• JM Gray

riders on the storm.

Updated: Nov 25, 2021

The Battle of Bramham Moor took place on 19 February 1408. Having fallen out of the Kings favour, Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, formed a rebellion against Henry IV. His aim was simple - to seize the throne.

After six years of warmongering, Percy’s army arrived at Bramham Moor where they were met by a force of Yorkshire nobles, led by Sir Thomas Rokeby, High Sheriff of Yorkshire.

Little is known about the actual battle, but it is estimated that the numbers involved were in the hundreds rather than thousands. During the battle, Percy was slain, so too were the majority of his men. A number did try to escape on horseback, only to be charged down and executed in the nearby woods by the Yorkshire force. Remains found at the site confirm this.

The land where the battle took place now forms part of the Bramham Park estate, which has been owned by the Lane-Fox family for over three centuries.

On many occasions, thundering hooves have been heard passing through the estate woods, but the phantom riders have never been seen. The sound is said to be from the ghostly Northumbrian troops attempting in vain to flee the battle.

Most notably, during the mid-1920s Colonel Lane-Fox was walking through the estate when he heard the unearthly riders. Thinking it was the sound of the Bramham Hunt, he opened the gate for them to pass through, but neither man, horse nor hound arrived. In his account, he insisted that the sound of the riders passed not twenty yards from him.

I visit Bramham Park frequently and can safely say that I have witnessed some truly ungodly sights – mainly during the Leeds Festival, which is held on the estate each August Bank Holiday.

The picture shows Bramham Park Observatory. I took the photograph standing with my back against the fringe of the woods in question.

Image by Spectral Isle.

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