Heritage implies something that is conserved from past to present with the added idea that it will be preserved for the future. If that heritage is kept unchanged it could be argued that fossilisation is taking place. Man-tampered heritage of landscape or buildings can be good or bad according to one's taste and it is a matter of opinion how a ruin is viewed; some ruins have been built artificially in the grounds of grand mansions. In the more practical landscape of North Craven they are invariably fallen down buildings.
There are many piles of stones lying about in North Craven and it was not until I had joined the Sunday afternoon walks of the Trust that I realised their significance. The one in question is at GR 719650, and although not named on the old Pathfinder map 650 it is indicated by a small circle. It is on private land between Hawksheath Farm and Keasden Head Farm and permission must be sought to go there. It has obviously been a building as there is a 10 foot high corner of a wall still standing (see photograph). An appointment at the Leeds Archive Library at Sheepscar, with a request to see the enclosure map was very informative. I had the thrill of focus and discovery when I read the name Clough Hole, and was not chastened when I realized that all the locals knew that already (see sketch of Tithe map 1840-1850).
On the Tithe map the fields were numbered, and from that and the tithe lists I picked out the name Richard Brown, his fields, the state of cultivation, the quantities of statute measure (i.e. the acreage), what was payable to the vicar of Clapham, what was payable to the appropriator for tithes other than agistment, and what was payable to the appropriator for tithes of agistment. From these lists and figures sprang a clear picture of the burden to the poor and the impossibility of escaping feudal poverty. Everything was taxed. Richard Brown paid tithes on each member of the household, cows, sheep, pigs, geese, poultry, eggs, swarms of bees, potatoes, turnips and green crops.
The next bit of my research was a visit to a very knowledgable local farmer, George Wallbank. Around 1913 his father (1903 - 1995) met a Mr Brown then aged about 90, who was walking along the path to Clough Hole from Keasden Head farm. Mr Brown had come by train to Clapham station in order to walk where he had once lived. Bill Wallbank would have been about 14 years and walked with the old man along the path. Mr Brown reminisced to the boy, and amongst other things recalled how he had walked the same route in petticoats as a child, it being the custom then to dress children of both sexes in skirts. George Wallbank who was born in neighbouring Rantree, is of the opinion that there was a farm track direct from Clough Hole coming out by Rantree, rather than the longer route via Keasden Head. I agree. Having explored the valley bottom there are places where the beck could be forded with care. He also showed me a booklet printed in 1840 listing the ear and wool marks of fell sheep at Kearsden (see drawings).
Number 94 Clough Hole - Ear mark, near ear folden forked; far ear cropt; wool mark, the letter R on the far ribs when clipt, and a stroke down the near ribs when salved. Occupier Thomas Procter.
He pointed out there is no entry for Clough Hole in the 1896 edition, as by that time the land had been subsumed by Keasden Head Farm.
Further Acknowledgments and References
The late Brenda Capstick, David S. Johnson and Sheila Mason, farmer at Keasden Head, owner of the land on which Clough Hole lies, have provided information.
A Collection of the Ear marks and Wool marks of Sheep in the townships of Bleasdale, Chipping, Little Bowland, Forest of Bowland, Newton, Slaidburn, Easington, Kearsden, Tatham, Mewith, Botton, Roberindal, Littledale, Quernmore, Wyersdale in the Counties of Lancaster and York. Printed by John Walker, Church St., Preston, 1840.
The Harvest of the Hills by Angus J. L. Winchester, published by Edinburgh University Press, 2000, for an explanation of the term agistment.
Tithe Map 1840-1850