Saturday, 21 November 2009

Six Days Only

My walk last Sunday took me through a hamlet known locally as Six Days Only. Its other name is Heaton Royds, and the picture shows Royds Hall Farm on Shay Lane. I didn't know much about it but I am indebted to the website of HH Sales Ltd, a dealer in philatelic literature, who have premises in the Barn adjacent to the farm, for much of the following fascinating information:

The farmhouse is Jacobean, built in 1632 - which was the reign of Charles I, a time of great political turbulence in England. Apparently the property has remained in the ownership of the same family ever since. The name Heaton Royds comes from the Old English: Heah Tun means a high farmstead, and Rod a clearing. Shay Lane comes from the old word Sceaga - a copse (or small wood) the whole means 'the high farmstead in the clearing in the copse'.

The equally interesting local name, Six Days Only, apparently dates back to a time when one of the cottage dwellers sold nettle and root beer and garden produce but would not sell on the Sabbath, and put up a sign to say so! Eventually the name stuck.

January 2014 - it seems I got this information a bit wrong. My photo does show Royds Hall Farm but the information I have recounted actually pertains to the farmhouse on the other side of the lane. I have been contacted by the owner of the house shown in this photo who says the following:

I live at Royds Hall Farm (with my husband and family) in Heaton Royds, otherwise known as Six Days Only.

I just thought I ought to bring to your attention that the information you've put on the website for Six Days Only is misleading. This is down to a couple of factors. Firstly, Royds Hall Farm was formerly listed as 'Heaton Royds' in 1952 and the information you write about (from our neighbour, H.H. Sales Ltd.) is about his property which is Heaton Royds Farm with the date stone 1632 and still belongs to the Dixon family. 

Secondly, the name 'Royds' may not come from the meaning 'a clearing' because there was a Mr. Thomas Rodes living in this area during the time of King Richard II (we know this because he was paying tax in 1379). We also know that there was a choice of ways to spell names - and names were often associated with the people who lived in that place. Again, we know that his great-grandson spelt his name 'Roids' and then a further generation 'Rhodes'. We have been told Royds Hall Farm was a timber framed house which was later 'encased in stone', so the history goes back further than 1632.

I know that you begin your blog by saying that "the picture shows Royds Hall Farm on Shay Lane. I didn't know much about it but ...." and it goes on to speak about the information you took from a website, but it reads as though the barn is adjacent to our house, which it is not, when in fact it is adjacent to Heaton Royds Farm, the house opposite.

It is also worth noting that Royds Hall Farm and 3 other properties are in the 'Heaton' district, whereas the Dixon cottages, Heaton Royds Farm and Barn are all in the 'Shipley' district!

If it's any consolation, the eminent historian William Cudworth also does a misleading piece in one of his books, showing a drawing of Royds Hall Farm and proceeds to write about the Dixon family as if they owned the house, and Bradford Council recently did a country walk around here and again gave the wrong information. 

So I stand corrected and I am indebted to the lady for taking the trouble to get in touch.


  1. How fascinating. What a typically Yorkshire building that is.

  2. Really interesting. Any chance of a peek inside

  3. Hi Jenny,

    Very interesting. Like Mo says, it would be nice to see the inside as well.

    Best regards

  4. I'd love to see inside too - it's a private house though, and I don't know the owners.

  5. It is an interesting name for a little hamlet. It could mean one would only want to stay six days:)

  6. I used to live quite near as a young boy in the 60's, it's actually next to heaton Woods and have had a few glasses of homemade dandelion & burdock and nettle beer, sixpence a glass I think it was from a cottage in the little lane that was called 'Six Days Only'. Never tasted anything as wonderful since!

    1. Same as myself. A Sunday walk with my Dad through the woods or sometimes round Heaton bump and then a nice drink at 6 days only

  7. Drove past the Six Days only sign today and intended to go back (on a jog) and take a picture- did you get one?

  8. Hi, I'm just making some nettle beer and thought I would just have a look and see if there was owt on't internet about 6 Days Only, where I often went for nettle beer with mi mum and dad in't 60's!

  9. I remember nettle beer at six days only, happy days, happy memories

  10. As a childistraction my Dad and I visited 6 days only as a treat on our Sunday walk from Toller Drive through the woods and up Shay Lane. He had nettle beer and I had a sarsparella. 1960 to 63

  11. I stayed at this place way back in the late 80's. My girlfriend at the time lived there. It was a beautiful house with a large room with an old stone fireplace where the mother used to dry wild flowers for decoration purposes.


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