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YORKSHIRE ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL

Volume 66 (1994)
CONTENTS


 

Earlier Mesolithic Sites At Nab Water, Oxenhope Moor, West Yorkshire by J.A. Gilks

Nab Water is a small stream which flows along the eastern edge of Oxenhope Moor, north-west of Halifax, West Yorkshire. At its source the rocks, here Rough Rock, are capped with a thin layer of yellowish-brown to grey clay, possibly boulder clay, which supports an acid hill peat, derived mainly from Sphagnum moss and tufted cotton-grass (Eriophornum vaginatum). The sites describedin this paper were located on the crest of a short spur at the head of the stream below the Nab Hill escarpment, which lies to the east, and were bounded on the north, east and west by tributary streams of the Nab Water and areas of peat bog and marsh. The spur is covered with peat which, in places, has been eroded away, thus exposing the underlying clay. The present flora is dominated by common cotton-grass (Eriophornum Augustifolium) and tufted cotton-grass (E. Vaginatum).

 

The Excavation Of Two Bronze Ace Round Barrows On Irton Moor, Yorks. 1973 by D. Coombs

This article describes two barrows on Irton Moor, North Yorkshire, that were excavated in advance of agricultural activity. Both of the barrows had been partially excavated previously. Barrow IV was an oval shaped cairn with two kerb circles. There were two graves, one a cist, both of which had originally contained food vessels and cremations. Flints and sherds were found during the excavation.

Barrow V had a central turf stack mound and a triple kerb. The central grave had been robbed. A quantity of sherds oand flints were found during the excavation.

 

Further Saxon Finds From The Yorkshire Wolds by D. Haldenby

Discoveries on this important Anglian site are still being made as, unlike excavation, metal detecting tends to be a continuous process. Only new or important finds are described here in detail with forms already encountered, particularly the simple pins and knives, receiving only passing attention. No further deductions based on find distribution are to be offered and nearly all further finds fall within the two main concentrations already mentioned in previous articles. Of the finds described here, strap ends, pins, the ring, gold beads (described as a rolled gold sheet) and one of the clothes fasteners were briefly mentioned in the author’s article in YAJ 1992.

 

Cottam Evaluation by J. Richards

During 1993 an archaeological evaluation was conducted at the Anglian site at Cottam, North Humberside, under the auspices of the York Environs Project, Department of Archaeology, York University. The purpose of this note is to provide an interim summary of the excavations directed by Dr J D Richards and B E Vyner, in advance of the main publication which will appear in a later volume of the YAJ.

The site at Cottam provides an opportunity to fill some of the gaps in our knowledge of activity in York’s hinterland during the eighth and ninth centuries. From the surface finds it is apparent that it belongs to a new category of site in Humberside and Yorkshire producing rich Middle Saxon and Viking Age metalwork, which has not so far been excavated. The aim of the evaluation, therefore, was firstly, to establish the extent and survival of archaeological deposits; secondly, to identify the sequence of activity; thirdly, to establish the relationship of the metalwork and the crop-marks; and lastly, to determine the nature of the eighth and ninth-century activity.

 

Romanesque Doorways Of Yorkshire, With Special Reference To That At St. Mary's Church, Riccall by R. Wood

Yorkshire parish churches have an unequalled series of twelfth-century doorways that have been neglected by researchers. This paper attempts to rectify this omission. Close examination of some thirty doorways with figurative sculpture provides evidence of the organisation of their making, which roughly speaking changed from direction by religious designers in the first half of the century to composition by freelance travelling craftsmen in the 1160s. The subjects shown are basically those met with in French Romanesque sculpture, with local additions.

 

The Boundary Of Burton-In-Lonsdale Chase by M. Higham

At an Inquest held at Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, in 1307, two of the King’s Commissioners sat with a jury of twelve men, six of whom appear from their surnames to be local to the Burton-in-Lonsdale area, to consider ‘by what metes and bounds’ the ancestor of Sir John de Moubray held the free chases of Burton-in-Lonsdale and Nidderdale. The Burton bounds are set out first and follow a predictable pattern. The boundary points are taken in a clockwise sequence, beginning (and ending) at the caput of Burton-in-Lonsdale, with the linear distance covered by the boundary in excess of 100km. Because of the length of the boundary, it cannot be said that the most arduous section is done first, as often happens with township boundary perambulations, as any ‘beating of the bounds’ of Burton Chase would have taken considerably longer than one day.

 

Excavations At Sherburn, East Yorkshire by T.C.M. Brewster & C. Hayfield

Tony Brewster excavated a number of medieval sites in East Yorkshire during his career, but unfortunately, at the time of his death in 1984, several remained unpublished. Amongst these sites was Sherburn in the Vale of Pickering where he had undertaken four summer seasons of excavations in 1958/9 and 1968/9 on what appears to be a large medieval building complex which he termed ‘Sherburn Manor’. The present writer was commissioned by English Heritage to produce a report on the site.

 

Thomas Surbey's 1699 Survey Of The Rivers Ouse And Humber by P. Hughes

The Humber estuary was first developed during Roman times. Cutting the Fossdyke is attributed to this period and similarly the Don’s northern outflow into the Aire may be also. River development stepped ahead with both imbanking and conservancy during the middle ages. The creation of the pound lock at that time is considered of equal importance as the harnessing of steam to the industrial revolution. By the seventeenth century Yorkshire’s woollen manufacturers had become in need of better access to its markets. Increasingly, schemes were put forward for the growing towns high up the Trent, afoot the Peak district and below the Yorkshire Dales to improve and enhance their cheapest route ― water. The author considers Thomas Surbey’s contribution to these schemes.

