Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kings Map of 1682 (The Second Leg from Mains to Hambleton)

It was rather good of the County Archivist (even if we don’t know his/her name) to let us reproduce the following map otherwise we’d have been stuffed for an article this week. So, we’re back on the ancient road through the Wyre again, as it was in 1682 when Gregory King first scrawled the route from Poulton to Pilling on a scrap of old parchment. Let’s have the first section up for you, continuing as it does from our last stopping off place (where we had tea and crumpets with Mr Hoskins no doubt) at Mains Hall.

That’s all well and good, but presumably you want to see something of the country we’re traversing (even if the photographs are four hundred years too late), so here’s a view you wouldn’t have had of Mains Hall back in Gregory King’s time, as captured from Frank’s plane in March 2009:

I wonder if that’s Mr Hoskin’s car out front? (Actually, it’s far more likely to be Adele Yeoman’s – and I still haven’t been back in touch with her about excavating her rear garden. There’s just been so much to do.)

We haven’t got time to hang around though, so it’s across the river to Hambleton, presumably by the ferry that once ran there, or by an old ford now long since vanished. (Adele did mention at one point that there were a number of large boulders stretching into the Wyre around the location indicated with the dotted line on King’s map, so either would make sense.)

Interestingly, this isn’t Aldwath, which is further back down the river. Possibly by this point our prehistoric ford had fallen into disuse, because the one denoted on King’s map (if it isn’t the ferry, of course) cuts back to the same location on the north side of the river but starts outside Mains Hall and runs at a different angle.

Whatever the case, once we’ve crossed the quaintly named ‘Wyre Flu’ we head down what is presumably Bullpark Lane, past Mr Charles Shuttleworth’s residence. (Exactly why King felt it necessary to inform us that Mr Shuttleworth lived here when he completely failed to mention the residents of the other houses on the banks of the river is anybody’s guess. Especially when you stop to consider that one of those buildings is probably the Shard Inn and would have been as good a place as any for a quick pint. Perhaps Mr Shuttleworth made excellent homebrew.)

Then it’s off the bottom of the map (which is actually north because back in the seventeenth century maps were drawn upside down or sideways or what have you, in fact in all sorts of weird and wonderful directions just to confuse people) so it’s time to post up Section Two:

Now, the road layout here probably isn’t what you’d expect if you know the main route through Hambleton today. In fact, if you spin the map round and compare it to a modern Ordnance Survey, you’ll notice that the road in King’s day heads around the back of Hambleton village, so that little square building in the middle of the chart isn’t the Shovels Inn as you might expect. This road layout seems to have survived until relatively recently. Here’s what our perennial favourite Allen Clarke had to say about Hambleton back in 1916:

“Hambleton has the charm of sweet seclusion. Fortunately for Nature’s pilgrims and lovers of unspoiled rusticity, it lies off the main road. You will not find it, especially in the foliage of summer, when it is like a nest hidden amongst leaves, unless you are looking for it – all you can see of it from the nearest highroad is a curl of smoke or two over the green tree-tops.”

There’s an image that doesn’t quite square with the traffic congested highway tearing through the heart of the village nowadays.

The actual road with the Shovels on it as recorded on King’s map would be the one labelled, ‘Over Wyre to Stanna’ (presumably via Bulker or Wardleys’ ford).
I was going to suggest a photograph of the Shovels Inn at this juncture, but for some reason I couldn’t find one. Fortunately I do have a drawing that I produced earlier. I’ve coloured it in as well, in an attempt to make it a bit more interesting.

King even provides us with a reason why the original route swings so far back up Market Street. You might just be able to make out the words in the middle of the map that read: “Here ye Tide Floweth.” Perhaps as well it still doesn’t, otherwise there’d be a lot of houses and shops and stuff with a rising damp problem nowadays.

Continuing down our map we hit a road to ‘Stanna’…again, although not the same Stanah as the last one. This one’s actually Staynall. It all gets a bit confusing but you get the impression that mediaeval peasants weren’t particularly inventive with place names. (A bit like the English colonists really, who were inclined to copy their own place names from towns and villages in Britain because they couldn’t be bothered coming up with something original).

Right at the bottom of our map is the road ‘to Racliff so to Preston’ – Racliff, of course, being Rawcliffe because the Tudors were even worse at spelling than they were at creating interesting new place names. (Did you know that Shakespeare spelt his name about five different ways? Sad, but true…and to think that he called himself a writer!)

Anyhow, that’s as far as we’re going for the time being, because we’ve run out of patience. However, no doubt we’ll be back to continue King’s wanderings through the Fylde and Wyre at some point soon.


Jayne said...

So pleased to see you've mastered staying inside the lines when colouring in, Brian :P
Surely you don't mean the oh-so-originally named places in Oz like Kent Town, Kensington, Hackney, Stepney, et el ??
Didn't the beauty of these Australian spots inspire the titles of the towns in UK ?
(could have fun with history here but too many idjits would believe it).

Reuben said...

I'm sick of names like Richmond and Kew.

Brian Hughes said...


Actually I was thinking more of all those American cities, most of which are sprawling and industrial, whereas their original English counterparts tend to still be quaint little villages that nobody's ever heard of.


You need to steer clear of the bullies and, remember, that sticks and stones and all that.

Jayne said...

Those quaint little villages have great sprawling ugly doppelgangers here in Oz, too.
I just can't think of any at the moment coz my head hurts from too much bad coffee :P

Brian Hughes said...


You have your own Lancaster, don't you? I've no idea what the Australian version's like, but from what I've seen of it on telly the American version is an awful lot different than the original. The same goes for York. I'll stick with the Old one. There's more to dig up.

Jayne said...

Hmmm....well, can't say there's much in the Lancaster in Victoria (near Shepparton) though the York Hotel in Westralia, and the Heritage trail around York isn't too shabby, I don't think you'll find much historical archaeology to dig up....unless you branch out into Aboriginal Archaeology ;)

Brian Hughes said...


I'm intrigued by your link to Lancaster, Victoria. Might just be my wheezing old computer, but it seems to just go round in a loop.

Jayne said...

Can't figure out why it does that.
Anyways...the Wiki gossip is HEREand the map of the joint is HERE.

Brian Hughes said...


Fair enough. Here's the original. I hope...