THE CHORLEY HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Notes from the Archives
Transcribed from the diary (1953-1954) of the late John Winstanley, a founder member of the Society.
Many thanks to Ted Unwin for providing the original diary for transcription.
For many years I have been interested in the so called ‘two lads’ cairn upon Wilders Moor, of which many stories are circulating such as : Two Lads lost in the snow and buried there., or two sons of Bishop Pilkington who were lost up there and buried , or two lads lost, died and a cairn erected in their memory. These are just a few of the many myths. Having carefully considered all possible connections to the theories I have resigned myself to say there is no possible truth in the claims of such.
The only pointer in the right direction is given in ‘Hampsons History of Horwich’ which states that the ‘Two Lads’ could be the burial mound of the sons of a Saxon King.
Determined now to have a go at the so called ‘two lads’ I first of all went to see a friend of mine, Mr. Leslie Prosser, History teacher at Horwich Secondary Modern. When I informed him of my intensions he could not throw a great deal of light on the subject, only from what he has heard in R……but, in his own opinion thinks that it is, or could be a Bronze Age Burial.
He showed me a blue ribbed bead found in the vicinity of the ‘Two Lads’ this bead is undoubtedly Roman, a drawing of which is in the Antiquary Book on the Roman Era in Britain by John Ward, there was a piece of flint found up there also. Now flint was imported to this part of the country by the stone-age men, or moorland pit dwellers , so the flint was a good find in itself. He also has an object, pear shaped like a ‘plumb-bob’ which is ornamental brown in colour and found in the old Roman Wall at Wilderswood, Horwich, or translated , ‘wood of the wild deer’ So having seen this evidence, as I called it, I decided there was more room than ever in my statement about the ‘two lads’ and the vicinity, as such.
Having taken leave of Mr. Prosser, I thanked him for his information, and decided to, shall we say, put into operation my first expedition. So accompanied by two young men I decided to have a go on Saturday March 7th ? One of these young men has since proved to be very interested in the subject.
We met at the Crown Hotel, in the sunshine of a fine morning, and we set off. Having almost reached the summit of the hill on which is situated the ‘two lads’, we began to climb some glacial boulders when we made our first important discovery. Scrambling up the rocks Jack Smith picked up an object which resembled a flint stone, but upon accidentally dropping it we realised that it was marked and black with age and slightly green, a rub on one corner revealed a rub of Bronze, which after more rubbing appeared as a worn ancient bronze coin . The exact date we do not know, as with the passage of time it had been greatly disfigured. After a short while I found a piece of pottery, brown in colour and with slight remains of glazing but with the potters figure marks inside. This also was very very old. The coin looked very impressive. After another good look round I decided that we should make tracks for home. On the way we walked down a small dried up stream bed and I found a piece of Red Ochre which is used in the colouring of Roman Pottery.
Arriving home, I decided to have a look on the following day on my own, and found a piece of very rare flint. Honey coloured flint which has not been found round this county before, also a piece of White flint. So arriving back home with two more flints I decided my first weekend had been quite good.
In the meantime I made arrangements with Mr. Prosser and Jack, with the assistance of Joe Lee and MR. Prosser’s son Roy to excavate a large flat stone on the slope of the ‘two lads’ hill. Taking up with us two small trenching tools, we endeavoured to find out what was behind it , but with the spades being too small, we did not make much headway. We decided to adjourn for lunch, which we did most enjoyably with the sun beating down on us as we rested on the grass.
Upon resumption, after lunch, we did a wander round the hill then when I was just about to leave the ‘cairn’ I noticed a bottle neck lying in the peat, and picking this up I was surprised to see that it was of a peculiar shape round the lip, and distinctly marked round the neck. Calling over to Mr.Prosser who was by now proceeding down the hillside. He came back up and exclaimed that the bottle neck looked like early English (but since I have found out it could quite possibly be Roman). This was a good find. So with this safely in my haversack we proceeded on our journey towards the Pike. Reading the valley behind the ‘old Roman wall’ in the 2nd gully, I noticed a Standing Stone, some 6ft in height, with other stone slabs lying round about it at different angles ( since found out it could be the stone age Cist, or Burial)but being tired Imdid not stop to inspect it and proceeded on.
