From Ordnance Survey Map,
(Crown Copyright) & the Horbury Enclosure map, 1809, annotated by Ken
Bartlett after the original in the Public Records Office.
The Horbury Pinder
rounded up stray farm animals and impounded them in the Pinfold
have sought with my dogs
All Horbury Shrogs,
And of fifteen hogs
Found I but one ewe.’
THE 3 SHEPHERDS
in The Second Shepherd’s Play
of the Wakefield Cycle of Mystery Plays soon realise that if sheep have
gone missing to the south-west of the town, they need to call at the
house of Mak, a
local character who they’ve just seen behaving suspiciously. They’ve lost
the sheep in HorburyShrogs (rough ground
with stunted trees) so it seems likely that the house of Mak and his wife
Gill is in the
village of Horbury.
In this Mystery Play - one of
a cycle of 32 retelling the stories of the Bible in a west Yorkshire context
- Horbury is only a short walk across the moor from Bethlehem, where
the three shepherds present the infant Jesus with gifts of cherries, a bird
and a ball.
The West Field
I recently tried superimposing the
medieval field patterns of Horbury onto a modern map. The shape of the modern
town closely follows the three-field pattern of the medieval village.
For instance, one ginnel (path between houses), that leads from the old
Pinfold at the
top of Northgate
to Manorfields, follows a boundary between Near
Dove Cote and Well
Done Cole Close. The modern B6128
Westfield Road (left) follows
the boundary of the village’s West Field.
still standing opposite the church, has connections with the Amyas
family and is said to have belonged to the man who kept the accounts of
Sandal Castle in medieval times.
In 1315 John, Clerk of
Horbury, was fined sixpence for removing green wood from the Lord of the
Manor’s deer park north of the neighbouring village of Ossett.
As a clerk, John was one
of probably only a few people in the village who could read and write. He
would have been in holy orders but probably didn’t wear the white habit
of a Cistercian monk as I’ve shown him in my cartoon!