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The Ancient Parish of ADEL

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"ADEL, a parish-town, in the upper-division of Skyrack; 4 miles from Harewood, 5 from Leeds, 7 from Otley, 24 from York. Pop. including Eccup, 609, which being united, form a township. The Church is a rectory, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, in the deanry of the Ainsty, value, 16. 3s. 4d. Patron, W.G. Davy, Esq. in right of his wife.

Adel or Addle, or "the Adhill of the 'Liber Regis', which probably gives the true etymology of the word, the Hill of Ada, the first Saxon colonist of the place," and supposed to be the 'Bargo-dunum' of the Romans; and from the great number of antiquities discovered here at different times, such as fragments of urns and other Roman vessels, monuments, pillars, aqueducts, inscriptions, &c. we may conclude it to have been a station of considerable importance. This station appears to have been about half a mile north of the church, for particulars of which, we must refer the reader to Thoresby and Whittaker. The Church of Adel, built not long before 1100, is one of the most perfect and beautiful specimens of Norman architecture in the county particularly when we consider its exposed situation. The rich and highly adorned entrance of the south side, appears to have been freed, at the request of Dr. Whittaker, by the present rector, the Rev. George Lewthwaite, in whose possession are many antquities found in the neighbouring station, mentioned before. An engraving of the south entrance, and another of the beautiful enriched arch entering the choir, are given in Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete, as well as the Norman capitals, and two Roman altars."

Information on the following places in this Parish is contained on a supplementary page.

  • Arthington
  • Arthington Nunnery
  • Cookridge
  • East Brearey
  • Eccup
  • Kershall
  • Kirskill
  • Moseley Wood
  • West Brearey

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson 2007]

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