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YORKSHIRE ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL

Volume 84 (2012)
CONTENTS


Prehistoric Pits at Auchinleck Close, Driffield, East Yorkshire by Andrew Walsh, Terry Manby and Ian Roberts

An archaeological investigation was carried out in advance of a housing development at Auchinleck Close, Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire, on the basis of a Late Iron Age and Roman ditched enclosure complex indentified through evaluation by geophysical survey and trial trenching. This report, however, focuses upon a number of Late Neolithic and Late Bronze Age/Iron Age pits which were found as an unexpected consequence of these investigations.

Finding a Dim Far-away Past: Nineteenth Century Archaeological Endeavour in Cleveland by Blaise Vyner

This paper reviews the evidence for archaeological activity in north-east Yorkshire and Cleveland during the nineteenth century. Three groups of participants are identified – churchmen, the self-styled ‘Cleveland Bards’, and representatives of the new industrial town of Middlesbrough – although none is likely to have called himself an archaeologist. Their interests found particular focus in the excavation of Bronze Age burial mounds and were for the most part focused on the identification of a pagan, barbaric and uncivilised past which could be contrasted with a civilized present. The particular interest in the archaeological monuments may have been a reflection of the tensions caused by the rapid development of the new iron and steel industry along the lower Tees, formerly the scene of rural agriculture.

Assessing the Contribution of Commercial Archaeology to the Study of Roman South and West Yorkshire 1990-2004 by Nick Hodgson

South and West Yorkshire form one of four pilot areas selected (in a project funded by English Heritage) for a detailed assessment of the research potential of ‘grey literature’ - unpublished archaeological reports deposited in local authority Historic Environment Records - and the more general impact of commercial archaeology in the study of the Roman period. The following account covers the period 1990-2004 and seeks to identify topics and themes where commercial archaeology has generated new data, as well as those areas where less progress has been made. It concludes that commercial archaeology has provided an uneven but invaluable sample, mainly in a north-south running band in the eastern extremities of the counties where quarrying and road schemes have been most concentrated. By far the most new information relates to rural settlement, revealing different regional patterns of continuity and discontinuity.

A Review of Large-scale Man-made River and Stream Diversions in the Humberhead Region by Geoff Gaunt

Geological evidence shows that many Humberhead rivers and streams have been widely diverted artificially from their original natural courses, initiated about 10,600 +/- 1,000 years ago. Unfortunately, geology cannot date these course changes. Some such courses already existed by the 1570s, being shown on Saxton’s relevant county maps. No dates of their construction are recorded, but some idea of their antiquity can be gleaned from the earliest references to their existence. Certain diverted courses pre-date the 1086 Domesday Survey (one being mentioned in a charter of 959). They suggest a Roman origin, possibly as part of an inland waterways system (and locally for building-stone transport). Other diverted courses, post-Domesday but pre-Saxton, may have been constructed at varying times and for more diverse purposes such as bulk transport (e.g. of building stone and peat), drainage, powering watermills and marking boundaries.) The more recent major man-made diversions, those resulting from the Vermuyden Drainage and Wentworth judgement in the 1620s and 1630s, are well documented in historical texts and maps, so only a short summary is included here.

The Church of St Edith, Bishop Wilton, East Riding: A Sympathetic Nineteenth Century Restoration allows an Interpretation of the Romaneque Sculpture by Rita Wood

The church at Bishop Wilton, East Riding of Yorkshire, is a ‘Sykes church’, rebuilt and restored in 1858-59 in Gothic style: only the south doorway and chancel arch have sculpture of twelfth-century date, though some chancel windows probably contain original stonework. Despite the amount of new carving evident in the doorway and chancel arch, there are reasons for believing that the restoration was a cautious one, and that what is now seen reproduces, unusually faithfully, the original state of these archways. This being so, an interpretation of the sculptural programmes of both doorway and chancel arch has been attempted. The manor and church belonged to the Archbishop of York, and the plentiful patterns and motifs suggest an eclectic ‘Yorkshire School’ context that echoes his wide contacts in the region; there are parallels at Healaugh, Barton-le-Street, Riccall, Stillingfleet and elsewhere. It is suggested that the theme of the doorway, with its combination of moral teaching and a vision of ‘the appearing of Jesus Christ’, was taken from the First Epistle of Peter.

