More on Bowling Lodge and a cost comparison with building a block of Ripley Ville dwellings

More information on who built Bowling Lodge in 1836, how much they were paid, other conditions and how long it took is compared with Cordingley and Peel’s contract for building a block of Ripley Ville Working Men’s Dwellings for H W Ripley in 1867.

Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2016. All rights reserved.

Building Bowling Lodge in 1836 and a block of Working Mens Dwellings in Ripley Ville in 1867

This post expands on information in three previous posts:-

Planning Application Numbers : All the buildings of Ripley Ville

The plans for Victorian Ripley Ville 1866 – 1881

1836 : H W Ripley as SWCI, the Moulsons, their mark and a [Master] Carpenter and Joiner.

In its first part the post adds:-

  • the names of the plumber, glazier and slater to the masons and the carpenter & joiner contracting to build Bowling Lodge for H W Ripley in 1836,
  • the amount agreed for their payment
  • some conditions to the contracts
  • some stages in the work, completion dates and forfeits

The payments agreed give a probable total for the building costs of the Dwelling House, Coach-house and Stables that was being built, to drawings by the architect Walker Rawsthorne, for H W Ripley’s parents, Edward and Hannah Ripley (nee Murgatroyd). (1)

In the second part of the post, this information is compared with what we know about a single contract for building a block of Working Mens Dwellings in the industrial model village of Ripley Ville some thirty years later.

The third part speculates on the price H W Ripley was paying for a working man’s dwelling to be built in the industrial model village of Ripley Ville.

Bowling Lodge

Contractors and Price for Work

The earlier post revealed that Moulsons, a firm based in West Bowling or little Bowling as it had been called, were contracted to do the Masons work for Bowling Lodge and that John Hargrave, was the contracting Carpenter & Joiner. Hargrave would have made the massive water cistern associated with the water-closet installed in Bowling Lodge, which features in the previous post on Bowling Lodge. The Moulsons work as masons included the laying of the drains. The full list of contractors and the price agreed for their part in the contract are shown in the table below. The space for the signature of the contractor for the plastering is empty in the section of the eighteen-page Specification concerning their work – so we don’t know their name – but the price is given.

Table : Contractors & Price for building Bowling Lodge 1836

Table Bowling Lodge building contractors and price











Lawful english money, Completion and forfeits

In the Specification the prices for each part of the build appear in long-hand and in the case of the masons and carpenter & joiner either a completion date or completion period is given for their part of the build. For the reassurance of the contractors, the terms of the contracts, confirm that their payment will be in ‘lawful english money’.  For Moulsons the work target is to the point where the joiners can start to ‘raise the roof” and has to be ‘so far completed by the first day of June next’ (June 1836). Beyond that, they will forfeit £10 per week.

The way work was staggered in the build is reflected in the Specification by the date on which the contracts are signed, so Joseph Hargrave did not sign his part of the contact until the ‘twenty fifth day of February’. The target for completion of his work is ‘three months after the roof is raised’. He is to forfeit £5 per week of delay, if there are any.

This would suggest a completion date for the whole build in October 1836, possibly later. The total cost would be in the region of £1,500 ‘lawful english money, or £1,533 if everything went to plan. There would then be further expense and work to do to make Bowling Lodge habitable and a suitable home for Edward Ripley, Hannah and their household.(2)


Cordingley and Peel ‘building block’

It is remarkable that, so far, little is known about the building of the Working Mens Dwellings of what became Ripley Ville, Bradford’s only industrial model village.


Compared to the detail on how Bowling Lodge was to be built during 1836 and by whom, when we come to 1867 and Ripley Ville, we have what we might call ‘outline’ plans by the architects and, as yet, no contracts. The architects’ plans includes a block plan for 254 houses and more details for two of the three types of houses that were eventually built.(3)

For these two types of dwellings there are floor plans for each floor, sectional drawings & a ‘New Buildings – Form of Notice …’, intended to show how the build would conform with local building bye-laws.(4)

Contracts to let

Through research done for ‘When was Ripleyville built’ (Walker R L 2008), we know the sequence for when the four sets of contracts for different quantities of houses were to be let. While, it is probable that the sub-set of contracts to let, numbered 1 to 13, refer to the thirteen blocks of houses eventually built, the sequence in which they were built remains uncertain.(5)

Since the sequence is uncertain completion dates can, as yet, only be a speculation.

