Archive | Our Yorkshire

Mish mash, job lot and bits and pieces

Corn Dolly Bradford’s Best Boozer

 

In our pagan past it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crops and that the harvest made it effectively homeless.

Corn Spirit was supposed to live in the plaited straw  or corn doll  until the following spring to ensure a good harvest. Straw idols have been made for centuries under the name of Corn Dolls.

The idols in this Bradford pub are the landlord and his selection of beers and lunchtime banquets of pie and peas, hot beef in sandwiches or Yorkshires. You might thing the idle in the pub are tax office escapees but I couldn’t possibly comment. (It is on the old trolley bus route to the real Idle!)

Reverting to the ‘pagan’ theme this is a pagan advert for an ale at the Corn Dolly, probably brewed in the Pagan Place Pendle.

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Old and Very Old Yorkshire

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Well this is the colour of the dreaded European Passport so I am not sure that a Yorkshire blue would not be more appropriate. Yes I am sure. It also says God’s Own Country when we know and accept that Yorkshire is a county. Admittedly even the ridings are big enough and good enough to stand as individual countries but without the pretensions of Scotland and Ireland.

Anyway to some old business even prehistory.

Rombalds Way

The river Wharfe now flows, and at times meanders, from the source on wild moorland at Camm Fell to join the Ouse below York. It passes through an ancient area known as Mid-Wharfedale. Pre-glacial man has left little trace but from the Mesolithic age there have been many finds of stone tools. Then the new stone age or neolithic period marked a spread of civilisation.

About 2000 years ago ‘Bell Beaker folk’ came to Yorkshire from the Rhine & Russia and there are over 100 Beaker Folk graves in East Yorkshire.

On an area called Rombalds moor covering  Burley, Hawkesworth and Baildon moors plus to the south of Ilkley there are many ‘cup and ring’ carvings. The swastika stone in Ilkley, Knotties stone on the Chevin and the Panorama  stone in Ilkley are all fine examples from the Early Bronze Age

Rombalds is named after  a short lived but fabled giant who is credited in folklore with superhuman strength and feats.
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Book CoverA History of Yorkshire

Yorkshire folk aren’t big on blurb but this ‘push piece’ gives you a quick overview of what to expect in this 480 page history of our favourite county.

‘The three Ridings of Yorkshire covered about an eighth of the whole of the country, stretching from the river Tees in the north to the Humber in the south, and from the North Sea to the highest points of the Pennines. In such a large area there was a huge diversity of experience and history. Life on the Pennines or the North York Moors, for example, has always been very different from life in low-lying agricultural districts such as Holderness or the Humberhead Levels. And the fisherfolk of Staithes or Whitby might not readily recognise the accents, ways or customs of the cutlery makers of Hallamshire, still less perhaps of the farmers of Wensleydale or Craven. In some ways, this diversity makes Yorkshire the most interesting of England’s historic counties, a microcosm of the country as a whole. Its variety and beauty also help to explain why Yorkshire is now such a popular tourist desination. Until quite recently people felt that they belonged to their own local area or ‘country’. Few people travelled very far, and it was not until the late nineteenth century that the success of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club seems to have forged the idea of Yorkshire as a singular identity, and which gave its people a sense of their superiority. This single volume describes the broad sweep of Yorkshire’s history from the end of the last Ice Age up to the present day. To do so Professor Hey has had to tell the story of each particular region and of each town. He talks about farming and mining, trade and industry, fishing and ways of life in all parts of the county. Having lived, worked, researched, taught and walked in the county for many years, he has amassed an enormously detailed knowledge and understanding of Yorkshire. The fruits of his work are presented here in what has been described as ‘a bravura performance – by one of the Yorkshire’s finest historians’. With a particular emphasis on the richness of landscape, places and former ways of life, this important book is a readable, informative and fascinating overview of Yorkshire’s past and its people.’

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Seven or More Yorkshire Cathedrals and Minsters

Top Cathedrals for age and Architecture

1.York Minster Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter is the Mother church of the Province of York AD 627.

2. Ripon Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Wilfrid AD 655.

Parish and modern Cathedrals

3. Bradford Cathedral Church of St Peter 15th century

4. Leeds Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St Anne

5. Wakefield Cathedral Church of All Saints consecrated AD 1329

6. Sheffield Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul  + like Liverpool with a second cathedral the 7. Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St Marie

8. Middlesbrough  Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic originally Cathedral Church of Our Lady Of Perpetual Succour

Minster Churches not Cathedrals?

