Adwalton Moor

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Postby Trojan » Sat 07 Jun, 2008 5:41 pm

Adwalton Moor in Drighlington is the site of a Civil War battle (skirmish really) Fairfax Avenue in Drigh is obviously a reference to this skirmish, Howley Hall (home of the Saville family Mayors of Leeds) was also laid seige by the Royalists, and left as a quarry for building materials - any one else have information about this event?
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Postby Chrism » Sat 07 Jun, 2008 7:01 pm

Taken from the UK Battlefield Resource Centre Site... ... Battle of Adwalton Moor30th June 1643On the 30th June 1643 in the battle of Adwalton Moor the dogged resistance of parliament’s heavily outnumbered Northern Association army was finally broken. But Lord Fairfax’s small, mainly infantry force had come close to a stunning victory.This was the year of great royalist advances across England and in the North it was Adwalton Moor that was the deciding engagement. With this victory much of the north of England fell to the king. After Marston Moor this was the second most important action fought in the North during the Civil War.The landscape has changed somewhat since 1643, with the enclosure of further parts of Adwalton Moor. The battlefield has also suffered significantly from industrialisation in the later 19th and earlier 20th century. It is now under pressure from housing, industrial and road construction as the suburbs of Bradford reach its northern periphery. Despite this, a substantial part of the moor is still unenclosed common, though encircled by housing, while a large part of the enclosures of 1643 still survive undeveloped.There are many questions about exactly where particular elements of the action were fought and exactly which enclosures existed in 1643, but it is a well documented battle and the battlefield has a high archaeological potential to allow these questions to be answered. It is also a battlefield that is well worth visiting, for aspects of the terrain can still be grasped very clearly and there is good public access across much of the area.KEY FACTSName: Battle of Adwalton MoorType: BattleCampaign: The Campaign for the North: 1643War period: The Civil WarsOutcome: Royalist victoryCountry: EnglandCounty: West YorkshirePlace: Drighlington; AdwaltonLocation: secureTerrain: moorland & enclosed fieldsDate: 30th June 1643Start: approximately 9amDuration: about 3 hoursArmies: Parliamentarian: mainly musketeers under Lord Fairfax ; Royalist: balanced army of cavalry, pike and musket under Earl of NewcastleNumbers: Royalist: circa 10,000, 5000 cavalry, 5000 infantry; Parliamentarian: circa 4000 plus some clubmen, about 500 cavalry, 3500 infantryLosses: Royalist: light; Parliamentarian: circa 500Grid Reference: SE215289 (421560,428953)OS Landranger map: 104OS Explorer map: 288If you google Adwalton Moor there's tons of info.
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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby markojack » Fri 23 Oct, 2015 4:43 pm

I agree fully with the last comments. I visited the site for my new book "Walking Through Bradford's History" and with some prior information and research some sense of the battlefield can still be made.
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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby johnnykaos » Wed 18 Nov, 2015 8:47 am

Howley Hall is just to the rear of my old mans place on Scotchman Lane inbetween Morley and Batley. There have been all sorts of tales over the years of drunken revellers seeing ghostly spectres of civil war soldiers whilst trudging back up the lane towards Morley from the Needless public house. Local residents regularly find old musket and even cannon balls when digging in their gardens all around this area from the battle of Adwalton Moor which swept across this region. Plus I believe Howley Hall was fired upon by Royalist cannon during the civil war to render it useless as a base for the roundheads.

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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby tilly » Wed 18 Nov, 2015 12:50 pm

Scotchman Lane gets its name from when the Scottish Army camped in that area on there way south.I think they got as far has Derby before being pushed back into Scotland
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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby buffaloskinner » Wed 18 Nov, 2015 3:55 pm

The Campaign for the North 1643

When the first great battle of the Civil War, at Edgehill on 23rd October 1642, failed to deliver the resolution that many had expected, both parliament and the king had to seize control of extensive territories if they were to be able support a long campaign. In the North the king gave this task to the Earl of Newcastle. Following small engagements in December, at Piercebridge and Tadcaster, much of the region was secured with garrisons at Newark in Nottinghamshire to control the Great North Road at the crossing of the Trent; at Pontefract where the same road, running between the Pennines and the marshes, was the only major route from the south into the heart of Yorkshire, while most important was control of York itself. Since its foundation by the Romans the city has been the key to the North. Its importance is reflected in a concentration of battlefields in the region around York, with at least seven major battles from 1066 to 1644, as Vikings, Scots and then the competing sides in the Wars of Roses and Civil War struggled for control of the region and of York itself, which was effectively the capital of the North.

