The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - Cumberworth Half, in Kirkburton

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The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) by Henry James Morehouse


The district known as Cumberworth, in the Norman survey, comprises two townships, now called Cumberworth, and Cumberworth Half : the former within the wapentake of Staincross, and honour of Pontefract, and in the parishes of Silkstone and High Hoyland. The latter in the wapentake of Agbrigg, and in the Manor of Wakefield, is described in the Domesday survey as “one carucate.”

Cumberworth Half is in two divisions : high and low. The former in the parish of Kirkburton; the latter in the parish of Emley. That portion within the parish of Kirkburton seems to have been granted off at a very early period, to the “de Shepleys.”[1] A Matthew de Shepley, in the latter years of King John, or early in the reign of Henry III., granted these lands for the good of his own soul, and that of his ancestors and successors, to the Monks of Roche Abbey, who held the same till the dissolution of the monasteries, when they were granted off by King Henry VIII.

In the 16 Elizabeth, [1574,] a parcel of these lands called “Birkhouse,” was in the possession of Robert Denton, of Tadcaster, yeoman, who in that year sold the same to Thomas Bylborough, of Wetherby (in the county of York), yeoman, together with “all deeds, charters, evidences, letters patents, escripts, and writings,” — “as do concerne the said premisses.”

Cumberworth and Cumberworth Half possessed, jointly, rights of common. It is, therefore, estremely difficult to define the boundary line of the wapentakes, or of the parishes to which these lands respectively belonged. In regard to the rectorial tithe of this part of the parish of Kirkburton, we were led to infer[2] that as no modus or annual payment was made when the rest of the parish purchased the modus of the trustees of Sheffield Hospital, these lands had been exonerated. This is a mistake ; when the common lands were enclosed in 1800, an allotment was set out in lieu of the modus, to Sheffield Hospital.

The amount of the ancient enclosed and Common Lands within this division is 476 acres.


  1. See previous chapter.
  2. See Rectory, page 57.

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