The ancient Manor of Wakefield

The ancient Manor of Wakefield was the largest in Yorkshire, and one of the largest in the country, comprising twelve graveships.

The Lord of the Manor was actually the reigning monarch at the time e.g. Queen Elizabeth I was Lord of the Manor in the 16th century.

The graveships did not follow Parish boundaries.

The Robucke's have been recorded most prolifically, in the hill settlements of: Netherthong, Fulston, Wooldale and Hepworth in the Graveship of Holme; and in Shelley, Shepley and Roydhouse in the adjacent Graveship of Flockton. Apart from Netherthong which lies in the Parish of Almondbury, all these hill settlements lie in the Parish of Kirkburton.

This whole area is only about 5 miles between its extremities and can be seen quite clearly on the map of the Graveship of Holme which reputedly, dates from about 1220.



Other Graveships in which Robucke's have been recorded include Sandal, which is adjacent and to the East of Darton and Flockton and Horbury, which is adjacent and to the East of Flockton and to the North of Sandal.

From earliest times until the start of the industrial revolution after 1700, the valley bottoms were largely unpopulated, with the people inhabiting the many hill settlements. With the introduction of machinery powered by water, the fast flowing rivers became of paramount importance, and quickly developed centres of population at strategic places, such as bridges and confluences.

Now the valley bottoms contain the large centres of population which have long overtaken the hill settlements in importance.

This area of what was the ancient Manor of Wakefield has become famous as the setting for the very popular English TV series "Last of the Summer Wine". This fame is in no small part due to the natural beauty of this region of the Pennines. The village of Holmefirth lies at the very heart of the Graveship of Holme as you can see from the map.

Although the area has changed considerably from that which existed in ancient times, I am pleased to include some photographs. The geography is still the same and these photographs, although recent, have positive links to the past history of the Robucke's.

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