What follows is based largely on information in the books written by Don Cole. Since, with the exception of three maps in West Yorkshire Archives Leeds, I have not gone to the original sources he used, it is possible that I have sometimes misinterpreted his information.
The names of farms and lanes change over the years. Here I use the names found on the modern OS 1:25000 map, with the following exception: Allums Lane used to be the name of the whole of the lane from Bank End to Bank Top, but on modern maps Allums Lane seems only to refer to the stretch which lies east of Bank Side Farm, the western section being called Bank Top Lane. To avoid confusion I use Allums Lane for any part of it.
Map of Bowshaws and Lineham, West Yorkshire Archives Leeds, WYL2503Map
An ancient track from Bramhope and beyond through West Breary to Harewood and beyond runs roughly west to east along Arthington Bank. South of this track (called at this point Allums Lane) the land rises higher still. Part of this area (due south of Bank Side Farm) is The Bowshaws. At the highest point, near the trig point pillar, the modern map marks the site of the Bowshaws Ash (the tree itself having long gone), which is on the boundary dividing the modern civil parishes of Arthington and Alwoodley, formerly the boundary of the townships of Arthington and Eccup.
View North from The Bowshaws
I have not found any reference to the significance of this Bowshaws Ash but in this formerly barren wasteland it was probably the only tree and served as a convenient marker of where the boundary changed direction. It might also have been a meeting place for the wapentake, as several townships surround it. The area to the east of The Bowshaws, between there and the road from Eccup to Harewood, was known as West Burdon, with East Burdon being on the other side of that road. Burdon survives now only in the name of Burden Head Farm.
Lineham Farm (which dates from at least the 17th century, probably earlier) lies in the valley to the south of The Bowshaws, at the source of the Ellers Beck. Another ancient track, East Breary to Eccup, passes Lineham Farm.
According to W.T. Lancaster in “Some notes on the history of Arthington”, before the Norman Conquest of 1066 Arthington was owned by Aluuard who had an estate “in a ring fence” consisting of the manors of Arthington, Adel, Cookridge, Burdon, and Eccup. The practice of putting a hedge or fence of some sort around one’s property was clearly an ancient one, though it seems likely that it would have been primarily intended to mark the boundary of one’s property rather than to prevent unauthorised access. By the time of Domesday Book all those manors except Arthington were waste. They were now held, of course, by Norman families, among them the Paynels and Arthingtons. In the 12th century the Paynels granted some of these lands to Kirkstall Abbey. Peter de Arthington, who founded Arthington Nunnery, granted the nuns lands in the vicinity, mainly from the Wharfe to Weardley. The nuns seem not to have held land south of Arthington Bank and Burdon. Peter de Arthington also granted land to Kirkstall Abbey: Burdon, pasture on Arthington Bank, Moseley. All these grants of land included the resident villeins who were henceforth subjects of the monks and worked the land at their direction, building granges, clearing woods, enclosing meadows.
In the early 16th century the Kirkstall Abbey monks leased out many of their estates, sometimes leasing the land to the same families who in previous generations had granted it to them, and sometimes leasing it to wealthy newcomers. Henry Arthington, for example, leased a large enclosure called Bowshawe, the northern boundary of which was formed naturally by Allums Lane. Probably that is the reason why the boundary of Arthington township extends up to the Bowshaws Ash and then goes westwards before rejoining Allums Lane, instead of continuing to follow the natural boundary of Allums Lane all along, a divergence which gave rise to a court case later. Christopher Lyndley of Leathley leased from the Abbey another large enclosure called Beggarleys, to the south of The Bowshaws. Beggarleys was later included in the Lineham estate. When the monks were eventually dispossessed by the Dissolution of the Monasteries, ownership of their lands passed to the Crown and the lease-holders simply paid their rents to the Crown instead of to the Abbey.