A bit disappointed at not finding anything behind the slab at the ‘two lads’ but not altogether excavated, I though I would have a look the following day, Sunday for a couple of hours. Arriving again on the ‘two lads’ I wandered around and found a bowl of a church wardens pipe and a quantity of pipe stem and a piece of pipe bowl with a figure of a fish on it. Walking in a different direction again, I noticed something glistening in the sun and found a small glass vase resting in a dried up peat bed, but was fully visible. Lifting this out I noticed it was broken, and searching round I found two more pieces under the peat and these fitted together, but still some of the broad lip was missing off the vase. Taking out my trenching spade I had a dig around in the peat and found a large amount of Green glass all broken. Some was Saffron or Honey coloured . I already knew from a book on the Roman Era in Britain that large quantities of glass (broken) are to be found on Roman sites so naturally I though I had struck something from the Roman period.
Digging further down in the peat I encountered a large flat slab 5’6” x 3’6” and a peculiar shape, rather thick and resting in clay. So I covered it back again with the peat, getting on my bicycle I rode off home leaving the Slab for further investigation. The following Saturday March 21st I had arranged to meet Mr. Prosser and Jack, but not before I had told them about the glass. Arriving once more at the top I showed them the place where the glass was found, and the Slab, but on looking at the Stone, Mr Prosser reckoned that the Romans did not use millstone grit for burials. I have since found out, they did, but having not brought, once again, larger spades we had to cover up the Slab and leave it for some other time. Looking across to the ‘two lads’ mound, Mr.Prosser remarked on two circles of stones with other stones piled up inside them these were about 6ft apart. Could these not be the original ‘Two Lads’ ? Were things taking shape at last. We uncovered stones off one of them but reached a huge flat Slab. Could this be the top of a Burial Chamber.? We will investigate again in the near future Proceeding across the moor I found a broken jug handle, which upon inspection at Warrington, was told it could be Roman, also a quantity of broken pottery which at Bolton Museum I was told it was very very old, but the age they could not say. Eventually we arrived on a large shingly patch of ground and found on it at least fifty flints between us. This was indeed evidence of a Stone Age flint factory on this site. Infact, very remarkable. We journeyed on very happy with our excellent finds.
The following day Sunday, I took my son John up and found a few more flints.
The following Saturday, we planned to meet again, the three of us, but owing to a break n the weather Mr.Prosser didn’t arrive. So Jack and I proceeded on our own. We never went to the ‘two lads’ but stayed on the flint patch, by now called ‘site no.1.’ But I only found two flints. The rain poured down, so we decided to abandon our outing and made tracks for home. On our way down we decided to go along a dried up river bed. I made one find, that was a river stone, but there looked like trtace of flint in it. So when I got home, I broke the stone and found that I was right, it was flint. Had we then stumbled on the place were Stone age man got his local flint from?
Saturday April 4th. Made an appointment for an interview at Bolton Museum. Most interested in flint finds especially the Brown or Honey coloured flint which is named ‘Precenea’ flint also glass bottle neck.
Monday April 6th, arranged with Jack and a man from Bolton , Mr. Thornley, to visit ‘two lads’ and show Mr. Thornley the Slab stone I found, but owing to the bad weather, Jack did not turn up, so I proceeded on my own. Reaching the Pike Road I had to shelter because of the rain and mist, you could not, by this time, see the ‘two lads’. However after half an hour the weather brightened a little and I went on up to the flint patch or no.1. site. After having a good look round I found in one place, in about a yard radius, approx. 30 flints. Then the snow storm came down and I had to shelter again. When the snow had stopped I went back to no.1 site and found one or two more flints. Looking up I noticed Mr. Thornley some distance away, on the ‘two lads’ site. So I called across to him and went to meet him. We proceeded to the summit and he was most impressed with the Slab. So we made arrangements to meet Sunday afternoon April 12th to excavate it. The snow had started again by now in a most frightful blizzard, so we journeyed down to Horwich Crown Hotel and caught the bus home. In the meantime I had made arrangements with Jack to go up on Saturday April 11th
Saturday April 11th arranged to meet Jack at Georges Lane corner, but owing to a misunderstanding, Jack waited at Mill Lane corner. I went on my own, the sky was now overcast, when reaching no.1 site Jack had just arrived ahead of me. We looked round for flints and found a few , but not of much value. Then we went down to and through a break in the old Roman wall and on to the site overlooking the Stone age Burial Ciste, found one or two small flints then wandered up an old dried up river bed where we had our snack, afterwards veering off across the moor towards Winter Hill. We had a short shower of rain but it soon blew over . The wind was pretty strong on Winter Hill, so we sat down for a rest on the Anglezarke side of the hill out of the wind. What a grand view, we noticed the outline of a house or villa under some grass in a field. Could this be Roman? We went down the hillside towards Roundloaf on Anglezarke Moor, which is a Stone age or Bronze age Barrow, but when only half way there we had to turn back owing to the gun bombardment of the Army, who are in occupation of Anglezarke Moor. We climbed a hill further south of Winter Hill called Noon Hill, and from there headed straight for the Pike where on our journey we searched for flints. These patches were so large that they could take about a month to explore. We decided to investigate them at another date. We proceeded on our way home arranging to meet the following day at Georges Lane corner at 2-30 p.m., when in the company of Mr. Prosser, Mr. Lucas and Mr. Thornley we would investigate a step further the Slab near ‘two lads’ cairn.
