Stanley History Online
History of Newland
Newland Estate lies in the valley of the River Calder between Alfofts and Stanley Ferry, and is one of the very few estates in the area that can be traced back through documents which have survived and span 900 years. Occupation of the site dates back at least to the Bronze Age, and is believed to have been the site of a Roman villa or camp. Large amounts of Roman pottery and coins were extracted from the site on the 1997 archaeological dig. Evidence of an iron ore mine has also been found on the estate which is could be connected to the henge at Birkwood Common, both sites connect via a footpath which is heavy in metal deposits suggesting that there could have been a Roman foundry at the henge with ore being taken from Newland to the henge site due to the vast amounts of easily accessible coal that breaks to the surface along the ridge down towards the River.
There is no direct evidence proving authenticity of a foundry, or that the henge was a worked site, however, individuals (including Paul Dainton) have given this theory calculated thought, and with information available believe this to be a strong possibility. The estate in its present form was established in 1213 by King John of England and belonged to a community of Knights Templar up to the year 1256 when it was transferred to a similar organisation called the Knights Hospitallers. A preceptory was historically the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller and Templar which was governed by a preceptor, who was answerable to the Grand Master of the order.
Newland Hall with stable block to right
A preceptory's main focus would be its church and accommodation for the brethren.The earliest known preceptor of the Knights Hospitallers at Newland was Simon Paccable in 1313. Within the order there were three ranks, first there was the Knights of Justice. These were the fighting men who had taken oaths of poverty. They took their vows and made their profession for life. Secondly there was the Chaplain; they were limited to the priesthood. The third being Serving Brother, this was in two sections; that of Serving Brothers at Arms who were solders and the Free Serving Brothers who were administrative officials. These three ranks qualified as members of the order, and were known as Military friars.
Outside the order were the manual workers and hired servants who had no official status, some of whom would have come from the surrounding villages of Stanley, Altofts and Normanton. They were known as the fraternity or fray, a body of men and woman who helped support the interests of the order, in return they received freedom from tolls through out the area and other such gifts, and it is believed to be such a body who gave land in Normanton to the order in the late 12th Century.
Hall front 1917
By way of these men the surrounding community’s economies would have benefited enormously from Newland. By 1338 the fraternity was providing a large part of the income of the Commandery of Newland.The estate was once held by the Levett family, and William Levett, who was lord of the manor, was admitted tenant of the Knights Hospitallers on October 2nd 1447. The property belonging to the Hospitallers was dissolved by King Henry viii who bestowed the property upon himself in 1544. He then sold the estate in 1546 to a Mr Bunny of Newton. In 1694 the estate was bought by the Silvester family and Newland Hall was built around 1740, replacing a more modest farmhouse.
The back of Newland Hall around 1900
The hall had 54 rooms and was one of the grandest buildings in the area. The last owners of the hall were William Locke and John Warrington who opened the Saint Johns Colliery at Newland in 1870. By 1917 the Hall was in a poor state, it was thought to be in danger by the owners and demolished. In 1926 the Estate was bought by The Warmfield Company Limited who ran the nearby brickworks up to the 1950s. The stable block of the Hall was lived in up to 1959 by a Mrs Gill of Heath House, who came to live there in 1920 with her husband, Manager of the nearby Saint Johns Colliery. This signalled the beginning of the end of Newland; in 1974 the once ancient independent township was taken into the newly formed Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. By this time the area had been deserted, and over the next 25 years saw much of its history ransacked by greedy owners who wanted to turn the site into a tip. Thankfully this was stopped by local campaigner Paul Dainton who was successful in leading a 3000 strong protest across the estate, raising awareness of the historical importance of the site. His work helped save Newland, which is now in the hands of farmer Andrew Hughes.
