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Hopwood Millers House Update 8 (Winter 2019)

Roberts latest report (8) on the archaeological investigation of the remains of the Millers Cottage is now available. It covers work carried out in Winter 2019.

Unfortunately all MAS activity is currently suspended and the site is closed.

Summer 2019 report on Hopwood Millers Cottage

Robert has just finished his latest report (Update 7) on the archaeological investigation of Hopwood Millers Cottage.

It can be found here

The investigation is currently closed but we hope to return to it as soon as it is sensible to do so.

Hopwood Mill Cottage Spring 2019 Update

Robert has produced an update on the latest archaeological work by MAS on the Hopwood Millers Cottage.

Hopwood Mill Cottage- full set of reports now available

Robert Huddart has published a set of reports summarising our investigation of the remains of Hopwood Mill Cottage.


This series of updates provides a summary of our findings from 2015 up to the start of the 2019 season. Further updates will be released from time to time as the dig progress’.

The 2019 season starts on Tuesday 30th April and most Tuesday’s until the end of October. In order to accommodate those people who are not available to attend on Tuesday’s we are planning to dig on other days including weekends provided that there is sufficient demand. Working hours are from 10 am until 3.30 pm. For those of you have not yet taken part, why not give it a try. It isn’t difficult and even if digging isn’t for you there are many other ways to contribute. Everyone is welcome and training, supervision and tools are provided. If you would like to take part in the dig, visit the dig or have any questions then please feel free to contact me at

The Earl of Essex’s Chaplain: Abdias Assheton

Another unique piece of Middleton research has been published by our secretary Anne Falloon

Abdias Assheton (1563-1633) was a member of Middleton’s manorial family who rose to some prominence in the final years of Elizabeth I’s reign. A Protestant with strong Puritan leanings, as an academic and preacher he sought all his answers not from centuries old tradition as his Catholic forebears had done, but directly from a deep reading of the bible.
In the 1590’s his approach to thinking through religious and moral choices using scripture attracted the attention of the greatest man in England.

This is the story of the controversial relationship between Essex and the influential chaplain he called his ‘little man’, Abdias Assheton.

First report on the Hopwood Millers Cottage published

Our Site Director Robert Huddart is publishing a series of reports on the MAS investigation at the Hopwood Millers Cottage site. The first one can be found here;

Millers House update 1

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

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


Tonge Hall Meadow Blog

We are hoping to provide live updates and photographs of this weekends dig (21/22 Mar 15)

Dig finished Monday at 12:00. It was a great weekend and we hope to publish our findings soon. Next one Hopwood Mill Cottage…..

Rather large post hole with 20th C remains including crisp packets and coke can!   


Tonge Hall Farm 1923

Sunday 16.00; one of the trenches has been filled in and we are going back to finish the other on Monday morning.

The wall at the bottom is the 19c farmhouse and joins on to a much earlier stone foundation going from top to bottom. Not sure what the steel strip is but we can’t seem to move it.

  The picture below of Trench 15 shows the old foundation with a cobbled surface outside the building. The trench was completed by a first time archaeologist and his enthusiastic teenage daughter.

  Typical, men leaning on shovels and supervising the workers.  The Matthews beer bottle   


This is what we found last year at the NW corner.

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