We all met as arranged, and introductions all over we went on our way, having passed ‘two lads’ mound on our right. We passed by Sportsmans House and about 40 yards further on we left the road and walked on the Moor, where I showed them a Stone age Burial site with eight mounds about it. Having taken a good look round it and taken photographs we carried on to the ‘two lads’ mound, where I pointed out the Slab I had uncovered in the peat. They were most impressed, so I had a dig at it again with my spade, (which I had hidden the day before) and uncovered the whole of the Slab, but the work was hard and we decided that to make any more impression on it we would have to dig down the side of the Slab, so we left it for another day. Mr. Lucas and Jack went home early, and Mr. Thornley, Mr. Prosser and myself decided to have a look on the sandy patch at the back of the 2 houses to the East North East of ‘two lads’, and I found three more flakes of flint one one them being ‘Precenea’. So I had this one sent to Cambridge University for checking up purposes. So we went on our way home, and saying goodnight said we would meet again shortly.
Following Saturday April 18th. Jack had a job to do at home so he could not come with me, and as I had to go to a football match in the afternoon, I went in the morning and decided to have a look at the top of Winter Hill Having reached to top of Winter Hill I had a look round one or two patches there without finding any flints, then I proceeded in an Easterly direction , on the Belmont side, when I noticed a few flint patches and one the first I found a fair sized White flint flake. Not having time to explore all the lot I made my way back to ‘Flint Head’ Site no.1. Having almost arrived there I noticed a very likely patch and looking closely I found one or two flakes lying on the top. I then decided to have a dig and found about 30 to 40 flint flakes including a small Arrow Head. Seeing that the time was now 12-45 p.m.I decided that being as my bus for Westhoughton football match was at 2-10 p.m., I would make my way home.
Next Sunday I told my son John I would take him to the flint patch and show him where I dug for the flints. The weather was bright and sunny and we arrived at No. i. Site about 4-00 p.m. Looking up I saw a familiar figure approaching on the road, so I looked through the glasses and saw that it was Mr. Thornley. He came across and I showed him where I had found all the flints.
He found quite a lot, so did I and Johnnie. By now the time was 7-30 pm so we set of down the path for home.. On the Monday I took Jack after work and showed him where I had found the small Arrow Head and flint flakes , we recovered a few more. Following Saturday April 25th met Jack and Mr. Prosser at Crown corner at 10-00 am. And proceeded on site, and found approximately 100 flints between us. Left the site for home at 5-30 p.m.
Sunday April 26th. In the company of Mr. Prosser and his son Roy we went to have a look round ‘two lads’ via Sod Hall. Above Finches quarry on the way I noticed , through my binoculars, large flint patches over the other side of the valley, in the direction of Winberry Hill. I remarked about the peculiar shaped hill which looked like a Barrow, on farmland, on valley slope. These want further investigation
Leaving the ‘two lads ‘cairn behind we walked towards the site were I found the small Arrow Head. Going across the moor I found a grouse nest containing nine eggs, a lovely sight Looking through my glasses in the direction of Winter Hill we noticed a man with a haversack on his back , who as I thought turned out to be Mr. Thornley. He came down to us, and between us we found a few more flint flakes. The weather was getting colder and bleak so we set off for home at 7-00 p.m. The following Saturday May 2nd, went to Wembley and found a few flakes in my brother’s garden. Nothing of importance, as flakes are to be found in large quantities in that area . They build houses of it down there.
