Edmund Bogg.

Two thousand miles in Wharfedale; a descriptive account of the history, antiquities, legendary lore, picturesque features, and rare architecture of the Vale of the Wharf, from Tadcaster to Cam Fell. Three hundred and twenty illustrations online

. (page 33 of 57)
Online LibraryEdmund BoggTwo thousand miles in Wharfedale; a descriptive account of the history, antiquities, legendary lore, picturesque features, and rare architecture of the Vale of the Wharf, from Tadcaster to Cam Fell. Three hundred and twenty illustrations → online text (page 33 of 57)
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years occupied as a substantial farmhouse.

Dog Park.
Following the river for a few miles downward along its ancient nival
course, as vet little disturbed hx engineering art or man's device, we arrive



at the old, picturesque pack-horse bridge at Dob or Dog Park ; an interesting
reminder of the modes of travelling in olden times.

On the top of the steep and thickly-wooded southern slope of the valley
here stand the ruins of Dog Park Lodge. It is on the verge of the royal
forest, but not in it. Is it not probable that one of the parks, or enclosed
portions of the forest, was here, and that near to it the dogs used in hunting



were kept, and hence the name ' Dog Park ' ? A document, in the Recoi'd
Office of the time of Edward VI., mentions three royal parks, for the better
preservation of the deer in the forest. Was there a lodge connected with
each of these, and were the three, John-o'-Gaunt's Castle (Haverah Park),
Padside Hall (ruins but recently removed), and the Dog Park Lodge, on
the southern verge? The Vavasours of Weston owned, and were for long
connected with the Dog Park.


About a mile from Dog Park the head of the Lindley reservoir is reached.
This is the lowest, and, framed in woods and sloping meadows, the most
picturesque of the reservoir-lakes of the valley. A bridge of several arches



carries the Norwood and Otley road across the upper end, where formerly
Lippers Ford and hippins sufficed for foot passengers to cross the river.
This reservoir was completed in 1S76, holds seven hundred and fifty million
gallons of water, and covers an area of one hundred and seventeen acres
of the vallev.

This part of Washburndale, and upwards by Dog Park, in its more
primitive state, was a favourite haunt of W. H. Turner when staying at
Farnley Hall, and several views of it painted by him are still extant.

To the south of the vallev, immediatelv over the watershed which
separates its waters from those of the Wharfe, is Farnley Hall, the home of
the family of Fawkes, and one of the shrines of history, art, and literature of
Yorkshire. But the Hall, being in Wharfedale proper, must be treated,
of elsewhere.

LiNDLEv Hall.

On elevated grounds, above the Lindley Woods, on the northern side
of the valley, is, or rather was, situated Lindley Hall, another historical

house. It was the home,
for long generations, first
of the Lindley and then
of the Palmes families.
( )nly a small portion of the
old edifice remains, and
seems to form the back
premises of a modern farm
house, apparently built on
the site, and from the
ruins of the principal parts
of the ancient hall. From
its elevated situation wnde
and pleasing views are
spread out in ever>' direc-
tion, and, with the exten-
sive woods and reservoir
at their foot, immediately below, it is still a spot of beauty, as well as of
interest, to all visitors to the dale.

The Lindley family was here in the thirteenth century, and probabl\-
earlier. There is, in ancient records, mention of William de Lindley in
1240, whose sou William was engaged to nuirry Alice, daughter of Falcon




de Wakefield ; and, in 1300, there is mention of Falkasns, or Fauciis, de
Lindley. In 1529 Brian Palmes married the heiress of Lindley, and in dne
time the family of Palmes came into possession.

A monnmental brass in the north transept of Otley Chnrch gives fifteen
or sixteen generations of the family, beginning, without date, with William
de Palma, and ending with Francis Palmes in 1593.

'o't-« Bowen.


Long years have now passed awa\- since the Palmes flourished at
Lindley Hall, though elsewhere in our county of broad acres they grow
and flourish still— none more loved and honoured than the late Venerable
James Palmes, D.D., Archdeacon of the East Riding. " Their names,"
writes William Grainge, "are remembered in Washburndale only as a
tradition, their lands have passed into the hands of others, and their halls,
in which they long dwelt, have gone to decay."



Descending- from the Hall, the hillside pathway leads to Lindley Bridge,
by which the Otley and Harrogate road is carried over the river. Seen
from below, with the sparkling river glimmering through the archway, the
archway itself casting its shadow upon the clear water mirror, and the over-
hanging branches of the trees waving over and around, I^indley Bridge gives
a bit of scenery not easily forgotten.

