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Title: The laithe house of upland West Yorkshire : its social and economic significance
Author: Westwood, Christine
ISNI:       0000 0001 3566 3283
Awarding Body: Loughborough University of Technology
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 1986
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The laithe house is an example of vernacular architecture, typical of the upland farmsteads of West Yorkshire. It is a dual-purpose dwelling, being house and agricultural building built in one range. The form appears from the earliest stone buildings of the 17th century, but it is typical and widespread from the late 18th century, being adopted as a convenient and compact smallholding for tenant farmers on newly-enclosed land. It is particularly associated with textile manufacture, its occupants more or less dependent on this industry. The decline of the laithe house occurs in the late 19th century as textile manufacture moved away from home industry and vernacular architecture gave way to modern building development. The laithe house particularly reflects the social and economic life of West Yorkshire up to and during the first phase of the Industrial Revolution, being house, farm and workshop all under one roof. This thesis presents a background introduction to the topography and history of West Yorkshire and a general survey of vernacular architecture in the county from 14th-19th centuries. The laithe house itself is examined as follows; a summary of other researchers' findings and a discussion of the possible origins of the laithe house and connections with longhouse tradition; an extensive architectural survey; specific surveys in 11 selected areas. The work is supplemented by 60 plates, 60 figures, tabulated information and appendices, including a full list of laithe houses identified and descriptions of 85 dated examples. The study is based on two years' field work, secondary sources and documentary sources which include tithe and enclosure awards, land tax and estate records, contemporary commercial directories, wills and probate inventories, and a particular study of the 19th century census returns which provide a documentary overview of laithe house inhabitants and their occupations, supplementing the extensive survey.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Architecture ; West Yorkshire