The abandoned stable block 1960s
In 2002 Andrew proposed to restore the estate by raising money from opencast mining on nearby land in the hope of making the several surviving buildings on the estate habitable once again. These range from agricultural buildings to grand houses. Unfortunately the scheme failed leaving no money to fund the rebuilding works, and two large holes where the opencast had started. These were flooded and are now known as Newland Lakes, attracting visitors from afar. However the biggest success story is that Andrew has returned much of the land to agriculture, building fences and re introducing livestock, and after rebuilding one of the houses on the site plans to re develop a second house once funding permits. The rest of the once grand estate is now kept as a nature reserve, within half a mile of the nearby toxic tip and Birkwood Hill, fortunately the ransacking of Newland has now stopped, a lot of history has been lost, however much still remains. What is needed now is for the site to be fully researched and documented, restoring and rebuilding what can be saved.
Stable block 2009
Sites of interest at Newland
The boundary between Newland and Altofts which is situated near to the Calder is to this day still marked with stone pillars bearing the inscription “A By” This part of the hillside within Newland has been known in the past as “Friars Cliff” (i.e. that of the Friars or Hospitallers) and on the other side of the boundary as “Paron’s Cliff”. Two crossing point existed on the Calder here up to 1699 when the Calder was made navigable, which were the most direct route between Wakefield, the lower Calder valley and York. One was an ancient ford crossing that had been used by the Knight’s Hospitallers known as Hell Ford.
It was marked by a stone inscribed with the double cross of the Hospitallers and was still in use in the 1660s, by this time it was mainly used to transport corn to market at Wakefield on Fridays. It is believed this crossing stopped when the building of a weir at Lake Lock caused the River to rise making the crossing impassable. The other crossing was a horse ferry that was upstream from Hell Ford; nearby to the pigeon cote (this existed up about 20 years ago) and the chapel (part of this still exists).
The ferry was reached through a gateway in the fence leading down to the River via steps. The base of the stone gate post still survives but the steps are now gone, back then the River was much closer to Newland due to the lower river banks. The public use of this crossing point stopped in sometime around 1700 when the boatman from the rival crossing at Stanley Ferry persuaded the then owner of the estate not to allow his servants to take strangers over the River at Newland Boat. The crossing then became no more than a convenience for owners and eventually ceased to be used.
One of the surviving boundary stones
Some of the lost buildings at Newland
Some buildings that are of extreme interest that once stood on Newland include; The Brew house, this was situated near to the Calder, the site of this can be today be found next to the stream known as “Whiskey Beck”. It is possible the name of the beck came from the brewing that was done here. Then there’s the ice house, its exact location is not known but it is thought to have stood behind the large ruined detached house on the estate. The now demolished Pigeon Cote was an ancient building that stood on the edge of the woods, bordering on the site of the old piggery. There were two summerhouses on the estate; one stood at the highest point of the estate (some 200 feet above sea level) the foundation stones for this can still be seen in the ground. It is believed the site of this building is a man made raised circular platform, which could date back several thousand years; its original purpose is unknown. The second summerhouse that stood lower to the east has completely disappeared. The Gatehouse that stood at the entrance gates on the Calder side was ransacked some 20 years ago leaving only the foundations visible, this was known as Stanley Lodge and was situated to the left of the gates (facing Newland from the Calder), it was lived in up to the 1950s.
Derelict Stanley Lodge 1980s
Photo Courtesy of Paul Dainton
From here if you walk up towards the high point of the estate you would have come across a large gate, halfway up the hillside, the only evidence for this is the hinge stone that lies beside the path. If instead of walking up the hill from the gate house you take the path to the right passed the walled gardens towards the site of the hall you will come to the ancient “Shackles Well”. The entire estate was surrounded by a large stone wall some 10ft in height, which was then clad with brick on the inside, most of this outer wall has now been robbed away leaving only a few feet in height of stone work.
The dovecote 1960, this was demolished in the early 1990s
Within this wall at the top of the hill are a set of gate posts that were part of a road into the estate. Many of these ancient roads were altered in the 18th Century while the estate was in the hands of John Smith. He was responsible for great changes including the building of Newland Hall. On the south east boundary a second set of gate posts can be seen in the field, these were near to the Hell Ford and were part of another ancient road. Within the estate walls are the old halls walled gardens, these were full of fruit trees and in part had heated flues running through the walls enabling more exotic fruit trees to be grown.
