Publications List     


Volume 63 (1991)

The Devil's Arrows, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. The archaeology of a stone row
by A. Burl

The aims of this paper are threefold: to establish the type of setting the Devil’s Arrows was; the period of its construction; and its cultural associations.

Just west of Boroughbridge, and flanked by the busy A1 road, the stones of the Devil’s Arrows form one of the most astonishing megalithic settings in Western Europe. The tallest, 22 ft 6 ins high (6.9m), is surpassed in height only by the 25 ft 6 ins (7.8m) of the gigantic pillar in Rudston church yard 30 miles to the east. The surviving upright of the Great Trilithon at Stonehenge, the Punchestown menhir in Co. Kildare, the Longstone near Naas in the same county are all shorter. Nowhere even in Brittany, is there a line of three such monstrous stones.

Despite this, the Devil’s Arrows have been remarkably neglected. Little has been written about them that is not repetitious, and, incredibly, there is not one good, published plan. There is continuing argument about the original number of stones, about their source, because they are not local, about their age, their function, and even ― simply because the line is not quite straight ― whether they are not the remnants of an incredible stone circle over a mile in diameter.


Bronze Age Activity On The Eston Hills, Cleveland by B.E. Vyner

The Eston Hills are an outlier of the North York Moors, comprising an east-west lying ridge overlooking the estuary of the River Tees and separated from the main body of the Moors by a shallow valley in which lies the town of Guisborough. Because of their proximity to Middlesbrough and, latterly, the Teesside conurbation the archaeological sites on the Eston Hills have been the subject of various antiquarian examination. The focus for early consideration and comment was the scarp edge fortification at Eston Nab, situated at the highest point along the northern edge of the hills, although it was the burial mounds which claimed the attention of 19th century excavators. This paper considers the evidence for Bronze Age activity in this area.


A Roman Marching Camp And Native Settlement Site At Newton Kyme, Tadcaster by J.M. Monaghan

The planning and construction of a gas pipeline through North Yorkshire in 1979 involved close consultation between British Gas and North Yorkshire County Council over the selection of a route through a complex of archaeological sites located within a bend in the river Wharfe, to the west of the village of Newton Kyme. They are contained within a single field and include the scheduled sites of the first/second and third century AD military forts and an associated vicus, a probable late Neolithic/early Bronze Age henge monument, and a variety of rectilinear and ring ditch features.

Knowledge of the chronology of these sites is piecemeal. In the earlier twentieth century limited investigations in the vicinity of the later fort, whilst it was still an earthwork, recovered evidence of the structural development of the fortifications. Prehistoric finds have been periodically ploughed up elsewhere in the field, an inhumation accompanied by a Food Vessel was excavated in 1957 and the fort was excavated in 1956.

After careful study of the available aerial photography a route was selected which appeared to avoid the important archaeological features in the area and also overcome the considerable financial and engineering constraints imposed by the surrounding topography. The realignment ran down the western edge of the field, almost parallel and close to the Roman road, Rudgate, and the river crossing at St Helen’s Ford. An investigation during land clearance in this part of the field in the mid-1960s, had yielded evidence of Romano-British occupation. This appeared to reflect a ribbon-like strand of settlement along the line of Rudgate.

In order to make further assessment of the archaeological implications of this route a geophysical survey was carried out. This revealed a number of anomalies that included a substantial linear feature which in a subsequent examination of aerial photographs, appeared to be part of a previously unrecorded marching camp. A double ring ditch feature, approximately 25 metres in diameter was also recorded within the same geophysical survey area.


Account Roll Of 'The Manor Of Little Kelk 1323-4 by T. Hale

Little Kelk was one of a number of manors in the East Riding of Yorkshire belonging to the Augustinian canons of Bridlington Priory in the middle ages. Earthworks in Ash Garths in the crook of the road which links Lowthorpe to the north-west and Great Kelk to the south, probably mark the site of the grange established on lands granted to the priory during the thirteenth century. This probability is well supported by archaeological evidence: the field is rich in remains of medieval date, with pottery sherds and oyster shells visible on the surface after ploughing. Sadly, Nunnery Hill, a 15ft tumulus or small motte, was bulldozed in WW2 and the site was ploughed out, but a medieval pottery kiln has been found nearby.

The manor of Little Kelk was granted to Bridlington Priory in 1271 by William de Boyville and Joan Talun his wife, and retained until the Dissolution. Following sale by the Crown, it was conveyed to Sir George Griffith in 1549 and descended through the Griffiths and Boyntons with Burton Agnes. In 1847 over 50 documents relating to Great and Little Kelk from the twelfth to the seventeenth century were sold by the Wickham-Boynton family and were purchased by Captain A. W. F. Fuller, whose collection was presented to the University of London in 1965. Included among the items were six court rolls and five account rolls from this manor; one of these is examined here.