Saturday May 9th. I met Jack at Gregson Lane corner and we walked up to the field to Sod Hall. Taking the turning to the left of the Hall we went on until we arrived at the top of the hill overlooking the valley I pointed out to Jack the peculiar mound resembling a Stone age Barrow, and he was so impressed. Going down the hillside I found a grouse nest containing nine eggs. Carrying on our journey we crossed a small stream, and then a meadow, to find ourselves going through a farm yard. Nearby was the peculiar shaped hill and on closer inspection we came to the conclusion that it was a Prehistoric Barrow.
About 300 yards further on we left the road and climbed a dry stone wall to start our climb across the moors. We went up a gorge, passing through lovely scenery, up by the bed of a stream, till after going about a mile we entered by a cleft in the hillside into a natural ‘amphi-theatre’. The floor of which was covered with lovely green grass. This was very remarkable as it was in the middle of the moor. Coming out through a cleft in the other side we found ourselves by the shore of a reservoir, and walking along the bank we noticed at the edge of the water,at the end of a dried stream, the footmarks of a fox, which had, we presume, gone down for a drink. Then for about a quarter of a mile we went over some very tough grass flats, till in the distance we could see through our glasses Winberry Hill.
We arrived on the hill about 10-45 a.m. taking in all about an hour and a half to get there. There were plenty of patches on the hillside and we had a good look around for flints, after first of all having a rest after our climb. After about 15 minutes I made my first find that was some Red flint but no flakes. About 12-30 p.m. we decided to go on a small hill, next to and North of Winberry Hill. This hill was known as Egg Hillock, and we had our lunch there. On this hill is a very large patch , so we set about having a look around, and after only a couple of minutes I found a beautiful specimen of an Arrow Head. Yes a real beauty indeed. Pale Blue flint, very neatly chipped. This indeed was my No.1. find up to date. On looking round we did not discover any flakes so we presumed it must have been dropped by wandering hunters.
Having had our lunch we picked up our tools and equipment and proceeded up the hill, out of that lovely valley, which is a sun trap.
Climbing steadily for 15 minutes we reached the summit of the hill and saw on our right the top of Winter Hill in the distance. After the climb. With the sun beating down on us we were a bit tired, and very hot, so as we went along across the flats we came across a spring and had a drink from it, which was very refreshing. After this short rest we went on our way with the ‘two lads’ mound showing up in the distance.
We came across some ruins of a house in a little hollow in the moor, and by the side of them was a very large millstone. Was this of Norman origin? Presently we arrived at No.1 site, to find Mr. Prosser having a dig for flints. He had managed to recover a few more, but Jack and I only got one or two more out. I showed Mr. Prosser the Arrow Head I had found, he was amazed . Shortly after this we went home. When I arrived home my wife was delighted with my Arrow Head find.
Taking out my tools I found I had left my trowel on the site where I found the Arrow Head. So I decided to go and get it the following morning.
Sunday May10th I set off for Georges Lane at 9-45 a.m. and arrived Winberry Hill at 10-45 a.m., travelling a bit more direct. I found my trowel on the spot where I had found the flint Arrow Head and I had a look round for flints. I found some cores and a lovely White flake on the top of a small hill to the right of Winberry Hill in and Easterly direction. I noticed on the side of this hill a passageway that went in the direction of the centre of the hill. What is this passage? Shortly after I set off for home arriving there about 2-30 p.m.
The following Saturday May 16th I went down to see Mr. Thornley at his house at Green Lane Bolton, and he was delighted with my Arrow Head. He showed me a large number of flints , also fragments of Roman pottery. Sunday May 17th I arranged to meet Mr. Thornley on Winberry Hill site and show him the passage I had discovered. Wandering around we found one or two flint cores and one piece of pottery, presumable Roman. I showed him the passage and he was most impressed . We had our snack at the entrance to it and went inside to the end of the first passage, about 30 yards. Another passage branched off but we decided to explore this another time. Wandering on we arrived at the summit of Winberry Hill, and I had only been there a few minutes when I discovered a Flint Knife about 6” long. We had a look round for some more but we found none so proceeded to go home.