Since it was common practice for large estates, including monastic territories, to have their boundaries marked by hedges or fences, it seems likely that these former monastic holdings were defined in that way, and that is confirmed by the court case mentioned above. In that court case of 1598-99, fully described by Don Cole, Adel and Eccup tenants accuse the Arthington family of illegally enclosing common land on East Stone Banks (NE of Bank Side Farm and north of Allums Lane) so that it was no longer available to them as common pasture. The plaintiffs describe the boundary of Arthington township as following the ‘ring hedge’ from a boundary stone just north of Burden Head Farm to Allums Lane. This part of the line of the ring hedge is still marked on the modern map. On Bedlam Lane (which branches off Eccup Lane) a dotted line (as is used to depict the remains of a wall) is marked on the map leaving the lane just to the north of Bank End in a WNW direction (though continuing the lane’s curve) and joining Allums Lane just east of Bank Side. There is a small triangular copse at the junction with (on the map) a narrow track along its southern edge, though this is hardly visible on the satellite picture and no longer apparent on the ground.
It was also claimed that the boundary then followed Allums Lane before reaching ‘Lynam hedge’ at Bank Top Farm and following that for a stretch.
Boundary wall on Allums Lane or Bank Top Lane
This shows that at the end of the 16th century, and probably since the monks took over the land in the 12th century, there was a clear physical boundary to the north of The Bowshaws enclosure (and to the north and east of West Burdon, the area in the corner formed by Allums Lane and Bedlam Lane). On the southern side of the holloway (Allums Lane) as it ascends from Bank Side to Bank Top the steep bank of the ancient earth boundary is still visible, reinforced by a stone wall. There was a similar visible boundary to the west of Beggarleys (‘Lynam hedge’) and we can assume that it continued around to the south of Lineham because a long wall or fence can be seen on the OS 1:25000 map as a continuous line beginning on Allums Lane just to the east of Bank Top (SE274434) and curving in a generally southward direction (SW a little, then SE) over the footpath from East Breary and on towards Black Hill Lane (a road which did not exist until the enclosure of 1807/39). Although a wall/hedge does go on to join with Black Hill Lane at Blackhill Farm, what seems to be the main wall or hedge curves around to the east and goes ESE parallel with Black Hill Lane about 50-75 yards away from it, crossing Swan Lane (the lane which goes from Black Hill Lane to Lineham Farm). Opposite Eccup Whin the map shows the wall or hedgeline turning fully east and meeting Eccup Lane just about where that road turns NE. The length of the wall to this point is just over one mile.
We must assume that the original boundary, whether marked by a wall or hedge, continued in a NE and then N direction but the exact route cannot be established because of the later construction of Eccup Lane following the enclosure award of 1807/39. The south-eastern boundary of this large area is not so easily established.
Map of Bowshaws and Lineham, West Yorkshire Archives Leeds, WYL2503Map, section
An early 18th-century map names the whole area ‘Bowshaw and Linum’ in large copperplate script with West Burdon included in it. The map shows the south-eastern boundary following roughly the line where the future Eccup Lane would be to the south of Brookland Farm and then north along the edge of ‘Ecop Little Moor’ as far as a small oblong enclosure opposite Grove Farm. At that point it turns sharply east to join a road which crosses Eccup Little Moor. From there north to Burden Head the road forms the eastern boundary. The small enclosure can still be seen on the modern map as a line of three unusually small fields. The present footpath from Eccup to The Bowshaws crosses the most westerly of the three. It is interesting that Joshua Thorp’s map of 1831 shows no building in Grove Farm’s position, but does mark two small buildings at the western end of that oblong enclosure together with a wood which he calls Line Holm. No building is shown on his map to the south-west where Lineham Farm was and is.
Within the large area marked ‘Bowshaw and Linum’ there are no divisions shown but the north-east corner, West Burdon, is marked ‘Jno. Clough’s Lands’. A note in the southernmost quarter of the Bowshaw and Linum area states, ‘This Land belongs to a Minor whose Guardian is in Mr. Arthington’s Interest’, but it is not clear whether that refers to the whole of the area (presumably excluding West Burdon) or just to the lower part. East Burdon, outside the Bowshaw and Linum area, is also Jno. Clough’s and the building at Burden Head Farm is shown as Jno. Clough’s house; Grove Farm is ‘Andrew Scatchard’s Purchase’. There are no buildings marked in the Bowshaw and Linum area except for Brookland Farm (unnamed), though we know that Lineham Farm existed at that date.