Lionel, Lord Welles And His Methley Monument by P. Sheppard Routh

The battle of Towton has given rise to a number of legends perpetuated over five hundred years as ‘history’ ― the white roses that grew blood-flecked ever after Palm-Sunday-field, the villagers huddled in prayer in the tiny chapel at Lead, Lord Dacre buried upright on his charger in the churchyard at Saxton. In this paper the author examines another tradition that lingers on, that the body of Lionel, Lord Welles, was secretly conveyed from the battlefield to be interred with that of his first wife at Methley church, ten miles away.


Thomas Lord Darcy And The Rothwell Tenants, c.1526-1534 by R.W. Hoyle

On 2 June 1509 Thomas, Lord Darcy of Temple Hirst, soldier and courtier, received the grant from Henry VIII of two parks near Leeds, both until then the property of the Duchy of Lancaster. The first, Roundhay Park to the north of Leeds remains (although truncated) an open space to this day. The other, Rothwell Haigh, which lay between Rothwell village and the river Aire and with which this paper is concerned, is largely built upon or spoilt by several centuries of industrial development. In the eighteenth century it was divided by the Leeds-Pontefract turnpike (now the A639); in the twentieth the M1 motorway was driven through its western edge. There is little of the medieval landscape left to see. The divergent development of the two parks may, in part, be traced to decisions made in the years immediately following Darcy’s grant. Rothwell was progressively disparked and improved. By 1526 the tenants of Rothwell village and the surrounding townships were objecting to Darcy’s activities which, they alleged, impinged on their customary grazing rights. Matters came to a head in May 1532 when a crowd of at least 250 persons (a third of whom were women) drawn from Rothwell and its neighbouring villages threw down Darcy’s new fences.Smaller crowds returned to finish off the work in the days following. Then in April 1533 the park was again the scene of a riot against local gentleman, William Leigh of Middleton, then in the Fleet prison in London for his alleged complicity in the riots. Why Darcy was the victim of these acts of violence, what his neighbours thought that they were protecting and how both parties defended their rights in the courts of the Duchy of Lancaster (and elsewhere) form the subjects of this paper.


Farmhold Structure In A District Of Piecemeal Enclosure: The Manor of Askwith From 1596 To 1816 by M. Pickles & J. Bosworth

The removal over a period of time of the common fields of a township by piecemeal methods is well established in districts as far apart as East Anglia, Somerset and Lancashire. The impact of these changes on individual villages and farmholds has been difficult to assess: specialised maps and surveys were drawn up to implement Parliamentary and general enclosure but were apparently not required by the more informal process of piecemeal enclosure. Its protracted and erratic course, perhaps without documentation or supervision, could lead to a continuation of scattered buildings long after the open fields had disappeared. In some districts this fragmentation of holding continued into the twentieth century, preserving the worse defects of the medieval farming arrangements.

For the township of Askwith, in middle Wharfedale in the Old West Riding of Yorkshire, a series of estate documents exists that shows how enclosure proceeded over a period of two centuries. These papers are considered here. All Askwith’s town fields save one had been divided as early as 1596 into small, narrow, sometimes curving strip-like enclosures though individual holdings were still dispersed. By 1716 the piecemeal process had eliminated the final open field, yet farms were not consolidated. Even as late as 1816 some farmholds were fragmented and very small.


Robinsons of Newby Park And Newby Hall by G. Hinchliffe

The records of the family, covering a period from the middle of the sixteenth century until well into the eighteenth, and preserved in the Archives Department of the Leeds City Libraries, are the main source of the family’s history. This article is the first of three in YAJ that will examine the family’s history.


The Delamotte Family And A Monument At Sculcoates by M.E. Ingram

The church of St Mary, Sculcoates, a parish now part of Kingston upon Hull, contains a unique monument, unique because the inscription is in shorthand. It records the death in 1761 of Jane, the wife of Charles Delamotte. Charles was descended from Philippe Delamotte (1556-1637) and his wife, Judith des Maistres, who had fled from Tournai in Flanders during the persecution of Protestants by the Duke of Alva. Philippe settled in Southampton, where he became involved in cloth manufacture and was pastor of the French church there. His son, John, was a dyer in his parents’ business and married Mary Tiedet in 1622. John and Mary’s son, Peter, was born in Southampton in 1634 and married in 1655. He traded from Dice Quay in the parish of St Dunstan in the East, London. His son, also named Peter, and his second wife, Elizabeth Wickham, were Charles’s parents. The monument and the family’s history are considered here.


