Publications List     


Volume 61 (1989)



The 125th anniversary of the Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society

The Society was founded on 1 April 1863 at a meeting of six gentlemen, two of them clerics, at Netherthong Parsonage near Holmfirth. It was at first called the Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association, but ‘Yorkshire’ was substituted for ‘Huddersfield’ in its title in 1870, and in 1893 it was incorporated as the Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society. Three years later its headquarters were moved from New Street, Huddersfield, to 10 Park Place, Leeds, where it continued to flourish until in 1968 it moved again, this time to Claremont, its present home, an eighteenth century merchant’s house, extended by Dr J. D. Heaton, after he bought it in 1856.

This bare outline of the Society’s activities and growth should be sufficient to show that it is in a flourishing state and is amply fulfilling the hopes and intentions of its now distant founders. The fuller material which is available in the Annual Reports and in the pages of the YAJ and other publications may further convince members that it continues to play a leading role in stimulating archaeological and topographical studies in Yorkshire. In spite of changing social habits, of television and computer technology, of different emphases or new interests among scholars, the Society appears fit and well prepared to enter the twenty-first century and to give further years of service in Yorkshire archaeology.


The Huddersfield And District Archaeological Society by D. Clarke

Twenty-four years in the chair probably makes the author as qualified as any to write the following history of the Society. Its watchwords have always been good humour and informality, so this is a personal account, not a mere list of dates and digs. History, when it comes to record these events in closer detail, may raise it eyebrows, but the dates and other facts it may need will still be there in the archives. The inaugural meeting of the Society was held on 20th June 1956. The motivating forces were the Rev. J. S. Hallam and Miss Anne Maltby, assistant Curator of the Tolson Memorial Museum. They became the first President and Hon. Secretary respectively, heading a committee of six chosen from the first 18 members. John Hallam’s particular interest was the Mesolithic period and a study group, working on Buckley’s notes and finds in the museum, was one of the first activities.


A Collared Urn Of The Early Bronze Age From Silpho Near Scalby, North Yorkshire by R.A. Varley

A large rim fragment attributed to a Bronze Age Collared Urn which forms the subject of this paper is preserved in the Whitby Museum. There is, however, very little literature relating to its discovery or the precise site location. On a label of nineteenth-century origin, attached to the fragment, neatly written in script is ‘Part of a British Urn from Silphoue (Silpho) Nr. Whitby’. The only other additional information, that the rim fragment of this urn was presented to the museum by the Rev. Dr. George Young in 1830, is recorded in the museum’s early accession register.


Excavations At Cat Babbleton Farm, Ganton, North Yorkshire, 1986 by P. Cardwell

The following report describes the excavation of a length of pit alignment on the north-eastern Yorkshire Wolds. Originally this boundary feature may either have consisted of pits of uniform size, some of which were subsequently joined together, or was composed of pits of variable length. The pits were later linked by a shallow ditch, and the feature appears to have functioned as an element of land division during the Roman period. A ring gully within the site area was also examined. The nature of pit alignments and their relationship to other forms of landscape boundary in north-east Yorkshire is discussed.


Excavations At Helmsley Castle by P.R.Wilson

The surviving elements of Helmsley Castle betray a long and complex development; the basic enceinte and the lower stages of the keep belong to the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. The massive inner and outer ditches that surround the site are generally thought to be of a similar date to the earliest stone defences, although there may have been an earlier earthwork castle on the site. The second significant constructional phase dates to the mid-thirteenth century which, in the surviving remains, is primarily represented by the defences of the northern and southern barbicans. Elsewhere in the castle, structural elements of various phases can be traced culminating in the extensive remodelling of the domestic accommodation in the second half of the sixteenth century. A line of rough foundations that crosses the courtyard probably represents the last major phase of construction on the site.

A proposal to construct a car-park to the north of the castle made it necessary to investigate the field between Otterburn Lane and the area in the care of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commision for England, the assumed location of the northern ‘outer bailey’. A geophysical survey undertaken by the Commission suggested that there might be traces of occupation in the area to the east of the substantial earthwork that crossed the field on a north-west to south-east line and which may have formed the eastern side of the defences of an outer bailey. This article examines the results of the excavation.


A Twelfth-Century 'Scottish' Charter Concerning Yorkshire by K.J. Stringer

The charter printed is deposited in the Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh, among the Register House Charters, a miscellaneous collection based on documents accumulated in the nineteenth century from diverse sources. It can be found there presumably because the grantor was believed to be identical with the great Anglo-Norman magnate Richard de Morville (d. 1189/90), lord of Cunningham in Ayrshire and Lauderdale in Berwickshire, and hereditary Constable in the royal households of Malcolm IV and William the Lion, successive kings of Scots from 1153 to 1214. In 1947 the charter was referred to in passing by Dr D. E. Easson, who included it in an unsystematic list of the Constable’s surviving written acts. This attribution, as will appear in this article, must be discounted as erroneous, but that does not detract from the intrinsic interest of the document, one of comparatively few twelfth century charters relating to Yorkshire that are extant in the original and hitherto remain unpublished.


