The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland


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The Pre-History Of Catlow, Near Nelson, Lancashire

Looking down Southfield Lane to the hamlet of Catlow.

The hamlet of Catlow, near Nelson, Lancashire.

OS Grid Reference: SD 885 368. The hamlet of Catlow lies 1 mile to the east of Nelson town-centre in Pendle, Lancashire. It is a place of historical importance locally but, further back into pre-history, it became archaeologically more important for its Middle Bronze-Age burial sites, which were very sadly destroyed in the mid 19th century. However, if you would care to look more closely from an aerial perspective down onto the hamlet of Catlow, you might just about make out a few “possible” circular features, which could be ploughed-out barrows (tumuli), or could they be just filled-in quarry holes? Back in 1854 quarry-workers at Catlow dug-up two or three pottery urns containing cremations, but on closer examination the urns (or food vessels) fell to pieces, and with time “were lost”. Thankfully these artefacts were recorded. To reach Catlow: from Nelson centre, go past the bus station on railway street, then turn left onto Netherfield Road and then all the way up Barkerhouse Road, passing the Golf Course on the left. At the very top turn right onto Southfield Lane, with the Shooters Inn on the left. Continue down the slope on this lane until you reach a junction of four lanes – this is the hamlet of Catlow and, a bit further down the sunken lane, is Catlow Bottoms! 

The meaning of the place-name Catlow with its two combined words “Cat” and “Low” is probably ‘battle site beside a place of burial’. “Catt” or “Catu” being the Celtic/British word for battle, which in the Welsh form is “Cadd”, while Low or Lowe is a Saxon or Early English name for a burial mound or tumulus. However, some recent historians think “Cat” might refer to feral cats, and so Catlow could have also meant there were cats living by or near a burial mound! Bennett (1957), says with regard to the local place-name of Catlow: (Cattehow 1311) seems to be ‘”wild cat hill”‘ though a later spelling Cattelow suggests ‘”cattle hill”‘.

W. Bennett (1957), says of the Bronze Age period that: “After a period of approximately 400 years, a fresh arrival of settlers initiated another period about 2,000 B.C., known as the Bronze Age, since the newcomers had a knowledge of that metal. It must be remembered, however, that the new metal was very scarce for many centuries and that flint continued to be used for arrow heads, dart points and scrapers right through the whole of the Bronze Age , which lasted until about 500 B.C.

“The people of the early Bronze Age are known as Beaker Folk, so-called from the beaker-shaped pottery vessel which they buried with their dead. They occupied Yorkshire but apparently did not penetrate very far over the boundary into Lancashire, so that the only flint daggers associated with this period that have ever been found in this county were discovered near Hurstwood. These flint daggers may be seen in the Towneley Museum together with tanged and barbed arrow heads, hammer heads, and other flint implements found in the distrct. Two bronze weapons, which have been found locally, date from the Early Bronze Age period; one, found near Blacko Tower, is a plain, flat axe head some 6¼” long, while the other, found near the Old Laund, is a flat spear head of beaten bronze, 4″ in length. The beaker Folk usually buried their dead with one or two beaker vessels in an oblong cist of stones over which a circular mound of earth was raised; such a burial has been found at Lawhouse near Mereclough.”

Catlow Spear.

Bennett (1957), goes on to say that: “The Middle Bronze Age saw a remarkable development in the technique of making bronze articles. Previously, the efficiency of a flat bronze axe head was much impaired because the cleft wooden handle to which the head was tied tended to break when a blow was struck; similarly, a flat spear head tended to break the wooden shaft. In the Middle Bronze period, the axe head was fashioned with flanges on the lateral edges and with a stop ridge on each of its faces so that the cleft wooden handle could be bound more securely to grip the head. In the case of the spear head, the smith made the head with a fairly long tang which was driven into the wooden shaft and secured by a bronze nail through a hole in the tang and a collar that fitted the shaft. Several axe heads with flanges and stop ridge have been found in this area but the most interesting is a spear head with holed tang, 9” long, that was found at Catlow in 1854; unfortunately, the bronze collar was not discovered. 

The general location of the destroyed tumulus at Catlow, near Nelson.

Probable location of the destroyed tumulus at Catlow, near Nelson.