For almost 200 years Newland Hall was the grandest building on the site, replacing a more modest farmhouse. The hall had 54 rooms and was one of the grandest buildings in the area. The last owners of the hall were William Locke and John Warrington who opened the Saint Johns Colliery at Newland in 1870. By 1917 the Hall was in a poor state, it was thought to be in danger by the owners and demolished. On the Normanton entrance to the estate stood a house that had several outbuildings, this was demolished about 15 years ago after being empty.
Newland Hall 1915
The Hall during demolition
Furniture from the house can be seen on the lawns, windows have also been removed
Surviving buildings at Newland
Several buildings have survived albeit in as ruins, since the 1970s the roofs, floors and stone work have all been stolen, leaving them in danger of collapsing. Probably the best known building to have survived is the stable block; this was built at the same time as the hall by John Smith and was converted into a house in the early 20th Century when the hall was demolished. The front stone work remains intact but the rear of the building has partly collapsed due to the roof being removed along with floor joists. The large stone agricultural building that stands opposite the stable the stable block shows several signs of rebuilding and later additions to the rear. Bricked up doorways that are several feet of the ground at the back of the building indicate that carts were loaded here, probably to take crops to market. It is the belief of many that the listed part of the building is too grand to be that of just an agricultural building and could pre date the parts that were built in the 1740s.
The inside walls of the farm building appear to be too grand to have been built for the purpose of housing cattle and are thought to date back further than the 1740s
Also some of the first floor rooms in this building had plastered walls, a sign that at least part of them was lived in. Stories of cellars in this part of the building have also been told, an elderly gentleman from Alfofts claims to remember the steps leading down to the cellars in the early part of the 20th Century. Along the south side of the building is a large stone archway that led into the central roofed area, cattle would have been brought in here during the winter months until spring. Next to this building is a large brick built detached house that was lived in by the “pig woman” this was also occupied into living memory and during World War Two a hidden pig enclosure was built in the fields below the house. This was so that the noble folk could avoid having to live solely on rations. The enclosure was totally invisible to inspectors who made regular visits to the estate.
The "pig womans" house, this was lived in up to the 1960s
Perhaps the most interesting building that survives is the suspected ancient chapel ruins. It is a building to the rear of the large agricultural building that is built on a much lower level than the surrounding buildings. If it is the old chapel site it is very likely the building has gone through various stages of rebuilding as the inner wall on one part has been relined with newer bricks at some stage. On the floor is what appears to be the remains of a large circular stone bowl that is broken into several sections, possibly medievil in date. It is documented that the bodies of Knights were removed from the chapel and reburied else where after it fell from use. The white farm house on the estate was rebuilt several years ago and is now lived in by the farmer Andrew Hughes, south of this building is a second detached house that Andrew has plans to rebuild once funding is secured.
Section of the stone bowl which was found inside the suspected chapel site
Thank you to Paul Dainton for his help with the above information.Other parts of the above are extracts from John Goodchild’s publication “News from Newland”
More Newland photos
Newland Residents and workers 1935
Photo taken during King George V Jubilee celebrations and given to the residents by Saint Johns Colliery manager Mr Gill who resided at Newland Park, commemorative mugs were given during the celebrations. Photo courtesy of Paul Dainton
Back Row; three members of the Shaw family, Gill family servant, Ruth Akers (saluting), Gill family servent, two unknowns, Sydney Mcguire.
Row Standing; Mr Akers (farmer), 5 members of the Moore family, Mrs Mcguire, Lilly and Nelly Mcguire, two unknowns
Seated Row; Nanny to Gill family, Mr and Mrs Shaw, Mr and Mrs Gill, Mr and Mrs Moore, Mr and Mrs Mcguire senior, nurse with Mrs Gills baby.