The following Thursday May 21 st after having told Jack about the passage, we arranged to go all the way inside at after work. We arrived about 7-00 p.m. after having begged a lift in a lorry on Scout Road. Jack went all through the passage, but was a bit disappointed because it ended in a blank wall. What lies behind the wall? When we have time we will investigate. The remarkable thing about the passage is that it has slabs of stone for the roof and the walling is well made. A good feat of engineering We hunted round again and found iron fragments in a peat bed . Could these be of the Iron age ? Finding nothing else after this we went on our way home.
Saturday May 23 rd Made arrangements with Jack to visit Bull Hill. All we found was one flint apiece.
Saturday May 30th. Stayed at home, Mother broke arm.
Saturday May 31st found new site on Pike slope 53 flints.
Saturday June 6th Carnival
Sunday June 7th Took Mr. Prosser and Roy to look at passage.
Thursday June 10th Showed Mr. Prosser and Roy new site where I got 53 flints from. I wandered off on a fresh patch and found and adze or axe. Along with 53 flints off new site I found a black axe. Saturday June 13th Had trip on Moss with Mr. Prosser. Sought enquiries regarding skull. Found nothing.
Saturday June 20th Rose Queen.
Sunday June 21st I wandered over the moors between Site no.1, the Pike and Winter Hill. It rained very hard. After searching for an hour or two I decided to abandon it owing to the weather , but on jumping across a stream on to a sandy patch I almost jumped onto a lovely Arrow Head.
Saturday June 27th Went to Chorley. Met Jack and Councillor Williams, and went on Cllr. Williams motor bike to inspect Barrow in Temple wood Chorley. Afterwards I proceeded on my own across the Nab, and over Anglezakre Moors towards the Pike. The only piece of flint I found was just above the Pigeon Tower near the Pike. I then went on my way home.
Friday 26th June. Went with Johnnie and found a few flakes on No.1 site, including a nice Awl.
July 4th. Went round Belmont to Winter Hill and on to Site no.1, where we dug a few flakes. Afterwards we cycled round the back of the Pike to the new site and found nothing. So we went on to site no. 4 where we picked up one or two cores, but nothing to speak of.
July 11th Went to Yorkshire with Jack and met Sir Edward Witley at Malton. He took us on the site of the Roman Fort and pointed out various details. We had a dig and dug up some Roman pottery, also an Oyster Shell from Roman age. These were the Romans favourite dish. We camped at a lovely farm called ‘Lowna’ in a large valley at the bottom of Surprise View on the banks of a river. A lovely sight. Went to Hutton-le-Hole, a very lovely old village. Monday 13th July We lekft Gillamoor for Kirkby, Moorside, Pickering, Malton and home.
Saturday July 18th Set out and went over the top of Winter Hill, I found 4 flakes came back again over site no. 4and found another three flakes. I then made my way home.
Sunday July 19th Met W. Thornley of Bolton and went to see Urns, flints etc. dug out of the ring burial on Mosley Height, Burnley, that are on show in Townley Hall Burnley. Also on show were various flint implements found on the moors around Burnley. We had a walk on Worsthorn Moor and found about 4 flakes between us. We made our own way back and landed home about 9-00 p.m.
Wednesday July 22nd. Went on a bus to Brinscall, met Mr. .R. Bellis J.P. and had a walk over moors to Roundloaf on Anglezarke Moor. Roundloaf we presume is a Barrow. We then made our way down Lead Mine Valley. I found two flint tools, one was a microlithic Awl, the other a Scraper. I gave these to Mr. Bellis. W e then made our ways home.
We have formed a Society in Chorley termed the Chorley and District Archaeological Society, of which Councillor Williams J.P. is President, myself, Secretary and our friend Mr J. Smith, Treasurer. Many more joining.
Saturday July 25th. Rained all day. Too wet to go anywhere.
Friday July 24th I took Mr. J. Rawlinson, of Horwich on a tour of the known chipping sites, and I picked up about 20 flints, including chippings, flakes and 1 Awl. We arrived home about 6-00 pm.
Sunday July 26th Cycled up to the moors and found a new flint chipping site by the Pigeon Tower. (No. 6) Found 30 flints.