“The custom of cremating the dead was introduced during the Middle Bronze period and quite a number of such burials have been excavated in this area. The excavations have shown that after the body had been burnt the calcined bone fragments were wrapped in a cloth and placed in an earthenware vessel, called an urn, which was then buried, often in an inverted position,   just below the surface of the ground. An area round the burial was then marked off by a circle of boulder stones and into this enclosure were thrown flint implements of all kinds, such as knives, scrapers, grain rubbing stones, arrow heads and broken querns. Such burial circles are almost invariably situated at the top of a hill. A burial of this kind was accidentally destroyed by workmen in 1854 at Catlow and the only important details we know about it are that it contained three urns of which one was a Middle Bronze type and the two others, both broken by a workman’s pick, were food vessels. An earth circle, fifty yards in diameter, which is situated at Broad Bank, overlooking Thursden Valley was excavated in 1951 but the only find was a stone axe head of the Middle Bronze period; a report on the excavation described the earthwork as possibly ‘”a religious enclosure.”‘

Bennett goes on to discuss the Late Bronze Age, saying that: “During the Late Bronze Age, the technique of bronze making was further developed so that both axe heads and spear heads were made with sockets into which the handle or shaft could be fitted. Only on example, a socketed spear head 2½ inches in length, has been found locally. It is said to have been found “‘near Pendle.”‘

“Judging from the many burials and the various types of implements, both bronze and flint, which have been discovered, it would appear that the Marsden and Burnley areas were relatively important in the Bronze Age. It is uncertain what could have attracted people to this area at that period since life in a hut on our moors could not have been very alluring to men and women who knew the arts of farming, weaving and pottery making, even though the climate was drier and more temperate than it had been in the Neolithic Age. That they did live in this district is evident from the finds of jet beads and jet rings (used as ornaments), spindle whorls, loom weights, saddle querns, grain rubbing stones, and implements of all descriptions that would be used in a settled community. The only probable reason for their long existence here seems to be that through this district passed one or two tracks which served as trade routes between the Lancashire coast and the Yorkshire coast. It is believed that the route from the west through northern England proceeded by the Ribble and Calder to Whalley and thence Old Read where a number of Early Bronze Age axes have been found, to Barrowford and Barnolds-wick, where a bronze sword has been found, and so continuing by the Aire Gap to Leeds and thence by river to the coast. Most probably, the flat axe  head discovered near Blacko Tower, is connected with this route. An alternative route from Old Read lay through Higham, Gannow, Towneley, Mereclough and thence by the Long Causeway to the Yorkshire Calder. Near this track several burial mounds and many flint implements of Bronze Age origin have been found. The existence of Bronze Age burials on Bleara Moor on the Colne to Skipton road, at Catlow, at Shelfield (possibly) and at Ell Clough above Thursden Valley may point to a pre-historic track connecting the Whalley-Barnoldswick-Leeds route with that between Whalley-Mereclough-Heptonstall.”

Catlow Row.

H. Hindle, writing a local magazine article called ‘Pre-History – Colne & Surrounding Areas’ in the 1980s, says that: “A Bronze Age dagger or spearhead was found in 1845 about 2½ ft from the surface in a field about halfway between Burnley and Colne in the Catlow district. The dagger had a narrowed  tange with a rivet hole and was just over 9′ in length; the tange was 3′ long and at its greatest width the dagger measured 1½’.The spear’s collar was not found. It seems this spear was, in fact, found underneath the forecourt of Catlow Row as those cottages were built in that very same year. Tanged daggers are extremely rare, being known chiefly from the Arreton Down deposit, Isle of Wight.”, says Mr Hindle.

Catlow artefacts. Top left/bottom (Wilkinson, 1857), top right (Bennett, 1946 & 57).

Hindle goes on to say, that: “The most interesting discovery, a burial site, was made at Catlow stone quarry in March 1854 by Captain Sagar’s workmen. Two or three earthenware urns were met with a little below the surface when clearing earth for the flagstone rock. The urns, probably Pennine collared type, were perfect and measured 14 inches in depth and 9 inches in diameter at the mouth, with considerable swelling at the centres. They are formed from very course earthenware unglazed and very slightly baked. The urns contained calcined bones, pieces of charcoal, and soft dark earth. Most of the bones, supposedly human, are mixed with others belonging to a horse and some lesser animals. Only one of the urns survived due to rough handling by the quarry workers at Catlow who damaged them with their picks; one of the urns was Middle Bronze Age in date, the other two were considered to be food vessels. A rude piece of flint was found amongst the bones, but from its decayed state, it is not easy to determine whether it had been an arrowhead. Two ivory bodkins were found at the same time; they were exceedingly friable, either from age or having been subjected to the action of a fire before being deposited in the urns.

I understand that in 1954 a Bronze Age urn was dug-up from beneath the stone forecourt at the front of Catlow Row. This urn was considered to be very similar to those ones found at Catlow quarry, close by. The urn remains ‘buried where it was found’ (in situ). 

The site entry (No. 19) for the parish of Nelson (Catlow Quarry) in the‘Lancashire Archaeological Bulletin’ (1984), says:- N.G.R. SD 885 368. Primary Reference: Wilkinson 1857; 428 P1. II. Waddington & Wilkinson 1887; 92. Disposition of Finds: Lost. 1854. apparently found by workmen. Two or three urns, cremations, flint, allegedly animal bones, two bone pins perforated at top.

