Uncovering Our History

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

I’m having a refresh this week as my iMac’s in for an update: so sorting out the office and studio whilst exploring the Forrest of Knaresborough.

An informative and interesting guide by the late Mike Brough, who I knew from my hairdressing days in the 80’s - another story :-)

My aim in the development of this work is to uncover our past history. I‘m hoping to find stories that connect with who we are, to update their relevance and bring them to today’s new audience.

My first attempt at uncovering our history started with John Of Gaunt‘s Castle which can be seen in my last post. I will be exploring his connections further as I continue on my journey. However this week I started to think about the Forest of Knaresborough, which in many ways has played a significant part in the development of this part of North Yorkshire. I’m attempting to make sense of what is, and was contained within the Forrest boundaries. In doing so I hope to uncover interesting tales and short stories - focusing on the places within the Forrest, the communities, people and the rich history we all share.

Knareborough Forrest Boundary Stone no: 1

Found in Pannal Village - a short walk down Mill Lane - past the duck pond, off the track to the left hidden in the undergrowth.

What surprised me about the stone is that considering it’s historical significance and importance within the local community and wider world - it‘s hidden - and forgotten - it doesn’t seem important anymore. It’s not celebrated. I would expect it to be a feature of the lovely walk between the village cricket club and Mill Lane. But instead it’s hidden. Why is it left that way? So it doesn’t attract too much attention-to keep as a secret stone? Or is it simply overlooked? Who knows? Maybe one day it will be recognised and celebrated for the history it represents.

The royal hunting forrest of Knaresborough was and is a special place. It contains a diverse, rich landscape which despite evolution has retained the dynamic character of the past. During the 12th and 13th Centuries there were 65 royal hunting forrests, chases and deer parks, amounting to a third of the land mass of England. Knaresborough Forrest was extensive: covering 20,000 Forrest acres - equating to 30,000 modern acres. The boundaries extended from Little Ribston to Pool and upto Greenhow and Stump Cross.

Stump Cross: an interesting name, where does it come from? Here’s a little info on the name Stump Cross:

Stump Cross Cavern was discovered in 1860 by lead miners, however it’s history goes back way beyond that and way beyond the Forrest of Knaresborough.

The story of Stump Cross Caverns began 300 million years ago, during the Caboniferous period.

I hope you liked those few fascinating facts from the Forrest. Let me end this post with a short educational video I narrated for children - big and small :-)

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