In 1643 the parliamentarian opposition in Yorkshire was led by Ferdinando Lord Fairfax and his son Sir Thomas. The heartland of their power was in the cloth towns of the West Riding but their situation was becoming increasingly desperate now that they were cut off from parliament’s major coastal garrison at Scarborough and especially from hope of re-supply from the major garrison port of Hull. Although the industrial revolution would not come until the next century, industrialisation had however already begun to transform the towns of the West Riding into important centres of population and wealth. From this region the Fairfaxes were thus able to draw substantial number of infantry troops, particularly musketeers, but their army was weak in cavalry. In contrast the Earl of Newcastle’s army was not only much larger, it also had a far higher ratio of cavalry to infantry, while the infantry themselves seems to have had a more equal balance between pikemen and musketeers. In the Vale of York, with its open fields and lowland moor, a balanced army of pike and musket, of cavalry and of artillery was critical, for in such open landscapes cavalry were the battle winning force and pike were an essential defence for the infantry against cavalry attack. In contrast, in the increasingly enclosed landscape of hedged or walled fields rising westward towards the Pennines the musketeer was the most potent force.

The Fairfaxes desperately needed help, particularly cavalry support, from parliamentarian forces further south. Until it arrived the parliamentarians’ best strategy was to disrupt communication routes, to make rapid and unexpected strikes against royalist quarters and to exploit their advantage of firepower in the enclosed landscapes, avoiding confrontation in open country.

In March, in an attempt to disrupt any royalist advance, Sir Thomas marched to Tadcaster to destroy the bridge over the river Wharfe, the main road westward. He failed and, as he fell back into the West Riding, on the 30th March 1643 he was forced to give battle and was defeated on Seacroft Moor, where he lost as many as 1000 of his infantry. Newcastle’s room for manoeuvre was however constrained by the need to guard the Queen and her recently arrived shipment of munitions. Fairfax took advantage of this and on the 21st May he stormed Wakefield, retreating back to his garrisons with the prisoners and captured munitions. But Newcastle still had the upper hand, especially when in early June the expected march northward by Cromwell with parliament forces from the Midland failed to materialise. So, once the Earl had escorted the Queen to Pontefract and she had departed with her supply convoy for Oxford, he was free to strike back against the Fairfaxes. He advanced along the major road leading from his garrison at Pontefract towards Bradford, into the parliamentarian heartland. On the 21st June, to secure his supply route from Pontefract he stormed the garrison at Howley House and then, when the weather improved, on the 30th he advanced to attack Fairfax’s army, which was quartered in Bradford

The Battle

Lord Fairfax, with his army based in Bradford which could not be fortified, had little chance of holding out if besieged by the Earl of Newcastle’s far larger royalist army. Instead he decided to strike out, as he had done before, to catch his enemy unawares. Early on the morning of the 30th June he marched out of Bradford with his whole army to attack the royalists in their quarters at Howley, at the very time that Newcastle’s army was advancing along the same road towards Bradford. Neither army realised until the last minute that the other was advancing against it. Adwalton was thus the classic ‘encounter’ battle in which the location of the action was largely determined by chance.

The forlorn hopes of the two armies encountered each other in the closes between Bradford and Adwalton Moor. The royalists had deployed their army and artillery on Adwalton Moor but according to Sir Thomas Fairfax had ‘manned divers houses standing in the enclosed grounds betwixt Bradford and Atherton moor with musketeers, and sent out great parties of horse and foot by the lanes and enclosed grounds to give us fight ...’ . Parliament’s forlorn hope had to advance up a hill driving the royalists from the enclosures. The hill is named by another account as Wiskeard Hill, where the pub stands on Westgate Hill today. According to Slingsby the royalists initially stopped the parliamentarian advance but then, ‘they come on fiercer, and beat the enemy (the royalists), from one hedge, from one house to another; at last they were driven to retreat and we (the royalists) recover the moor…’.

Having driven back the royalists from these enclosures, the main body could at last deploy on the hilltop and to advance close to the main royalist body but still within the protection of the enclosures. Fighting from the security of the hedgerows the parliamentarian firepower gave them the upper hand. When they ventured forward into the open ground where the royalists were deployed they were at a severe disadvantage, even if at least once during the action they drove the royalists right back to their artillery, for they then had to retreat once more to the security of the enclosures.

After successive royalist attempts to break into the enclosures were repulsed, when the royalists were about to retreat and leave the field to the parliamentarians, a final desperate royalist infantry attack supported with artillery fire and seconded by cavalry drove back the defenders on the parliament left. Here the sheer weight of numbers finally told. With a failure of the parliamentarians to commit their reserves the royalist infantry and cavalry broke into the enclosures and the tables were turned. Now the cavalry were also able to outflank the parliamentarians on that side of the field. On the left and in the centre the parliamentarian resistance collapsed and they fell back in disarray towards Bradford. With their formations broken it was surely at this time that the parliamentarian suffered their greatest losses. On the right Sir Thomas Fairfax’s forces were cut off and had to retreat, still in good order, towards Halifax.