John Dixon & Bob Mann (1990), says that: “In around 1854, workmen hewing stone from the Catlow Quarries came across the remains of three burial urns containing cremations. Two ivory bodkins were also found with the urns. Unfortunately these finds are now lost, but are mentioned and recorded in old texts. A Middle to Late Bronze Age date is ascribed to these finds.” 

John A. Clayton (2014) tells us that there was possibly a hill-fort or settlement of some kind (with a mound in the middle) at Catlow Bottoms, though this would no doubt date to the Iron Age? 

Location of circular features (beside a footpath), just north of Catlow Row.

Although the burial mound (tumulus) at or about SD 885 368 (north-side of Crawshaw Lane, just to the east of the World War II pillbox) was destroyed, there are some other “possible” faint circular features, which might or might not be of interest here. In the fields at either side of Catlow Row. North-side (above the trackway) two very faint circular features at NGR SD 88218 36635 and SD 88185 36542, while at the south-side of the cottages – three small circular features close by a house at NGR 88238 36434. At the northeastern end of Crawshaw Lane, just before you reach Delves Lane, two more “possible” faint circular features: NGR SD 88682 37091 and SD 88894 36867, while on the other side of the lane at the top of the field beside Delves Lane, near the wall stile there’s a faint mound at: NGR SD 89260 36930 and another close to that at: SD 89457 36834; these might be something or nothing, but worth considering. There might be others that I haven’t spotted! And we mustn’t forget there used to be a stone circle hearabouts on Ring Stones Hill (see link, below).

Bennett, Walter, The History of Marsden And Nelson, Nelson Corporation, 1957.

Clayton, John A., Burnley And Pendle Archaeology (Part One) Ice Age to Early Bronze Age, Barrowford Press, 2014.

Dixon, John & Mann, Bob, Historic Walks Around The Pendle Way, Aussteiger Publications, Barnoldswick, 1990.

Hindle, Herbert, Pre-History – Colne & Surrounding Areas (Magazine Article in Pendle & Burnley Magazine, Ramsbottom, Bury, Lancs, 1980s,

https://thejournalofantiquities.com/2014/03/12/ring-stones-hill-catlow-nelson-lancashire/

http://www.barrowford.org/page117.html

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/features/catlow_quarries/index.shtml

© Ray Spencer, The Jourmal Of Antiquities, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pinder Hill, Waddington, Near Clitheroe, Lancashire

Pinder Hill, Waddington, Lancs, site of a Bronze Age burial.

   OS Grid Reference: SD 7272 4368. Pinder Hill at Waddington in the Ribble Valley, 2 miles northwest of Clitheroe, Lancashire, was the site of a Bronze Age burial mound. Sadly the tumulus has been destroyed and there is no sign of it today. The hill is actually a series of hil-locks in the corner of a field to the west of the parish church of St Helen. These grassy hillocks look unassuming and ordinary today, but there used to be a small burial mound or barrow on the higher part of Pinder Hill and, in the late 19th century, a funery urn was excavated here. The artefacts from Pinder Hill were later deposited in Clitheroe Castle Museum. However, the site seems to be on ‘private land’ but it can be approached from the north-side along Belle View Lane via a field gate a bit further along, or from Twitter Lane! at the south-side where a metal gate beside the driveway of the house ‘might’ allow accesss?  There is parking on the opposite side of the lane in front of the playground.

Pinder Hill, Waddington, in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire.

Pinder Hill, Waddington. Looking along the ridge of the hill.

   Pinder Hill is a series of grassy hillocks at the western side of Waddington village. They were formed from glacial deposits consisting of smooth and rounded pebble-like stones worn-down many thousands of years ago by the movement of ice and water; these stones can clearly be seen where parts of the structure of the mounds have eroded and fallen away. It could be there was a settlement here in the Bronze Age? There was a small burial mound or round barrow on the summit of the hill but this was probably destroyed in the late 19th century when a gravel pit or quarry was being worked. But luckily the mound was seen to be of significant archaeological interest and its funery contents recognized as an ancient burial; the plain collared urn and pigmy vessel were later taken to the local museum for safe-keeping. What makes this site ‘so extra appealing’ is the babbling little brook that flows tranquilly at the very edge of the field, opposite the grassy hillocks of Pinder Hill.

   John & Phillip Dixon (1993) say of this site: “To the south-west of the Buck Inn stands a hillock of glacial debris known as Pinder Hill. A small mound on the summit of the rise was excavated in 1887 and yielded a Bronze Age burial urn. Inside the urn, which was inverted, was a mass of broken and partly calcinated bones, more than half filling it.

