Visit to Fountains Abbey
Visit to Middleham Castle
This is a picture of Stevie Blair dressed as King Richard III at Middleham castle and stood next to King Richards statue. We had a wonderful day with bright sunshine and set up an outdoor classroom with camping chairs and rugs. We were able to picture the life which King Richard would have had as a young man in training by enacting a sword fight and later where he lived with Anne Neville and his son by exploring the castle.
The group were very excited about participating in a real archaeological dig.On the journey to the site the learners studied the geophysical survey results, and this was our first topic of conversation when we arrived at the site. The survey results indicated a large building, with a visibale entrance was present on the site. We mapped out the extent of the building using group members.2 evaluation trecnhes had been opened, and we were first asked to help extend one of them: the one that had been placed over the possible entrance. Many finds were popping up out of the top soil: including pottery, glass and metal working debris. Digging at red House had definitely given the learners the eye (and enthusiasm) for discovery!
When 12.30 came we were ready for our lunch!
After lunch the learners had a lesson in trowelling, this helped reinforce what they had practised at Red House. They then trowelled happily for the rest of the day.
We were very grateful to Roger Martlew from The Yorkshire Dales Landscape Research Trust, for allowing us access to his site, and for a wonderful day. All the group agreed they would like to return next year and do some more.
26th July & 2nd Aug
In preparation for our visit to Grassington to participate in an Archaeological excavation, we thought we would hone our skills and practice within the grounds of Ripon Community Link.
The Link is set in the coach-house of Red House, a Barnardo’s home, which opened in June 1946.
The house and the grounds are extensive, and provided an excellent opportunity to practice test-pitting and building recording.
The group was divided into 3 separate smaller groups for the two days, and each group had a try at each activity.
We opened a small 1m x 1m test-pit in front of Red House.
We only managed to reach a depth of around 30 cm’s over the two days, but found plenty of portable artefacts, that gave us hints about the residents at Red House.
These objects included pottery sherds, fragments of glass, a children’s toy, buttons and beads.
We also used a metal detector to screen the grounds and located our finds on a map.
This proved more fruitful, and some of the finds were very intriguing.
We found a bullet casing, a corroded pen-knife and a padlock and 4m long chain.
We also undertook a mini survey of the interior and exterior of Red House itself.
This included counting the windows, measuring features and making sketches.
The now abandoned house with its many rooms, was rather eerie.
Many of the learners had views on what the future of Red House should be – many agreed attempts should be made to save and renovate the property, as opposed to knocking it down.
All finds and records made will be given to Barnardo’s as agreed.
(From the students and tutor)