Friday, 22 February 2013

Thursday 21st February 2013

Four members of the ERG spent the day at the Archives of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in Leeds - Chris and Jane Lunnon, David Turner & Tony Stearn. 

Chris unrolled three very large maps (late 18th to mid-19thC) on the large table in the Lecture Room and closely examined them for clues to old boundaries and trackways around  the parish. Despite the fact that Embsay itself was not actually on any of the maps, as they were all maps of neighbouring parishes, Chris did find some interesting pieces of information around the parish boundaries, which answered a few questions, and raised a few others.

We also looked at the field notes written up by J. Dobson when he surveyed boundary stones across the Yorkshire Dales in the early 1980s, the family papers of the Cooper family - three of whom lived in Embsay in the early to mid-19thC - and some documents of the Court of the Skipton Honour - these latter were mainly lists of jurors and constables from the 18thC but in our experience such dry lists can often prove very useful, as they provide evidence of social status and networks. 

We now wait for the photocopies of the documents we decided we'd like to transcribe in detail.

As usual we had lunch in the kitchen, and the staff very kindly let us have some of their chocolate cake!

As always the staff at Clarendon House were very patient and helpful. Our special thanks to Kirsty.

Jane Lunnon 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Field Walls Survey

Saturday 16th February 2013

Six members of the ERG (Chris and Jane, David T, Sue, Tony & Jennifer) enjoyed a beautiful early spring day on a leisurely stroll along Low Lane, out of Embsay along the road towards Halton East. Armed with a copy of the 1847 tithe map, camera, tape measure and hand-held GPS unit, this was our first outing to survey the field walls around the parish. There are over 750 of these, and no doubt this number will increase as we find new ones that were built after 1847.

The purpose of the study is to identify the main distinguishing characteristics of the many different types of walls and other boundaries which lie within the parish, and relate these to the historic landscape.

It was a glorious day and although we had to dodge a surprising amount of traffic along Low Lane, we measured and recorded about 2 miles of walls and hedges. It was a bit of an experiment as we were testing out new field recording forms, but it all went well, and the day flew by.  It’s almost scary how quickly we are becoming real anoraks about all the minute differences between types of coping stones and gateposts!

As it turned rather chilly in the late afternoon we headed back to Chris and Jane’s house for tea, and delicious chocolate cake baked by Sue in celebration of our genealogical database of Embsay and Eastby reaching 10,000 individuals!

We’ve been working on the compilation of the database for over a year now, and probably still have several years to go before it’s complete. But it’s already proving to be well worth the effort as a source not only for family & individual life histories, but also for socio-demographic patterns, & other aspects of village history.

Jane Lunnon, ERG (UWHG) 
Photographs by Jane Lunnon