  1. Beverley Minster Parish church of St John and St Martin
  2. Dewsbury Minster All Saints Church
  3. Marsden St Bartholomew’s church
  4. Halifax Minster West Riding
  5. Howden Minster was owned by monks from Peterborough Abbey in Saxon times
  6. Leeds Minster and Parish Church of Saint Peter-at-Leeds
  7. All Saints Church, Rotherham, also known as Rotherham Minster,
  8. Doncaster Church of St George, Doncaster, also known as Doncaster Minster.

Significant or Greater Churches Network

Southwell Cathedral and Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary prior to the dissolution of 1539  was a Minster in the diocese of York.

  • Bolton Abbey
  • Bridlington Priory
  • St Peter’s Church, Harrogate
  • Holy Trinity Church, Hull newly promoted to a Minster church on 13th May 2017
  • Selby Abbey

The greater church network aims to help former monastic properties and others  large parish churches built at a time of great wealth. They have common problems of financing facilities for a large number of visitors and the specialist maintenance and repair of old or large buildings.

Fascinating Facts about Yorkshires Newest Minster

  • Holy Trinity Church,Hull needed a £4.5m renovation  and the Archbishop Dr John Sentamu revealed it would become Hull Minster if the funds could be raised.
  • The largest parish church in England was newly promoted to a Minster church on 13th May 2017
  • Holy Trinity’s  mother church is All Saints in Hessle just up river.
  • The church was built in the 1300s, after King Edward I granted the former settlement  a Royal Charter for Kings Town upon Hull
  • It is the oldest brick-built building in the country still in use foor it’s original purpose.
  • Anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce was baptised at the church
  • The church now houses beer festivals and other activities to help raise the funds for refurbishment.
  • During World War One, the church was bombed and damage by fire and in  World War Two it became a  flight marker for the German aircraft looking to bomb the docks and city.

 

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Sculptures New and Ancient

 

Lizards from Cornwall have been carving a path through our dry stone walls. See more sculptures around Chevin Park and Surprise View.

Human foot marks have eroded part of the Calf as folk try the ascent to the summit. Parents of small children should give their assent in a Yorkshire accent first. Around Rombolds Moor you can visit stone age cup and ring stones the Swastika and Apostle  stones.

Which sculpture takes your eye? The White Horse at Kilburn or the National Park adulterated Mill Wheel  sign.

The Grewelthorpe Duck

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Even Older Yorkshire Folk from the Stone Age

The first Yorkshire folk were from the Palaeolithic era over 10,000 years B.C. These 12,000 year old Fred Flintstone characters were able to cross from Europe as the glacial waters of the ice ages melted away and plant and animal life increased to feed the nomads. Evidence of inhabitation and exotic animal bones have been found at Victoria Cave near Settle and Kirkdale Cave near Kirkbymoorside in the Vale of Pickering. These cave dwellers were restricted to roughly shaped flint and stone tools and to date no evidence of permanent settlement has been discovered.

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Middle Stone Age Yorkshireman from the Mesolithic era visited via what is now the North Sea possibly from warmer Pyrenees or the Mediterranean about 7500 B.C. Evidence of a brushwood platform for Lake Dwelling  were found at Star Carr  near Seamer  and there was a camp at Marsden where many arrow shaft flints have been discovered. Flint axes have also been discovered in Calderdale, Blubberhouses, Glaisdale and Wharfedale and scattered on the Cleveland Hills and North Yorkshire Moors.

Neolithic man 3000 B.C. were the first farmers in Yorkshire with both cereal crops and small animal husbanding. Large trees in the fertile valleys were too difficult to clear so much of the farming was done on the tops and valley sides. There are Neolithic sites at Flamborough Head, Hartendale and Beacon Hill. Most evidence comes from the long barrows the burial mounds from Sleights to Kilburn and around Folkton. By 2000 B.C. Duggleby Howe round mound shows evidence of inhumation (interment) and cremation.

Bronze age man probably arrived from the Rhinelands about 1800 B.C. and have been named ‘Beaker Folk’ after the pots they were buried with. Burial mounds at Grassington, Baildon Moor and West Tanfield display an interest in gold and amber and the picture below demonstrates the find at Kellythorpe.

Further reading
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Are The Oldest Yorkshiremen 10,000 Years Old?

‘In July 1834 excavation of a barrow at Gristhorpe, near Scarborough, Yorkshire, recovered an intact, waterlogged, hollowed-out oak coffin containing a perfectly preserved Bronze Age skeleton that had been wrapped in an animal skin and buried with worked flints, a bronze dagger with a whalebone pommel, and a bark vessel apparently containing food residue……….’

