Saturday, 24 July 2010

26. Wednesday 21 July 2010

We have been absent from Whitfield for a few weeks because we have been involved in the excavations of the Romano-British site at Chapel House Wood near Grassington (see our blog for the dig at:, an annual summer dig for many of us.

Three UWHG members returned to Whitfield today, having recovered from the aches and pains of digging, to monitor the water levels at Embsay Reservoir. We found even more of the foreshore exposed, revealing a little more of the stone foundations of the mill buildings and old field walls.

Low water levels at the reservoir reveal more of the mill site © Jane Lunnon

Alan spent much of the day taking the opportunity to take technical photographs of these rarely revealed features, while Ruth checked over some details of our gazetteer of features and drawings, to assess how much more work we need to do here. She also measured and drew in the features newly exposed on the edges of the reservoir.

Alan photographing mill site features uncovered by lowered water levels

© Jane Lunnon

Jane focused on the botanical survey, and started the July checklist of flowering plants around the site, with the invaluable aid of Heather Burrow.

We were very saddened to see that one of our favourite parts of the mill site has been unexpectedly robbed out and covered with gravel. At the eastern end of the long boardwalk footbridge, where the footpath reaches the mill site, there was formerly the clear foundation of a short but interesting section of a double skinned field wall – solidly built, it was one of the few remains still evident of the old field boundaries which once divided Embsay Pasture, and could be seen on the 1847 tithe map. It is now inexplicably gone, the large stones shoved to one side, as a sad remnant of Embsay’s history.

Jane Lunnon

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