All Saints Church, Almondbury, West Yorkshire

Tumulus (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 1676 1504

Archaeology & History

The only thing we know of this long lost site comes from a tradition narrated by the Canon Hulbert (1882) in his definitive history of Almondbury parish.  High up the hill near the very top of the village where All Saints Church was built, he told how tradition said,

“that a tumulus or mound existed at the west end where now the Clerk’s house stands; which may have been an ancient British site and led to the erection of the church.”

Sadly, there seems to be no further information about the site.

References:

  1. Hulbert, Charles A., Annals of the Church and Parish of Almondbury, Longmans: London 1882.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.631711, -1.748029 All Saints Church

Rocking Stone, Golcar, West Yorkshire

Legendary Rock (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 076 163

Also Known as:

  1. Holed Stone
  2. Holy Stone
  3. Whole Stone

Archaeology & History

Like many old rocking stones, this was destroyed due to quarrying operations many years ago and sadly, I believe, we have no illustrations of the place to show the site.  This legendary site—also known as the ‘Holed’ or ‘Holy Stone’—is preserved in the place-name of Rocking Stone Hill and, unlike many other alleged rocking stones, actually swayed to and fro if the old records are owt to go by.  Not far away (and also destroyed some 200 years back) were two stone circles which probably had some mythic relationship to this legendary rock.

The stone was first described by John Watson in his monumental History of Halifax (1775), where he told that is was,

“so situated as to be a boundary mark, dividing the two townships of Golcar and Slaightwait in the Parish of Huddersfield, adjoining to the Parish of Halifax on Wholestone Moor.  The stone as measured by the late Thomas Perceval, or Royton…is 10½ feet long, 9ft 4in or 5in broad, and 5ft 3in thick.  Its weight…is 18 tons, 190lbs.  It rests on so small a centre, that at one particular point, a man may cause it to rock; though some years ago it was damaged a little, in this respect, by some masons, who endeavoured, but in vain, to throw it off its centre, in order to discover the principle on which so large a weight was made to move.”

Mr John Crabtree (1836) included it in his survey, and it was illustrated on the very first Ordnance Survey map in the 1840s where it was described as ‘Supposed Druidical’.  But the old stone sadly didn’t last much longer.  Once the self-righteous Industrialists got here, round about the year 1886, the Rocking Stone was destroyed by quarrying operations.  All that remains of the place today is a small cluster of place-names..

Folklore

Thought by Watson (1775) and his contemporaries to have had druidic associations (without evidence), when Philip Ahier (1942) came exploring this area in 1936, he came upon “an old resident (who) informed me that he had sat upon the stone when a youth and had caused it to rock.”

References:

  1. Ahier, Philip, The Legends and Traditions of Huddersfield and District, Advertiser Press: Huddersfield 1942.
  2. Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Milverton 2001.
  3. Crabtree, John, Concise History of the Parish & Vicarage of Halifax, Hartley & Walker: Halifax 1836.
  4. Watson, John, The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Halifax, T. Lowndes: London 1775.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.643158, -1.886516 Rocking Stone

Slaithwaite Cross, West Yorkshire

Cross:  OS Grid Reference – SE 077 139?

Archaeology & History

The great Huddersfield historian, Philip Ahier (1948), in describing the lack of documentary evidence for several crosses in the neighbouring region, “at Deighton, Cowcliffe, Marsh and Golcar,” found out that,

“One did exist at Slaithwaite in front of the Manor House in the early past of the last century.  In March 1931, the base of this cross, commonly known as the Dial Stone, was removed to Doughlas in the Isle of Man, where it rested in the garden of Mr Harry Wood; in August 1939, it was brought back to Slaithwaite and now stands in the Recreation Park.”

However, this site differs from another two that I’ve found records for on the outskirts of this township.  Does anyone know what became of this old stone cross?  Izzit still about?  Its folk-name of the Dial Stone may make it a little easier to locate — but at the same time it does bring up the query, Why was it called that?

References:

  1. Ahier, Philip, The Story of the Three Parish Churches of St. Peter the Apostle, Huddersfield – volume 1, Advertiser Press: Huddersfield 1948.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.622392, -1.883851 Slaithwaite cross

Hagg Woods, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

Cairns:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1493 1026

Getting Here

Take the A6024 road south out of Huddersfield for about 4 miles, past the turnings to Honley, and when you reach a section where the road runs through a nice bitta woodland, stop! Go into the woods on the western side of the road near the bottom end where a footpath runs up to Haggs Farm. The cairnfield is about 100 yards up into the woods, evidenced by small overgrown heaps in a small cluster.  Good luck!

Archaeology & History

These are pretty difficult to locate even when the vegetation isn’t covering them!  But if you’re diligent and enjoy a good foray in searching for archaeological remains, you might uncover summat.  For here are the scattered remains of what was once a group of seven cairns with adjacent ring-banks, last excavated in the early 1960s by Neil Lunn and other members of the Huddersfield & District Archaeology Society.  Little by way of datable material was found, although one of them did “reveal features typical of some Bronze Age barrows.” Beneath this one they found “the remains of a hut or shelter with a succession of small hearths and a group of stone-packed postholes.”

It would be nice to find out the precise status of this area as few other remains seem in evidence, which can’t be right surely?

References:

  1. Barnes, B., Man and the Changing Landscape, University of Liverpool 1982.
  2. Lunn, N., ‘Account of Recent Fieldwork in the Honley Area,’ Hudds Dist. Archaeo. Soc., 13, 1963.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Hagg Wood cairnfield

loading map - please wait...

Hagg Wood cairnfield 53.588713, -1.775930 Hagg Wood cairnfield