Politics and Patrimony During the Wars of the Roses: The Probable Sheriff's Seal of Sir John Neville of Liversedge by David Marcombe

Based on a seal matrix discovered in East Yorkshire in the 1990s, the article identifies the probable owner as Sir John Neville of Liversedge in the West Riding, twice sheriff of Yorkshire in the fifteenth century. Neville rose to prominence under Richard III as part of his Yorkshire following, rising to be a knight of the body and trusted county administrator who fought with Richard at Bosworth. However, he quickly realigned himself under Henry VII and continued his path of royal service, a man who loyally served two opposing monarchs. The article also examines the foundations of Neville’s economic power and how he used his position to build a successful future for his family.

'Some Rarityes that Lye in this Lordshippe of yours Called Gisbrough': The Cottonian Manuscript Transcribed by Dan O'Sullivan

This long letter by an anonymous correspondent, apparently written to Sir Thomas Chaloner the younger in about 1605, describes the topography, geology and also folklore of the Cleveland area, in particular the coastal region from Whitby to the mouth of the Tees. The introduction discusses the nature and provenance of the document, and its relevance today on a range of topics including the early history of the alum industry, and the landscape, legends and superstitions, many dating back to pre-Reformation times, of this remote northern region of Yorkshire.

A County Election in Miniature? Electing the Yorkshire Registrars of Deeds, 1701-1884 by Brian Barber

From 1704, when the first registrar of deeds was elected for the West Riding, until 1884, when legislation changed the method of appointment, registrars of deeds for all three ridings were chosen by an open ballot of £100 freeholders, which makes these elections similar to those for Members of Parliament, albeit with a significantly higher property qualification. This article reviews the conduct of the registry elections over nearly two centuries and discusses the issues raised by the election campaigns. It describes how these positions became coveted as perquisites, because of their remuneration, often by the less affluent amongst the landed classes. It also outlines the similarities and differences which characterised these elections in comparison to their parliamentary counterparts.

The Effects of Enclosure on Ancient Roads: A Case Study of Weeton Township, Lower Wharfedale by Roger Davis

In the eighteenth century there were close manufacturing and trade ties between Otley and Knaresborough. The principal route linking the two towns along the Wharfe valley had run through Weeton township since medieval times, and was joined there by another well-established road from Bradford and Leeds to the north. Despite the importance of these routes, they were not improved when many other major routes in Yorkshire were turnpiked in the 1750s. When parliamentary enclosure came to Weeton, in 1793, the enclosure commissioners took the opportunity to abandon the ancient routes. Their new roads, with easy gradients, improved communications with neighbouring parishes as well as with Otley and Knaresborough. Although a new turnpike road along the Wharfe valley was built nearly fifty years later, the road network put in place by the enclosure award has remained essentially unchanged to this day.

Yorkshire Days in Edwardian England: E.I.Watkin's Diary and his Friendship with Christopher Dawson by Joseph T. Stuart

E.I. Watkin (1888-1981), writer and translator, was the grandson of Herbert Ingram, founder of The Illustrated London News. Watkin was also the friend of the historian of culture Christopher Dawson (1889-1970). Watkin’s diary reveals the thoughts, conversations, and events in the life of an eccentric young man of wealthy background in Edwardian England. The selection published is a travel account of Watkin’s visit to the Dawson family in rural Yorkshire at Hartlington Hall, near Burnsall. It reveals that the nineteenth century chivalric revival still had a hold on the minds of the educated classes in the Edwardian period. The selection affords glimpses into the family life of the Dawsons and their love of books. It also records Watkin’s voracious reading habits, his impressions of the Yorkshire countryside, and the precise observations of the harmony of natural and human landscapes that he found there.