By the Iron Age around 500 B.C. the Celts and Parisi joined the Brigantes tribes bringing expertise in metal working and even chariot building. The British museum has an Iron tyre and nave hoop from the East Yorkshire Garton Station Iron Age cart burial. The tribal atmosphere led to the building of hill forts at Ingelton, Castleton Rigg, Boltb Scar and Dane’s Dyke amongst others. These were to fall to the Romans early in the next millennia.

So this quick gallop through 10,000 years of Yorkshire folk history establishes a background for the next 2017+ years. What we don’t know is how Yorkshire folk were fairing during the 4 Ice Ages before the Palaeolithic times.

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Are The Oldest Yorkshiremen 10,000 Years Old?

Sheep in a paddock

On the road from Scarborough to Malton is Seamer, at the easterly end of the Vale of Pickering. It is here that pollen analysis and radio carbon dating have identified a site occupied circa 7,500 B.C. by Early Mesolithic Yorkshiremen.
The location is Star Carr immediately after the bridge over the River Hertford on what was the edge of prehistoric Lake Flixton .

Starr Carr Mesolithic Settlement Site south of Seamer North Yorkshire.

  • The Mesolithic period was sandwiched between the old and new Stone Ages.
  • Some archaeologists estimate that Star Carr was founded in about 8770 BC and was occupied for at least 300 years.
  • The Mesolithic period saw the introduction of stone tools, agriculture and domesticated animals.
  • ‘The remains of 21 head-dresses made of red deer antler have been found at Starr Carr. Archaeologists think they may have been used as disguises when hunting or in rituals.’
  • Waterlogged soil in the area contains peat which has helped to preserve many objects found at Star Carr.
  • Evidence of several homes and a large wooden platform have been found at Star Carr. The inhabitants probably used turf, thatch or bark for the walls, and covered the floors in plants, moss or reeds.
  • The Star Carr site is a Scheduled Monument of archaeological importance.
  • The Oldest Yorkshiremen were dated to the Mesolithic era by pollen and radio carbon dating.
  • The Starr Carr site was discovered in 1947 by a local archaeologist John Moore who found the first flint blade sticking out from a dyke.
  • The site was excavated from 1949-1951 by  Cambridge University and has been re-excavated several times since.

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Excavations At Star Carr: An Early Mesolithic Site at Seamer Near Scarborough, Yorkshire by J. G. D. Clark
‘Grahame Clark’s excavations at Star Carr from 1949 to 1951 have long been regarded as a model of how archaeological investigation should be conducted. In addition to this, the importance of the site itself has established for this report on the excavations a permanent place in all archaeological libraries’.

 

Where to see the ‘Finds’

About 17,000 worked flints and 300 cutting tools called burins were found when the site was excavated.
Some of the finds were housed at the Scarborough Museum.
Other finds have been donated to the British museum and the University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Cambridge.

Cliffs End - flint knives 1
Modern Flints! Flint knives found in a group of tools and waste flakes in an Early Bronze Age grave circa 2000 B.C.

What do We Know About The Oldest Yorkshiremen

There is little to see other than featureless farmland as the site was buried 9 feet deep, about a foot for every thousand years! It is still worth visiting to picture the activities of our ancestors.
The seasonally occupied homes at Star Carr were used by families of hunter fisher folk.
It was a period of mildish winters and the bones of many animals included deer, ox, elk, hare, pine martins and beaver were excavated.
The hard working folk created many tools in addition to the numerous flints. They used antlers to make spear like weapons, bark for net floats, a birch wood paddle for fishing and iron pyrites flints to strike a light.
About 9,000 years ago industrious Yorkshiremen were leading the way and we are fortunate that the discoveries and pollen dating can help us understand so much about our predecessors.

Photo credits
Sheep in a paddock (at Seamer) by thsutton CC BY-NC 2.0
Scarborough’s revamped Rotunda museum by Globalism Pictures CC BY 2.0
Cliffs End – flint knives 1 by Wessex ArchaeologyCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Further reading

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Oldest Yorkshire Folk from the Stone Age

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Fascinating Facts about Filey

‘Keep Filey litter free’ by using one of the patriotic Yorkshire rose emblemed litter bins. It seems to work as returning day trippers remarked to me how clean the town was. I couldn’t see the state of the beach as the tide was on its way to being ‘well in’ but I also got a good impression.