Excavation And Salvage Work On A Moated Site At Cowick, South Humberside, 1976 by C. Hayfield & J Greig

The Chamber Accounts record that Edward II had a ‘great ditch’ dug around his newly acquired manor house at Cowick in 1323. This impressive moated site, which lies to the south of Cowick village in South Humberside was dredged in 1976, destroying most of the contents of the moat. Emergency excavation in 1976 revealed traces of bridge piers and provided an important series of late-medieval environmental samples and artefact assemblages. This report discusses the background and excavation of the site together with the environmental reports. The artefacts and tree-ring dating will appear in the 1990 volume of the YAJ.


Earthworks At Marton And Moxby Priories by D.A. Mackay & V.G. Swan

The sites of the priory of Marton and its sister nunnery in Moxby lie on the River Foss 2.8km apart in the Parish of Marton cum Moxby, respectively approximately 17 and 14km north of York. Both have substantial earthworks adjacent, which were surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England in 1986 as a part of its policy of recording nationally important archaeological sites. The full archival descriptions and plans have been deposited in the National Monuments Record where they are available for consultation. This paper comprises a brief summary of the visible remains together with their suggested interpretation, and also incorporates accounts of the results of a watching-brief at Marton, carried out in 1982 in advance of the construction of a silage clamp.


Thwaites Family And 'Two Effigies At Lund, East Riding by P. Sheppard Routh

In the parish church of All Saints, Lund, East Riding of Yorkshire, have survived two mutilated effigies and a fragment of tomb-chest, all carved in alabaster. The latter is the very worn top half of a niche with an ogee canopy, and decorated with crockets and finial such as are found on the two later Gascoigne, and the later Redman monuments at Harewood, and others elsewhere. In the head of the canopy is carved a flower, possibly a rose. This little detail also appears at Yatton in Somerset; Llandegai, North Wales; Burghill, Hereford; and Thornhill in West Yorkshire. The customary string course runs along the top of the panel behind the finial, and in the niche is a forward-facing angle holding a shield. The lower half of the figure, and the pedestal on which it stood are missing. This fragment closely resembles panels on monuments as widely dispersed as Netherbury, Dorset; Millom (Old church), Cumbria; and Burghill. The dates of these three are respectively c.1460, 1494 and 1470, so the Lund example can fairly confidently be placed in the second half of the fifteenth century. This article considers the likely subjects of the effigies.


Tomb Of Archbishop Scrope In York Minster by T.W. French

The Chapel of St Stephen occupies the easternmost two bays in the north aisle of the presbytery in York Minster. There was an altar to St Stephen in the earlier Romanesque cathedral, and this was transferred to its present position when the eastern arm was rebuilt in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Originally the chapel seems to have occupied only the easternmost bay, but at some later date has been extended to take in the second bay as well. It was soon taken over by the great baronial family of Scrope of Masham, and by 1451 John Lord Scrope was writing in his will of ‘the chapel of St Stephen commonly called Scrop Chapell’. Many rearrangements have taken place in the chapel over the centuries, but there still remains on the south side a stone table-tomb known as the tomb of Archbishop Richard Scrope, which is the subject of this paper. The Archbishop was executed on the direct orders of Henry IV on 8th June 1405 in a cornfield at Clementhorpe.


Marmaduke Bradley, Last Abbot Of Fountains by D.B. Foss

Bradley, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, may almost certainly claim as its most famous son Marmaduke Bradley, the last abbot of Fountains (1536-9). He, the subject of this article, was a troublemaker, simoniac, liar and trickster ― altogether an unprepossessing character.

The grange of Bradley was one of the most significant outlying possessions of the Cistercian abbey of St Mary, Fountains. A grange was a large unit of arable production, peculiar to the new monastic orders and to northern England. Yorkshire held some two hundred granges, some as small as 50 acres; the average size of Fountains’s granges was 200-300 acres. Bradley, over 1000 acres, was of exceptional significance.


Monastic Leasing Before The Dissolution: The Evidence Of Bolton Priory And Fountains Abbey by R. Hoyle

The Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536-40 brought to an end not only a tradition of liturgy, worship and observance which had existed in England for half a millennium, but also ended their existence as independent, property owning corporations. The proportion of the country’s land they owned might reasonably be estimated at around a quarter or a third. In the West Riding, it is estimated that the church held 27 per cent of the ‘freehold income’ from lands in the county, of which perhaps three-quarters belonged to religious houses. All this land was prized by the Crown and briefly added to its own estates. In the 1540s and early 1550s most was sold to fund warfare against Scotland and France and by 1553 little was left in the monarch’s hands. The Great Plunder had become the Great Redistribution.

It is arguable whether the monasteries contributed a great deal to the spiritual life of the laity and it may be that they disappeared, unlamented by most. However their abolition, the confiscation of their lands and the subsequent sale of their endowments was nothing but a disaster for the historian. The record keeping traditions of the houses were ended at a stroke. The records themselves were dispersed and often destroyed leaving only those scraps and fragments from which the history of most medieval religious houses has to be written. Often more survives of their buildings than the charters, accounts, leases and correspondence that they once contained. Given that this is so little, it is all the more important to gather that which remains, but even more necessary to understand what these fragments mean. This paper sets out to fulfil two purposes: to extend the work of collection and publication for the records of two monastic houses, Bolton Priory and Fountains Abbey, and then to discuss why these houses made use of that most seductive of documents, the lease, in the management of their estates in the early sixteenth century.