 

The Account Book Of The York Company Of Silkweavers, 1611-1700 by S.D. Hogarth & C.C. Webb

The York Company of Silkweavers was established in 1611 and functioned until about 1735 when the last record of their officers (searchers) was entered in the York City Chamberlain’s Account Book. The silkweavers were a:

“. . . trade of weaving of golde or golde plate silver or silver plate silk crules or threde or anie other thinge ther unto belonging . . . “.

The trade manufactured gold, silver and silk lace, ribbons, braids, including French galloon, and fringes. All these trimmings were for use on costume; other trades produced similar goods for upholstery and saddlery. The craft has a long tradition with much of the work in London being produced by silkwomen in the mediaeval period and into the seventeenth century. There are also a few records of silkwomen trading in York in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The trade was carried on in York until about 1860-70 even though the Company had ceased to function much earlier. The article examines the history of York’s silk trade.

 

The Corporation Of Doncaster - A Self-Elected Body? By G. Owen

In his ‘Historical Notices of Doncaster’, C. W. Hatfield described the election of a member of the Corporation in February 1803. Hatfield condemned the candidates in this closely contested election for offering bribes and the voters for accepting them.

Although Hatfield alleged that the candidate who offered the biggest bribes was likely to gain most votes, another, quite different criticism of these municipal elections was made in the 1830s. This was that members of the Corporation so manipulated the elections that as a rule, their own preferred candidates were elected; in other words, that there were no genuine contests. These critics did not deny that candidates spent freely, but they maintained that the results of elections were determined by the Corporation and not by bribery.

Though the corporations of English boroughs varied enormously at this time, S and B Webb found that in a majority of boroughs the governing body comprised a mayor, a body of aldermen and a larger body still of common councilmen (under a variety of names). Aldermen usually filled vacancies arising among themselves by co-option from the common councilmen, and in more than three-quarters of the country’s boroughs vacancies arising among common councilmen were also filled by co-option and not by any form of popular election. ‘The great majority of Corporations were governed each by a Close Body which . . . filled vacancies in its own ranks by simple co-option. When new common councilmen were appointed in this way the practice was known as ‘self-election’.The author examines the Corporation of Doncaster in this context.

 

A Mesolithic Tranchet Axe . . .

In the course of field-work related on an ongoing study of Mesolithic exploitation of the Yorkshire Wolds, the writer was, in March 1992, fortunate enough to recover a tranchet axe of Mesolithic aspect from the surface of the north-eastern corner of Sands Wood Field, on Carnaby Top about 4 kilometres west of Bridlington. Mesolithic tranchet axes ― the term is here used without prejudice to the possible function of many of these artefacts as adzes ― have only infrequently been reported from the chalk-land of the Yorkshire Wolds (fewer than twenty are listed by Wymer and Bonsall 1977) and the present specimen is of particular interest in that the find spot is close to the ancient carr of Willow Garth in the Great Wold Valley. On the basis of the pollen record from Willow Garth, which shows a sudden and dramatic decline in Pinus pollen at about 8800 Before Present (BP) with regeneration of the local woodland not occurring until c.8000 BP, Bush and Ellis (1987) have suggested that there may have been an Early Mesolithic encampment in the vicinity, probably on the sand deposits of the valley side footslope. Convincing artefactual evidence for Mesolithic settlement in the immediate vicinity of Willow Garth has, however, hitherto been lacking.

 

Recent Discoveries In Some Yorkshire Houses by J.S. Miller

In the course of the process of renovation which most historic buildings require from time to time it is often possible to discover a good deal more about the evolution of the structure than is possible during any normal investigation. Certainly this has proved to be the case in a number of important houses with which the author has been involved and these are examined in this paper.

 

The Fountains Abbey Hoard Of Civil War Silver by C. Barclay

The discovery of a coin-hoard of the period of the English Civil War at Fountains Abbey, near Ripon in North Yorkshire, was recently brought to the attention of the numismatic community by Edward Besly. Further research and the fortuitous discovery of some of the coins comprising the find have since thrown further light on the hoard, the circumstances of its discovery, and its subsequent fate are examined here.

 

Was Amy Johnson A Feminist? By A.D. George

In the course of a review of Amy Johnson’s biography, A. J. Robertson claims that her fame rested on her feminism (or femininity?) rather than in the intrinsic interest of what she did. ‘Only the fact that she was a woman made her newsworthy’, he claims. On the other hand, it would be wrong to regard her as a ‘flying feminist’. The book illuminates her character and motivation but there is some doubt as to whether it supports all the above assertions.

The dictionary definition of a feminist is ‘one who supports or campaigns for women’s rights or one who wishes to assert the achievements of women’. In the former sense there is no doubt that Amy waged a one-woman campaign for women to have equality of opportunity in aviation, although she was only partly successful. She was not, however, interested much in the achievements of women outside aviation but participated in a sisterhood within that field and within engineering generally. In support of her feminism, there is also her education, her friendship with Winifred Irving, her acquisition of pilot’s and mechanic’s licences. Against is the reliance on her father’s income (although she repaid him in full for his financial assistance after her return from Australia) and possibly her love affair. In the author’s view, the whole flying adventure was a reaction against the break-up of this relationship, so that by her subsequent actions and by conviction she adopted a feminist stance, but found that the barrier to her ambitions, beyond that of flyer, remained impregnable.

Aerial Archaeology In Yorkshire: Recent Work By RCHME by P.D.Horne

The Humber Wetlands Survey

Society's Silver Medal

Gerald Hinchliffe, MA, MBE (1900-1993) [obituary]

Derrick Riley (1915-1993) [obituary]

Pauline Elizabeth Sheppard Routh (1925-1993) [obituary]

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