From this spot, downward, toward Leathley, for nearly a mile, the
pedestrian passes through a continuous vista of equally engrossing charms
of nature. The path runs by the mill-race on the one side, and the river on
the other, both overhung with trees and bushes ; ferns and foxgloves and
willow-flowers are waving in abundance high up on the banks, and below
are the more lowly primrose, dwarf fern, wild thyme, and moss covering the
ground or peeping from every corner and cranny : the lively trout are darting
in the waters — and the feathered songsters are holding concert in every bush
and tree. These combine to make the spot a perfect paradise in the baliu)-
days of early Summer.

"A region of repose it seems,
A place of slumber and of dreams.
Remote among the wooded hills."


Then, almost too soon, the rustic, romantically situated mill, I/cathley
Mill, where the pathway, the road leading into the village of Leathley, is
reached. Crossing the narrow bridge over the mill-race the village is
approached — one of the most quiet, charming, peaceful villages in the dale;
even in beautiful Wharfedale. The church is ancient, picttiresque, and
interesting, as the village is one of repose, rustic cleanliness, and beauty.
Both are eloquent of the care and culture shed abroad from Farnley Hall.
The church is full of memorials and evidences of the interest of the Fawkes's,
and the village abounds with tokens of their care The Rev. Ascough
Fawkes, grandfather of the present owner of Farnley, was for thirty-four years
rector of the parish.

Other writers will probably enter into more details of this charming
church and village. It is a village of Wharfedale proper, as much as of
Washburndale. The task of him who describes the latter, here is ended.
A short distance beyond Leathley the " Burn," whose course he has traced,
meanders through rich meadow and pasture lands and llu-n quietly mingles



its bright but " lieath-dyed " waters with those of the more historic and
more widely-known Wharfe ; and thus, and here, really as metaphorically
in the quaint language of Drayton,

" The Washbrook with her wealth
Her mistress doth suppl}'."



Lkathley and Farnlev.

'T'^ROPPING down from Lindle}' Hall into the valley we come to
,-L/ Lindley Bridge, from whence to its junction with the Wharfe the
Washburn winds, laughing and babbling its cheerful song, through
lovely scenery, and by its margin the wild flowers bloom in all their native
beauty, and the woods ring with the music of song-birds, and the cooing
of the dove adds repose to the scene. West of the stream are delightful
reaches of the Burn, wildering and shimmering through the woods, with
the old grey tower of Leathley rising in the middle distance ; including the
long range of hill-line across the valley, whose beauty hereabouts needs
fear no rival. In fact, the pedestrian will find quiet nooks and sylvan spots
of loveliness arresting his steps on every hand.

Farnley Lake, presenting a series of pictures, is beautifully embosomed
in woodland between the Park and the Washburn ; its secluded position,
by keeping the crowd out, makes it a delightful haunt of wild fowl.

Passing through a pretty woodland glade and crossing the mill stream
by the picturesque mill, with its rural surroundings, all suggestive in form
or coloiir, we soon arrive at Leathley, with the tree-clad green mound
rising high above the P'olkniote place of Teutonic days. In its earliest
mentions the name is variously written — Ledely, Ledelai, and Lelav —
literally meaning, 'the district of a people' (the Ledes), of which a fuller
account will be found in Vol. I., The Old Kingdom of Elviet.

This village is charmingly situated in a sheltered position near the
mouth of the Washburn. How peaceably it seems to rest, away from noise
and rush, and, just out of the beaten track of the nineteenth century, still
retains much of its pristine character.

Some writers say the etymology of Washburn may be discovered in the
form of the word Walchburn, which occurs in the Bolton Charters.
The meaning of it is the Welsh-burn, the boundary stream of the land
belonging to the Welsh or Celts, as Washburn was one of the limits of the
Forest of Knaresborough, which was "Welsh'' to a very late period, and



in the form of some of its internal affairs still remains so. The name, we

should imagine,is
fully expressive
of its true mean-
ing — ' Wash,' a
force of water,
and 'Burn'
(Saxon)— a brook
— another in-
stance of a dupli-
cation of terms.

The name
of the riparian
village, Leathley
(of old Ladelai),
again iells the
story : the district
of a people more
or less servile,
hence a territory
of subjugated
natives. The
poets and the law
dictionaries have
sufficiently pre-
served the
identity of the
" Ledes"* — sub-
ordinate people,
or, in their law-
latin designation,
adscripti - glebae
(indentured to the

glebe). In the "Coke's Tale," included in Chaucer's Poems, the knight
divides his estate among his children, until he has to declare -

"And a myli other purchas of loudes and leedes
That I byqnethe Ganieh-n and alle my goode steedes."

