Monday, 24 September 2012

Leeds Scheduled Monuments - Becca Banks and The Ridge

I have been neglecting this blog, partly due to impending nuptials and partly because free time is scarce and the time I do get I very much wish to spend striding across the landscape that is so blessed to me rather than sitting at home thinking about it. Scanning the list of local Scheduled Monuments this morning I realised that, although not all have been cataloged here, I have visited most of them at some point or the other and should probably document them here as I proposed to some time ago.

Becca Bank and the Ridge are part of a possible Brigantian defensive network, Becca bank using some of the natural scarp slope to create a hugely imposing form on the landscape, even today delineating the furthermost westerly reaches of Aberford.

Below the crag we happened to spot a tiny toad amid the rubble and held him captive until a dog walker and his leaping hounds had passed us by. Our little friend inspired Phil to scribble down some lines of poetry in his notebook, while I took in the dusk-lit woodland alongside the bank.

We walked through the Gascoigne estate, walking along Becca Lane in view of the hall and then along to the Ridge, where ripe corn grew.

We crossed over the Cock Beck, Winwaek, which flows down from Whinmoor through Penda's field, where he, the last pagan king, was slain in battle. A few miles further SE and Cock Beck flows through another battlefield at Towton, where the legendary Towton rose flourished on the burial mounds at Bloody Meadow.

The moon rose over the bank as we walked through meadows in the growing dark. The last view of the Ridge with the dwindling sunset through an ancient Miry Lane heading towards the site of the medieval shrunken village of Potterton, or Potter's Tun.

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