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The church and the maypole in the village centre
in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The Society

Chairman : Mr Geoff Thornton

1. The Society was established in September 1984.

2. Its objectives are to :-
  • research,
  • record,
  • and publish
the history of the parish from the earliest to recent times. This includes recording contemporary events for future generations.

3. Currently there is a membership of over 60 and in addition there is a list of both UK and overseas subscribers to the Society's regular publication The Barwicker. The Editor of The Barwicker is Pauline Robson.

The society can be contacted in
a variety of ways

Check the research section to see if one of the topics in which you are interested is specifically covered by an individual in, or known by, the society. Recently, we have developed a group of individuals who have a specific family history interest in some of the families who have lived in the parish.

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The Parish of Barwick-in-Elmet




The village of Barwick-in-Elmet lies some 8 miles to the east of Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Location Map
The parish of Barwick-in-Elmet originally covered the area from just to the east of the village westwards to Scholes and Roundhay (which is now a suburb of Leeds). It also covered a number of outlying hamlets from Terry Lug (part of the Bramham House Estate), Potterton, Kiddal and Woodhouse in the north to Barnbow and Manston in the south-west.

The church and the maypole in the village centre as it is today.
The society's interests cover the whole of the original parish. Today, the parish is much smaller and covers the villages of Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes along with the hamlet of Potterton and Kiddal and Barnbow Carr. The land in the south-west of the old parish and Roundhay has been absorbed into the built-up city of Leeds.


It has a long history which starts with a recently discovered Bronze Age settlement about a mile to the south of the village. In the parish and just over the parish boundary there are a number of very large earthworks (still visible today) most of which have recently been the subject of archaeological examination during the course of the construction of the northward extension of the M1 motorway which has recently opened and passes through the south of the parish. Early indications of the examination of the earthworks are that they are from about 100 A.D. and act as a defence from attack from the south. If this is so the current published accounts of the early history of the parish will have to be revised. Currently, the earthworks in the centre of the village of Barwick-in-Elmet are dated as being from about 600 B.C.


The most remarkable feature of the village is its maypole which has stood "since time immemorial" in the centre of Barwick-in-Elmet (see the illustration on this page). The pole is about 90ft. high. It was, until recent concern health and safety legislation got in the way, taken down by a proven age-old method using ropes, ladders and pitch forks and about a hundred men every third Easter. Now it requires a large mobile crane to assist in the process. After painting and maintenance it is re-erected by the same method in reverse on the Tuesday of the Spring Bank Holiday. The next ceremony is in 2014. Articles in the Barwicker about the maypole



An item of unusual interest in Parlington Park which borders the parish is the only monument in the United Kingdom (see the picture) which celebrates Britain's defeat in the American War of Independence. The memorial was erected by Sir Thomas Gascoigne, the Lord of the Manor of Barwick-in-Elmet, to show his approval of someone getting the better of George III. It is more or less a copy of the Arch of Titus at Rome.


The Triumphal Arch, Parlington.
The memorial inscription along the top says
"Liberty in N.America Triumphant MDCCLXXXIII".
Photo. with permission of Finlay Payne of Victoria B.C.


Colman says:
"It is said that George IV in the days when he was Prince Regent, was passing through this part of Yorkshire and was to lunch at Parlington. On coming to the arch, under which he would have to pass, and being informed of its purpose he declared he would not enter the house of a man who could thus perpetuate the memory of England's defeats, and immediately turned back."


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Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society Meetings



Members of the society visiting the excavations at Scholes Lodge
11th February 2006



The Society usually meets in the John Rylie Centre, Barwick-in-Elmet every month from September until April on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday (unless this falls close to a public holiday). The meetings start at 7.30 p.m. On the first Wednesday normally consists of a presentation on a specific topic of local content by a guest speaker or a society member. The meetings on the third Wednesday are of a less formal nature covering a wide range of topics.




Members looking at Barwick's older property in detail
4th August 2010



The summer programme consists of outings once a month to places of historic interest, usually in the vicinity.

The Summer programme for 2018 is :- 


Date
Visit
Details
Time
Saturday, 12th May Fulneck Moravian Settlement in PudseyThe cost is £4 per head plus extra for refreshemnts. Please let Ann Winter know as soon as possible if you plan to attend. 2.00 pm
Saturday, 9th June Leeds Library, 18 Commercial Street. The oldest surviving subscription library of its type in the UK. Founded in 1768. Only 15 places available. Cost dependent on numbers about £5 approx.10.30 am
Wednesday, 20th June at John Rylie House Illustrated talk on the shortage of ambulances in 1914. They gave - WW1 Ambulances by Michael Copeland. 7.30 pm
Tuesday, 3rd July Tour of the Royal Hall, Harrogate.This is England’s last remaining ‘Kursaal′ (Cure Hall). Completed in 1903 and provided the major entertainment venue for those visiting Harrogate to take the waters 1.00 pm
Wednesday, 22nd AugustWalk round Boston Spa Heritage Trail. Meet at Boston Spa library.7.15 pm


The winter programme for 2017/18 was :‐

Date
Title
Speaker
6th September Life and Times of Towton Helen Cox
20th September General topics - Maypole video/Leeds Mercury
4th October An Illustrated History of Leeds Alun Pugh
18th October General topics - website
1st November Burlend Play Society members
15th November General Topics
6th December Parlington Pauline Robson
19th December (NB Tues) Christmas Social
3rd January 18 Other People's Graves Eric Houlder
17th january General Topics - Rectors of Barwick
7th February Temple Newsam hospital in WW1 Lucy Moore
21st February General Topics - Frank Green
7th March Questions & Answers Society members
21st March Annual General Meeting
25th April Visit to The Church of the Epiphany in GiptonVisit starts at 7.00 p.m.
Please let Ann Winter know if you plan to attend. Charge £3.00




Back to main menu | The Parish of Barwick-in-Elmet | Meetings/activities
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Can you help? | Links to other places of interest.