The  Metes and Bounds of Knaresborough Forest

KF 1767 Logo

At Castley the forest boundary left the river and headed northward towards Leathley and the River Washburn.

Initially the boundary passed overland, crossing the A658 Harogate to Bradford road and then around Riffa Wood to reach Riffa Beck which it followed upstream to Thrispin Beck which the boundary then followed until it reached the original source of the stream at the western edge of the Leathley to Beckwithshaw road (B6161). It then followed an indirect route to Lindley Farm before joining a stream called Holbeck which it followed to the River Washburn which the boundary joined and followed upstream.

The Washburn then marked the boundary of Knaresborough Forest although deviating from the modern river in places where its course has changed. The boundary (shown on modern maps as a parish boundary) still follows the earlier line of the river, probably as it was five hundred years or more ago. The forest boundary stayed with the river until Timble Gill Beck that flows into it from the west and that beck was then followed upstream to its source on moorland to the west of Timble village.

From here the boundary of Knaresborough Forest continued westward across open moorland along Badger Gate until it reached Old Pike on Howber Hill near the village of Beamsley in Wharfedale from where it started a zigzag route northwards, crossing the A59 near the head of Kex Gill to head across more open moorland to reach the B6265 near Stump Cross caverns, close to the most northerly point on the forest boundary.

Boundary Stone near Timble

The forest boundary around Stump Cross and Greenhow was in dispute in 1767 and for at least two centuries before that, the cause of the dispute being the lead ore that was available in that area. The line claimed for the forest by the Commissioners of the Duchy of Lancaster is shown as a purple line on the map and the boundary claimed locally as far as Keld Houses is the line of the current National Park boundary that is highlighted in yellow. The land between them contained rich deposits of lead ore

Hill End3a 150 Millstones BS  Ellercar EPSN0018 Old Pike EPSN0010a 150 GHG EPSN0060 Stump Crossa 150

Badger Gate packhorse track

Kex Gill from Hill End

Old Pike on Howber Hill

Stump Cross Caverns