   “Within this mass was found an ‘incense cup/pygmy urn’, two worked flints and a worked bone object. The presence of an ‘incense cup’ is thought by some to mark a female burial, the openwork pattern indicating basketry being particularly the work of women. Yet given the inverted position of the large urn the smaller may have been merely a stopper and may have no other significance.

   “The flints are of the type used for the preparation of skins and preparing thongs of hide. The bone object is a toddle used to fasten a coat or other. These finds are now on display in Clitheroe Castle Museum.”

    John Dixon goes on to say that: “Bronze Age axes have been found at Up-Brook Farm, Waddington, and the horn of a ‘auroch’, extinct during the Bronze Age, in the Ribble at Low Moor.”

Pinder Hill, Waddington. Drawing of the urn and pygmy cup/vessel.

Pinder Hill Bronze Age Collared Urn.

   The site entry for Pinder Hill in ‘Lancashire Archaeological Bulletin’ (1984) says:- “Plain collared urn inverted and containing A.V. found 22 June 1887 in, digging gravel pit. Contents included two flints and ? toggle of calcined bone (?).” The primary source is given as Y. A. J. 30;248. In the work  ‘Life In Bronze Age Times’ (Thomlinson & O’Donnell) some more information is given. It says that: Pinder Hill is a burial site dated as Middle Bronze Age, 1600-1500 B.C. On excavation in 1887 it revealed two vessels and many bone fragments. The urn…..was found to contain the cremated remains of a dead man. The use of the smaller vessel or incense cup is unknown.” The site is also mentioned by Ian H. Longworth in his (1984) work ‘Collared Urns: Of The Bronze Age in Great Britain and Ireland’. In this we find that the dimensions of the large urn were 15 inches in height, the small accessory vessel was 3 inches high.

Sources and related websites:-

Dixon, John & Phillip, Journeys Through Brigantia, Volume Nine: The Ribble Valley, Aussteiger Publications, Barnoldswick, 1993.

Lancashire Archaeological Bulletin, Vol. 10 No. 2/3, May & July 1984.

Longworth, Ian H.,  Collared Urns: Of the Bronze Age in Great Britain and Ireland, CUP Archive, 1984.

Thomlinson, Sarah & O’Donnell, John,  Life In Bronze Age Times, (A Resource Book for Teachers), Curriculum Development Centre, Burnley.

                                                                                 © Ray Spencer, The Journal Of Antiquities, 2017. 

 


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The Knave Hill Burial Mounds, Near Nelson, Lancashire

Knave Hill long barrow near Nelson, Lancashire

   OS Grid Reference: SD 89636 36991. On the lower slope of Knave Hill between Walton Spire and Float Bridge Farm, 2 miles east of Nelson, Lancashire, there are two burial mounds, one of which is quite a large, well defined long barrow, while the other one close-by is a smaller mound but is also probably a long barrow. They are thought to have originally been built in the early Bronze Age, but then in the 10th century AD to have been re-used for the burial of Viking warriors who had died in the slaughter of the Battle of Brunanburh (937 AD) which may have been fought in the vicinity of Knave Hill, or a few miles away in the Burnley area near the river Brun. There are 2 or 3 other small mounds in the vicinity, one of which is just visible at the northwest side of Knave Hill. The hill itself is sometimes spelt “Nave Hill.” To reach the site from Nelson town centre head up Netherfield road and then to the top of Barkerhouse road. Then turn left, then right, and follow Delves Lane (with Walton Spire on your left side). At the junction of four lanes go straight ahead and down the hill. On the left is a farm track (footpath) to Knave Hill farm. The mounds lie a short distance to the east of the modern barns.

Knave Hill long barrow.

   In a most excellent article for ‘Pendle & Burnley’ Magazine by the local historian by Mr H. Hindle (1987) we learn that “Knave Hill farm, only two fields below the ancient monolith (Walton Spire) probably derives its name from the Nave Hill burial, a long barrow measuring approximately 2oo feet long by 120 feet wide, and 14 feet high, close to which are two smaller round barrows. Collins New English Dictionary explains ‘Nave’ as the middle or body of a Church, so called because of its resemblance in shape to an inverted ship. Another indication to the antiquity of mans presence in the area is the nearby Ringstone Hill and the countless number of cairns and burial mounds.”

Knave Hill near Walton Spire (smaller mound).

