who was born in Ossett in 1795. He became notorious as a thief and highwayman and it was said that his crimes were more numerous than those of Dick Turpin, but not as serious. Unlike Turpin, Chappell didn't murder anyone, but it was said that in local Petty and Quarter Sessions, his name was as familiar as a household word and that conviction had followed conviction almost as soon as he had been released from the prison gates. In 1835, he was saved from transportation to Australia and instead given six months hard labour in Wakefield's House of Correction. Robert Chappell died in 1864.