The latest journal from the Medieval Settlement Research Group landed through post boxes in early November. In this volume – No 34 for 2019, there are a number of articles of interest to those studying deserted medieval settlements (as well as non-deserted settlement as well!). Here we look at some of those highlights…..
Green, M. & Frodsham, P. 2019. Well Head deserted medieval hamlet, Teesdale: survey and excavations in 2017 and 2018. Medieval Settlement Research 34: 83-87.
Martin Green and Paul Frodsham report on the recent survey and excavation of a deserted hamlet on Teeside. Here the work of the community group Altogether Archaeology looked at one particular hamlet, in a line of such settlements that lie in the valley floor at Holwick, Upper Teesdale. This hamlet of Well Head first appears on maps in c. 1800. Work at the site first of all combined theodolite and GPS survey with LiDAR. This survey revealed at least 10 structures. Three structures have since been excavated, two examples of long houses, and a possible workshop. The stone foundations of the houses were made of local stone, and had evidence of animal pens in the downhill section of the house. There are post pads in at least one of the buildings suggesting a cruck-framed building. Deposits under the flagstone floor of one of the buildings included pottery from around 1200. There was also evidence of a later insertion of a cross wall and fire place – occurring sometime after c. AD 1620 with the discovery of a clay pipe under the newly laid floor. The team have discussed parallels for the settlement layout and structure – highlighting many similarities with Hound Tor, Devon. This is a very clear example of a deserted settlement that adds to our wider understanding of types of settlements outside the Central Province.
Dyer, C. 2019. R.F. Hartley’s survey work in Leicestershire, 1979-2018. Medieval Settlement Research 34: 88-89.
Here Chris Dyer reviews the work of Fred Harvey at surveying and recording earthworks sites across the county in honour of the publication of the final volume of surveys. These are vital viewing for anyone studying the settlement of Leicestershire – and you can find more here: Leicestershire Fieldworkers.
The next post will be a quick review of volumes 31-33 as I suddenly released I had got a tad behind!