Tuesday July 28th Cycled to the moor again and went on No. 6 site Took off a nice Grey blade and thumb scraper. Found site. No. 7 on top of quarry. Took off a few Cream coloured flints.
Saturday August 1st. Went with Jack on to the moor I took him up to site no. 6 and we found 1 flake this time, I discovered 7 querns in an old ruined building, I called Jack over and he turned one over and on the other side was an emblem of some sort. We went on and then crossed to site no. 7 were we took off a few more flakes. From there we went on to the moors on Anglezarke, Belmont side, where we had a meal. We then walked over to Great Hill where I found a nice White flake. After that we went down to the Gorge. Jack showed me the cave he had discovered. Walking on we discovered a large site on the top of the Gorge, which looked very much like a Prehistoric camp site. From there we went on to Anglezarke Moor and took photographs of small Tumulas, with Jack stood on the top of it. We went on and then climbed onto the Anglezarke Edge, overlooking the 3rd lake. Having a meal there, we afterwards looked round for some flints, and I found a large piece of flint which could have been a smoother. I left Jack there to proceed on his way to Chorley, and I on my way home. I had not left Jack more than five minutes when I found the Ciste that Mr. Thornley took photographs of. I took 4 photographs of it, and then wandered on my way home.
August 8th/. Had a walk over to Winberry Hill found only 2 flints.
August 13th We held our first meeting of our Society . 12 Members present. Proposed outings to sites later on . Next meeting September 10th.
August 15th Found site no.8 where I took off chippings and a broken Arrow Head of Grey flint.
August 22nd Rained all day, did not go out.
August 29th Rained again, blew a gale. Stayed in all day
September 5th Went to Ilkley, Yorks with Jack and we first went into the Museum where we noticed that the type of flint that had been found there was very poor quality. We have much better quality. The Roman ware was very nice and had been found on the Roam fort, where now on the site stands the church. We went on the moors in the afternoon and found a Stone Ring. I took a photograph of it with Jack stood in it. We also saw an Earthwork, Cup of Ring Stones, Tumalus etc, but no flints. We stayed at the Rose and Crown hotel, opposite the Church. We went in the churchyard where once stood the Roman Fort. There I found a piece of Roman pottery bearing the name OTTIM ?
Sunday September 6th. We left Ilkley 10-30 a.m. Arrived Skipton 11-00 a.m. Arrive Colne 12-00 noon, Burnley 12.30 p.m. Caught a bus to Worsthorne Moor, we discovered a new chipping site. We took off thirty more flints. Getting the 5-00 p.m. bus we made our way home.
August 31st I visited Mr. Posnanski, a Cambridge student who explained quite a lot about flints etc. Later on, on the 3rd September I sent him a letter asking him to come for his tea to our house, and also to come round our Stone age sites, he accepted.
September 8th Jack and I met Mr. Posnaski and I introduced Jack to him, we then proceeded over all our sites. He like No. 1 site which he termed Mesolithic (very good), he liked the Querns I found, also ‘two lads’ and then most of all the Earth Dyke which runs by site no.1. After tea he examined all flints etc. He said we had a good selection. I introduced him to Mr, Prosser. We said goodnight and I promised to send him the photographs of the Ciste on Anglezarke Moor called the ‘Pike Stones’, which, I since, have done.
Thursday September 10th The Society held its second meeting. We had an exhibition night. A photographer came from the Chorley Guardian, also the Secretary of the Walton-le-Dale Roman excavation site. The outing was arranged for Sept. 27th. 1-30 p.m. It was a good exhibition.
Saturday September 12th.I met Mr. Pickering of Preston Archaeology Society, he is the Chairman. He showed me round the site of the Roman Fort at Walton – le – Dale. He showed me plenty of pottery amongst which was plenty of Damien ware. I thanked him for the visit and then I left for home.
Monday September 14th. I wrote quite a few letters to Mr. Willet, Manchester, Mr. Posnanski, British Museum, Miss Spey, Mr. Thornley and Council of Archaeology.
Tuesday 15th September. Wrote to Mr. Roscoe regarding excavation of ‘two lads’. I received letter asking me to go for an interview with him.