A Contractor/Builder

More recent research, published in a post on this web-site last month, revealed for the first time that Cordingley and Peel might be the contractors for the building of a block of the Ripley Ville houses.(6)

And that is about it!


If it is proven that Cordingley & Peel were the builders, we still don’t know which block or type of house Cordingley and Peel were building, nor the quantity of houses. The date of their application for water places it in the period just before the 4th set of contracts were advertised in the Bradford Observer and 4 months after the 3rd set was. We don’t know, however, which houses were built in each set of contacts or individual contracts.

As I wrote in that earlier post;

Using, combining and giving priority to different factors (e.g. house type) or source materials (e.g Bradford Observer ‘Contracts to let’), suggests different sequences for when the blocks of housing were built.


It is just possible that Cordingley and Peel were building a block of as few as 7 or as many as 19 of the Working-Mens Dwellings. They could have been building a block of 10, 12, 13, 14 or 18 houses (see quantities of houses per block in map below right). (7)

Cost per house

If we speculate that they were building one of the longer terraced rows then a cost per house can be calculated.

As shown by use of both maps below, a house in a longer row of 19 houses could only have been a Type B house. (8)

If the Cordingley & Peel block was one of these four, they would have been costing H W Ripley just over £126 each.

A row of 18 houses – which could be either Type A or Type C – would have been just over £133 each for Cordingley & Peel’s work. (9)

Maps showing Type of houses and Quantities of houses in Block

Type and Quantity houses in Blocks using three colours

Quality of build

When advertising the contracts to let, Andrews Son & Pepper stated that the lowest bid would not necessarily be accepted. While also allowing them to choose a contractor known to them and trusted, this could be an indication of a requirement for both compliance and quality of build.

That 4 years later Cordingley & Peel were chosen as the Contractors for the Anglican Church of St Bartholomew suggests their successful completion of the housing contract and that they had the capability to take on a more architecturally demanding build.

By that time, as the Census of 1871 shows, a Joseph Cordingley age 42, a Master Plasterer, and his household were living in Ripley Ville. They were at 59 Ripley Terrace; another endorsement of the quality of the build.



(1)       The contract and Specification was agreed by H W Ripley.

(2)       Henry William Ripley and his wife Susan were at this time involved in a move to Holme House in Lightcliffe. It is not clear how far this had progressed.

(3)       The increased number of houses were to be accommodated by building to the the other (western) side of Ripley Terrace. The location of the Type A houses, eventually built on Vere Street, would also have been different.

(4)       Deposited Plan No 4262. The plans are available through the Bradford branch of West Yorkshire archives.

(5)        see previous post

(6)       It is not clear why Cordingley & Peel made the application for supply of water from the Bradford Corporation Water Works when Ripleys had their own supply. No other such application appears to have been recorded for the houses or Schools building.

(7)       I am here assuming that both the intention to build Type C houses and for space to be reserved for the Schools building had been made.

(8)      I have used ‘A’ and ‘B’ for the type of house as this is used by the architects in their original plans. The third type of house therefor becomes ‘Type C’. These were built in the blocks 2-36 Saville Street and 38-62 Saville Street and are the ones for which no original plan has been found.

(9)     Cordingley and Peel were not always ‘all-trades’ contractors. They appear to have gravitated towards plastering and flooring work later in the 19th century – see also final sentence this post. Drains, which might be a Masons’ work, may have already been laid or at least some part of them.


additional information on Joseph Cordingley added 2016/02/18

Copyright R L Walker and/or rediscovering Ripleyville 2015


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