   The other mound lies just a little to the east of the larger, long barrow, but is much smaller in overall size. This mound measures roughly 126 feet long, 90 feet wide, and is about 7 feet in height. It could be that this smaller mound is also a long barrow, with its origins in the early Bronze Age but re-used in the 10th century AD. However, these two mounds or barrows are not recorded on any OS maps as far as I can tell, but we do have three or so sources of information with regard to their history – those sources being H. Hindle, Thomas T. Wilkinson (19th century antiquarian of Burnley Grammar School) and John A. Clayton, who mentions these burial mounds in his works of 2006 and 2014. There is another burial mound (possibly even two mounds) at the northwest side of Knave Hill, close to Shelfield lane which skirts the hill upon which is Walton Spire (see link below), a Victorian cross that sits on top of an ancient battle-stone that may have its origins in the 10th century AD, or maybe even earlier. Knave, in place-name form, was probably originally Cnebba or Cnabha (Hill of Cnebba). There is also Jeppe Knaves Grave, a Bronze Age cairn, near Sabden in Lancashire (see link below). And there is a Knave Hill near Todmorden, west Yorkshire.

Knave Hill burial mounds (at centre) and other “possible” mounds, from Shelfield Lane.

   The Battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD was fought by a collection of rag-tag armies of Celts, Saxons, Norsemen and some others. King Athelstan and the Saxons ‘were’ victorious in the said battle. But where was the Battle of Brunanburh fought? Mr Hindle offers a local place-name: he suggests Emmot in the Forest of Trawden being a strong possibility. But Thomas T. Wilkinson writing in the mid-19th century offers several other possibilities: Saxifield and Daneshouse near the River Brun in Burnley, or between Warcock Hill, near the Long Causeway at Stipernden, and another Warcock Hill at the north side of Thursden Valley. Mereclough near Burnley is another contender for the battle site as there is an area there called “Battlefield”. Bonfire Hill between Briercliffe and Swinden is another strong possibility. Or could it have taken place on the moors above Bacup, Lancashire, or even at Bromborough on the Wirral? We will probably never know.

Sources and other related websites:-

Hindle, H., Colne & Surrounding Areas (article in Pendle & Burnley) Magazine No. 4 (Christmas Issue), Valley Press, Ramsbottom, Bury, Lancs., 1987.

Clayton, John A., Valley of The Drawn Sword, Barrowford Press, 2006. 

Clayton, John A., Burnley And Pendle Archaeology – Part One – Ice Age to Early Bronze Age, Barrowford Press, 2914.

https://thejournalofantiquities.com/2012/05/01/walton-spire-nelson-lancashire/

https://thejournalofantiquities.com/2013/10/10/jeppe-knaves-grave-sabden-lancashire/

http://www.barrowford.org/page123.html

http://placenames.org.uk/browse/mads/epns-deep-32-d-mappedname-003089

                                                                             © Ray Spencer, The Journal Of Antiquities, 2017.

 


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Round Dikes Earthwork, Addingham Low Moor, West Yorkshire

Round Dikes on Addingham Low Moor (from above).

Round Dikes on Addingham Low Moor (from above).

    OS grid reference: SE 0551 5012. Quite a substantial Iron Age earth-work situated below Counter Hill on Addingham Low Moor, West Yorkshire, that is locally called ‘Round Dikes’, ‘Round Dikes Camp’ and ‘Round Dikes Settlement’. This enclosed and almost oval-shaped earthwork on the moors to the east of Crossbank Road also supports a Bronze Age burial mound, but unfortunately this is now badly muti-lated. There are traces of an associated linear earthwork to the south-east of the site, and another burial mound, although this is now hardly recognizable at ground level. Round Dikes Earthwork can be reached from Crossbank Road, where a footpath runs north-east towards Counter Hill, through a couple of fields and over a couple of wall stiles for 400m. Just before the earthwork there are some gates and a short muddy path. The grassy earthwork is now in front of you!

Round Dikes Earthwork, Addingham Low Moor (the north side).

Round Dikes Earthwork,  (the north side).

    Round Dikes Earthwork roughly measures 87m x 79m and is oval shaped. It has a well-defined ditch with banks running around an inner area which would have been the camp or settlement’s inner sanctum; the banking at the north-side is very prominent and is 4-5 feet high in parts, whereas the banking further around the site is slightly less at 3-4 feet high. However it is thought this was a non-defensive camp or “entrenchment” probably of the Iron Age, and not of the Roman period. The inner part of the site probably contained maybe nine hut circles and some hearths, according to John Dixon in his work ‘Journeys Through Brigantia’ – Volume One. At the south-east side there is what looks to be an entrance, and close to that and just inside the camp’s enclosure, a spring which is now almost lost in reed beds! The ditch and banking at the S side is almost lost in dense foliage and reed beds, and the spring makes for very boggy conditions here.

    It would seem that the people of the Iron Age kept their stock: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and maybe horses close to them and always within the bounds of their settlements or enclosures.

