Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Sunday, 8 August 2010
In clearing away the mud, we hoped to find the point at which Cudworth had found the main flue branching off into two secondary flues, but there was no sign of that second flue. Instead, we found the clear line of one stone-lined flue running from under the hearth at the southern end, up to the back of the structure at the northern end. Here, we found further signs of burning in the reddened rocks. In several places inside the flue we also found significant amounts of charcoal and a few tiny pieces of coal.
After Jane took a photoshoot of the finished excavation, Ruth attempted to take some GPS readings with Bob the total station. But he refused to play today, and it was decided to try again tomorrow, after a consultation with Roger.
So we packed up and congratulated ourselves on having enjoyed a really good dig – pleasant company, a successful outcome - despite the misgivings about interpretation of the structure – and good luck with the weather. We have also appreciated the interest shown every day by passers-by, and in particular, by local residents. Again, many thanks to Hartlington Hall for giving us some parking space, and to Hartlington Fencing Supplies for the use of their essential facilities!
Friday, 6 August 2010
Alison and Jennifer started at the northern end, while Peter and Alan began digging in the centre. Pauline was kept busy with the various finds and David with the numerous interested visitors. As has been mentioned before, the road between Burnsall and Appletreewick is a very popular route for walkers and cyclists, not to mention passing cars, which regularly slowed down to have a better view. Excavation certainly promotes a lot of interest!
The team discuss the site © Jane Lunnon
Having finished the planning, Jane and Ruth joined the flue cleaning team at the southern (lower) end, hoping to find the exit, and eventually proving that it was exactly as described by Cudworth.
The mud again caused great hilarity, especially as Alan slowly sank nearly up to top of his wellies as he stood to take the photographs!
Stick in the mud! © Jane Lunnon
The general thought is that it must have been a communal bread oven – these used to be situated near to the mediaeval manor house, which in Hartlington is just across the road from the site. It is known that there was a communal oven in the ancient Parish of Burnsall, but nobody knew just where.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Passers-by, including local residents, tourists, cyclists and ramblers, proved very curious – we lost count of how many times we were asked: “Found anything interesting?” and “What have you found?” It’s gratifying that so many people show an interest.
At the moment, however, we are still somewhat puzzled. Since we now know a corn drying kiln lies just a few yards away behind the trees, we are increasingly doubtful that this site is also a corn drying kiln. Besides, the more we look at this structure, the less likely does it seem to be a corn drying kiln. The relative position of the flues to the fire hearth, and the use of massive stone slabs across the floor, just don’t make sense. The currently favoured theory is this could be a communal bread oven, maybe, perhaps.
Jane Lunnon, UWHG Archivist
I have only ever done two digs, this being my second and the first being at Chapel House Woods. What the future has in store for me I do not know, but
as to the past, all we seem to have found of it, is mud and oddly placed stones.(more to the point-What is it?)
Hartlington is a completely different site to Chapel House Woods, (as I was forewarned)
It is smaller, public and much more localised. But still, does anyone know what it is yet?
Apart from the need for good, strong wellies the weather stayed fairly fine and a lot of passer-by’s were genuinely interested in the site. Although what the seven of us could tell them, was perhaps not what they expected.
Digging here is more like gardening and the daffodil bulbs certainly proved that.
The site now has several explanations, some more realistic than others, (Bread oven, water feature, barbeque pit…)Never mind what it is, I think that we are all enjoying ourselves and that’s what counts
Monday, 2 August 2010
The feature is described on the HER as a ‘medieval corn parching kiln’ 3.7m by 2.7m with visible foundation stones and in fragmentary condition.
The parish council and the YDNPA agreed that it should be investigated again to see if its structural integrity is still intact, and to see if its original purpose can be ascertained.
The site before excavation begins
Under the direction of Dr David Johnson, three members of UWHG turned up this morning to deturf and get this excavation under way. We were briefly joined by Dr Roger Martlew who set up the GPS fixed reference points for the site using the total station.
After a hard morning's work we had cleared away the top soil and revealed the stone work of the kiln.
Getting very muddy underfoot! wellies are essential.
We are very grateful to local residents for car parking and toilet facilities. Very welcome indeed!
Jane Lunnon, UWHG