Hark to Rover

The origins and history of placenames, nicknames, local slang, etc.
simonm
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Post by simonm »

By Kirkstall abbey, across Kirkstall road there is Morris lane and further on a pub called "Hark to Rover". Just at the top of Abbey walk is a house with a name on the top corner, also called Hark to Rover. Always wondered where this came from. I recently found out it dates back to the monks reign. One night the abbey caught fire, albeit rather small. A dog's constant barking woke a monk who shouted his alarm "Hark to Rover" In other words Listen to the dog barking. This woke the remaining monks who extinguished the fire. Hence the name!Not sure if it really is true, but a nice story which goes some way to explaining the name!
I WANT TO BE IN THE "INCROWD" :)"Those who sacrifice Liberty for security deserve neither!!"

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tyke bhoy
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Post by tyke bhoy »

There is a "Hark to Flopsy" in Normanton
living a stones throw from the Leeds MDC border at Lofthousehttp://tykebhoy.wordpress.com/

fluffysheep
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Post by fluffysheep »

Information from the virtual tour of the Abbey House at Kirkstall:One legend tells of a girl missing in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey and how the family dog barking continuously, hence “Hark to Rover” discovered her body.The original “Hark to Rover” stood adjacent to cottages in Morris Lane, Kirkstall. It was described as being built of stone taken from the Abbey. It was known as “a small secluded Inn, of bad reputation, and was used as a meeting place by highwaymen and poachers.A bit more information from Leodis:The name is derived from a local legend concerning a barmaid, Mary, who worked at the Star and Garter. She had taken a lover who was involved with a gang of highwaymen. They had waylaid and killed a victim at Kirkstall Abbey. She witnessed her lover burying the body, screaming and wailing in distress. Her dog, back in the cottage, heard her and began to bark uncessantly when he heard her scream! A poem by Robert Southey 'The Maid of the Inn' narrates the tale.

fluffysheep
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Post by fluffysheep »

The poem:Who is she, the poor Maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyesSeem a heart overcharged to express?She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs,She never complains, but her silence impliesThe composure of settled distress.No aid, no compassion the Maniac will seek,Cold and hunger awake not her care:Thro' her rags do the winds of the winter blow bleakOn her poor withered bosom half bare, and her cheekHas the deathy pale hue of despair.Yet chearful and happy, nor distant the day,Poor Mary the Maniac has been;The Traveller remembers who journeyed this wayNo damsel so lovely, no damsel so gayAs Mary the Maid of the Inn.Her chearful address fill'd the guests with delightAs she welcomed them in with a smile:Her heart was a stranger to childish affright,And Mary would walk by the Abbey at nightWhen the wind whistled down the dark aisle.She loved, and young Richard had settled the day,And she hoped to be happy for life;But Richard was idle and worthless, and theyWho knew him would pity poor Mary and sayThat she was too good for his wife.'Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was the night,And fast were the windows and door;Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright,And smoking in silence with tranquil delightThey listen'd to hear the wind roar."Tis pleasant," cried one, "seated by the fire side"To hear the wind whistle without.""A fine night for the Abbey!" his comrade replied,"Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried"Who should wander the ruins about."I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to hear"The hoarse ivy shake over my head;"And could fancy I saw, half persuaded by fear,"Some ugly old Abbot's white spirit appear,"For this wind might awaken the dead!""I'll wager a dinner," the other one cried,"That Mary would venture there now.""Then wager and lose!" with a sneer he replied,"I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side,"And faint if she saw a white cow.""Will Mary this charge on her courage allow?"His companion exclaim'd with a smile;"I shall win, for I know she will venture there now,"And earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough"From the elder that grows in the aisle."With fearless good humour did Mary comply,And her way to the Abbey she bent;The night it was dark, and the wind it was highAnd as hollowly howling it swept thro' the skyShe shiver'd with cold as she went.O'er the path so well known still proceeded the MaidWhere the Abbey rose dim on the sight,Thro' the gate-way she entered, she felt not afraidYet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their shadeSeem'd to deepen the gloom of the night.All around her was silent, save when the rude blastHowl'd dismally round the old pile;Over weed-cover'd fragments still fearless she past,And arrived in the innermost ruin at lastWhere the elder tree grew in the aisle.Well-pleas'd did she reach it, and quickly drew nearAnd hastily gather'd the bough:When the sound of a voice seem'd to rise on her ear,She paus'd, and she listen'd, all eager to hear,Aud her heart panted fearfully now.The wind blew, the hoarse ivy shook over her head,She listen'd,--nought else could she hear.The wind ceas'd, her heart sunk in her bosom with dreadFor she heard in the ruins distinctly the treadOf footsteps approaching her near.Behind a wide column half breathless with fearShe crept to conceal herself there:That instant the moon o'er a dark cloud shone clear,And she saw in the moon-light two ruffians appearAnd between them a corpse did they bear.Then Mary could feel her heart-blood curdle cold!Again the rough wind hurried by,--It blew off the hat of the one, and beholdEven close to the feet of poor Mary it roll'd,--She felt, and expected to die."Curse the hat!" he exclaims. "Nay come on and first hide"The dead body," his comrade replies.She beheld them in safety pass on by her side,She seizes the hat, fear her courage supplied,And fast thro' the Abbey she flies.She ran with wild speed, she rush'd in at the door,She gazed horribly eager around,Then her limbs could support their faint burthen no more,And exhausted and breathless she sunk on the floorUnable to utter a sound.Ere yet her pale lips could the story impart,For a moment the hat met her view;--Her eyes from that object convulsively start,For--oh God what cold horror then thrill'd thro' her heart,When the name of her Richard she knew!Where the old Abbey stands, on the common hard byHis gibbet is now to be seen.Not far from the road it engages the eye,The Traveller beholds it, and thinks with a sighOf poor Mary the Maid of the Inn. Robert Southey

