New retirement development in Ossett to be named after well-known historical figure, Joshua Whitaker

A new Retirement Living Plus development in Ossett has been named 'Whitaker Grange' after wealthy maltster, Joshua Whitaker.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 2:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 2:44 pm
Joshua Whitaker was the owner of Croft House, which stood on the site for 109 years.
Joshua Whitaker was the owner of Croft House, which stood on the site for 109 years.

Manager and developer, McCarthy and Stone have named the scheme on New Street in honour of Joshua Whitaker (1804-1882), the owner of Croft House, which stood on the site for 109 years before being demolished in 1984 to make way for the former Sycamore House Health Centre.

Mr Whitaker was active in promoting the town of Ossett.

He supported schemes to build a railway linking the town to Wakefield and Dewsbury and became a director of the Bradford, Wakefield and Leeds Railway Company which eventually built a branch line from Wrenthorpe to Ossett and Batley.

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He also began the development of New Street which would enable access to Ossett’s first railway station which was built in 1865.

He was also involved in public life. He served as an income tax commissioner for the Wakefield district and was appointed a justice of the peace for the West Riding in 1870.

He attended Dewsbury Courthouse regularly until a few months before his death and in his obituary the Ossett Observer said, ‘his opinions were greatly respected by his colleagues’.

Mr Whitaker was a member of the Church of England and gave generously to the building fund for Holy Trinity donating the west window to the church.

A supporter of the Conservative Party, he was one of the founders of Ossett’s Conservative Working Men’s Association. This later became the Conservative Club whose premises in New Street, built soon after his death, still remain and where a headstone of Mr Whitaker presides.

Declan Fishwick, Marketing Executive for McCarthy and Stone, said: “We wanted to choose a name for our new Ossett development that acknowledges the history of the site and the building that stood there before – Croft House. We think this will resonate with local people as well as future McCarthy and Stone homeowners.

“Our chosen name, Whitaker Grange, will serve as a celebration of Joshua Whitaker’s life and achievements, and his contribution to Ossett.”

The apartments for the over 70s will offer retirees the opportunity to maintain an independent lifestyle, while having access to shared facilities and tailored domestic support services.

Situated close to the town centre it will benefit from excellent transport links, access to all the local amenities as well as benefiting from a communal lounge, landscaped gardens, a bistro-style restaurant serving daily, freshly prepared meals and coffees and cakes.

For more information please call: 0800 2014811 or visit: *Information provided by the Ossett Historical Society and Steve Wilson of