    The author J. C. Barringer in his work ‘The Yorkshire Dales’, says of these Iron Age people and their enclosures: These complexes of small enclosures were bounded by stone banks and contained round huts of about fifteen feet in diameter. The inference to be drawn from the archaeological evidence is that Iron Age peoples occupied many of the limestone plateau above the main valley floors and that they were agriculturalists to the extent of growing crops of oats and perhaps rye in their small enclosures.”

    He goes on to say: ‘Their small enclosures near their huts may have been crop growing areas, but most of their territory must have been used for grazing stock. The grazing of hillsides, would of course, hold back tree growth and in the case of goats severely inhibit it, so maintaining the clearance of the woodlands and perhaps increasing it in some areas.”

Round Dikes Earthwork. Bronze Age Bowl Barrow (between the sheep!)

Round Dikes Earthwork. Bronze Age Bowl Barrow (between the sheep!)

    Near the south side of the site there is a small but very mutilated mound or bowl barrow which must be ascribed to the Bronze Age. This grassy mound is about 4 feet high but it is very damaged with a hollowed-out part at one side – due perhaps to robbery, or maybe from some illegal archaeological diggings in the past. So the site was obviously in use as a settlement long before the round dikes were built. And 200m further down hill to the south-east there are traces of a linear earthwork which was probably an extended part of the Round Dikes Camp. There is also another tumulus (bowl barrow) just below this earthwork at (grid ref: SE 0584 4993), although this has been largely lost due to plough-ing of the field.

    About ¾ of a mile to the west, at Woofa Bank, there is another large oval-shaped Iron Age enclosure with associated earthworks over to the north and east, and there is an interest-ing tumulus (bowl barrow) on the trackway (Millennium Way) to the south.

Sources and related websites:-

Barringer, J. C., The Yorkshire Dales, The Dalesman Publishing Company Ltd., Clapham, 1982.

Dixon, John & Phillip, Journeys Through Brigantia – Volume One – Walks in Craven, Airedale and Wharfedale, Aussteiger Publications, Barnoldswick, 1990.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addingham

http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=48311

http://www.ancientmonuments.info/en31498-late-prehistoric-enclosed-settlement-known

http://www.armadale.org.uk/rounddykes.htm


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Worsaw Hill Burial Mound, near Downham, Lancashire

Worsaw Hill burial mound in the shadow of Pendle Hill.

Worsaw Hill burial mound stands in the shadow of Pendle Hill.

    OS grid reference: SD 7793 4321. About halfway between the Pendle villages of Downham and Worston, Lancashire, is the 725 foot high Worsaw Hill, which is a Limestone reef knoll. At the south-eastern side of the summit there is a small, grassy mound that is thought to be a Bronze Age burial mound, although very little is known about its history. There are also faint earthworks on the top of the hill which might be the remains of an ancient settlement? And there is a cave near the base of the hill. The lower slopes and outcrops are good for fossil hunting, while the walls around the periphery of the hill are excellent for “crinodia” enthusiasts! From West Lane, just up the lane from the entrance to Radbrook Farm, follow the footpath on the opposite side of the lane up past the barn, keeping to the side of the hill for maybe another ½ mile. At the far north-east side of the hill walk up the lower slope to the summit and, close to the south-east side, the small circular mound is in front of you. From here you get an excellent panoramic view of Pendle Hill’s western flanks.

Worsaw Hill bowl barrow (as seen from the south).

Worsaw Hill bowl barrow (as seen from the south).

Worsaw Hill bowl barrow (as seen from the south)

Worsaw Hill bowl barrow (close up from the south)

    The burial mound, or bowl barrow, at the SE side of the summit of Worsaw Hill is thought to date from the Bronze Age. It is a round-shaped grassy mound that looks to be in a reasonably good condition, although there is a hollow at the centre, but whether this was caused by some  past archaeological excavation, or whether the central chamber has fallen in, or something else, we don’t know with any certainty. It is 5-6 feet in height though originally it would have been higher; and it measures about 16m x 13m (52ft x 42ft). There looks to have been ‘some’ sort of ancient settlement close by the mound as there are faint traces of rectangular earthworks, but whether this is of the same age as the barrow, we don’t know. Maybe it was a quarry-workers’ settlement as there are many bell pits and outcrops both on the summit and around the bottom of the hill. Limestone was obviously quarried here – the walls around the base of the hill being testament to this. At the base of the hill (NW side) there is a small cave and some think there was an ancient settlement close-by that. And there was perhaps a Romano-British settlement, farmstead, or signal station at nearby Worston, which is near a Roman road – the course of which can be seen at the western-side of the village.

   W. R. Mitchell (2004) says that “When a prehistoric barrow was opened on Worsaw, human remains were found, possibly those of a chieftain who, it is romantically assumed, had been laid to rest facing Pendle.”