Saturday September 19th. I had interview with Mr. Roscoe and obtained his permission, but I had to write to Bolton to obtain Mr. Rennisons permission as Horwich only rent the water rites off Bolton. Obtained permission.
Sunday September 20th. Went to Burnley with Mr. W. Thornley, went on to new chipping site where I took off a few more chippings. I also found a very nice blade along with the core, it had been chipped off. Left for home at 7-00 p.m.
Monday September 21st. I wrote to ask Mr. Willett of Manchester would he like to come on our first outing round the Stone age sites I found on Horwich Moor. He replied and said he would like to.
Thursday September 24th. We had a subsidiary meeting at Mr. Williams’ Chorley, along with Jack and myself to discuss arrangements for Sept. 27th.
Saturday September 26th Jack and I went on site no. 1 and made the place presentable for our Society, next day.
Sunday 27th September. 14 members met at the Crown Hotel Horwich at 1-30 p.m .to start off on the tour of the sites. Mr. Willett was most impressed by the considerable amount of flints, that up to the present, had been taken off site no. 1 : over 600, including Battered Back Blades, Microtills, Thumb Scrapers, Awls etc. After going round all the camp sites including ‘two lads’ and the Tumulas on Noon Hill we proceeded to Rivington Hall for tea and rounded off an excellent afternoon out.
We obtained permission from Bolton on Sept. 30th for proposed dig on ‘two lads’.
Thursday 29th September. I received pamphlet from the C.B.A. off Mr. Whittle , to tell me that a meeting of the No. 5 section of the C.B.A. will be held at Salmesbury Hall, between Preston and Blackburn on Saturday October 3rd and would I like to write to Mr. Silvester , Secretary, and ask could I attend.. Same night I wrote to Mr. Silvester.
Saturday October 3rd I attended the Salmesbury Hall meeting of the C.B.A. and was introduced to Dr. Jackson one of the leading figures in Archaeology and also Mr. Bennett of Blackburn and other prominent men. We had an excellent tea afterwards.
Thursday October 8th We held our third meeting of the Society and I mentioned that the block of stone on site no. 1 could be, according to Mr. Miller of the C.B.A., a Sacrificial Block ?
10th October. We arranged excavation on site no. 1 for 10th Ocotober . We dug a trench about 12 feet long and 2feet deep but all we found were 5 flints and one piece of jet. Filling in we had another patch near the peat in the East corner, and found a few more flints on the clay floor, under the peat. By this time the light wasn’t too good, so we abandoned it and went home.
October 18th. I found a new chipping site near noon hill, took off a few chippings and one blade. (site no. 9) Also went with Mr. J. Rawlings to view site of Roman Encampment that Lord Leverhulme had excavated up Rivington.
October 25th Found another new chipping site near site no. 3. took off some very nice specimen flints.
November 4th. We held our Society meeting and arranged an outing to Templewood Pit Dwellings on the Nab, and the Pike Stones on Anglezarke Moor.
November 22nd. The Society had its second outing this time to Moated Mound in Templewood, Chorley. Then on to the Nab at Chorley to view some Pit dwellings . From there we journeyed across Anglezarke Moor to view the Pike Stones, which is the remains of a Chamber Burial. Afterwards we had a cup of tea at Jepsons Gate farm, then made our way home.
November 28th I went to Anglezarke and found three or four flakes at scattered points
Thursday December 10th. A meeting of our Society was held at the Reform Club Chorley.
No outings, owing to bad weather. Up till February 11th, then to Pickering Castle.
January 14th 1954.
The Society had a meeting and suggested an outing to the Uriconium of Chester proposed exhibition in Astley Hall. Next Society outing to Pickering Castle on Feb. 14th
February 20th. Mr. Lowe, Surveyor and Mr. Turner, Asst. Surveyor, Ald. Williams, Jack and myself, met at Chorley Town Hall, 9-00 a.m. Saturday morning and went by cars to Manor House farm Anglezarke. From there we carried all the equipment across the moors to Round Loaf to do the survey of it. It was a very hard walk across the moor carrying all the equipment, however, the survey was carried out successfully.
At Pickering Castle on February 14th Jack found a piece of flint at 20feet in gravel quarry and an Oyster shell at 80 feet down. I found a flake at approx. 30 feet with secondary flaking. We went on to a farm nearby and viewed a large stone in the shape of a Plough Blade, found whilst farmer was digging out a Copse. The farmer gave the stone to the Society and I have sent a photograph off to Mr. Posnanski for identification.
