Monkey Bridge.

The origins and history of placenames, nicknames, local slang, etc.
wiggy
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Postby wiggy » Sun 19 Aug, 2007 10:18 pm

Martyn wrote:
Can anyone solve a mystery?
When my Mum was a kid in the thirties, she grew up in Harehills and used to play at an area called 'Monkey Bridge' near the junction of Wykebeck Valley Road and York Road.

Aerial view here.

Does anyone know how the name came about? Everyone who lives in this area seems to call it by the name but there isn't even a bridge over Killing Beck. We know why the beck has it's name, it's because the beck starts near Seacroft Moor where there was a civil war battle and the blood from the dead ran into the beck. Stainbeck has that name for the same reason.

i lived 100yds from monkey bridge,it is a bridge,just of to the left as you come down foundry lane to wykebeck valley road.it dates to medieval times and is made of stone.i believe it was used for bringing cattle over.when i was a boy there was an old farm house on the field,its orchards are still there too!
i do believe,induced by potent circumstances,that thou art' mine enemy?
wiggy
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Postby wiggy » Sun 19 Aug, 2007 10:22 pm

Aeldfrith wrote:
We used to call the bridge at the bottom of Brooklands Avenue the "Monkey Bridge" and the beck "Monkey Beck". The 1851 O.S. map shows a bridge here. The path up to Oakwood Lane used to run between Leeds and Seacroft before the estates were built. I have a theory. In the middle ages, monks from Kirkstall Abbey owned a lot of land around Seacroft. Farming and iron mining for Kirkstall forge took place in the area. The street names "Ironwood" and "Monkswood" reflect this. Could the name "Monkey Bridge" be a corruption of "Monk Bridge" and was a bridge there built or used by the monks to get to and from the abbey?

you are right mate,the streets are also called the foundrys and the monks did mine iron ore from monkswood.if you go to the old pond at the other side of the field(near asda) you can see that the stream is full of iron ore.
i do believe,induced by potent circumstances,that thou art' mine enemy?
rod bottom
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Postby rod bottom » Wed 18 Jun, 2008 6:43 pm

I grew up in the fearnvilles in the 70s,was'nt the monkeybridge close to an iron pipe that crossed the beck.I seem to remember falling off the bloody thing on a regular basis.
just found this site,absolutely brilliant.you guys should be congratulated on your knowledge of and passion for the subjects.can anybody shed any light onthe ruins of a complex of buildings in calverley woods.somebody told me they formed a firework factory!!
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Wed 18 Jun, 2008 7:45 pm

'can anybody shed any light onthe ruins of a complex of buildings in calverley woods.somebody told me they formed a firework factory'

Think this came up a while ago - try doing a serch of the site.

zip55
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Postby zip55 » Thu 19 Jun, 2008 7:02 am

raveydavey wrote:
Many years ago when I was young (mid 70's) I lived on the Foundry Mills at the bottom end of Seacroft.

The correct name for the beck is Wyke Beck (although I can remember it being called Monkey Beck and Seacroft Beck too) which runs from Roundhay Park out to the River Aire. If anyone can remember the waterfall at the Wetherby Road end of Roundhay Park lake, that was the source of the beck - the flow came over the waterfall, under the old swimming pool and emerged from a tunnel on the far side of Wetherby Road. During the winter or following heavy rainfall water would also come down the semi-circular overflow from the lake before vanishing underground near the far end of the pool. If you were brave (or stupid!) you could walk along all those tunnels during the dry periods...

I can definately remember the "Monkey Bridge" but I also recall never being sure exactly which bridge it was...

Definately the very basic bridge at the bottom of Brooklands Avenue (behind where the flats are) was often referred to as the Monkey Bridge, but I'm sure that the more substantial bridge further upstream near the bottom of North Parkway was also referred to as Monkey Bridge.

Looking at the two bridges, I'd guess that the Brooklands Avenue bridge is the more modern one as it is on the footpath that links the Seacroft and Gipton estates past what is now Fearnville Sports Centre.

Between the two, but closer to North Parkway was a funny little place where the banks of the beck dropped right down to what could easily have been a ford in years gone by as the beck is very shallow here (before the housing estate was put up) which was right next to some quite substantial brick banks - as kids we had all sorts of fanciful ideas about why these were there.