Crinoid fossils in Limestone wall.

Crinoid fossils in Limestone wall.

Crinoid fossils at Worsaw Hill in Lancashire.

Crinoid fossils at Worsaw Hill in Lancashire.

    Worsaw Hill, which is joined together with Crow Hill, are Limestone reef knolls, or mud mounds, that were formed over 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous period – at which time they lay beneath the sea, only the top of Pendle Hill would have been visible. Worsaw Hill is the largest reef knoll in the area, another being the one upon which Clitheroe Castle stands, which is part of the Clitheroe Limestone Formation that lies within the Chadian Stage. This ‘reef belt’ of Limestone stretches from Clitheroe to Worston and Downham to Chatburn. Other smaller reef knolls are to be seen around Downham, Twiston and Chatburn. Fossilised crinoidia which are tiny marine creatures, freshwater sea lilies, and corals are very evident in the Limestone quarried from these knolls, and also in the outcrops and scars on their side slopes. Often the walls around these knolls are built of Limestone with crinoid fossils.

    The authoress Jessica Lofthouse says of this area: “A thousand years ago Anglian farmers with an eye on good well-drained limestone pastures, sweet herbage for their flocks and herds, chose to settle down in a green land among coral reef knolls. One was Crow Hill, joined by Ridge to Worsa Hill named after one of their leaders. So Worsa’s Tun came into being. A little west of the settlement was a Roman highway; legionaries travelled it between  Ribchester and York, but now as a grass-floored track gone back to Nature walkers in high Summer need protection from beds of nettles which choke it. The bypass did not obliterate the line of it.”

Sources and related websites:-

Dixon, John & Phillip, Journeys Through Brigantia – Volume Nine – The Ribble Valley, Aussteiger Publications, Barnoldswick, 1993.

https://thejournalofantiquities.com/2016/03/13/fossil-valley-twiston-near-downham-lancashire/

http://www.kabrna.com/cpgs/craven/reef_belt.htm

https://b.geolocation.ws/v/E/4080662/worsaw-hill/en

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worston

Lofthouse, Jessica, Lancashire Countrygoer, Robert Hale, London, 1974.

Mitchell, W. R., Bowland And Pendle Hill, Phillimore & Co. Ltd., Chichester, West Sussex, England, 2004.

                                                      © Ray Spencer, The Journal of Antiquities, 2017.


Hameldon Pasture Round Barrows, Worsthorne, Lancashire

Hameldon Pasture Round Barrow I

Hameldon Pasture Round Barrow I

    OS grid reference: SD 8914 3262. Upon the windswept Hameldon Pasture near Worsthorne, Lancashire, are two prehistoric round barrows, but often referred to as cairn circles or round cairns. The small hill on which they are located is also known as Little Hameldon Hill, and to the local people it is Worsthorne Hill. Unfortunately, both monuments are now ‘much’ destroyed and robbed of their stonework. The larger barrow is called Hameldon Pasture I while the smaller one is Hameldon Pasture II. To reach the site take the Gorple Road at St John’s Church in Wors-thorne. Continue eastwards along this often quite rough track for about 1½ miles. Take the second footpath over the ladder stile on left-hand side (after power cables), then walk-on northwards for 290m to the hill and round barrows. The ladder stile was broken at the time of my visit and the footpath often quite boggy.

Hameldon Pasture Barrow I showing the boulder at the centre.

Hameldon Pasture Barrow I (showing the boulder at the centre).

    The larger of the two barrows (Hameldon Pasture I) is 0.3m high and has a circumference of 21m (almost 69 ft) but it is now much destroyed and difficult to make out in the grass. It was originally a bowl-shaped tumulus consisting of earth and stones – many of its stones having been robbed away and used in the walls down slope. At the centre there is a hollowed-out area 5m x 4m (16 ft x 13 ft) with two weather-worn gritstone boulders, the bigger one looks to have some tiny cup-marks at one side? A third, smaller boulder lies close by. When this barrow was excavated in 1886 a cist grave was found. This had two large flat stones covering it and other flat slabs at the sides and the ends. A number of arrowheads and tiny flints were also found.

Hameldon Pasture Round Barrow II.

Hameldon Pasture Round Barrow II.

    The second barrow lies 55m to the south-west at (SD 8912 3259) and is identified as ‘Hameldon Pasture II’. But it is also known as a round cairn or cairn circle. This much destroyed round barrow measures 12.5m x 10.8m (41 ft x 35 ft) and is 0.3m high. The large hollow (depression) at the centre is 2.5m x 1.5m (8 ft x 5 ft); there are traces of a second hollow. Several stones lie in the centre and around the edges – indicative of an outer kerb. When the cairn was excavated in 1843 by Mr Studley Martin*, of Liverpool, an undecorated urn containing the bones of an adult and child was found in a stone cist, but the stones from this have been robbed away for other use in the ‘immediate’ locality.

