As we near the end of the final phase of demolition onsite, we are pleased to have salvaged this huge stone from above the doorway of Knapping House, that bears the initials of its original resident William Henry Baxter.
Our site team was interested to know more about this impressive artefact and the man behind its construction and after a little digging of a different kind, unearthed the following interesting facts:
Born in Leeds in circa 1844 Baxter was a civil engineer, and author who lived in Harrogate with his wife and children. Owner of a road building equipment firm in Leeds, he is famous for patenting the ‘Knapping Machine’ which was used to break stones to make hard-core for roads. When he died Baxter was a pioneer in modern road construction and stone-breaking machinery and thanks to his success, was one of the first residents in the Harrogate district to own an electric car, which he used to commute to Leeds.
The stone featuring William Henry Baxter’s initials will remain where it belongs and be incorporated into the new building. We are proud to be part of Knapping Mount’s new phase of development creating an important civic hub for Harrogate for years to come whilst also maintaining a little bit of its history along the way.