Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bowen's Map 1752

This one's for Adele. Monks Hall (spelt Monksall...actually it might just say Monks's a bit tricky to read) can be found where you'd expect Mains Hall to usually stand. Exactly why Bowen changed the hall's name we couldn't say. The quality of the map isn't particularly brilliant, but that's because it's a photocopy of a photocopy that was reduced in size in the first place etc. Anyhow, just click on the thumbnail below for the larger version.

Incidentally, we owe an apology to everyone who's left comments here over the last few weeks/months only to not have them appear. (Or rather I personally owe you an apology...Michelle, perhaps a bit optimistically, left me in charge of the fixtures and fittings of this board.) This morning I realised that the comments settings were all to cock. (And there we were thinking that nobody wanted to talk to us.)

I've done my best to respond to those comments we missed now (with the exception of the ones concerning 'Viagra' or 'Remortgage Payments' which, as you'd expect, have been deleted) and I've also changed the settings so that in future your comments should appear automatically.

Again, apologies for the cock up. We weren't being ignorant, honest.


Adele said...

Thank you Brian, this is brilliant, i too am not sure why it was named so at this time, as of course, the Monks were long gone, if ever there! I believe that the Heskeths were still in residence at this time - odd! Will keep coming back to you, great site..very interesting!
Adele of Mains Hall

John said...

Sorry to go off topic here, but I'd like to ask a couple of questions about this map. Maybe you could provide more info on the following:

1) Near Lancaster, there is a place marked Castle. On Google Maps there does appear to be a large structure on Castle Hill.

2) Below Lancaster and Scotsford, there is the word Burrow. Could this refer to an ancient burial mound, or barrow? On Google maps there is a Burrow Road off of Scotsforth Rd, which turns into Highland Brow. (Notice the progression of names) I don't see any sign of a barrow, but that area seems to be plowed pretty well.

Any further info on these sites would be welcome. I still haven't got my copy of your new book yet, so if you've covered these elsewhere, forgive me. :0)

JOHN :0)

Brian Hughes said...


Glad to be of service. I'm only sorry I didn't find your comment earlier otherwise we'd have been quicker off the mark. I remember reading somewhere that Mains Hall had a 'Monks Bell' that was used to call monks in for their meals, and there's
the legend of twelve lay brothers (possibly connected with Cockersand Abbey) who allegedly died of the plague and were buried beneath the twelve trees at the rear of the house. Perhaps the name Monks Hall is a reference to previous times.


The castle near Lancaster is, more than likely, Lancaster Castle itself...which is, as you correctly surmise, a fairly large structure. Originally a Roman fort, then a Norman mott and bailey, then a castle and the ancestral home of the Stanleys, John o' Gaunt etc. and, nowadays, partly used as a prison. (And, of course, the famous Lancashire Witch Trials were conducted there.)

The word 'Burrow' most likely is a corruption of barrow...but, unfortunately, it's too far for us to cycle and find out. Scotsforth, incidentally, is a corruption of Scots' Ford, part of the ancient highway used by the Scots to drive their cattle into England.

Hopefully that should cover it.


John said...

I actually figured out that Scott's Forth was a corruption of Scotsford. I also mentioned Highland Brow, brow possibly being a corruption of burrow, or barrow, and offering a clue to its location as well. Then again, barrows were often situated on hills, so that they could be seen from afar, and used to mark territorial boundaries.

Perhaps if you do find yourself out that way, you could check the 'high lands'.

I take it that Lancaster Castle is not a tourist destination if it's used as a prison?

Keep up the great work, JOHN :0)

PS I should mention to your readers that I too have had problems posting to your blog here. If I choose 'publish' right away, my words disappear into the eather. It seems mandatory to preview your work firs, and then to hit publish.

Hope that helps!

Brian Hughes said...

Okay, first things first. The 'Monks Bell' was actually at Rawcliffe Hall and not Mains. (I really ought to consult Michelle before I write these things. She's the one who knows what she's talking about. I just pretend to.)


Lancaster Castle is partially open to the public. The prison part is kept separate. There's enough history in the bit that's not holding detainees at her majesty's pleasure to make for a very entertaining visit though. As for the castle being a tourist destination...if it was anywhere near London and/or held any relevance for television broadcasters it probably would be. As it is, it hasn't fallen foul to commercialism and waxwork dummies yet (at least, not as far as I'm aware) so perhaps that's a good thing.