Hameldon Pasture Round Barrow II.

Hameldon Pasture Round Barrow II.

    *Mr Studley Martin the 19th century Liverpool writer and antiquarian was a guest of the Reverend William Thursby of Ormerod House near Hurstwood, Burnley, Lancashire, in 1843. During his sojourn in the Burnley area he visited the two prehistoric barrows upon Hameldon Pasture, and was ‘seemingly’ delighted to find an undecorated funery urn in the smaller of the two tumuli. Martin was also associated with the prehistoric Calder Stones at Allerton, Liverpool.

Sources:-

Hall, Brian, Burnley (A Short History), Burnley and District Historical Society, 1977.

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1008919

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=11195

http://www.burnleyexpress.net/news/nostalgia/worsthorne-a-village-history-1-1688523

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worsthorne-with-Hurstwood


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Little Painley Burial Mound, Gisburn, Lancashire

Little Painley tumulus, near Gisburn, Lancs.

Little Painley tumulus, near Gisburn, Lancs.

    OS grid reference: SD 8284 5012. In the middle of a farmer’s field at Little Painley near Gisburn, Lancashire, there is a clump of tall trees which surround an ancient burial mound/bowl barrow. The very distinctive low mound is still quite prominent even after thousands of years. However it is now surrounded by a barbed-wire fence and also the site is more difficult to reach from the road due to a gate and recently erected fences, although as these fields are for the growing of crops and vegitables in the Summer months, I suppose that is to be expected. The burial mound (tumulus) is located on the left-hand side of the A682 (Long Preston) road 1¼ miles to the north of Gisburn church and just past ‘The Temple’, which is an 18th century tree-clad mound. Little Painley prehistoric burial mound is situated on private land and on a low hill surrounded by fields that have crops growing in them in the Summer months. So, if you do wish to take a closer look it is advisable to ‘keep’ to the fence-side of the field.

Little Painley Burial Mound, near Gisburn, close-up.

Little Painley Burial Mound, near Gisburn, close-up.

    The barrow stands on a low hill at the eastern side of the River Ribble and is said to have a diameter of 20m (68 ft) and is maybe 2-3 feet high. It was built of earth and stones in the Bronze Age – sometime between 2,500-1,600 BC. There is a surrounding ditch 2.5m (6 ft) across and 0.5m (1 ft 6 inches) deep. At the SW side there are traces of an outer bank some 2.5m (6 ft) in width and about 0.3m ( nearly 1 ft) high, although these features are often hard to see properly due to the trees, and in the Summer months – the long grass. The trees here were planted in the 1960s. When this barrow was excavated in the early 1900s one or more collared funery urns of the ‘Pennine type’ were found indicating that there was probably a settlement near by. The author John Dixon in his work ‘Journeys Through Brigantia’ (Volume One), suggests the settlement was centred on Bolton-by-Bowland, where a number of Bronze Age axe heads have been found. It is perhaps likely, then, that a chieftain and his close family were buried here at the Little Painley barrow.

    And John Dixon goes on to say: “These isolated finds provide a tantalizing insight into Bronze Age society. However, the evidence we have tends to pose as many questions as they resolve. A ditched bowl barrow is evidence of a society with a level of social organization capable of converting surplus economic value into funeral monuments. This society suppor-ted a primitive ceramic and metallurgy technology and must have conducted trade with people outside of Craven, and it was probably a hierarchical warrior society.”

    Sir E.B. Tylor in his work of ‘Anthropology’ (Vol II) says something very similar. He says that: “Prehistoric burial-places in our own country are still wonders to us for the labour they must have cost their barbaric builders. Most conspicuous are the great burial-mounds of earth or cairns of stones. Some of the largest of these appear to date from the stone-age. But their use lasted on through the bronze-age into the iron-age.”

    About ½ a mile to the north beside the River Ribble, just south of Paythorne bridge, stands Castle Haugh, a late 11th century earthwork consisting of a large ditched mound with a ‘motte’ at the centre. This stronghold was probably the residence of Roger the Poitevin, a Norman baron who held the lands around here. He is mentioned in ‘The Domesday Book’ (1086) under the entry for Bernulfeswick (Barnoldswick) in Craven.

Sources:

Dixon, John & Phillip, Journeys Through Brigantia (Volume One), Aussteiger Publications, Barnoldswick, 1990.

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=11487

Tylor, Edward B. (Sir),  Anthropology (Vol II), Watts & Co., London, 1946.