The survey of historic graffiti at Middleton Parish church has been completed by MAS members and handed over to the church guides. The survey involved about a dozen volunteers and recorded over 100 various marks on stone and wood including apotropaic pentangles, vv symbols, mason and carpenters marks, tradesmens signatures and sharpening slots; possibly created by Middletons early archers. The survey will be added to the Greater Manchester Graffiti Survey.
The report can bee seen at http://middletonas.com/st-leonards-graffiti/
Geoff Wellens is selling DVD copies of the film he presented at last months MAS meeting. It includes footage of the Middleton flood and a royal visit in 1945. Also a fantastic interview with Sarah Porter. Price £10 profits go to our society. Contact Geoffwellens@aol.com directly or message your email. Read More →
MAS have published a report on their investigation of the Lever Crypt in Alkrington Woods
The Lever Crypt in Alkrington Woods
The AGM was held at the Old Boars Head on 24th Nov 2016. The minutes of the meeting can be found here;
The accounts of the society are available upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org
The weekly MAS investigation of Hopwood Millers Cottage is closed down for the winter but will start up again in Spring 2017. The attached plan produced by our dig director Robert Huddart, shows the progress in recording the 19th and 20th century foundations so far. Next year we should complete the rest of the structure and investigate an outbuilding identified on old maps. We have recently identified a cobbled surface on the site with evidence of a much earlier occupation.
Historic England have asked for help in finding Witches’ marks – ritual protection symbols or apotropaic marks – can be found carved into the fabric of many historic places, from medieval churches and houses, to barns, caves and even the Tower of London but they have never been fully recorded.
The marks date back to times when belief in witchcraft and the supernatural was widespread. Magical symbols and ritual objects were a common part of life from around the 16th to the early 19th century.
MAS have started surveying the three oldest buildings in Middleton, the parish church, the old grammar school and the Boar’s Head pub. The surveys will be continuing early in 2017. In the meantime here are some of our apotropaic marks or graffiti.
Pentangle scratch and tally marks on choir stall at St Leonard’s
Initials carved into beam at the Grammar School (Edgar Wood?)
Protective taper burns and scratches on window of the meeting room at the Old Boar’s
The training session by NW Historic Graffiti has been arranged to start at 9.30 AM on Tuesday 6th September 2016 at St Leonard’s. It will be followed by surveys of the Old Boar’s Head and the Old Grammar School. Register by emailing email@example.com or phone Cliff on 07740351814.
Middleton Graffiti Poster3
MAS Weekend Excavation at Hopwood Millers Cottage Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August 2016.
The Millers House dates to the 18thcentury. Last year we opened a trench at the western end of the building and found the well preserved remains of room complete with fireplace. On the north side of the building a path from the front door leads to a footbridge which had crossed the Trub Brook to the front door of the cottage. There were also garden features including a cobbled terrace with brick edging. Towards the end of the dig a small area of cobbling was discovered which suggest the possibility of an even earlier building on the site.
This year we are looking at the central section of the cottage and have already started to find more walls and surfaces.
The dig will run 10 am until 3.30 pm each day. Everyone is welcome. No previous experience is necessary and training is provided on site. If you would like to take part and do not want to dig then there are plenty of other ways in which you can contribute to the excavation including recording, surveying and small finds processing.
This year we are asking volunteers to register for the dig. There is no charge but if you wish to take part please register by Wednesday 3rd August by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning Cliff on 07740 351814.
A new research paper from Cliff Ivers suggest a reason why so many Middletonians died in 1623. His research is based on the parish records and wills of some of the people associated with golden cluster buildings, the Boar’s head, the old school and the parish church. Not for the faint hearted..
Middleton Research Papers