The mysterious "Battle of Meanwood" in the Civil War

The green spaces and places of Leeds
Jimbo5553
PostsCOLON 76
JoinedCOLON Fri 14 Sep, 2007 5:44 am

Postby Jimbo5553 » Mon 17 Sep, 2007 12:22 pm

Ro-Man wrote:
Here’s a mystery I’ve been meaning to post for a while.

Opinion is split down the middle about whether a Civil War battle occurred in Meanwood. The rumours are that on 23rd January 1643 a battle took place at the foot of Woodhouse Ridge, in Batty’s Wood, not far from where Woodhouse Cricket Club now stands. Various local history books document the battle as taking place, whilst there are others which are more sceptical.


For example, the following is from “Meanwood” by Arthur Hopwood

"If The Battle of Meanwood' were not mentioned, many would consider the omission a mistake. They would point to the evidence of the 'Stainbeck'-the legend being that the stream ran red with blood - and to the musket balls, so many of which have been picked out of the beck at the foot of Woodhouse Ridge - or Pikeman Ridge, the suggestive name by which it was known in 1781 There may have been a Civil War skirmish hereabouts on 23 January 1643 but it can hardly have been a 'battle' - there is no documentary record of the incident. As for the circumstantial evidence, the name 'Staynbek'(i.e. Stonebeck) first appears in 1240, some four hundred years too soon, and Pikeman Ridge, or a very similar name, was used in 1561 - a hundred years before the dale in question. As for the musket balls - their localised concentration suggests target practice rather than the spread of shot to be expected after an armed encounter."


This is the other side of the story from “A history of Headingley” by Christopher Gardener

"Some historians have linked the name of the part of the boundary between Headingley and Leeds which runs from Hyde Park Corner to Woodhouse Ridge along the line of Cliff Lane and which is called Pikeman Ridge with the battle in Batty's Wood and Meanwood Valley. It is quite a coincidence, however. Pikeman Rigge was surveyed by a royal commission and reported in a document of 1612, and an earlier boundary commission in 1561 also reported the name of Pate Man Rig for the same part of the boundary between-Headingley and Woodhouse. So the name Pikeman Ridge, is far older than the Civil War and it is pure coincidence that a thousand Parliamentarian pikemen were in action only a little way from the place. The word Rig found in the earliest records, means hedge and not a ridge in the modern sense."


Then there is a large history of the battle itself which is written by Walter Gill in his book “Woodhouse in Leeds”. I’ll post it later if anyone is interested, but it takes a bit of reading. Where did all his research come from if the battle didn’t actually take place?


There must be plenty of rumours and places kicking about to do with Leeds in the Civil War. Anyone got any pics or info?


The 'Battle' of Meanwood more of a skirmish really, did happen on the eve of the Battle for Leeds, when General Fairfax was camped on Woodhouse Moor, a patrol found out that some Cavaliers were camped on Meanwood Road ( where the 'white houses' just to be), the Roundheads came down the ridge presumably thru the night, then used the beck (where it goes under Meanwood Road ) as their trench, a few volleys of shot and the suprised Cavaliers were chased up Stainbeck Lane, across Stonegate Road and beyond,
jimbo
ps way back in the early sixties I went to Stainbeck Boys School
( now Carr Manor I believe )
User avatar
cnosni
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 4199
JoinedCOLON Wed 28 Mar, 2007 4:47 pm

Postby cnosni » Mon 29 Oct, 2007 11:34 pm

This is a message for Ro-man.

I am very interested in your pamphlet by Walter Gill about Woodhouse.

Theres no copy in Leeds library and i was wondering how you got yours.

Part of my family lived in Woodhouse from 1730 till late 1800s andanydetails on Woodhouse at this time would be more than welcome.
Don't get me started!!
My Flickr photos-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnosni/
Secret Leeds contact
info@secretleeds.com
Ro-Man
PostsCOLON 74
JoinedCOLON Tue 27 Feb, 2007 11:53 am

Postby Ro-Man » Tue 06 Nov, 2007 12:46 pm

Sorry about the late reply, but if you still need the info-

There's loads of copies of the Gill pamphlet in the local branch public libraries, and there should be 5 copies available at the Central Library according to the catalogue (can't gurantee they haven't gone missing though).

You can find them all by doing a search here.

http://librarycatalogue.leedslearning.net/TalisPrism/





User avatar
cnosni
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 4199
JoinedCOLON Wed 28 Mar, 2007 4:47 pm

Postby cnosni » Tue 06 Nov, 2007 2:33 pm

Ro-Man wrote:
Sorry about the late reply, but if you still need the info-

There's loads of copies of the Gill pamphlet in the local branch public libraries, and there should be 5 copies available at the Central Library according to the catalogue (can't gurantee they haven't gone missing though).