Front row children; George, Kathleen Mcguire, family of Mr and Mrs Gill
Photos from around Newland in 1985
These photos show just how much of the estate has been robbed in the last 25 years, all these building now have no roofs or are no longer standing. Thank you to Paul Dainton for these photos that he took around the time of the 1984 - 85 miners strike. This selection of photos show the large farm building that still stands at Newland, others include the stable block and outbuildings. The roofs and floors have now however been destroyed leaving only the walls standing.
Shield is the mark of the Knights Hospitallers who owned the estate almost 800 years ago. This section of the building which is the inner courtyard wall still stands today, the shields have now goneShield is the mark of the Knights Hospitallers who owned the estate almost 800 years ago. This section of the building which is the inner courtyard wall still stands today, the shields have now gone
Stable block outbuilding bearing the cross of the Knights TemplarStable block outbuilding bearing the cross of the Knights Templar
Entrance into the Estate from the Altofts sideEntrance into the Estate from the Altofts side
The buildings in the foreground have now gone. The white house in the distance has been rebuilt and is now the lived in farm houseThe buildings in the foreground have now gone. The white house in the distance has been rebuilt and is now the lived in farm house
Photos from around Newland 2010 - 2012
These photos show buildings that have survived the destruction of large parts of the estate in the last 30 years
Newland entrance gates, the stone gate pillars still survive. To the left of this photo stood Stanley lodgeNewland entrance gates, the stone gate pillars still survive. To the left of this photo stood Stanley lodge
Remains of the stable blockRemains of the stable block
Remains of large farm building with central courtyard on the left, the stable block can just behind. In the distance is the rebuilt farm house, the top of the hill in the background was the site of one of Newlands summer housesRemains of large farm building with central courtyard on the left, the stable block can just behind. In the distance is the rebuilt farm house, the top of the hill in the background was the site of one of Newlands summer houses
Large farmbuildings to right with remains of large house to leftLarge farmbuildings to right with remains of large house to left
Rear of the large farmbuilding far left with remains of Laundry in foregroundRear of the large farmbuilding far left with remains of Laundry in foreground
Pig womans house far left with back of large farm building to centre of photoPig womans house far left with back of large farm building to centre of photo
Inner courtyard of farmbuildingsInner courtyard of farmbuildings
Other points of interest at Newland
This Plague Stone is associated with the outbreak of plague that affected the area in 1645. The hollow on top that now fills with rain water was filled with vinegar at the time as a disinfectant for coins left in it as payment for goods brought to the village boundary of Newland from the local market town of Normanton.
This drainage system is near to the Newland entrance on Ferry Lane. The stone work on the left is the earlier drainage which is believed to be medieval in date; the brick built drainage that can just be seen on the right was added during the Victorian period to superceded the earlier system. The wooded area the drainage runs from had at least eight springs running into it and is believed to be linked to the earliest phase of settlement at Newland.
Archaeological Evaluation of Newland Estate
Newland Hall. 18th-century hall built on site of Newland Preceptory, which was founded by Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitaller) in late 12th c. and confiscated by the Crown in 1540. The Preceptory is extremely well documented, but has often been confused with that of the Knights Templar at Newlands, in Sussex; thus frequently wrongly described as a Templar foundation. Little is known about the extent or internal arrangement of the site. Mill site under modern opencast. Hollow way visible to SE. Sunken water-related features to the N have been identified by S.Moorhouse as med. fishponds. A building, 16th (S. Moorhouse) or 17th c. in date (Listed), which now forms the E side of a courtyard byre, may also belong to this phase. J. Goodchild has identified the site of the preceptory chapel, demolished in 1757, as ca. SE 3652 2242.PRN 3399 possible tenant village of Preceptory? Results of 1988 excavation on apparent building terraces at SE 3660 2245 were negative for med. material, but revealed two ditches of probable Roman date.