There were definately monks active in the area in years gone by so perhaps it is a corruption of Monks Bridge?
That might favour the North Parkway bridge as it's on more of a direct route between Monkswood and Leeds?

I'd love to hear more on this subject.


There was a bridge at the bottom of Grange Park Crescent, then another one as you walked along the side of the beck towards Foxwood (this is probably the South Parkway one), and then there was the one at the Fearnville end (Brooklands Cres). My hazy recollection is that the latter is the one we called Monkey Bridge.
If the weather wasn't too wet you didn't even need a bridge to get to school from where I lived, you just went straight down to the bottom of Fearnville Rd, across the mud and jumped over (or through) the beck directly opposite Brooklands Drive.
Tomel
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Postby Tomel » Sat 09 Jan, 2010 5:57 pm

I think that there once was another bridge between the one at the bottom of North Parkway and the one at the bottom of Brooklands Ave.
It was not there when we were kids but the brickwork structure could still be seen at either side of the beck and we always called this redbrick bridge. It was close to some brick buildings that were used as a dairy. We knew the whole beck from Dib Lane right down to Foundry Lane as Monkey Bridge.
Does anybody remember a hill on Fearnville fields? This would be very close to where the sports centre is now. It seemed to be made of cinders and the track which ran from Mittens shop down past the allotments and right down to Monkey Bridge was also made of cinders.
The area to the right of this track heading towards Seacroft was just open fields with no football pitches and had lots of skylarks nesting in it.
The drainage was very poor as the area was clay so every time sports pitches were constructed they became boggy until somebody had the bright idea of using the cinders from this hill as drainage for the sports pitches and I remember playing rugby and cricket on there in the mid sixties and early seventies. Crocketts had a cricket pitch there though there were no changing facilities


Bill Almond had a greengrocers shop next to Mittens and he also had one on the corner of Harehills Lane and Roundhay Road near the Fforde Greene. He retired to Scarborough and used to return to Leeds to see old friends and go sequence dancing somewhere down Harehills way.

    
I see. It`s like Yorkshire humour only different
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Sat 09 Jan, 2010 6:14 pm

Tomel wrote:
I think that there once was another bridge between the one at the bottom of North Parkway and the one at the bottom of Brooklands Ave.
It was not there when we were kids but the brickwork structure could still be seen at either side of the beck and we always called this redbrick bridge. It was close to some brick buildings that were used as a dairy. We knew the whole beck from Dib Lane right down to Foundry Lane as Monkey Bridge.
Does anybody remember a hill on Fearnville fields? This would be very close to where the sports centre is now. It seemed to be made of cinders and the track which ran from Mittens shop down past the allotments and right down to Monkey Bridge was also made of cinders.
The area to the right of this track heading towards Seacroft was just open fields with no football pitches and had lots of skylarks nesting in it.
The drainage was very poor as the area was clay so every time sports pitches were constructed they became boggy until somebody had the bright idea of using the cinders from this hill as drainage for the sports pitches and I remember playing rugby and cricket on there in the mid sixties and early seventies. Crocketts had a cricket pitch there though there were no changing facilities


Bill Almond had a greengrocers shop next to Mittens and he also had one on the corner of Harehills Lane and Roundhay Road near the Fforde Greene. He retired to Scarborough and used to return to Leeds to see old friends and go sequence dancing somewhere down Harehills way.

    


There is much about this in the coal mining in east leeds thread, associated with discussion about Foundry Mill amongst others.

You'll find an explanation about the cinders in there.

Almonds Green Grocers - there was a shop of that name on the parade half way don Crossgates Road - was that the same family?
The Parksider
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Postby The Parksider » Sat 09 Jan, 2010 7:18 pm

raveydavey wrote:


Definately the very basic bridge at the bottom of Brooklands Avenue (behind where the flats are) was often referred to as the Monkey Bridge, but I'm sure that the more substantial bridge further upstream near the bottom of North Parkway was also referred to as Monkey Bridge.

Looking at the two bridges, I'd guess that the Brooklands Avenue bridge is the more modern one as it is on the footpath that links the Seacroft and Gipton estates past what is now Fearnville Sports Centre.

Between the two, but closer to North Parkway was a funny little place where the banks of the beck dropped right down to what could easily have been a ford in years gone by as the beck is very shallow here (before the housing estate was put up) which was right next to some quite substantial brick banks - as kids we had all sorts of fanciful ideas about why these were there.

