« PreviousContinue »
may have followed a curve, as in the third cut, instead of going to a point.
The next trench was dug at a similar distance from the south-eastern corner towards the west. The vallum here was cut into for thirteen feet, and consisted entirely of sand. Charcoal was again present in scattered particles, but not in any particular layer. The berm was as before. The fosse was only opened through its inner third.
The third cut was radial through the corner, and concerned the fosse only, which here was of the same width as in the first cut, but only three feet deep from the subsoil level (four feet to the sod), and filled with black earth containing many small pieces of charcoal and a considerable number of potsherds right down to the rounded bottom. It is not necessary to describe these in detail, for all date from later mediæval times (about 1500-1700 A.D.), carrying bright green, light green and almost transparent, rich chocolate or yellow to light brown glaze. One bowl and a good many fragments of pipe stems were also mixed in.
It was felt that these features, combined with an absence of any earlier remains, almost, if not quite, negatived the Roman nature of the earthwork, and, with one exception, further work was abandoned in consequence. This exception was a trench sixty-two feet long, parallel to and about six feet east of the wall dividing the southern half of the “camp” in a roughly north to south direction. A little charcoal was found here also, and perhaps a rough paving existed some 30 feet outside the line of the outer edge of the fosse ; but there was no fosse, no sign of construction within its line, and nothing else to indicate that the ground had ever been occupied. The surface soil was only some four inches thick, and was sharply differentiated from the bright yellow sand beneath - most unusual features in a site where anything like a serious occupation has ever had place. We may sum up the evidence obtained by excavation thus :
1. Rampart.-The rampart of a Roman fort is usually constructed in the case of an earthwork) of clay, sods, or other carefully selected material, very frequently on a stone foundation. This rampart appears never to have been disturbed, yet it presents nothing resembling these features.
2. A clear berm of five feet is very unusual in a Roman earthwork.
3. So far as I know, a rounded bottom is never found in a Roman fosse ; certainly it is most unusual.
4. It seems impossible to account for the mediæval pottery at the bottom of the fosse, except on the supposition that it was deposited there by the original occupants of the site. Its being mixed with charcoal, like the filling of other parts of the fosse, seems to point the same way.
5. The absence of a fosse near the centre of the south side might, on the Roman theory, represent a gateway; but the almost complete absence of signs of occupation at the site of the supposed gateway is evidence against the idea.
6. The absence of Roman relics is not conclusive. We would not expect to find many in a fort only occupied for a short time, and few or none in a “marching camp.”
To sum up again still more shortly, the external evidence strongly suggests Roman work, whilst the excavations most strongly contra-indicate it. At the same time, it must be owned that the digging has been so extremely slight that the question can hardly be regarded as laid at perfect rest.
My strong belief is that the work is of mediæval origin, and not improbably the names of the two farms indicate that it was built not for defence, but for agricultural or pastoral uses. Again, I understand that earthworks sometimes simulating Roman “camps are not infrequent in deer-forests (this is, of course, in Knaresborough Forest), and possibly we have here an example of such a “have."
A further point of great interest, but, unfortunately, of an indefinite nature, remains to be recounted. Grainge (Ibid., p. 36) mentions
magnam viam,” as named in deeds of about 1200 A.D., leading from Knaresborough to Bilton. This was rediscovered by “Blind Jack” (see also Baring - Gould's Yorkshire Oddities, vol. i, pp. 168, 169), and quarried by that worthy for material wherewith to construct the KnaresboroughHarrogate road in 1754. Such an account of an ancient and iniportant road, lost for many years, and then recovered in a state worth digging for such a purpose, strongly suggests Roman work. Grainge traces it from the High Bridge towards Bilton Hall, when he says that paving was present in his time. Presumably this part is represented by the almost straight path still in use, but I can find or hear of no other traces. He then takes it through Old Bilton, past Bachelor's Gardens and Harrogate Hall, thus giving it a characteristic turn on high
ground, and pointing it past the earthwork just described within a
few yards of the northern face. This part is presumably represented by the present lane as far as Old Bilton, the remainder being obliterated. Thence he produces it in a winding manner very unlike Roman laying out; but in continuation of the line just described there is an old and disused approach to Grange Farm, which appears to me to show signs of having once been more than a mere farm road. If this line is correctly traced, it would fit in with two recognised Roman roads, and link them up: (a) that laid down from York to Providence Green, on Erming Street, by Mr. Codrington (Roman Roads in Britain, p. 174), from which it is separated by a gap of six miles; and (b) that taken from Manchester to Ilkley and commonly to Aldborough, the most north-eastern certainly known trace of which lies two miles west of Grange Farm. This would give a road from York to Ilkley (or, perhaps, more probably to Ribchester),' and I point out the possibility in the hope that some local archæologist may investigate the matter, which may prove to be of no little importance.