{pu'cn Bo-wfn.

See page 49, 7 he Old Kingdom of EIniei.



Here the word " leedes " has doubtless reference to the peasantry bound to
the soil.

The old territorial family, De I^elay, its first recorded owners, were
connected b}' blood with the Percys. William, son of Huo;h de Leeleia.
was a responsible man in the Wapentake of Clarehou, in 1165, when
Hugh (Percy) de Boolton and Cecilia his wife were alive. Sir Hugh
de Lellay, who lived in 1205, claiming land in Newton Kyme and Apelton,
against Walter de Faukcnberg, married Isoulda (Percy) de Boolton.

Hugh, the grandson of
this Hugh, b>- charter
1 22 1, gave the church of
Weston to York Cathe-
dral. In the monastic
evolution of the dale
they are worthily con-
cerned. Robert de Lelay
was rector of Leathley u])
toi 230, and was succeeded
by another De Lelay, the
last of his race. Before
the year 1280 the line
seems to have expired,
probably in co-heiresses,
for Galfrid de Monte
Alto was then in pos-
session of one-third of the
manor, holding it of the
Ivarl of Albemarle.
Their ownership extend-
ed well beyond the Wash-
burn. In 1229 Robert
Lelay gaveto Archbishop
Gray all the land in
I-'aniele called Scales, and
all the lands and tenements he had in the town of P'arnele, of the fee of
Serlo de Poule, or held b\- him from any other person.

Leathley Church, dedicated to St. Oswald, stands on ground rising as
if specially prepared by nature for its reception, and its dedication associates





the fabric with the earliest days of Angle Christianity. Both the exterior walls
of the tower, with its rough rubble masonry, and part of the interior bear
a primitive and early aspect, yet, from actual survey, we should not think
that any portion of the present structure predates the Norman Conquest.
Yet, as a well-defined position of ancient occupation, we have no hesitation
in saying that a church (though, in the first instance, perhaps only of timber)
has stood on this spot from the earliest days of Christianity.

The church is a good index to the changes which have come over the
valley from the Conquest era to that of the Tudor Kings. Built in the

tower arch is a very primitive axe-hewn oaken door,
covered with antique wrought ironwork. This door,
like the one at Stillingfleet, mentioned in Vol. I., is
worthy of careful preservation. The decorated East
window marks an alteration due to the period when
Walter de Ledeley held the rectory. The perpen-
dicular window of the South aisle, and the large
window of the belfry stage of the tower, perhaps
point to the work of the Canons of Nostel, when
the rectory was placed wholly in their hands. The
octagonal columns of the nave support pointed arches,
on which are carved the 'Crescent' and 'Fetterlock'
of the Percys. In the chancel wall is a small
thirteenth century piscina. The East window is of
beautiful stained glass, to the memory of the Rev.
Ayscough Fawkes, rector of this parish. The church
wasjudiciously restored in 1869. The registers date
from 1628, but there are mural tablets earlier than this.
In the graveyard are several stone coffins, which, if we need this con-
firmation, tell us the spot is ancient. The appearance of the tower partly
suggests that of a border pele, as if the interior of the building, apart from
the belfry, had been intended for a place of security, a tower of refuge in
time of danger, in which such a stronghold would doubtless be needed ;
as, for instance, when the Scots made their great raid into Wharfedale, burn-
ing or pillaging everything in their path. There is a wonderful charm and
character about this ancient woodland fane, which carries the mind backward
through the long ages in which it has slumbered in such completeness and
seclusion, and this, we trust, will long remain undisturbed.

Close to the churchyard gate still remain the weather-worn stocks, a
relic of the 'good old times.' It must have been in those days when a certain

ancient door,
i,eathi,e;v church.



rich squire worshipped in this church, with his domestics and retainers,
one of whom had come to the conclusion tliat the hard oaken seats were
anything but comfortable ; being a man of original ideas, much in advance
of his times, he one Sabbath day appeared at service with a cushion on
which to rest ! The squire was aghast at his daring impunity, and instead
of placing him in the stocks as a warning to others who dared to sit cosily,
he dismissed him from his service.

