Maplin Cross, Lee Hill, Old Lindley Moor
The Maplin Cross was a stone marker (dated 1808) on the boundary between the townships of Longwood and Old Lindley.
The stone replaced an earlier cross, from which it took its name, and was situated near to the Roman road that ran to the east of the fort at Slack.
The only local newspaper reference found during research to the stone is contained in a 1867 article about a tour of local antiquities by the Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association:
Leaving Haigh Cross the site of Maplin Cross was next visited, another trace of the Roman road, in a small piece of unbroken ground being observed in passing. Maplin Cross is at present represented by a plain square stone, built into a fence between Leeches and Lee Hill, and bearing this inscription — "T.T., 1808. Maplin Cross." The fence is at this point the boundary between the parishes of Halifax and Huddersfield.
In remote periods roads were the only artificial boundaries, and there can be no doubt that the Roman road is the origin of the boundary between the parishes. Maplin Cross may have been a boundary stone, but the Roman road would probably be a road for centuries after the Romans left this island, and Maplin Cross would serve all the purposes of a wayside cross.
The letters T.T. on Haigh Cross and Maplin Cross are the initials of Thomas Thornhill, Esq., of Fixby, the then owner of the estates abutting upon them to whom we are indebted for this careful preservation of their memory ; and it was no small satisfaction to the Council to know that William Capel Clarke Thornhill, Esq., the present successor in estate of the gentleman who placed his initials on the crosses, was a life member and patron of their association.
The first volume of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal contains an article about the fort at Slack which mentions the stone:
At Slack itself, the Roman road is still the boundary between the important parishes of Halifax and Huddersfield, and the occurrence of Maplin Cross, a boundary cross, (probably more ancient than any parochial divisions,) close to the line of the road, where its site is still marked by a short stone pillar, placed there for the purpose, suggests that ancient crosses may be found at other points in the true direction. Thus, at Rastrick, from three to four miles east, we find another ancient cross, and on the hill-side, sufficiently near it, are traces of a road in the cultivated ground, still distinctly visible, and always spoken of by the inhabitants as the "old road."
The Handbook for Travellers in Yorkshire (1874) contains this brief reference:
On the summit of Lee Hill, a little north of Slack, is a circular camp, supposed from its shape to be British ; and near it formerly stood a cross, called Maplin Cross, the exact site of which is marked by an inscribed stone.
The stone is marked on the 1854 O.S. map, but seemingly not on any later maps. However, a photograph dated 1931 is available on the Kirklees Image Archive which shows it to be part of a dry stone wall.
The wall in which the stone is believed to have stood was demolished during the building of the M62 motorway and the fate of the Maplin Cross is uncertain.
The approximate location shown on the 1854 O.S. map is given below:
Notes and References
- "Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/May/1867).
- The lack of O.S. markings and the existence of the 1931 photograph suggest the stone was moved and incorporated into another wall, so perhaps still survives.