‘Sheep map’ on display today

Today only: among some of the gems from the YAHS collection being exhibited in the Treasures gallery today, is the ‘sheep map’. Here are Becky and Rhiannon of Brotherton Special Collections in a state of excitement over the map – and who wouldn’t be.

It’s called the sheep map because of the vellum, and it’s on show for the medievalists currently at IMC in Leeds because (even though not medieval) it’s so spectacular. Our past president and former society archivist Sylvia Thomas told us about it:

YAS DD174, a map of Silsden and Brunthwaite near Keighley, was originally part of the papers from the Cliffords of Skipton Castle.  It dates from around 1612, and was drawn up in connection with a dispute over a coal pit.  There are various coal pits shown, and one is marked ‘This is the Coal pit in question’.  The whole thing was obviously rolled up and sent to a lawyer, I think  in London, at one time, as there is an address and a blob of sealing wax on the back.  Buildings, river, hills etc are shown, and named. ( I always thought the hills looked a bit like doughnuts).  It is possible to align the details with the ordnance survey map, bearing in mind that it isn’t aligned North-South, so you have to turn it sideways.