Although maintained as a preceptory until the Dissolution, the site was leased out from 1358. From 1540, passed through various secular hands; Hall was built ca. 1745, along with stable block (LBS no:436886); stable block known to have incorporated reused med. timbers (now destroyed). Dovecote dates from ca. the same period. There are also 17th century farm buildings associated with the former Newland Hall on the site, which are also Listed (LBS no: 436887). Newland Hall became vacant towards the end of the 19th c., and was demolished in 1917. Stable block maintained as a residence until late 1950s, and estate maintained as a working farm until 1970s. Estate now unoccupied and heavily vandalised - roof covering has been entirely stripped from range encompassing 16th/17th c. structure, and earth removal has taken place around site of Hall. Positive management arrangement required urgently. Further evaluation required in advance of development. Scheduled 29/9/1992.
English Heritage scheduling description 29/09/1992: ‘The monument is situated on the banks of the river Calder and includes the remains of a preceptory established in about 1180 by the Knights Hospitallers. No medieval documentation specifically relating to the preceptory survives but analysis of information contained within documentation relating to the wider estates of the house, along with limited field investigation, has confirmed that the main preceptory buildings lay in the area now occupied by the post-medieval hall
and its outbuildings. The medieval buildings included a chapel not demolished until the mid 18th century which was located in the south-western quarter of the site, just southeast of the 17th century hall which was demolished in 1917. Other buildings would have been located in close proximity to this chapel but, like it, these now survive only as buried features.
Three small fishponds are also known to have existed to the north of the buildings. The form of the enclosure within which these buildings were contained is not known but its position, which provides the boundaries for this scheduling, has been reconstructed from the evidence contained in various medieval land grants to the house.
The creation of the preceptory is marked by a series of land grants in the period 1180 to 1230. In 1338 a survey indicates that the preceptory was occupied by the preceptor himself (a knight), a monk, a chaplain, and a man-at-arms, representing all three grades of the Order. Additionally, payments in the form of clothing and livery, are noted to a chamberlain, cook, baker, bailiff, groom, two pages, a boy servant, and various agricultural workers. In the early 14th century the knights cultivated their lands at Newland directly, including 200 acres of arable and 16 acres of meadows. From the mid 14th century the estate was farmed out on a condition that hospitality was provided for the preceptor whenever he held court there. The post-medieval buildings on the site appear to have replaced rather than incorporated their predecessors. The derelict 18th century house on the site, formerly a stables of coach house, is Listed Grade II, as area group of 17th and 18th century farm buildings enclosing a rectangular yard. All buildings on the site are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all of them is included. The embankment for the now disused railway running along the river bank is similarly excluded although the ground beneath it is included.
Newland is one of only two preceptories established in West Yorkshire and was the only one established by the Knights Hospitallers. The other, at Temple Newsam, established by the Knights Templars, has been largely destroyed by open cast mining and gravel extraction. The Newlands site has suffered only limited disturbance in the post-medieval and later periods and will retain significant evidence relating to its medieval occupation’.
An evaluation by geophysical survey and trial trenching was carried out by the Lancaster University Archaeology Unit (LUAU) in July 1997 at Newland Park, Normanton, following a proposal to turn the area into a landfill site. The study area totalled approximately 43 hectares. The central part of the site consists of two low hills lying to the east of the River Calder. In the south the land is level floodplain. The highest point is on the northern boundary of the study area where the ground rises to about 60m OD.
The site was split into 4 areas. Area A (SE 372 223), Area B (SE 368 224), Area C (SE 367 228) and Area D (SE 366 229). Magnetic (gradiometer and susceptibility) surveys were carried out on a regular grid pattern within the four areas. Readings were logged at 0.5m intervals along one axis in 1m traverses giving 800 readings per 20m by 20m grid. The survey grid was set out and tied in using an EDM. Numerous anomalies of archaeological potential were located within Area A, with a strong concentration in the southwest of the survey area. In Area B two parallel negative linear features were discovered as well as other strong responses which may have been enclosures. Areas C and D located a few anomalies of possible archaeological interest.
