The Sale of the Estate -

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53 years ago
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Emergence of Chapeltown

This stage of the story begins in 1882, five years after the death of James Brown III. His heir’s agent, Gervase Markham of Malton was persuaded to sell the Harehills Grove Estate as building plots at auction. Martin and Fenwick Surveyors of Leeds were retained to develop a strategy and negotiate on behalf of the estate.

This stage of the story begins in 1882, five years after the death of James Brown III. His heir’s agent, Gervase Markham of Malton was persuaded to sell the Harehills Grove Estate as building plots at auction. Martin and Fenwick Surveyors of Leeds were retained to develop a strategy and negotiate on behalf of the estate.

In 1883 they brought to auction 112 acres of the estate to the north what is now Cowper Street, an area called ‘New Town development’; this land had been purchased from the 6th Earl Cowper in the 1840’s. Martin and Fenwick divided the land into 13 lots, valued it, and set reserve prices for the sale. Only four of the lots were sold in 1883, and only one of those reached its valuation price, and two of the other three lots were sold for slightly less than their reserve price.

Disposal of the remaining nine lots was not achieved until 1890. Three prominent Leeds entrepreneurs between them purchased over 100 acres of the land. Sir James Kitson and Company, locomotive and general engineer, E. Schunk of Schunk and Company, stuff and woollen merchants, and Robert Benson Jowitt, Leeds woollen merchant and philanthropist. All three entrepreneurs moved into residential estates carved out by the break-up of James Brown Harehills Grove, park, and surrounding agricultural land. Jowitt expanded his estates with additional purchases in 1887, 1890, and 1891; his thirty-five acre estate and the former Brown mansion were purchased by Leeds Corporation in 1900 for £35,000.

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