Monday, 29 December 2014

Spite and Malice, Rawdon

I remember hunting for these some five or six years ago with no luck, so I was very pleased to find it within 15 minutes of getting off the bus this time.

The Cragg wood area of Rawdon is a lovely rambling maze of wall lined carriage-ways and ginnels, with very charming eccentricities to the layout.

Further down the hill towards the Aire Valley, the neat walls start crumbling, the ivy begins to encroach. We asked some friendly locals for directions, who pointed us towards the dark ginnel that leads out of the woods. 

We had sought the Spite and Malice ginnel, named for a feud between the owners of the estates it separated, Barbara Jones in her excellent work Grottoes and Follies suggested that a folly built here still stood in the grounds of a now-demolished house.

The story goes that the Ripley's at Acacia to the west, and the Briggs at Cliffe Cottage to the east disliked each other for some unknown reason and built progressively taller and taller walls to prevent their neighbours from viewing their property. To complicate things further, they both built follies near to the walls which overlooked even the towering walls.

 A much more comprehensive history and theorising as to the background of this story can be found at A History of Rawdon, but as I have found only one old image of the folly online I thought I would share mine too.