A total of 38 evaluation trenches were excavated over a two-week period, all were approximately 50m in length and 2.08m wide. In total about 3940 square metres of trenching was undertaken. All trenches were opened using a 360 degree excavator fitted with a 2m wide ditching bucket under archaeological supervision. Most trenches were excavated to a depth of 0.5m, but some were excavated up to 1.3m below the present ground level (a location plan of the trenches is provided in the report, see file).
The densest concentration of archaeological features was in Area A. The geophysical survey had revealed a number of rectilinear enclosures and linear features which may have been agricultural and excavation of these features confirmed that interpretation. The lack of finds also supported the idea that this was an agricultural site. In Area B the negative linear features identified in the geophysical survey were confirmed as being ditches and appeared to form a relatively open field system, presumably closely related to Area A In Areas C and D narrow ridge and furrow was identified and interpreted as being post-medieval in date and the only find from was an 18th century shoe buckle. For a more detailed discussion of the trenches see report in file.
Newland Hall around 1900
An archaeological assessment of the earthworks to the south of Newland Hall was carried out by West Yorkshire Archaeology Service in August 1988 in advance of opencast coal extraction. The site is centred on the above grid reference. Three main types of work were carried out: earthwork survey, geophysical survey and excavation.
The site of Newland Hall is known to have been occupied since at least the 13th century, when a preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers was founded there. Field survey around Newland identified a series of earthworks to the south of the site. As they lay on the spur of the southern end of the Newland Plateau, and away from the main development of the hall, it was felt that they could represent part of the preceptory. The earthworks lay mostly on the hill slope down to the river Calder to the west. They formed a series of terraces along the contours. A broad depression, over ten metres wide, ran up the slope and appeared to be cut at right angles to the north by the southern range of Newland Hall outbuildings.
A series of rectilinear terraced areas lay on the contour terraces. The earthwork survey suggested two phases of activity. The earlier was represented by a series of terraces following the contours with what appeared to be building platforms on them. The later phase was represented by a feature that appeared to be a hollow way which was seen cutting across the line of the main terraces. A geophysical survey was carried out over part of the earthworks identified using a RM4 resistivity meter. A 20 x 20m grid was superimposed over the earthworks. The only anomaly identified was a linear band of high readings, consistent with a stone outcrop. Excavation took place during 4 weeks in February/March 1988. This comprised four trenches excavated to test the nature and date of specific features identified during the earthwork survey. Trench A measured 14m by 1m and was a maximum of 0.70m deep. It was sited in order to examine the make-up of the possible hollow way and its relationship to some possible building platforms.
Excavation revealed topsoil and plough soil to a depth of 0.50m bearing evidence of light cultivation and sealing two stone packed drains. These drains ran within and parallel to the possible hollow way. The drain to the west measured 0.40m wide and 0.25m deep; the drain to the east measured 0.50m wide and 0.35m deep. No dating evidence was obtained, but the features were still functioning as field drains. Post medieval pottery and a lump of green glass found within the topsoil were the only finds from the trench. Trench B measured 14m by 1.5m and was a maximum of 0.60m in depth. It was sited in order to determine the make-up of a terrace and a building platform, and to clarify the relationship between the two features. Excavation revealed topsoil and plough soil to a depth of 0.50m; the plough soil bore the marks of light cultivation and was cut by a single post-hole.
These layers were underlain by natural subsoil at the eastern side of the trench and by a natural outcrop of sandstone on the western side. Again post medieval pot and glass were found within the topsoil. Trench C measured 1.20m by 2.5m and was a maximum of 0.80m in depth. It was sited in order to determine the make up of a building platform. Excavation revealed topsoil and plough soil to a depth of 0.50m, overlying two shallow ditches running roughly north to south and lying at a slight angle to one another. The more substantial of these, to the south, measured 1.00-1.20m in width and 0.40m in depth. The second ditch, to the north, was incompletely exposed but measured 0.50m wide and 0.25m deep. Both ditches were cut into the natural subsoil and contained soft silt/clay fill which included a high proportion of sandstone slabs and river/glacial cobbles in the ditch to the south of the features, the northern parts contained no inclusions. The southern ditch contained two possible shreds of Roman pottery. Trench D measured 2m by 2.5m, and was a maximum of 0.30m in depth. It was sited in order to determine the nature of the possible hollow way.
