In the basement of Bradford’s Local Studies Library are collections of nineteenth century pamphlets (and some of earlier date). Ranging from sermons and programmes of royal visits, to reports, articles, obituaries and regulations, they are a treasure-trove of local history. What follows is an account of one of these treasures. To consult any of these items please ask the staff. Card catalogues of these collections are located in the Local Studies Library.
JND 245/4 + 5 (Please quote this number if requesting these booklets)
C.F. and W.F. A Ramble on Rumbald’s Moor among the dwellings, cairns & circles of the Ancient Britons in the spring of 1868. Part II Counterhill & Castleberg.
20 pages. (Wakefield: W.T.Lamb, Printer and Publisher.)
C.F. and W.F. A Ramble on Rumbald’s Moor among the rocks, idols & altars of the Ancient Druids in the spring of 1869. Part III. 26 pages. (Wakefield: H.Kelly, Printer and Publisher.)
What delightful titles have these two pamphlets! Sadly the first of these three ‘parts’ is missing, though since only one hundred copies were printed this is no surprise. This, their age, and the fragile nature of the paper they were printed on, must make any remaining copies pretty scarce.
Our first pamphlet opens: “Who, after rambling among British dwellings, cairns and circles on that part of Rumbold’s Moor which extends from Burley Wood Head to Ilkley, could hear reports of Roman Camps on Counterhill and Castleberg, and not wish to visit them?” As indicated by the titles, these slim volumes give an account of early relics of past peoples, though an account of Addingham fills much of the first volume. A newspaper cutting inserted into the second volume here makes the point that the authors “drew attention to the sculptured rocks … recently discovered on Ilkley Moor.”
And who were C.F. and W.F.? A newspaper cutting inserted into the second volume here gives the authors as Charles Forest and William Grainge.
Some of the early historians, or ‘antiquarians’ as they were often called, have a bad reputation for making unsubstantiated assertions and promoting theories in the face of contradicting evidence, but not C.F. and W.F., according to the newspaper account, an obituary of Forest. It makes the point that he was careful in his research, and the text of these pamphlets bears this out, for the authors were often critical of other antiquarians.
There are a number of line drawings. These pamphlets are an early account of these remarkable relics on the moors. Though do take care if using them, else these scarce ‘relics’ will crumble to dust, unlike the relics they describe!