At the Society meeting on Thursday February 11th it was proposed that Mr. J. Winstanley attended the half-yearly meeting in London on July 9th of the C.B.A. Jack gave a brief account of his recent January experiences in Victoria Cave Yorkshire, finding a tooth, which after being identified was found to be of an Arctic Fox, also a bone of a Roam British Sheep.
At the March 11th meeting of the Society a letter was read from Mr. Willett asking the Society if it was possible to do the survey of the Blackrod site. Mr. Lowe (Surveyor) agreed to do the survey on Saturday March 27th. An Urn was found at the bottom of a drained mill lodge in Chorley. I proposed taking this to Dr. Jackson in Buxton for identification. I think it is Roman. The outing to Uriconium was arranged for the 25th April. The time of departure was arranged for 10-00 a.m.
The survey of Round Loaf was handed over to Mr. Winstanley, Secretary, to be sent to the Ministry of Works, so the site may be scheduled as an Ancient Monument.
During a recent walk, in February, across the moors to Belmont I noticed the outline of the Villa, or what ever it is, more pronounced, owing to the fall of snow on it. The whole site consists of a series of trenches and in one was a large Sandstone Slab about 5feet long and 18 inches wide. In another trench my son found a piece of flint. Along the back of the site is an outer wall about 100 yards long with a ditch, of a drop on the outside, of about 4 feet.
A knife was found in a field at Brazely, Horwich about 14” long in the blade and 3” wide with a handle of steel, also the blade was curved. Probably Danish or Cromwellian.
Saturday March 13th in the company of Jack and another young member of the Society, Stanley Elliott, we had a walk from Turton Railway Station, over the moors, to Belmont , and then over the moors to Horwich. I called at the Black Dog, for refreshment, before continuing over to Horwich. A few rough flint chippings were found on Horwich Moors
March 27th. In company with Mr. Lowe, Surveyor, and Mr. Turner, Asst. Surveyor, Mr. Williams and Mr. Smith, we did the survey of the Blackrod Castle site for Mr. Willett of Manchester. Also showed the Urn to Mr. Willett. Same day he said it was a Roman Ampullah, everyday ware.
March 29th Found new chipping site below ‘two lads’. Took off one or two nice microliths (site no. 12).
March 31st Found another new site. Took off microliths and chippings. (site no. 13 ) opposite West slope.
April 1st. Found out new site at Clayton Green, went with Mr. Williams, on motorbike, to view it. Looks like a Tumulus surrounded by a Moat with Causeway across it. Looks Good.
April 8th. Society meeting at Chorley.
April 19th. Found a few more flints on West slope.
April 22nd. Posnanski’s lecture on Mesolithic Age.
April 24th. Mr. Rawlinson found pottery on crest of hill in bank, and ditch in Lead Mine Valley. Went with him to view site and took off a lot more pottery.
April 25th Went on outing to Uriconium. Shrewsbury, site of Roman Baths. Had lunch at the Rising Sun, Tarporley then motored to Uriconium. Found Roman Tiles, Glass, bones etc. After a 2hour stay we went on to Houghmond Abbey which was nearly all built from stone off the Uriconium site. From there we went on home.
May 13th Society meeting Chorley.
May 8th Went in the company of Jack and Gordon to start excavations on ‘two lads’, but no other members turned up. So we went looking for flints. I found a few microliths on site no. 1 and site 1a or West slope.
May 16th Sunday I went on my bike for a ride to site no.6 In the peat, at the East of the site, I discovered a Bugle Mouthpiece embedded in the peat, also went to Noon Hill and found two more flint chippings. Then went home
May 22nd. Arranged at May 13th meeting to have a dig at ‘two lads’, but the weather was too bad, and it was raining all day.
May23rd Went on West slope site and took off a few nice microliths and flake chippings.
May 29th. Had conference with Alderman Williams, at Chorley, about exhibition etc.
May 30th. Sunday afternoon, went on West slope, took off some microliths and chippings. And then went on to site no.1 and took off more flakes at East corner with Mr. Thornley.
No more in Diary at this point relating to finds, digs and forming of the Society .
J.D. November 2006