Nailmakers And Their Successors In The Community Of Darton Parish And Township by H. Taylor

Nails were still being made by hand in a small, stone-built workshop at Mapplewell, South Yorkshire, as late as 1943. The operative, Ibberson Haigh, was the last representative of a long tradition of nailmaking in the Mapplewell and Staincross area of the parish of Darton, which lay immediately to the north-west of Barnsley. Well established by the seventeenth century, there had been a remarkable growth of nailmaking here during the latter part of the eighteenth century, and the labour force continued to grow until around 1860. These two villages in Darton Township lay at the northern extremity of the area of small metal manufactures that extended southwards as far as the Belper area of Derbyshire. By the 1860s Mapplewell stood out almost alone as a major concentration of hand-made nail manufacture in this region. In 1841 Census no fewer than 138 out of 282 heads of household or heads of families within households in the Mapplewell-Staincross area of Darton Township were engaged in nailmaking, compared with only 28 in coal mining and 37 in agriculture. As late as 1871 there were still 221 nailmaker families here. Though outnumbered by colliery workers by that time, they nevertheless maintained their distinctive working customs and life-style. By 1881 the number of nailmaker families had fallen to 142 and the decline would continue, but the last of the businesses which inherited the traditions of the old nailmaking industry, and which may be called their successors, survived in Mapplewell and Staincross until the 1960s.


Rabbit Warrens Of The Tabular Hills, North Yorkshire by A. Harris & D.A. Spratt

That substantial areas of land were at one time devoted to commercial rabbit farming is well known. Studies in widely separated parts of Britain have demonstrated both the antiquity of the practice and its considerable economic importance, as well as its ability to make an enduring impression on the local scene. Although the circumstances in which rabbits were farmed in Yorkshire have still to be investigated in detail, some parts of the county were much involved in the business of producing carcasses and skins for sale. In some of the more highly cultivated districts, such as the Yorkshire Wolds, few traces of warrening remained by the end of the nineteenth century, and there is now little evidence on the ground to indicate that it was ever present. On the Tabular Hills of North Yorkshire, by contrast, the physical remains of former warrens, considered in this paper, are still visible in the Pickering area. Here rabbits continued to be farmed along traditional lines until the twentieth century and a number of warrens have escaped the consequences of modern farming practice. Boundary banks, field divisions and a form of stone pitfall trap known as a ‘rabbit type’ can all be found locally, together with the successors of the warren houses and trackways which once served them.


Manchester College At York (1803-1840): Its Intellectual And Cultural Contribution by D.L. Wykes

In 1803 Manchester College moved to York, where the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved, the newly appointed Theological Tutor and Principal, was minister of St Saviourgate chapel. The College, the last of the great nonconformist academies, has been the subject of a number of studies. Nonetheless, although its association with York has been noted locally, the consequences for the city and region have not been considered in detail. This paper, therefore, considers what it meant to have the College at York. After the collapse of Hackney College in 1796 and the closure of the much smaller academy at Exeter in 1805, Manchester College stood alone amongst nonconformist academies in maintaining the liberal tradition of religious liberty and freedom of individual conscience. The College was exceptional in providing training suitable for the Unitarian ministry and a lay education for the sons of wealthy liberal dissenters in the North. Because Rational Dissenters and Unitarians were so much in the forefront of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century reform movements the provision of such an education cannot be underestimated. In addition, the college brought to York as tutors some of the leading scholars of the day, who with Wellbeloved were to make their mark on the intellectual and political life of the city.


Marton Priory Fishponds: A Postscript by V.G. Swann

A recent paper in YAJ described the results of an analytical field survey of the earthworks in the vicinity of the priory of Marton-in-the-Forest, North Yorkshire. The work indicated that the River Foss had undergone a major diversion in an artificially cut channel, so that the valley bottom through which its former course flowed could be utilised for fish-farming. Fishponds of two phases were distinguished. The first phase had involved the flooding of the whole valley in order to produce a single massive pond. Later this had been drained and five smaller ponds and a breeding-tank inserted into it. No evidence emerged for the date of these monastic works, but the mention of five ‘stanks’ in the 1545-6 Ministers’ Accounts of Henry VIII suggested that the smaller ponds, the subject of this article, may still have been operational at the time of the Dissolution.


Denison Hall, Leeds: A Postscript To Richard Hewlings by A. Taylor

Aerial Reconnaissance: Recent Results. Lead Mining In Arkengarthdale by R.F. White

Robert Blackburn And His Enterprises - The Growth of The Aircraft Industry In Yorkshire by A.D. George

Bob Blackburn was born in Leeds in 1885, one of the four sons of G. W. Blackburn, manager of Green’s Ironworks. A graduate in engineering of Leeds University, he spent some time in France on the design of structural steelwork. In 1908 Wilbur Wright had given flying demonstrations in France and there was an active Aero Club in Paris where the latest theories were discussed and lectures on aeronautics were given. Blackburn returned to Leeds in 1909 with designs for a monoplane. This paper considers Blackburn’s subsequent business developments.

Barbara H. Nuttall [obituary]

Mrs. B. M. Scott [obituary]


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