Seizure Of Hull And Its Magazine, January 1642 by I.E. Ryder

The two principal magazines of the kingdom in late 1641 were those at Hull and the Tower of London. Hull had become the repository of a magazine during the wars against the Scots, being described as ‘the most considerable place for strength in the northern parts of the kingdom’. The magazine was based in the manor house in Lowgate. In the summer of 1641 the Hull garrison, with what remained of the Army against the Scots, was disbanded, and the town and magazine placed in the care of the mayor and burgesses. By January 1642 the magazine was estimated to contain sufficient arms for 16,000 men.

In response to the outbreak of rebellion in Ireland, in October 1641, the king and parliament ordered the raising and dispatch of 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse. The equipping of these forces effectively emptied the magazine in the Tower.

As the stores in the Tower were issued out, so the importance of the Hull magazine grew, as is shown in this article.


Ormesby Hall, Cleveland by L.F. Pearson

Ormesby Hall, situated 3 miles to the south of Middlesbrough, Cleveland, was the home of the Pennyman family from about 1600 to 1961 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust by Lt. Col. J. B. W. Pennyman. John Graves, the historian of Cleveland, wrote in 1808 that ‘Ormesby Hall, the Seat of Sir James Pennyman, Bart, is a neat modern mansion, built by Mrs Pennyman, daughter of Archbishop Wake’. He gives neither a definite date for the construction of the house nor an architect’s name; this paper reports on research which has enabled suggestions as to both date and architect to be made.


Ackworth Hospital, 1757-1773 by B. Scott

England was behind other European countries in providing shelter for orphans and abandoned children. From the twelfth century onwards the major cities of Europe had made such provision. Several attempts had been made in this direction in England. When Edward VI founded Christ’s Hospital in 1552 it was intended to take in infants as well as older children. There was an outcry in the parish lest these abandoned infants should become a charge on the parish. This was something which was to haunt the Governors of the Foundling Hospital, creating great prejudice against them.

Captain Thomas Coram was distressed by the numbers of infants abandoned to die by the roadside in London. Following his retirement from business in 1719 he devoted his life to philanthropy.

After seventeen years of unceasing work, Coram was able to establish the Foundling Hospital, its temporary rented property in Hatton Garden, The Hospital opened on 25 March 1741.

Parliament granted £10,000 from June to 31 December 1756. But this was to have disastrous consequences for the Hospital because of a clause stipulating that they had to admit all children under the age specified by the Governors. Instead of an anticipated five hundred extra children being admitted in one year, they were arriving at the rate of three hundred a month.

These were the circumstances that necessitated the founding of Ackworth, Shrewsbury, Chester, Aylesbury and Barnet Hospitals. The Governors were correct in their belief that there should be Hospitals all over the country, but they had not the means fully to carry out such an ambitious scheme. This paper is concerned with Ackworth where, between 1757 and 1773, 2664 children were received, of whom 2,365 were apprenticed, 11 reunited with their parents, 10 discharged on reaching their twenty-first birthdays, 109 were returned to London and 169 died. A mortality rate of a mere 6½ per cent, in the eighteenth century is truly amazing.


Denison Hall, Little Woodhouse, Leeds by R. Hewlings

Denison Hall, now a Leeds City old people’s home, was built originally as a suburban villa, though within forty years it was engulfed by the westward expansion of Leeds. Its builder was John Denison, heir to the fortune of the leading branch of the leading family of Leeds woollen merchants. Its architect remains unknown. Although this article does not remedy that deficiency, the other circumstances of Denison Hall’s construction may shed some light on possible designers.


Yorkshire's Early Warning System, 1916-1936 by E.W. Sockett

The British “Early Warning System” before the advent of Radar in 1936 was intended to consist partly of a chain of concrete, concaved mirrors along the coast line from Southampton to Northumberland. The three surviving Yorkshire examples have a number of interesting and unique features, recorded in this article.


Two Late Anglo-Saxon Strap-Ends From South Yorkshire by C.R. Hart

During 1986, two late Anglo-Saxon metal objects were taken into Sheffield City Museums for identification and conservation. Both are of the commonest type of late Saxon metalwork, the strap-end. These strap-ends would have formed the terminals of an accessory strap or girdle hung loosely around the waist. Both strap-ends were found in the civil parish of Thorpe Salvin, lying adjacent to the western parish boundary formed by the ancient road called “Packman Lane”. We are left wondering why these strap-ends were lost, and also how and why both objects came to be discovered in the same year; Packman Lane has been used as a major highway to the north and south for many centuries, as is evidenced by the findings of Roman coin hoards near to the road, as well as from numerous historic documentary sources describing this important corridor. These questions are considered here.