Wednesday, 26 May 2010

20. Wednesday 26 May 2010

Normally we start our blogs talking about the weather, but this time I’ll come to that later.
With two of our team away on holiday, and another two on an excavation elsewhere, we were a little short of people today. Our photographer Alan will be most put out to know that another solitary bogbean flower has blossomed in one of the millponds, and he has missed his chance yet again to get a good photograph for the botanical survey.

Bogbean flower © Jane Lunnon

However, I hear he is thoroughly enjoying himself this week digging with our friends, the Ingleborough Archaeology Group, at their Mesolithic site at Kingsdale. (For more information about this exciting site see their website at; )

Vera was helping David with the alidade today over by the sheepwash and Moor Beck area, hoping to finish it off. Heather turned up to conduct her botanical survey – She wandered around inspecting the plantlife and we look forward to her report on the latest checklist of species.

Ruth and I also had high hopes of “tidying up” a few loose ends and completing the survey with just the final bits on the moorside to do in the winter (when the vegetation dies down), and the parts of the mill site which are currently underwater (which will hopefully be uncovered if the water levels go down this summer).

But of course, it didn’t work out that way – we didn’t get any base-line surveying done; we didn’t even get as far as putting the drawing board set up on the tripod. But, despite that, it certainly wasn’t a wasted day. Chris, from the project’s Documentary Research Group, came up to visit the site and discuss his findings with us. Looking closely at various old maps and plans, and combining his engineer’s approach with Ruth’s archaeological eye, we were able to walk carefully over the mill site looking closely at some of the surviving features, and coming up with new questions and observations. Luckily, the water levels have receded since last week, revealing a little more of the reservoir foreshore, so we were able to tie the maps up a little better than before with some of the features.

Ruth and Chris checking the site against old maps © Jane Lunnon

We even found some built walls where we had previously thought only rubble lay under the grass, and by inspecting some changes in wall structures were able to clarify some issues over the relative positions of two different building phases.

After Chris went home to revise his interim report on the site, Ruth and Jane had planned to start surveying in the afternoon. But as we settled down to lunch the skies became very gloomy and grey (here’s the obligatory weather report), and raindrops started to fall. So much for the heatwave we’ve been enjoying for the last few days. The breeze started up, bringing a chilly penetrating dampness straight across the water. We eventually agreed that by the time we’d set up our base tapes it would be time to pack up, and so took the decision to call it a day, as the rain threatened to set in for the afternoon.

Never mind, we can get back to it next week.

Jane Lunnon, UWHG Archivist

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