There were definately monks active in the area in years gone by so perhaps it is a corruption of Monks Bridge?

I'd love to hear more on this subject.


The oldest bridge is the brooklands one. The bridge there today is more modern, but if you look underneath you will see older abutments for the original stone bridge.

Here there is a small weir I think that is silted up and narrowed and looks more like a ford today. Below this the stream is stone lined and it could be that the water was used for power for an iron foundry at the time of Iron Hills.

The guess is any such foundry was on or near the site of Foxwood Farm (the red brick farm referred to), and of course it was abandoned and moved up to the "foundry mill" area where Smeaton did enginering work for the mill.

I feel the bridge may have come into being when the foundry moved as old maps show the track it carried crossing the beck over Monkey bridge and going south east up the hill to the last foundry mill which would have replaced the one on the beck.

As for Monks the monastic site is Roundhay Grange, still a Grange or "farm" today and up Wetherby Road.

I would guess that Monkey Bridge is more akin to the suggestion it's just a common name for a small bridge as many others exist as has been said. That brings to mind "cuckoo steps" also attributed to various steps carrying footways......

Read on.......


The Parksider
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Postby The Parksider » Sat 09 Jan, 2010 7:30 pm

Tomel wrote:


It was close to some brick buildings that were used as a dairy. We knew the whole beck from Dib Lane right down to Foundry Lane as Monkey Bridge.

Does anybody remember a hill on Fearnville fields? This would be very close to where the sports centre is now. It seemed to be made of cinders and the track which ran from Mittens shop down past the allotments and right down to Monkey Bridge was also made of cinders.

somebody had the bright idea of using the cinders from this hill as drainage for the sports pitches



BRILLIANT!

The red brick buildings were Foxwood Farm. The Hill on Fearnvilles of Cinders was waste from Iron founding in medieval times through to possibly the early 1600's. By that time overshot wheels were more efficient and the Mill probably was rebuilt up the hill in the area known as Foundry Mills to accomodate this as the water had to hit the wheel from above.

The Farm could have been built on the foundations of the old iron foundry. The Monkey Bridge even today shows signs around it of the beck being harnessed for an undershot waterwheel in the beck itself, in terms of the old stonework alongside and in the beck.

Yes I think that the cinders were used to make the path by the beck that today runs from Dib Lane end down to Monkey bridge, but that you can remember some of the remaining "Cynder Hills" and remember where they went (into drainage channels for the sports field) is just great!

The bridge would (I have just realised) have to have been around to carry Iron Ore and Coal over the Wyke to the old foundry and after the move carry the reclaimed stone for the old foundry over the beck and up the Hill to build the new one.
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Sat 09 Jan, 2010 10:50 pm

The Parksider wrote:
Tomel wrote:


It was close to some brick buildings that were used as a dairy. We knew the whole beck from Dib Lane right down to Foundry Lane as Monkey Bridge.

Does anybody remember a hill on Fearnville fields? This would be very close to where the sports centre is now. It seemed to be made of cinders and the track which ran from Mittens shop down past the allotments and right down to Monkey Bridge was also made of cinders.

somebody had the bright idea of using the cinders from this hill as drainage for the sports pitches



BRILLIANT!

The red brick buildings were Foxwood Farm. The Hill on Fearnvilles of Cinders was waste from Iron founding in medieval times through to possibly the early 1600's. By that time overshot wheels were more efficient and the Mill probably was rebuilt up the hill in the area known as Foundry Mills to accomodate this as the water had to hit the wheel from above.

The Farm could have been built on the foundations of the old iron foundry. The Monkey Bridge even today shows signs around it of the beck being harnessed for an undershot waterwheel in the beck itself, in terms of the old stonework alongside and in the beck.

Yes I think that the cinders were used to make the path by the beck that today runs from Dib Lane end down to Monkey bridge, but that you can remember some of the remaining "Cynder Hills" and remember where they went (into drainage channels for the sports field) is just great!

The bridge would (I have just realised) have to have been around to carry Iron Ore and Coal over the Wyke to the old foundry and after the move carry the reclaimed stone for the old foundry over the beck and up the Hill to build the new one.


Folk keep on turning up with these wonderful snippets don't theyRegular SmileyRegular SmileyRegular Smiley

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