Excavation revealed topsoil and plough soil to a depth of 0.30m bearing marks of light cultivation. These layers overlaid what appeared to be natural subsoil. Finds from this trench came from the topsoil and consisted of glass, an intact bottle and several shreds of heavily abraded Roman grey ware. A further trench, Trench E, was excavated to clarify the results of excavation in Trench C. It measured 3.40m by 1.30m and was a maximum of 1.10m in depth. Excavation revealed topsoil and plough soil to a maximum depth of 0.65m; underlying this over the whole area of the trench was a layer of very fine, soft clay silt which upon removal revealed itself to be the overburden and fill of two ditches. These were directly analogous to the ditches in Trench C and were presumed to be their continuations. The ditch to the south measured between 0.70-1.30m in width and between 0.40-0.60m in depth. The northern ditch was 0.80m wide. Finds from Trench E consist of a single shred of Roman grey ware pottery from the northern ditch and a considerable number of shreds of the same fabric from the southern ditch. Trenches A and B produced no habitation levels, and no other indications that the platforms identified were building platforms.
The nature of the stratigraphy and the presence of field drains suggests that these features were more likely to represent a shallow agricultural terrace, while the absence of medieval pottery suggested that this cultivation did not take place here in the Middle Ages. The nature of the evidence for cultivation suggests recent and short-term arable use of the field. Trench D produced no evidence to support the interpretation of the linear depression as a medieval hollow way. The depression appears to lead to a gate in the northern side of the field, and may in fact be the remains of a cow path in use when this field and those to the south were under pasture. Trenches C and E provided the first positive evidence for pre-medieval occupation in the form of two Roman ditches. The function of the Roman ditches is unclear, but they may have served as field boundaries and drains. Grid references for trenches or features are not provided, but a plan of the area showing trenches and earthworks is provided.
Drawings of excavated trenches and features are also not provided in the report. A desk based assessment was undertaken by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit in May 1997. The assessment was intended to gauge the archaeological implications of the implementation of landfill proposals at the Normanton Park Estate, formerly known as Newland Park. The assessment area, centred on the above grid reference, totalled an area of approximately 80 hectares. There were no definite sites of a pre-Roman date within the study area. A crop mark site (PRN 570) consisting of a double ditched track way and field system is thought to date from the Romano British Period. An earthwork survey and trial trenching were undertaken on an area of earthworks to the south of Newland Hall in 1988 (PRN 7714). Two of the trial trenches produced ditches containing Romano British pottery, and further shreds of Romano British pottery were recovered from the topsoil. The site of a medieval Preceptory at Newland Hall is a scheduled monument (SAM no 21052). No physical evidence exists for this medieval foundation. No other medieval sites or artefacts are known from the study area.
The post medieval landscape of the study area consists of Newland Hall and its park (PRN 3391). The hall was built in the 18th century. The hall was sold to William Locke for industrial development in 1861; the estate was exploited for industrial purposed and as a result, the abandoned and ruinous Newland Hall was demolished in 1917. The park was probably created at around the time the house was built; by 1779 the estate was being referred to as Newland Park. The park does not appear to have contained many landscape features; near the northern boundary of the site is the base to a summerhouse or gazebo. The principal industrial features within the study area are the remains of a brickworks (PRN 5109) and the clay extraction pits from which the raw material was derived (the brickworks were established between 1907 and 1932 as evidenced by cartographic research). The Calder Cut crosses the River Calder at Stanley Ferry by means of an aqueduct (PRN 2091, SAM no 1189). This consists of an iron suspension bridge designed by George Leather and built in 1836.
Thank you to Paul Dainton for his help with photos and with the Newland history articles
More to follow