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Hopwood Cottage August 2017 Update

Each Tuesday this summer we have had 4 or 5 people attending our archaeological investigation of the old Millers Cottage in Hopwood Woods. The dig is managed by our site director Robert Huddart who organises similar activity for the Bury Archaeological Group on Wednesdays. This is his latest update on the project.

 

Hopwood Millers Cottage

This is the third season of excavation at Hopwood Millers Cottage. In 2015 and 2016 we uncovered the western and central parts of the 18th century building On the north side of the cottage we found garden features and a pathway leading to a footbridge, The footbridge crossed the Trub brook enabling access to a spring on the north bank. The garden features, path and bridge date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This season we are  excavating the eastern end of the site. The north-eastern corner of the cottage has been located enabling us to determine the size of the cottage. The building measured about 15 metres east-west by 4.5 metres north south. The ground floor consisted of two living rooms with internal measurements of approximately 4 metres by 4 metres. These rooms are seperated from each other by a lobby area 3 metres wide. A brick built extension on the south side of the building is thought to be the kitchen area.

At the east end of the building we have started to uncover a much smaller room about 2.5 metres wide.  A path with steps runs along the eastern gable of the cottage. More evidence of the drainage system has been revealed. Excavation continues to investigate an area of cobbles at the north side of the building which predates the cottage.

A recent extension of the trench has revealed the south-east corner of the cottage, the well built foundation of the south wall and the less well made continuation of the east gable. In the small room at the east end of the building another fireplace is being investigated. This is positioned centrally against the internal wall and is the third fireplace to be found at the cottage

The dig will continue until around the end of October. 

 

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New guide to the Old Boar’s Head published

Following tree ring dating of the pubs timbers and research into its tenants, a new historic guide has been published. Its available here Boar’s Head Guide 2017 or behind the bar.

Chair of the society, Cliff Ivers has written the 12 page leaflet with editing by Geoff Wellens. Cliff’s research has proved that the Boar’s has been operating as an inn or pub since 1623 making it the oldest original public house in England.

It also explains how the pub was built and includes a room by room guide to help you explore this fine iconic Middleton building.

The Edgar Wood and Middleton Townscape Heritage Initiative kindly paid for the publishing of the guide.

Hopwood Millers Cottage Update

The 3rd year of the investigation of the millers cottage at Hopwood is underway. There is more exposure to an early cobbled surface that was dug through to lay stone foundations for the cottage. The dig will run every  Tuesday throughout summer. We meet at 10:AM outside the football pavilion gates if you want to join in.


 

Graffiti survey of St Leonard’s Church completed

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 film on sale

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 →

Lever Crypt Report Published

MAS have published a report on their investigation of the Lever Crypt in Alkrington Woods

The Lever Crypt in Alkrington Woods

Minutes of the 2016 AGM

The AGM was held at the Old Boars Head on 24th Nov 2016. The minutes of the meeting can be found here;

agm-nov-2016-minutes

The accounts of the society are available upon request to chairman.mas@live.co.uk

 

 

Hopwood Millers Cottage 2016 update

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.

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Public Asked to Help Hunt for Witches’ Marks

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.

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Pentangle scratch and tally marks on choir stall at St Leonard’s

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Initials carved into beam at the Grammar School (Edgar Wood?)

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Protective taper burns and scratches on window of the meeting room at the Old Boar’s


Graffiti survey arranged for 6th September 2016

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 chairman.mas@live.co.uk or phone Cliff on 07740351814.

 

Middleton Graffiti Poster3

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