The Hidden Valleys Community Project (HVCP), supported by Middlesbrough Council’s Museums Service, has launched the first of its many tasks to unlock the archaeological and historical secrets of some North York Moors communities.
Launched at Kildale Village Hall in March 2017, the Project, headed by founder and well-known amateur archaeologist Roger Inman, has started its work on archaeological field and post-excavation work on sites in Kildale, Westerdale, Baysdale and Lonsdale.
Inspired by a large collection of material excavated in the 1960s and 70s from the Kildale Manor House site, now housed in Middlesbrough’s Dorman Museum, Roger invited medieval pottery specialist Anne Jenner of the York Archaeological Trust to help analyse the fifty boxes (approx. 6,000 fragments) of medieval pottery.
This work will continue, starting this month with the first of a number of community workshops led by Anne at Kildale Village Hall which will give members of the public basic guidelines on how to help sort this material. Sessions are free and will be 10am-4pm, Tuesdays,
October 10 Analysis, dating and recording pottery
November 21 Re-assembling pots from sherds
December 12 Drawing pottery
January 16 Archaeological report writing
Anyone interested should contact Anne Jenner on 01904 663023
The HVCP displayed some of this material from the Dorman Museum collection at a promotional stall at the Kildale Show on Saturday, September 2 and attracted much attention and new members from interested visitors to the Show. Anyone wishing to join should contact Roger Inman on 01642 633402 or Phil Philo on 07585 905623 for information.
Work has also started on the HVCP’s first field project – the excavation of what is believed to be a possible medieval castle motte (a large defensive mound which was often developed into supporting either a wooden building or later a stone castle keep) at Easby.
This commanding site is set in a beautiful landscape in the shadow of Captain Cook’s Monument and anyone interested in excavating (usually 10.30am-4pm, Wednesdays and Sundays, no experience required) can contact Roger and Phil. All welcome (contact details required, along with £1 payment for membership insurance cover).
HVCP are also organising a number of related visits out to prehistoric, Roman and medieval sites, including:
Sunday, October 8 Middleham Castle, Stanwick Iron Age settlement and Piercebridge Roman bridge, fort and settlement.
Sunday, April 1 Pickering Castle and Cawthorne Roman Camps, Pickering.
Again, if interested please contact Roger 01642 633402.
The HVCP is grateful to local landowners, farmers and individuals for their help and cooperation with this project and to North York Moors National Park and PLACE.uk.com (People, Landscape and Cultural Environment of Yorkshire) for funding support.
For further information, see the Hidden Valleys Community Project Facebook page for updates.