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New Essay published, The ‘Lost’ Ladies of Middleton

Anne Falloon, the MAS secretary has been researching the lives of some of the key manorial Ladies of Middleton between the 13th to the 16th century.

It is all too easy to overlook the role of Middleton’s manorial women given the nature of late mediaeval and early modern records. Where there are accounts, the focus is often on the inheritors of land, the soldiers, the churchmen and the statesmen. But the documents that survive for Middleton do give us some insight into the lives of the de Middleton, de Barton and Assheton women.

This fascinating essay can be found here The Lost Ladies of Middleton

New essay published on the C17 Wall paintings and Graffiti in the Old Boar’s

The age of the historic Olde Boar’s Head in Middleton had long been a subject of speculation when, in 2016, some early timbers were dated to 1622. However, one mystery remains: the origin and meaning of the rare set of wall paintings and graffiti in the OBH upper rooms.

This fascinating essay by MAS member Anne Falloon sets out to explore what was happening in Middleton in the first half of the 17th century and to consider the possible political motivation behind the paintings and graffiti.

Old Boar’s Head wall paintings and graffiti

Hopwood Mill Cottage work finishes for Winter

The third year of MAS investigations of the Millers Cottage at Hopwood finishes on 23rd October. This year, over 30 MAS members and volunteers have scraped a trowel over this delightful woodland site hidden close to the Hopwood Manor house. Most of the 19th century building foundations, drains and garden features have been meticulously recorded however features that predate the cottage are know beginning to appear.

Most recently, a shard of broken pottery was found which our site director Robert Huddart believes to be medieval, possibly  from the 13 or 14th century. Hopefully the work will continue next year.

Hopwood Miller’s Cottage 2018 Archaeology

Hopwood Miller’s Cottage Excavation 2018 The new season of excavations at Hopwood Millers Cottage starts this Tuesday 24th April. As you may know, Hopwood Miller’s Cottage dates to the 18th century and was occupied until the middle of the 20th century.

There is also some evidence of earlier occupation of the site. We’ve been digging at the Cottage for a number of years. This is likely to be our last year at this site and a last opportunity to take part in the dig.

The site is ideal for people new to archaeology. Training and tools are provided. For those who would like to get involved but prefer not to dig there is plenty of recording, surveying and finds processing to do. We will be digging most Tuesdays from 10am to 3.30pm until October. This year we intending to hold some weekend digs provided that there is sufficient demand.

For more information or to register an interest in weekend digs then contact Robert Huddart by email at: robert.huddart@ntlworld.com 

Regards from Robert

2017 AGM

The 2017 Annual General Meeting was held following the November meeting. The existing committee were re-elected. Minutes of the meeting can be found here AGM Nov 2017 minutes

The committee gave a series of talks showing the work of the society in 2017, including details of the Hopwood Millers Cottage investigation and desk based research on the first owners of the Old Boar’s Head. The powerpoint slides can be found here 2017 AGM combined talks

Thanks to all our members for your support in 2017. We have an interesting year planned for 2018 and we hope to circulate details as soon as plans are finalised.

Regards,

Cliff Ivers, Chairman

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/

 

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

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