Monthly Archives: January 2017

29th Jan., 2017.

Have completed preparation – text of 1900 words plus 3 map extracts – for main article for 2017 Barton Civic Soc. Newsletter. Article entitled ‘History of Baysgarth Park, Barton’ (south range of Baysgarth House and small bit of public park see above).

Baysgarth Park is a large, well-wooded public park to the south of Barton’s built-up area. Its history provides an interesting example of a private park which had existed in various forms for 300+ years being donated to the community in 1930 by the family which had lived in the House since the 1880s but for whom the House and Park were no longer required (the heading picture shows a small part of this park). Furthermore in 1950s a local industrialist donated pasture fields to the south of the public park to be incorporated into the public area.

Public parks have evolved from various origins, private benevolence being one.

The article will become a pdf publication after publication of the Newsletter in June.

21st Jan. 2017.

Bi-monthly meeting of Barton Regeneration yesterday, presented formal statement on behalf of Civic Soc. re ‘Top Field’, well received by Chairman, M. Vickers M.P.

Also met on site at neglected garden near South Ferriby sluice Alan Jones of Humber Nature Partnership.

21st Jan., 2017

Last Thursday walked with dog from Humber Bridge Country Park along the Humber foreshore to North Ferriby. Good wide footpath alongside railway line with trains frequently passing to and from Hull. Once nearing the village come to a wide grass and bushes area thoughtfully maintained by parish council – in south-west corner is a life-size outline of one of the four ancient ‘Ferriby boats’ discovered in the foreshore mud between 1930s and ’60s (see Hull Museums and my work on History of Humber Crossings (not yet on ‘Publications). On the advise of a villager visited the ‘Old Ticket Office cafe’ at the railway station – very much recommended.

Image shows All Saints, North Ferriby from a point near the outlined ancient boat. Built late 1840s and replaced an earlier church about which there is very little evidence (see Landmarks and Beacons, churches of the Humber – publications). Some artifacts and memorials transferred to the new church (1840s). The earlier church almost certainly related to the small Augustinian canons monastic site which existed until 1536 the site of which must have been nearby. Earlier in the middle ages the monastic site may have been controlled by the Knights Templar (chivalry order), although this is contested (see also Horkstow church, south bank, from my notes on the Low Villages – Publications).

18th Jan. 2017.

High Yorkshire Wolds, Pt. 2.

Prehistoric landscape = two sites of Mesolithic flint scatters found, Vessey Pastures in Birdsall parish (a parish that spans part of the high wold, scarp slope and part of the Vale of York like the parishes of the Low Villages in North Lincs.) and east of Wharram Le Street near the source of the Gypsy Race at the head of the Great Wold Valley. A proposition is that ‘water holes’ provided good ambush points for hunter-gatherers (see same conclusion in Humber Wetlands Project, spn). Neolithic and Bronze Age woodland clearance, ‘territorial demarcation’ and agricultural economy led to loss of natural flora. Round barrows built, but still the issue of where did they get their water.

Iron Age and Romano-British settlement = Evidence of organised settlements across the Wolds related to sources of water but also isolated farmsteads more distant from water sources. Also ‘ladder closes’ (like ‘ladder settlements’) alongside ancient track-ways. Maybe isolated farms were outlying farms of Romano-British estates (like monastic granges).

Saxon landscape = nucleated villages and open fields are late Saxon but usually based on Romano-British sites. Lots of isolated farms abandoned. Late Saxon some Scandinavian re-naming of settlements.

Medieval open field landscape.

Post medieval landscape = some 17th century village desertions and consolidating of local land to to single landowners eg Towthorpe and Cowlam where wells dug into valley sides. Big farms on deserted village sites had access to the water supply around which the earlier settlement had grown. By 18th century most of acreage of large farms was pasture or rabbit warrens. 18th and 19th centuries some community wells funded by lords of the manor, some over100 feet deep. At Thixendale village well sunk late 18th century, later capped by pump. Some cottages given ‘dealwood’ gutters and water butts. Capturing roof water was encouraged by William Marshall. J. R. Mortimer noted that by 1900 Fimber villagers had returned to using ‘mere’ despite having a well dug in 1867.

After enclosure many dewponds built especially for outlying tenant farmsteads eg Sykes estate by 1770s. Later underground cisterns constructed, brick-lined, into which soft water channelled  from roofs o farmhouse and farm buildings. Usually topped by hand pump.

20th century = Thixendale large tank on supports, water gravity-fed to cottages. Lord Middleton built pump-house on spring-line to pump spring water to his residence, home-farm and cottages at Birdsall. Rural water companies borehole wells at Kilham and Etton.

Jan. 16th 2017.

In going through my papers found an article (from 1990s?) ‘From dolines to dewponds’ by Colin Hayfield and Pat Wagner. A doline is a depression in the land surface resulting from the collapse of an underground hollow in the porous bedrock (chalk). Dewponds are man-made, clay-lined shallow surface depressions in which dew condenses to provide a source of water, usually for farm animals to drink.

The study concentrates on the north-west part of the High Yorkshire Wolds and includes parishes such as Wharram Percy, Thixendale, Fimber and Towthorpe.

The article is sub-titled ‘a study of water supplies on the Yorkshire Wolds’. In progressing this study the authors provide a brief history of the landscape history of the Yorkshire Wolds which is very useful.

The dolines clearly have to have some impermeable lining to function in the same way as dewponds. As the Ice sheets of the last ice age (Devensian) did not over-top the high Wolds (as also on the Lincolnshire Wolds) it is thought that some water holding dolines may date from the previous ice age (Anglian). On an area with porous base rock sources of water would be more critical in defining sites of pre-historic settlement than elsewhere. With historic water table levels likely to have been much higher than today another source of water would have been valley bottoms then fed by springs, now dry. The course of the Gypsey Race along the Great Wold Valley and flowing into the Bay at Bridlington is still usually surface water and parish boundaries along its course were drawn to incorporate sections of valley bottom, valley side and high wold in each parish.

It is thought that modern arable agriculture has destroyed the ecology of many dolines whereas in some parishes they have become ‘village ponds’ e.g. in Fimber and Fridaythorpe.

Part 2 next time.

Jan. 15th, 2017.

Recent posts overtaken by events – Wednesday 11th forewarned of flood threat, Thursday 12th messages from Environment Agency flood alert line so spent much of day either moving things upstairs or onto table etc. Decided to change bedrooms at same time and in process damaged muscles at base of spine so very painful to move. At the same time this section of the A1077 was closed to through traffic from 9am and during day and into night Environment Agency workforce erecting a metal linear flood defence along the road – triangular folding supports on which were fixed metal sheets designed to turn-back surface of flood water ( like contour of modern promenade flood defences), 1.7 miles in total, quite a sight. Problem created by spring tides on Friday at 6.37am and 6.52pm and expected gale-force winds from north causing surge.

However overnight and into Friday wind did not veer round from west-north-west and was not as strong as expected – so no flood. Saturday spent most of day putting things back in place (painfully) while workers dismantled the temporary flood defence.

Full marks to the Environment Agency, to the local authority for sending round workers on Friday to check on everyone’s welfare and circumstances and to the parish council members who organised support services in the village hall (although I didn’t go).

Sunday still a lot of back pain but getting back to normal – milder than freezing temps. of last few days.