These old stocks are one of the very wholesome lessons of the past.
The traces of popular punishment up and down the dale, with fully a score

gibbets in it, are sufficient to show that if justice
was tempered with mercy, the tempering was
secured by a considerable variety of means. The
chief instrument was the gallows, upon which men
and women were hanged wherever the ' gallowtree '
reared its ugly frame. The Archbishop, whom we
might expect to find the essence of mildness, was
pre-eminently a man of gibbets, which he declared
he had used ab antiquo — from of old — when speak-
ing of his rights in 1293 — strange evidence that
from the head of the church, yet we can only hope
that he may sometimes have tempered justice with
the hand of mercy. Edmund, Earl of Cornwall,
grandson to King John, had to answer why he had
free-burgh gibbet and gallows at Knaresborough.
>»«c/^ei.^j,(i.„ They had been transferred to him with the barony.
Knaresborough was one of the last of the Celtic
territories, and the Washburn a fringe of it, as the royal officers frequently
declared, though the sturdy tenants disputed the claim. When these reser-
vations passed under Norman power the customs of the Teutonic days con-
tinued, hence in these outlying stations the gibbets and the stocks were founded
for the refractory Celt and his alien successor. The minor inflictions, the
pillory, tumbrell, trebucket, and some other ignoble instruments are not so
much heard of. The ' fossa,' or water-pit, and ducking-stool are still remem-
bered, and complete the catalogue of ' disciplines,' with the whipping-post
thrown in, as the playthings of every squire and parish beadle. The
English towns and villages of the great Plantagenet era had infinitely more
care bestowed upon their instruments of vengeance than upon the means of
grace. If there be one evidence required to prove why the English peasantry




have never ceased to resist the land laws imposed upon them by the Con-
quest, that evidence is furnished by the presence of stocks and the list of
minor punishments.

The village of Leathley was formerly larger than at present : the
foundations of several homesteads are to be seen in the pastures, and near
the church several have gone to ruin within the last generation. In one of
the almshouses (founded by Mrs. Hitch in 1769) died, 1898, Mrs. Elizabeth

•Ai^ Is


J^eufKl typ,

r ■•■'•■ ' ^^^■- . , A,, j;;. -> ■ -T

— ^-^ )j butTuu . , - ^


Watson at the great age of 104 years. Her father, we are told, died at the
aee of no— both remarkable instances of longevitv.

Leathley Manor Hall stands in the park a few hundred yards to the
east of the village. It still retains a few Jacobean features, and part of its
fishpond and the antique garden.

Aud one, an English home— grey twilight poured

On dewy pastures, dewy trees,
Softer than sleep— all things in order stored,

A haunt of ancient peace.

As mentioned, from its pre-Conquest owners, Archil and Ulchil, the manor
came early into the possession of the Ledeleys, from them to the Lindleys
of Lindeley, and from thence by marriage it passed to the Hitches ; thence
to the Maudes, who sold itito the Fawkes of Farnley, in whose hands it has
since remained. In the days of its pride it was a place of note. Apart from
the I^edeleys and the De Montealtos, it has been the abode of a Percy. On


the entrance to the village there is an ancient farmhonse known as the
' Manor House,' with many touches of the seventeenth century upon it.

The road now skirts a most picturesque part of the Washburn. No
discordant noises are here, the silence is only broken by the ceaseless
murmur of the limpid stream, and the matchless music and soul-inspiring
melody of the song-birds, the thrush, the blackbird and goldfinch, the wood-
lark, and from yonder copse the soft tones of the cooing dove commingle
with the joyous notes of woodland warblers, the whole swelling into univer-
sal chorus. Whilst listening to the melody of birds, look around: a water
vole is peering suspiciously from the bank ; in the branches of the opposite
tree a sportive squirrel plays hide-and-seek with himself, as it were ; as you
saunter by the side of the sparkling rivulet, additional beauty is lent to the
scene by the splendid array of wild flowers, and the brilliant plumage of the
canary wagtail, kingfisher, and crescent-breasted di.])per haunting its margins.
The writer well remembers the pleasure this beautiful scene gave to an
artist friend, with whom he visited the spot when the flush of an early
summer shed its beauty around. That friend has long since departed to his
rest, but the memory of the beautiful day and scene is still engraved on the
writer's recollection.

Crossing the Washburn near its junction with the Wharfe we pass into
Farnley Park ; soon the road skirts the margin of the wood, sheltering
Farnley Hall, a historic spot containing memorials of the great revolution,
which conjure up before the mental vision a host of great men who fought
on the side of liberty in opposition to the unjust demands of the king. The
residential commencement of Farnley has been from a humble condition,
on or near the very fern-pasture its name indicates, and as a log hut, as the
further name of Scales distinctly alludes to.

