Ingleborough Archaeology Group Broadwood Excavation

David S. Johnson
 JOURNAL 
 2004 
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

In September 2003 members of the Group carried out an archaeological excavation of an enclosure near Ingleton that had first been recognised as of potential importance by the Yorkshire Dales Mapping Project in 1995, and confirmed as such by geophysical surveying by two Group members Arthur Batty and Noel Crack.

For a number of years members of the Group had been keen to do more than just attend winter lectures and summer excursions. There was a strong desire to do work of a practical nature, and Broadwood seemed the obvious choice. Apart from its apparent archaeological potential, the site was easily accessible and only a five minute walk from the centre of Ingleton. Additionally, the landowner was co-operative and understanding.

An approach was made to the Local Heritage Initiative, part of the Lottery family, and with the support of the National Park Authority's senior archaeologist and Oxford Archaeology North in Lancaster, we secured a maximum grant of over 24,000. In addition, we were also pleased to receive a grant from the North Craven Heritage Trust of 1500 for post-excavation publications. The aims of the excavation were to date and categorise the site, a rectangular settlement complex with external banks and internal sunken pounds, platforms and possible building. It is one of many broadly similar sites across north-west England, and it was hoped that detailed investigation of this site might help archaeologists to interpret others.

In addition, a structure outside the enclosure recorded very high readings in the geophysical surveys, and a hypothesis was put forward that it might have been a bloomery, an early iron furnace. Beyond the enclosure, too, was a series of lynchets, cultivation terraces of possible medieval date, and field walking in a newly ploughed field adjacent to the excavation site turned up sherds of medieval pottery. Six trenches were opened up during the three weeks of the dig - key holes rather than extensive cuts, so as to minimise disturbance and to avoid prejudicing any future examination of the area - to test the various hypotheses.

Trenches 1 and 2 were cut across the external bank, which proved to be low in cross-section and constructed of earth with extensive stone revetting upon it. An outer ditch profile was established by changes in soil colour. Finds within these trenches were extensive and included fragments of a probable 17th. century Bellarmine-ware jug, two bowl-like pots, one above the other, and animal bone.

Trench 3 was intended to determine the function of an oval feature within the site. It was found to be surrounded by the footings of a strongly-built stone wall, and traces of a possible clay floor were uncovered within the structure. Key finds within this trench were half of the base of a rotary stone quern for grinding corn, two whetstones for sharpening knives, and various pottery sherds. The tentative conclusion is that this structure may have had a domestic or joint domestic-industrial function.

Trench 4 was laid across the presumed bloomery which in fact was a buried lime kiln, bowl-shaped and constructed of sandstone blocks, with a stoking hole or flue extending to the side. Apart from the high quality of its build, the most unusual feature of the kiln was its state of preservation which was due to the bowl being chock full of part burned and burned lime : the kiln had been filled, fired ... and abandoned. The date of this last firing has been set by specialist techniques to between 1650 and 1695.

Trench 5 was intended to enable interpretation of one of the mounds within the main enclosure but, owing to its complexity and to lack of time, it was shut down almost immediately.

Trench 6 was located to identify the structure and form of one of the lynchets. It was made of earth rather than having stone revetting, and various sherds of medieval pottery were unearthed from within the lynchet.

From the site as a whole, enormous quantities of artefacts were recovered, cleaned, logged and bagged. In addition to ones already mentioned, finds included pottery from the Roman period to the 19th. century, bone and burnt bone, charcoal, coal, slag and burnt stone, glass, worked and unworked chert and flint ... the assemblage far exceeded all expectations. At the time of writing this, we await results from various experts : samples were sent off to Germany for Carbon14 dating, artefacts were despatched to Durham for dating and identification, and environmental samples are being looked at in a Lancaster laboratory.

The weather, too, was extremely kind (we had one wet day in three weeks), and attendance at our Open Day was well over 250 members of the public viewing the site. The latter was most encouraging as was the continuing interest from the public, local schools and the press.

The entire project is due to be completed within 12 months and Group members are currently working on compiling a full-scale scientific report as well as a publication aimed at a more general readership. Plans are already in hand to follow up the Broadwood project with other relevant excavation and field surveying : Group members are full of enthusiasm to build on what we have so magnificently achieved.

David Johnson Chairman, Ingleborough Archaeology Group, 2001 - 2004

BellarDig.jpg
Sherds of a Bellarmine Ware jug, possibly 17thc. Ingleborough Archaeology Group.
DavidDig.jpg
A William III excise half pint tankard, 1699-1702, from the lime kiln flue. Ingleborough Archaeology Group.
PotDig.jpg
The William III excise half pint tankard in the process of being removed. Ingleborough Archaeology Group.



BellarDig.jpg
Sherds of a Bellarmine Ware jug, possibly 17thc. Ingleborough Archaeology Group.


DavidDig.jpg
A William III excise half pint tankard, 1699-1702, from the lime kiln flue.
Ingleborough Archaeology Group
.


PotDig.jpg
The William III excise half pint tankard in the process of being removed.
Ingleborough Archaeology Group.