The Inn was situated off St Mary’s Lane near to the present day junction with Furnbrook Gardens. Like most Kirkheaton inns the property was owned by the Whitley Beaumont Estate. This photograph dates from around 1911 when the landlord was Job Hirst.
The inn and adjacent farmhouse had been in the Hirst family for well over 100 years but was closed in 1927 under ‘the 1904 act to extinguish licences under compensation provisions.’ The following account appeared in the Yorkshire Post dated 3rd June 1927.
One of the licenses objected to, was that of the Brown Cow Inn at Kirkheaton, held by J Ogden Binns. The house was described as the birthplace of George Hirst, the famous Yorkshire cricketer. An old village inhabitant, Law Earnshaw, said this was so. According to him, the house had been in the Hirst family for a hundred years, and fifty Hirst’s had been born there.
A point made in objection to the house was that it was not equipped with beer pumps and that beer had to be brought from the cellar.
Earnshaw said that he and his friends used the place more or less as a club and that they had no fault to find with the quality of the beer. In spite of this however the license was referred for compensation.
The inn closed and was subsequently demolished by Kirkheaton UDC for road widening. The original line can still be seen as you wait for buses bound for Huddersfield.
*George Herbert Hirst (7 September 1871 – 10 May 1954) played cricket for Yorkshire and England. He played in 24 Test matches, making 790 runs and capturing 59 wickets. He toured Australia twice.
Hirst stated: ‘I attribute my ability in later years to the persistent practice which half a dozen of us Kirkheaton lads put in night after night in all departments of the game. We used to take the side nets away and every ball had to be fielded.’
He also practised his skills in the backyard of the pub and in the nearby croft.