Broadwood Project 2003-2004

The excavation of the site took place over the planned three-week period in September 2003 in conjunction with Oxford Archaeology North that provided us with two field archaeologists for the duration.

Fine weather on all but one day enabled the project to proceed without interruption or disruption and, as has generally and widely been acknowledged, the whole experience exceeded all expectations.

Six trenches were opened, four within the main enclosure and two without.

Trenches 1 and 2  were cut across the southern external bank of the enclosure, back to back to extend from the outer edge of the surrounding ditch to the interior of the enclosure.  The bank proved to be low in cross-section, constructed of earth with extensive stone revetting upon it.  The ditch profile was established by soil colour changes and it proved to be both narrow and shallow.  No visible evidence of either a live or a dead hedge on top of the bank was proved.  Finds within these trenches were extensive and included fragments of a Bellarmine ware jug, including the full face; two bowl like pots, one inside the other and carefully place on the inside of the bank; animal bone fragments; and a range of other artefacts and pottery sherds.

Trench 3 was intended to determine the function of the oval (or sub-oval) feature within the enclosure.  This trench was cut across the north bank of the oval, extending well within its bounds.  The bank was found to consist of the footings of a strongly built stone wall and traces of a possible clay floor/sump were uncovered within the structure.

Key finds in this trench were half of the base of a stone rotary quern, two whetstones and various pottery sherds.  The conclusion so far is that this structure may have had a domestic or joint domestic & workshop function.

Trench 4 was laid across the presumed bloomery, extending from its centre northwards, giving a segment of 25% of the feature.  This was doubled in size once its significance had been realised.  It proved to be not an iron working site but a buried lime kiln 80cm deep and 2m in diameter, bowl shaped and constructed of quarried sandstone blocks.  A stoking hole or flue extended to the east from the base of the bowl.  Apart from the high quality of the stone work, given its vernacular origins, the most notable characteristic of the kiln was it being completely full of burnt and partially burnt limestone stones.  The kiln had been filled, fired and abandoned, never to be emptied.

Within the ash scrape outside the stoking hole a piece of medieval pottery was unearthed, as yet undated; within the filled-in stoking hole passage a virtually complete but cracked, official excise measure tankard of William III's reign (1699-1702) was recovered.  The kiln has been dated by archaeomagnetic techniques to the period 1650-1695 which fits in with the artefactual evidence.

The kiln is considered to be of major significance as a complete example of a 17th century kiln.

Trench 5 was intended to enable interpretation of one of the mounds within the north end of the main enclosure.  When stripped of turf and soil, it proved to be a massive spread of rubble with a possible linear stone feature cutting across it diagonally.  Owing to its complexity, this trench was shut down and not investigated further.

Trench 6 was located across a lynchet to the north of the enclosure, to identify the structure and form a typical lynchet.  It was found to be composed of earth rather than having stone revetting and various sherds of medieval pottery were found within the trench.

From the site as a whole an enormous quantity of artefacts were recovered, cleaned, logged and bagged.  In addition to those listed above, they included pottery from the Romano-British period to the 19th century; bone and burnt bone; charcoal, coal, slag and burnt stone; glass; worked and un-worked chert and flint.  The total assemblage far exceeded all expectations.

The LHI grant enabled the excavation to be self-sufficient in materials, from a marquee to excavation tools and equipment, to processing and drawing materials and post excavation necessities.  The Group was also able to purchase a total station, (second-hand) plus the software to download data onto the computer, and an automatic level.

Post Excavation
Work took place in the following areas:

   1. Liaison with Ingleton Primary School and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Young Archaeologist's programme for follow-up work resulting from the school's visit to the dig.
    2. Continuing archival research.

    3. Sieving of material dug from the trenches.

    4. Surveying of the site beyond the main enclosure.

    5. Labelling and identification of pottery and other artefacts.

    6. Digitising all context and section drawings

    7. Analysis of the large body of data resulting from the excavation

    8. Entering all the site records on a Database.

All findings were disseminated in an official report, a more popularly accessible booklet (see IAG publications list)  and in school material.

David Johnson


October 2003

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