Lineham Map 1762, by Chippendale. West Yorkshire Archives Leeds, WYL160/284/109.
A more detailed map was made in 1762 by W. Chippendale: ‘LINEHAM near Arthington in the County of YORK belonging [sic] F. FAWKES the Younger Esq.’. F. Fawkes was presumably a scion of the Fawkeses of Farnley. Possibly he had just purchased or inherited this land, though if the latter the dates make it unlikely that he was the minor mentioned on the early 18th-century map. The map shows only the area owned by Fawkes, giving the names and acreages of the closes, from Beggar Leyse in the north and east (a vast area divided into Beggar Leyse Head, and Far, Middle, Near, and Bottom Beggar Leyse) to Sunside in the south and Far Subtill Hill in the south-east. The field divisions are almost all the same as the present ones, though Middle Beggar Leyse, which measured 17 acres, 9 roods, and 20 perches, is now divided into two. Apart from Blackhill Common in the south-west, and a small parcel of land in the east belonging to ‘Atkinson Esq.’, all the surrounding lands are marked as ‘belonging to Arthington Esq.’. A ‘Carriage Road to and from the House’ winds its way between closes from the Blackhill Common boundary to the farm, such a leisurely approach suggesting that this was a gentleman farmer’s residence at the time. That was later replaced, in a different location, by the more utilitarian straight Swan Lane from the post-enclosure Black Hill Lane. To the east of the farm building and north of the beck is a close called Old Lineham, which may suggest the location of the original settlement. No other buildings are shown, so Brookland Farm, which we know existed at the time, must have been outside the borders of this estate.
One unexpected piece of information from this map concerns Eccup Lane. The road from Eccup to Adel was originally what is now the footpath from the southern end of Eccup which arrives at Adel in Stairfoot Lane. Around 1700, Don Cole states, when some of Eccup Moor was enclosed, a path over it was upgraded to become Eccup Moor Road, leading from the southern edge of Eccup to the junction which is now Five Lanes End. If a traveller, however, was coming from the north, Weardley or Burdon, say, and wanted Adel, it would be natural to continue following the hedge or wall bounding the Lineham estate and pass through the northern part of Eccup which lies in the hollow south of Brookland Farm. The 1762 map shows a short section of this ‘Adel to Harewood’ road running past the SE corner of the Lineham estate, bordering the close called Far Subtill Hill, i.e. the field north of where the long wall now joins Eccup Lane. So although it was thought that Eccup Lane, from the northern edge of Eccup to Five Lanes End, was not constructed until the enclosure award of 1807/39, this suggests that an established route was in existence there long before the proper road was announced and named in the enclosure award of 1807/39. That merely formalised it by laying down its measurements and the responsibility for its upkeep.
Track to The Bowshaws from Eccup
The present (and probably ancient) footpath from Eccup (Brookland Farm) over The Bowshaws to Bank Side on Allums Lane and thence to Arthington follows a route entirely outside this estate so is not shown on the map. When it reaches the Bowshaws Ash it follows the boundary of the estate for a few yards before turning sharp right to descend to Allums Lane. One might expect that there would be a direct path from Lineham Farm to Arthington and the 1762 map does show a footpath from the house leading north to the boundary of the estate, a track which is still shown on the modern map (though it is not a public one).
This patchy evidence suggests that the whole of the area bounded by Allums Lane to the north, the long wall to the west and south, and (the line of) Eccup Lane to the south-east and east, was, from the time of its ownership by the monks of Kirkstall Abbey, enclosed by a ring hedge and, later, a wall.
The Arthington family at first leased from the monks, and then owned, The Bowshaws, and eventually either acquired Lineham outright or at least a controlling interest in it, before it passed to the Fawkes family in the mid-eighteenth century. West Burdon was probably always owned by others. If the Arthington family had owned it, the boundary of Arthington township would have gone from near Burden Head west to the Bowshaws Ash instead of north to Bank End and Allums Lane.
The maps in this article are reproduced by kind permission of West Yorkshire Archives Service, Leeds.