Historic Facts about Filey

  • The surrounding North Yorkshire moors have been inhabited for an estimated 3,000 years and the local museum has artifacts to back this up. Arrow heads and flint stones have been found locally that date from the era.
  • The Romans made it to nearby Wolds village Rudston that has a monolith in the church yard that was sacred to first pagan then christian.
  • On Filey Brigg the romans built a coastal signaling station that was excavated in the 1923.
  • Filey Brigg is a partially submerged ridge of Oolite rock that has caused many shipping mishaps including in 1932 the trawler ‘James Lay’.
  • Filey Town council was granted it’s coat of arms in 1952
  • On the promenade is a drinking fountain erected by James Varley, (hotelier), for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897

 

Fun Facts about Filey

  • Filey boasts (probably quite loudly) to feature the musicians the ‘Filey Ramshackle Shanty Men’ Watch out for this group, so you can avoid them!
  • Greyhounds named after Filey have run in the national track championship and are bred and eventually re-homed in the town.
  • The small Filey Museum is located in a domestic home built in 1696. It pays a leashold rent of one sea shell  per annum which due to its shape is called the Devils toenail.  The shell of  ‘Gryphaea an extinct oysters’ is donated back to the museum each year . Devilish cunning way to pay the rent next year and provide a talking point in the museum.
  • I lost count of how many ‘fish and chip’ shops and cafes there were. Unlike my home chippy the fish were fried with the skin on – still waste not want not tha knows.
  • The book I was reading on my journey featured a home called ‘Sea for Miles’  rather adapt I thought.
  • Bye names similar to nicknames but handed on have been used for fishermen and include, Chutney, Brittner, Awd Sled, Codge, Wempow and Quaft as well as more recognisable sobriquets.

Fast upon the problems with the Cleethorpes life boat that was sold on ebay and the cash stolen I hope this vessel remains in Filey. It should do as a lifeboat was first stationed here in 1804. The RNLI station is on Coble Landing.

The railway station has trains to Brid and on to Sheffield or to Seamer for York or Scarborough. It is a popular location for starting or finishing walks along the Cleveland Way from the Brigg to Helmsely 110ml or the Yorkshire Wolds Way from Filey to Hessel near Hull 79ml.

The Declaration of Yorkshire Integrity

Read annually at Filey

This declaration is read at four of York’s Bars on every 1st August Yorkshire Day and at many other events around the county.
‘Your attention please:
I (Reader’s Name) being a native of of Yorkshire declare:
That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York with these boundaries of 1141 years standing’
That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire’,
That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshire men and women,
That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.
These declarations made this Yorkshire day 2016.
Yorkshire Forever!
God Save the Queen!’
(…. followed by three cheers and alcoholic beverages).

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Rhubarb Triangle Around Wakefield

Yorkshire rhubarb is at it’s best when forced to make thin pink stalks (once tasted you will never be forced to eat it again). It grows all around Yorkshire but is at its best when grown in a triangle between Wakefield, Ardsley and Ossett then forced in the low sheds built for the purpose.

Rhubarb Flower Head

Your rhubarb will flower like this if you don’t eat it first! Ornamental varieties of rhubarb are not grown in the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ as rhubarb is a serious crop grown under strict conditions to produce thin pink stems from February to make into delicious pies.

The rhubarb triangle is not a gardening device but a geographic location between Wakefield, Morley, Dewsbury and Rothwell where the majority of the worlds supply of forced rhubarb is grown. The rhubarb grows in forcing sheds while it is still winter and is ready before your garden crop grown outdoors. You can force your own garden rhubarb by covering the crown of the plant with a large pot filled with loose straw to keep it dark and warm.

There is a book of Walks in the Rhubarb Triangle ‘It includes delicious recipes from Barbara Bell for rhubarb bread and butter pudding, rhubarb cheesecake and rhubarb triangles, which are a type of flapjack.’ There is even a rhubarb festival each February.

From them apples in Saltaire ‘The classic culinary use for rhubarb is in a crumble. Gently stew rhubarb chopped into two or three centimetre chunks with a splash of water or orange juice, with sugar added to taste. The cutting acidity of the rhubarb must be preserved, so be careful with the sugar. Top with a simple crumble, made with 160g of plain flour cut with about 110g of diced butter, with maybe 25g of sugar added. Cook in a hot oven for twenty-five minutes and eat hot, maybe with cream or yoghurt.’

