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COTTINGLEY BAR HOUSE

Cottingley Bar is where most people stop for the traffic lights. The cluster of lights are the modern day version of a more ancient form of control - the Toll Bar.

Up to 1858 when the order came for winding up, this Bar House collected road tolls as people travelled between Bradford and Skipton.(The building was finally demolished in 1913)

Toll Bars came with the introduction of turnpikes and brought a great deal of trouble with them. There was much criticism of the small proportion of the tolls spent on road maintenance.

All over the country mobs went about destroying bar houses and the one at Cottingley also came under attack. Rioters dressed themselves in black cloaks and also blackened their faces. Because they looked like females, the riots were known as the Rebecca Riots.

Cottingley Bar House was round in shape with the appearance of a castle with its crenelated roof. However at the back of the House was a Bath House, with Gothic doors and windows, formerly used by the residents of Cottingley Hall which itself was demolished shortly after the Bar House was demolished. In its latter years the Bar House was home to a shop where youngsters used their hard earned pennies to buy sweets.

The last keeper of the Bar House was Tom Gatley.