Boundaries Set in Stone

The history talk we held in July was a great success. A good audience enjoyed a very interesting talk on the boundary stones of Cowling Parish’s Three Ancient Manors, given by Robin Longbottom of Sutton-in-Craven assisted by Chris Riley. Boundary disputes with Sutton-in-Craven and the establishment of the border with Lancashire and two of our manors were two features of the talk. We also learnt about the markings on the prominent boundary stones.

Now border with Cowling, Keighley and Sutton-in-Craven
The Hitching Stone is a border stone between old Stott Hill Manor, Keighley and Sutton-in-Craven.

Some were moorland landscape features, such as the Hitching Stone and Maw Stones, whilst others were large stones placed in boundary walls. Although some have disappeared over the centuries, many still survive in our area, due to its moorland location, with fewer changes due to urbanisation or agricultural developments. The main internal boundaries within the parish and between the manors were becks such as Gill and Ickornshaw Beck. The three manors within Cowling Parish were Collinge (several spellings) Head (now Hill), Ickornshaw and Stott Hill( also known as Newbiggin). The talk has already stimulated some of our members to go in search of some of these stones. If these are on land off footpaths, then landowners permission must be sought, unless on access land. Robin and Chris did not charge a fee, but asked us to make a donation to Manorlands Hospice. The proceeds of the talk will be split equally between this donation and Moonrakers’ local history work.