I am much indebted to the owner, Mr. J. Peate, and the tenant, Mr. O. Y. Jackson, for permission to excavate.
1 There is very little doubt that whether this road started from Ald. borough or York, it was built to reach
Ribchester via Elslack. I have dug it out three times near Beamsley and Draughton.
SOME NOTES ON
BY COLONEL JOIN PARKER, C B., F.S.A.
(Read on the site, 27 June, 1912.)
“ The long series of the Lords of Harewood Castle produced nothing but ordinary knights and barons, who fought, and hunted, and died, and were forgotten."
Thus wrote Dr. Whitaker, a century ago! Yet before him lay his own carefully-compiled descent of these Lords for five hundred years-a list which belies his sweeping summary, containing, as it does, many names famous in history and none that are entirely lacking in interest. Dr. Whitaker's account of these Lords is more accurate than any that has since been written of them; and it has the merit of being concise. So far as the early and more distinguished owners are concerned, it is needless to enter into details, and a brief summary will suffice.
After the Conquest, the manor of Harewood, with Skipton and all Craven, was granted to Robert de Romelli: it passed in direct descent, through the families of de Courci, Fitzgerald and Redvers, to Isabel, Countess of Devon and Albemarle, upon whose death in 1293 it escheated to the Crown.” Mr. W. Greenwood, to whose history of the Redman family attention is drawn in the programme for this meeting, claims that Harewood had at this time a Royal owner-Edmund Plantagenet, son of King Henry III. It is true that this Edmund (Crouchback) married Avelyn only surviving child of William de Fortibus and the Countess Isabel. But this was in 1269, and the child-bride died shortly after without issue; and, though Edmund obtained with her for that short space the vast estates of her father, he could not touch Harewood and the Redvers estates which remained until 1293 the property of her mother.
Isabel's heir was her kinsman Robert de L'Isle, Lord of Rougemont. An entry in the Originalia Roll for 13094 states that Robert de L'Isle--then long since dead-held the manor of Harewood of the King's father i.e. Edward I) in chief, and that
i Loidis and Elmnete, p. 165.
3 The Redmans of Levens and Harewood, p. 132.
Originalia Roll, 3 Edw. II, m. 13.
it was in the King's hand by reason of the minority of the heir. The difficulty that arose, owing to the claim of Hugh de Courtenay to the Redvers estates, gave the Crown a pretext for seizing them until Hugh came of age. Meanwhile, Warin de L'Isle, son of Robert, also died leaving his son Robert a minor. Eventually, the estates were partitioned between the claimants and Harewood was among the manors allotted to Robert son of Warin de L'Isle, as heir of the Fitzgerald blood.
The new Lord of Harewood, a distinguished soldier, was created a Knight Banneret for gallantry in the field and summoned to Parliament as Baron de L'Isle of Rougemont from 1311 to 1342. In the latter year, on the death of his wife, he assumed the habit of a Religious and himself died a few months later. In 1337, he had granted the manor of Harewood to John de L'Isle, his younger son, to enable him the better to serve the King in his wars.
John de L'Isle, a soldier like his father, distinguished himself at the battle of Cressy and was so highly esteemed by King Edward III that he was created a Knight of the Garter at the institution of that Order. In 1346 he was awarded a pension of 200li. to enable him to maintain his rank of Banneret ; and from 1350 to 1354 (his elder brother having died s.p.) was summoned to Parliament as Baron de L'Isle of Rougemont. He died 14 October, 1355 leaving by Matilda de Ferrers his wife, who survived him two sons, Sir Robert and John.2
Robert de L'Isle was summoned to Parliament in 1357 and again in 1360. In 1364 he had permission from the King3 to alienate to Sir William de Aldeburgh, Elizabeth his wife, and to the heirs of Sir William, two-thirds of the manor of Harewood (a messuage and one oxgang in Carleton excepted) and the reversion of the other third which his mother Matilda held in dower. An inquiry had previously been held as to what loss if any the King, as chief lord, would sustain by this transaction and by a similar alienation from Robert de L'Isle to William Gascoigne of a close called le Stokyng and other land in Harewood; and in each case a fine was levied between the parties concerned. In the case of the manor, a further record of the fine was made in 1377 between William de Aldeburgh (Elizabeth his wife being dead) and Robert de L'Isle
1 See Speight's Kirkby Overblow and District, p. 29, for the King's writs to deliver seisin to the claimants.
2 These two sons are named in a settlement of the manor of Kirkby Overblow
made in 1340. (Baildon's Yorkshire Fines, Yorks. Arch. Society's Record Series, vol. xlii, p. 140.)
3 Patent Roll, 38 Edw. III, Part i, m. 9.