You can find them all by doing a search here.

http://librarycatalogue.leedslearning.net/TalisPrism/






Thanks for that,they are not in the local studies section to my knowledge,will have to get down and ask next time,

cheers
Don't get me started!!
My Flickr photos-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnosni/
Secret Leeds contact
info@secretleeds.com

rogerb
PostsCOLON 2
JoinedCOLON Sun 11 Jan, 2009 3:33 pm

Postby rogerb » Sat 17 Jan, 2009 6:27 pm

the Gill pamphlet makes good reading and I'd like to beleive it - having searched, I can find no original evidence to support his account, whihc seems to be conjectural. no readon to suppose it ISN'T true, though ...
Dobs
PostsCOLON 2
JoinedCOLON Wed 12 Sep, 2012 5:00 am

Postby Dobs » Wed 12 Sep, 2012 10:37 am

I’m looking into any battle or skirmish in the area of Hollin Lane or Meanwood because of a certain childhood experience.

My sister and I lived in Hollin Lane, Far Headingley as children during the 1960s and shared a bedroom when we were small. Over a family dinner just a few years ago we were reminiscing and I happened to mention the ‘friendly cavalier’ who used to sit on the bottom of my bed, expecting everyone to laugh. But my sister said, ‘Did you see him too?’ This, as you can imagine, got us all thinking!

We both experienced the same thing: he would smile at us and neither of us felt at all scared; on the contrary, he was very friendly and we both felt an overwhelming feeling of being safe and cosy. I just used to smile back at him and go back to sleep.

Neither of us particularly believed or disbelieved in ghosts until we realised that each of us had independently seen the same apparition. But after researching on the internet and finding out that there WAS a battle or skirmish not too far away in Weetwood valley (a very eerie moment!), we are both now much more open-minded!

Hollin Lane leads down to Hollin Drive and Meanwood Beck, so could be in the right sort of area for the skirmish or perhaps for retreating soldiers or cavalry. I don’t know why, but both my sister and I have it in our minds that he was in the cavalry, a horseman. Would this fit? Was cavalry involved in the skirmish/ battle? Did the skirmish move up the valley towards modern-day Weetwood?

I would be fascinated to know if anyone else has also seen cavalier (or roundhead) apparitions in the area!

Also any more information on the battle/skirmish too would be brilliant, to see if ‘our’ cavalier could really have been part of this event – or was he actually only a figment of two children’s imaginations!
Johnturner
PostsCOLON 2
JoinedCOLON Sun 23 Apr, 2017 9:24 pm

Re: The mysterious

Postby Johnturner » Sun 23 Apr, 2017 9:46 pm

My father was born on Meanwood Road during WWI. His father serving in the BEF on the Somme. He often spoke of the Civil War battle around Batty Woods and Sugarwell Hill, which was well known amongst his pals. He told us as a boy running up and down Meanwood Beck they would often find musket balls in the bed of the stream and other evidence of a fight. As a child I spent many hours on Woodhouse Ridge , running up and down Batty Woods and sliding down cardboard hill. In my time the beck was pretty much polluted with more shopping carts than musket balls! but still clean enough to find frog spawn and the occasional frog and it didnt seem to affect the sticklebacks.This is all a long time ago and I have been in North America now for almost 40 years but I still remember looking across the valley and imagining the battle that raged from the top of the Ridge across the beck and up to Stainbeck. Roundheads and Cavaliers! and all guarded by the destructor chimney pointing skywards!
Johnturner
PostsCOLON 2
JoinedCOLON Sun 23 Apr, 2017 9:24 pm

Re: The mysterious

Postby Johnturner » Sun 23 Apr, 2017 9:47 pm

My father was born on Meanwood Road during WWI. His father serving in the BEF on the Somme. He often spoke of the Civil War battle around Batty Woods and Sugarwell Hill, which was well known amongst his pals. He told us as a boy running up and down Meanwood Beck they would often find musket balls in the bed of the stream and other evidence of a fight. As a child I spent many hours on Woodhouse Ridge , running up and down Batty Woods and sliding down cardboard hill. In my time the beck was pretty much polluted with more shopping carts than musket balls! but still clean enough to find frog spawn and the occasional frog and it didnt seem to affect the sticklebacks.This is all a long time ago and I have been in North America now for almost 40 years but I still remember looking across the valley and imagining the battle that raged from the top of the Ridge across the beck and up to Stainbeck. Roundheads and Cavaliers! and all guarded by the destructor chimney pointing skywards!

User avatar
Steve Jones
PostsCOLON 1494
JoinedCOLON Fri 18 Jan, 2008 2:41 pm
LocationCOLON Wakefield

Re:

Postby Steve Jones » Sat 13 May, 2017 10:32 pm

oldleedsman wroteColonAs a child, we were always told that the mound in the middle of the public fields below Carr Manor was a burial mound from the Civil War.See http://www.leodis.org/display.aspx?reso ... 2_80891055

This mound is actually much older as it is a round barrow!
it would have been in the middle of a marsh originally as mentioned on the nearby Oates Stone which refers to the area being drained. I had it confirmed by an archaeologist friend a few years back who hadn't realised until I took him there.
Steve Jones
I don't know everything, I just like to give that impression!

Return to





Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 1 and 0 guests