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Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

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May 2007

 
 

Sun 20 May 2007

Field walk around Anglezarke Reservoir.

 

We met at the Knowsley Embankment on the Anglezarke Reservoir for our historical field walk. Joan lead the walk which commenced by following the path north above the reservoir side to the site of the old settlement of Haddock Fold. All remains of the houses have long since gone but the site was fully occupied before the reservoir was built. There were also 2 colliery shafts in the area. We joined the road and continued north passing Loo cottages, names after the battle of Waterloo. We followed the lane to the right and passed Kays Farm then continued along Heapey Fold Lane which is reputed to be the line of the old Roman Road heading towards Mellor Signal Station.


A wonderful carpet of bluebells on the
Anglezarke Reservoir northern embankment.


Group rest by Anglezarke Reservoir.

In the field to left we could see a circular stone structure. This is one of two air shafts on the original water supply tunnel for the Chorley Waterworks constructed in the 1850s. This tunnel collapsed in 1976, see below for more information. Descending through the woods we re-joined the road near the Waterman’s Cottage then along the path to Hugh Bullough Reservoir. This was originally called Chorley Reservoir and was the first to be constructed in the 1850s. It provided water for Chorley town up to the 1980s. We then passed the site of Leicester Mill quarries which are now overgrown and no trace of the original buildings can be seen. A short walk along the reservoir east bank and we returned to our starting point. With nice weather and lots of interesting things to be seen this was a very enjoyable walk.

Chorley water supply tunnel collapse

In 1976 a large depression appeared in the field on the line of the Chorley tunnel near the west bank of the Anglezarke Reservoir. At the same time the water coming from the Chorley tunnel and discharging into the reservoir turned from clear water into a muddy slurry. Further investigation was needed urgently. A mechanical excavator was brought in and the depression was excavated. As the hole became too deep to shore up a specialist firm was brought in to sink a vertical shaft. Several metres down the old stone tunnel was found to have collapsed. A temporary repair was done by sliding pipes up either end and capping the shaft. The tunnel was not needed for much longer as the new Lancashire Conjunctive Use pipeline would provide water for Chorley and make the tunnel redundant.


The water supply tunnel in a state of collapse.


The shaft is sunk in the bottom of the excavation.


Looking down the shaft.

 

Sat 12 May 2007

Spring meeting of the C.B.A. (Council for British Archaeology) NW Regional Group
held at Lancaster Grammar School

The spring meeting of the C.B.A. (Council for British Archaeology) NW Regional Group was held at Lancaster Grammar School, Lancaster on Saturday 12th May 2007. There was a full and varied programme of presentations through the day which commenced with Neil Thompson of Wyre Archaeology Group speaking about the work they have been doing in the Nateby area, which is about 1.5 miles SW of Garstang. Aerial photos revealed many shapes in the landscape and excavations revealed what seemed to be ‘pile settlements’ or man made islands. Neil is booked to give this presentation to Chorley Historical Society in Jan 2008.

 


Roman tablet found in Lancaster


David Shotter (4th from left) explains about
the Romans in Lancaster.

David Morris of Pendle Heritage Archaeology Group gave a fascinating presentation on the Vaccaries of Blackburn Hundred. Vaccaries were small-scale commercial cattle farms dating from medieval times.
After the presentations we walked across Lancaster to the Castle and Castle Hill where David Shotter gave us a great conducted tour of the Roman remains and their presence in the County.

 
 

Tue 08 May 2007

Rachel Newman, the Director of Oxford Archaeology North, based in Lancaster,
came to give us her presentation about the recent discovery and excavation of a Viking burial site in Cumbria.

The story is almost ‘text-book’ In 2004 Peter and George, two metal detectorists found what turned out to be a copper alloy brooch near Cumwhitton, Carlisle, Cumbria. When the Archaeologists became involved the site turned out to be of extreme importance, it was a Viking burial ground.

 


The two copper alloy brooches


A sword and beads are visible in
this photograph of one of the graves.

English heritage funded an emergency excavation which happened just in time as the farmer was about to ‘deep plough’ the field. It turned out to be an early 10th century group of 6 graves; 2 female and 4 male. The top part of the site had already been destroyed but a strata of about 250mm remained and it is amazing that all the finds came from such a thin slice of ground.