Rhubarb Recipes have a range of different recipes including Rhubarb Ginger Smoothie

75g cooked rhubarb, retain some for garnish
40g stem ginger (chopped), 1 tablespoon ginger syrup
50g low-fat vanilla ice cream, ice cubes to serve
Place the cooked rhubarb, ginger, syrup and ice cream in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with extra rhubarb.

rhubarb-1

Yorkshire is still the place to grow, buy and cook your rhubarb so give your taste buds a treat. Wakefield is the centre of Yorkshire’s rhubarb triangle

See Yorkshires Imperial Measures
Forced Rhubarb growing in Yorkshire
Yorkshire Rhubarb good enough to eat
Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb has been elevated to the same status as Champagne and Parma Ham. Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb was awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Commission’s Protected Food Name scheme. Now we can ask Melton Mowbray ‘who ate all the pies?

Photo Credits
Rhubarb Flower Head by i_gallagher CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
rhubarb-1 by nalsa CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Original Boundaries of Yorkshire

map-yorkshire

Association of British Counties Map of Yorkshire. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK

On a map of Yorkshire from the Domesday book the ‘county’ was a significantly larger region taking in parts of Cumberland Westmoreland and Lancashire.

Yorkshire stretched from Hull in the East Ridings to Sedburgh in the north West.

Lost parts of Yorkshire

Yorkshire’s boundaries were changed in 1974. It abolished the shires and implemented the much disliked new county’s of Humberside (east Ridings).

Some parts of Yorkshire were given away to:

  • Cumbria – Sedburgh district
  • Durham – Stratforth district
  • Lancashire (shame!) – Bowland, Barnoldswick, Earby.

Instead of the Ridings, Yorkshire was split into North, South and West. There was no East Yorkshire except the disgrace of Humberside!

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Marine Conservation in Yorkshire

‘You can please some of the fish some of the time but not all of the piscene critters all of the time.’  Of the original 27 conservations zones none were on or near the Yorkshire coast. The nearest is the Aln estuary.

Defra’s new  areas for marine conservation do include the Yorkshire locations of Holderness from Skipsea to Spurn Point and Runswick Bay both of which are important for various species including starfish and crabs. However Compass Rose, 20 miles off the Yorkshire coast, which is an important place for plaice, herring, lemon sole and sand eels, is one of 14 sites that has been dropped from the new consultation.

 New Marine Conservation Zones

Runswick Bay north of Whitby to to Staithes boasts a highly productive seabed. It has important spawning and nursery grounds for many fish, including herring, sprat, cod, whiting and plaice. Harbour porpoises are regularly recorded here alongside foraging seabirds, such as kittiwakes. The Wildlife Trust says one reason to nominate this area as a Marine Conservation Zone is the  ‘Shallow rocky areas here are dominated by kelps and red seaweeds whereas deeper areas are encrusted in a living faunal turf of sponges, sea squirts, sea urchins and starfish. Interspersed with sand and gravel, this area is also important for burrowing creatures such as worms…. ‘

Holderness from Skipsea to Spurn Point is another proposed Yorkshire MCZ. ‘The seafloor here boasts a wealth of diversity, including habitats of cobbles, mixed sediment, sand and chalk, alongside patches of peat and clay. This mosaic supports a dense coverage of hydroid and bryozoan turf, sponges and ross worm reef as well as many fish, including tope and smoothhound. Over 8 different types of crabs have been seen at Holderness Inshore as well as the purple bloody henry starfish and common sunstars. Harbour porpoises and minke whales are often spotted from the shore passing through this area.’wildlifetrusts.org

Sea birds are also set to benefit -‘Holderness Inshore is  important for foraging seabirds as well as migrants. Within the southern region is ‘The Binks’, a geological feature forming the seaward extension of Spurn Point. This site also protects the geological feature, Spurn Head, which is in the south of the MCZ. It is a unique example of an active spit system, extending across the mouth of the Humber Estuary.Fulmar MCZ well off the Northumberland coast is as the name suggest an important area for seabirds, black-headed gull, northern fulmar, Arctic skua and black-legged kittiwake use this area, whilst breeding common guillemot and Arctic skua use this site during winter.’

Are Marine Conservation Zones Strong Enough?

 MCZs are ‘multi-use areas’ and not the far stronger no-take marine reserves. Multi-use will allow many activities to continue within them with their own set of restrictions and management.

Professor Callum Roberts, at the University of York a noted conservationists warns that missing key sites are still putting habitats and wildlife, ranging from large seagrass meadows to the spiny seahorse, at risk.

Professor Roberts is also reported to say “….. the UK’s rich marine life has very little protection. That may sound paradoxical, but six years after the Marine Act was passed, MCZs are still ‘paper parks’. They have no management at all, so life within them remains unprotected. They will be worse than useless, giving the illusion of protection where none is present.”

 

 

Picture under Creative commons http://www.flickr.com/people/sherseydc/

 

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