Wainhouse Tower is a folly in the parish of King Cross, on the south west side of Halifax. It is sometimes referred to as “the tower of spite”. It was designed by Issac Booth to serve as a chimney for the local dye works owned by John Edward Wainhouse.
It took four years to build between the years 1871-1875. By the time it was built Wainhouse had sold the dye works and the buyer had no interest in taking over the half built chimney, so Wainhouse was left with it.
So Wainhouse ordered steps to be built inside and little windows and that’s when it ended up as a tower.
Some people thought Wainhouse’s conflict with his neighbour Sir Henry Edwards was the reason that the tower was built, so he could look over Edwards land.
The tower is now owned by Calderdale Council and is open only on Bank Holidays.
Its height is 253 feet and there are 403 steps.
The story goes deeper than this. The workers who died while constructing the tower, or was badly injured never to be able to work again. Leading to a life of pain until there death.
One example is Abraham Buckley 1852-1897.
Abrahams father Issac Buckley was the site foreman for the construction of Wainhouse Tower which commenced in 1871 and Abraham also worked on this construction project.
During the erection of the tower, the stone was hauled up by the inside of the chimney by the means of a tripod positioned on a platform structure itself. A rope from the tripod was harnessed, via a winch on the ground to a horse. One of the blocks of stone used to hold to a winch can be still seen near the door to the tower.
Unfortunately Abraham Buckley lost an arm when the tripod collapsed and caused a large stone to fall on him. The heavy leather contraption used by him as an artificial limb is known to have been in existence some fifty of so years later.
Abraham died 10th May 1897 at Delph Hill, Skircoat (across from the tower) at the age of 45 year of Delirium Tremens. His wife Harriet died on the same date and an inquest was heard to the cause of her death. Both deaths were due to excessive drinking.