simonm
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Post by simonm »

Brilliant the old stories of how names came about. I suppose the real reason will never be proven. Still, it makes for cracking reading!
I WANT TO BE IN THE "INCROWD" :)"Those who sacrifice Liberty for security deserve neither!!"

drapesy
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Post by drapesy »

tyke bhoy wrote: There is a "Hark to Flopsy" in Normanton Its the 'Hark to Mopsy' not 'Flopsy'!!!
there are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand ternary, those that don't and those that think this a joke about the binary system.

simonm
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Post by simonm »

I suppose there's not a "hark to cotton tail" as well then? lol
I WANT TO BE IN THE "INCROWD" :)"Those who sacrifice Liberty for security deserve neither!!"

farbank
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Post by farbank »

The Hark to Rover pub was one of those that were originally a row of shops. It was turned into a pub, by Northern brewery, Camerons.They also opened the one at Swinnow [Barnlea ?], at the same time.The brewery held a competition in the local evening press, to find names for the two new ventures. Using the name of the cottages close by, gave me my inspiration. And myself and another gent were the lucky winners of the Kirkstall part. We had a sumptuous evening provided by Camerons. It was at the Woodpecker Pub on York Rd.[re-built after the war.]. Drinks,eats, smokes and a bag of goodies all provided. We also received a gold card invitation to the Grand Opening. Where we were seated with the celebrity chosen to perform the ceremony. The late, great Freddie Trueman. Who was known to like a pint or three.! A great time and happy memories.

munki
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Post by munki »

So... good story farbank. But I still don't feel like I know why it is called the 'Hark to Rover'... Explain your inspiration!I have memories of a very memorable New Year's Eve there, Gothed up & dancing & getting some very funny looks from the locals. Haha.
'Are we surprised that men perish, when monuments themselves decay? For death comes even to stones and the names they bear.' - Ausonius.

drapesy
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Post by drapesy »

Fluffysheeps first message above explains it (and Farbank's inspiration).- the new pub took it's name from a much older one that was about 100 yards away. (in my opinion much better than calling it the 'corset and firkin' or somesuch 'cod' name. Thanks Farbank - the Hark to Rover doesn't have a lot going for it but at least it's got a good name!
there are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand ternary, those that don't and those that think this a joke about the binary system.

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