Stannary, Halifax, West Yorkshire

Stone Circle (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 088 256

Archaeology & History

The place-name authority A.H. Smith (1961), in searching for the meaning behind the old region in Halifax known as “stannary”, just west of the town centre, was puzzled by its implications and found it wanting, so he took the most likely option as he saw it, writing,  “probably it is a stone circle,” from the archaic verbs stan (stone) and hring (ring).

First recorded in the Halifax Court Rolls of 1575 as “Stannerying”, this implied it to be a place where tin-ware was sold in a field, “though that word belongs rather to Cornwall,” he said, and it appeared out of place at the time it was written.  So he looked elsewhere.  The Halifax Parish Registers of 1578 didn’t help much, describing the place as “Stanerye.”  However, the Halifax Rent Records of 1588 named it as “Standeringe”, which is much closer to Smith’s idea.  With each written instance we certainly find the old English stan, but the suffix in two instances is difficult to assess with firm conviction.

If we could locate additional folklore or other historical data that might throw further light on this, it would be an important find.  The finding of prehistoric burial remains less than a mile south of Stannary on the other side of town shows that ancient man was in Halifax, but it would be good if we could find more…


  1. Smith, A.H., The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Cambridge University Press 1961-63.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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3 thoughts on “Stannary, Halifax, West Yorkshire”

  1. A number of the Dobson Family lived at “Stannary Hall” in Lewis st, Halifax. Originally from Barnard Castle, Durham, Nicholas, Matthew Graham, and William Dobson were all managers at Crossley Mills.An obituary for Matthew Graham Dobson is available online.

  2. I was born at Stannary Hall in 1942 and lived there until I was 17 years old when plans to demolish the property were announced. My parents were forced to move into council property in Mixenden. Our landlord was a Mr Stern who ran a food processing ‘mill’ which overlooked the Hall. At this time the Hall was composed of 4 houses which had obviously been altered internally numerous times. My friend lived in the one end house andsenss I lived in the house at the opposite end. The house of my friend had a beautiful ‘mullion’ windows obviously dating from 16C or 17C. I have many happy memories of Stannary Hall and the area.

    1. Hello Keith
      I am your friend Stuart Connell at the other end of Stannary Hall. It must be something like 75 years since we knocked around together! Funny that one incident reminds me of the mischief we got up to in those days: your mother went berserk when I was riding your tricycle with you on the back and we ran over a packet of buns!
      I live in a village called Heighington near Darlington.. Lost my wife 11 years ago ago. Have a daughter, son in law and 2 grandchildren o a girl 21 and a lad of 18. Would love to hear from you and if one of us is in the other’s patch we could maybe meet up and chew on about the old days!

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