Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Saturday, 9th May 2009
This 1½ mile walk, which takes less than an hour to complete, takes you back 700
years, to Horbury’s medieval past. Richard’s Walks around Horbury is available from
Willow Island Editions.
Start at St Peter’s Church in the centre of Horbury:
1. In 1491 Horbury Hall, opposite the church steps, was the home of Ralph Amyas deputy
steward of the manor of Wakefield.
2. Walk up Northgate; ‘gate’ is from the Viking word gata ‘road’.
3. The small enclosure at the top of Northgate is said to have been Horbury’s pinfold.
The Pinder was the man appointed to round up stray farm animals which he impounded
here, charging a fine for their release.
4. Turn left on the path alongside the cemetery which was once a field called Dove
Cote Close. Pigeons fed in the surrounding fields and their young, known a squabs,
provided a supply of meat.
5. Turn left down Clifton Avenue, then take the ginnel between the houses and continue
on Manorfield Drive ahead. Leave the estate via the footpath by the grassy triangle
in the corner.
Manorfield Drive follows the western boundary of a triangular field called Light
Side. Horbury Lights was a low-lying wooded area alongside the stream that marks the
boundary with Ossett. On the 10th September 1479 at the manor court in Wakefield
16 Horbury men were charged with taking green wood from Horbury Lights.
6. Green Park recreation ground was once a field called Four Acres.
8. Turn left and follow Westfield Road back towards Horbury and in 300 yards turn
left into Horbury Memorial Park. Leave by the back corner and turn left on a path
which takes you up to Medlock Road; turn right then left up Manor Road.
9. At the top corner, turn right into the Penny Ginnels. The field on your right,
alongside Manor Road, was called Six Penny, the field on your left, now St Hilda’s
School, was Parsons Croft.
10. At Honley House, turn right down the ginnel to Tithe Barn Street. Look for the
charred timbers behind the cottages to the left of the car park, which are all that
remain of Horbury’s medieval Tithe Barn. Further reading:The People of Horbury by
7. Turn left out of the park; the driveway lined with London Plane trees occupies
one of the strips of the great Westfield of Horbury.