At the opening of the thirteenth century the ' Scales' were in the tenurt
of William INIalebranche, held through Robert de Lelay of the fee of Serlo
de Poule. Serlo, one of the magnates of the dale, gave P'arnele in dowry
to Idonia, his wife, Hugh de Lelay and Hugh de Crcskeld being witnesses
to the charter of Serlo's son and kinsman. These facts give a little touch
of dignity to the timber hall that had in time to bear such splendid progeny,
as evidenced in the saying that ^reat events from trivial causes spring.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century b'anilcy had dropped its less
agreeable name of the Scales and had become quite notable. Nicholas
Fawkes of Farneley, Esq., was buried in Otley churchyard in 1545; John
Fawkes of Farneley, gentleman, in 1556. Thomas Fawkes of Farneley,



Esq., in 1627, wills to be buried in Otley Church near his seat in the quire,
and bequeathed his messuages in Otley to the churchwardens for the use of
the poor widows of Farneley for ever. In later years the stream of death
widens, the family having become numerically extended.

The present composite building, including the original hall of the

Fawkes', dating from Tudor times, is an agglomeration of fragments,

I picked up on any opportunity

that might be seized. De-
spite this drawback the hall
is not the less interesting,
from the memorials it con-
tains of other ancient homes
in the district, whose glory
was fast departing when
Farnley was in its infancy.
The quaint oriel windows
looking across the flower
garden came from the ancient
home of the Palmes; the gate-
way to the garden, from

"^kiuiif^T^ - - -' — •

Menston Hall. The stone table on the terrace, from which stern Cromwell
dined soon after Marston battle, came also from the same place ; the porch
to the outer hall came from Newhall Old Hall. The interior of the mansion
is rich in the collection of ancient furniture ; one room contains a chimney-
piece and overmantel of oak said to have been made from a bedstead on
which our English Solomon slept. But its greatest glory in the nineteenth
century has been its accumulation of vast art treasures produced by the
magic brush of J. M. W. Turner, which caused Ruskin to pen the following
memorable words: "Farnley Hall is a unique place, there is nothing like
it in the world ; a place where a great genius was loved and appreciated,
who did all his best work for that place, and where it is treasured up like a
monument in a shrine."

Turner came to know Squire Fawkes sometime in 1802, when he was
sketching in Yorkshire — probably at Harewood — for Whitaker's History of
Craven, and thenceforward Farnley became like a home to him, and in due
course works of priceless value from this master's brush adorned the walls
of the hall. He was known to the family at Farnley by the nickname of
' Over-Turner,' which came about from the following incident : — Apart from


his love of art Turner was an ardent sportsman; lie shot, hunted, and
fished, was merry and full of fun, and took part in the outdoor recreations
of the rest of the family. It was when returning over the moor from a
shooting expedition with the squire that the gig in which they were riding
was overturned, neither of them being any the worse for the adventure,
but from this circumstance Ascough Fawkes named the great artist 'Over-
Turner.' He retaliated by familiarly pronouncing his host and patron's
Christian name, ' Hawkeye' ; even his successor the late squire had a singu-
larly red bird-like eye and the keen vision of a born gunner.

Amongst the numerous pictures which he executed in and around
Farnley, there were formerly fifty-three drawings, which he drew during a
Rhenish tour. On his return from the Continent he landed at Hull and came
direct to Farnley, and even, it is said, before taking off his greatcoat he
produced the drawings from his inside pocket, rolled up anything but care-
fully ; these Squire Fawkes bought for the sum of ^,500, to the complete
delight and satisfaction of Turner, who insisted on mounting them, so that
his host should have no further trouble or extra cost. It would have been
better had Turner not been so thoughtful of his patron, the drawings were
stuck on to cardboard with wafers rather carelessly, the impression of these
being seen afterwards. These drawings were notable for the exquisite and
subtle tenderness and perfection of harmony of twilight and poetry, purity
and truth ; perhaps one of the most matchless is the saddest.

Says Thornbury in his Life of Turner :

"Twilight iu the I^orelei," all grej and dim, but just a speck of light here or
there from boats ou the river. Turner was so sensitive that he could never make up

Online LibraryEdmund BoggTwo thousand miles in Wharfedale; a descriptive account of the history, antiquities, legendary lore, picturesque features, and rare architecture of the Vale of the Wharf, from Tadcaster to Cam Fell. Three hundred and twenty illustrations → online text (page 33 of 57)