The Armies & the Losses

The parliament army, under the command of Lord Fairfax, was weak in cavalry, had only four pieces of field artillery and just 3500 or 4000 regular troops, even after being reinforced by infantry from Manchester and stripping troops from various local garrisons. They were accompanied by a large number of ‘clubmen’ armed with makeshift weapons, but they would only be of value in the pursuit of a routed enemy. Fairfax’s army was thus far smaller than the royalist army of the Earl of Newcastle, which comprised at least 9000 and had a good balance between horse and foot. However, the vast majority of the parliamentarian infantry were apparently musketeers whereas Newcastle, despite his total numbers, had fewer musketeers than Fairfax. This would be a major factor in Fairfax’s favour and the outcome of this battle, more than many others, would be determined by the ability of the commanders in exploiting the advantages of the ground.

In the battle the parliament army lost 3 artillery pieces, 500 killed and 1400 captured, whereas on the royalist side the losses seem to have been very light.

The Battlefield

Adwalton is one of the most threatened of battlefields on the English Heritage Register, under pressure from the ever expanding city of Bradford. It is true that the first impression from a visit to Adwalton is that the battlefield may not be worth saving, but once one explores the site on foot with the best available evidence there is much of value at Adwalton to be conserved and much still to be discovered. Despite enclosure, industrialisation and urban development which has transformed much of this landscape over the last 350 years a large part of the battlefield remains undeveloped. But even with the important work by Johnson, and the fieldwork undertaken by consultants working for the prospective developers, there are major questions that still remain unanswered as to the exact location of the action and the character of the landscape within which the fighting took place. If these problems are not resolved quickly then important parts of the site may be lost to development before we are certain whether they are even part of the battlefield!
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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby tilly » Wed 18 Nov, 2015 9:33 pm

I enjoyed reading that buffaloskinner thank you for your input.
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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby Steve Jones » Thu 19 Nov, 2015 7:37 pm

There was a famous incident at Howley Hall where a cannonball went right through it without killing anyone.In addition treasure hunters for centuries tried digging up the cellars looking for stuff supposedly hidden there without success.I went there a couple of years ago with an archaeologist friend and some of my Meetup members.Very interesting although not much left.In addition the archaeologist took us to the abandoned and walled up train tunnel nearby which has lots of types of monitoring equipment all over it and is reputed to be a storage place for all sorts of nasty materials !
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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby jonleeds » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 10:02 pm

tilly wrote:Scotchman Lane gets its name from when the Scottish Army camped in that area on there way south.I think they got as far has Derby before being pushed back into Scotland
Thats interesting to hear Tilly, I always wondered where the name Scotchman lane came from. Although I think people from Scotland prefer to be called a "Scotsman" rather than "Scotchman", I've heard it said a few times that "Scotch" is a type of drink - or is to be used when referring to the tasty egg / meat snack "Scotch Egg".

Steve, as you'll have noticed the cellars of Howley Hall are pretty much filled in with sandy soil. Some can be entered when stooping down to avoid the vaulted ceilings but I reckon to get any way down would need extensive time spent shovelling out all the sand / soil and no doubt this has already been done.

The ruins of Howley Hall stand almost directly above the portals to two rail tunnels. The Morley tunnel on the transpennine route and the now derelict Soothill tunnel which you observed. I've been told that the equipment inside the Soothill tunnel was to monitor diesel fumes as part of some study or something..?

Plus the Soothill Tunnel I believe runs right below where a large landfill site was located up until a decade or so ago when the old Armitage brick quarries / works closed down. The vast hole in the ground was for years used to dispose of thousands and thousands of tons of putrifying household waste which no doubt leaches some delicious smelling 'bin gunge' through the tunnel walls... imagine the stench of it on a hot summers day, it makes your mouth water (as a prelude to hurling!).
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Re: Adwalton Moor

Postby rikj » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 11:08 pm

Welcome back in your original form jonleeds ;)

Looks like the tip above the tunnel was active from 1967 to 1992; includes these lovelies:

Waste that has hazardous properties and is defined in the Special Waste Regulations 1996. Such properties may be flammable, irritant, toxic, harmful, carcinogenic or corrosive. Yes

Industrial wastewater, sewage sludge and chemical wastes mixed with municipal solid waste. Yes

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