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    Anyone know what this is?

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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Anyone know what this is?

    Post  Paulus on Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:48 pm

    Hi there!

    Please bear with me over this, as the site here aint prehistoric. It's more late-medieval (he sez, guessing); but we found it many years back and I've always been puzzled as to what it is, who made it and why.



    My friend Jon & I came across it on the southern side of Ilkley Moor, when we sat here having a rest & summat to eat. Just before we were about to go, Jon stood up and knocked away a facing stone, or entrance stone, breaking the seal, and unearthing the artificial mine-shaft-like thing you can see in the picture here. The tunnel goes into a hillside for some 30 yards, before bending left (west) and deep into the ground. Whoever made this went to one helluva lot of effort to dig it so deep into the ground. The entrance is only about 12-14 inches wide and 8-10 inches high. Anyone any idea what it is?
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Anyone know what this is ?

    Post  Sunbright57 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:26 am

    It looks like something prehistoric. I have seem something similar to this before, can't think where at the moment. Or, could it be more recent, something for wild animals to use - other than that I'm not sure.
    Arrow
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    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  lowergate on Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:55 pm

    Paul,
    You say that the shaft goes in for some 30yards then bends west. I take it then that a human can crawl through, & if so what are the internal dimentions of the shaft and is it cut through rock or earth?

    intrigued

    john
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  Paulus on Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:22 am

    Hi JOhn!

    lowergate wrote:You say that the shaft goes in for some 30yards then bends west. I take it then that a human can crawl through, & if so what are the internal dimentions of the shaft and is it cut through rock or earth?

    When we first found this, we were only 13yrs old; and although we intended walking over the western edge of Ilkley Moor, we spent the next hour or 3 here. We were unable to get ourselves inside the tunnel, so a week later I brought my poor young brother up here as we were too big to get inside it ourselves. My brother Phil was 6! Up we came with a torch and half-bullied the poor lad to get inside the tunnel. He didn't have much choice tbh! We could work out what seemed to be a blocking stone about 10yds dead straight down the tunnel, which stays on an even level - and we initially presumed that it stopped there. But when Phil crawled to the blocking stone, he found he could crawl to its left, then back right again and the tunnel went straight on again. He refused to go round the blocking stone, but with the aid of the torch he told us how the tunnel went straight on again for twice the distance he'd crawled, then made a very gradual bend leftwards and into the hillside itself. And it's a big hillside mate! Someone went to a helluba lot of effort to build this - and we've always wanted to know what, if anything, is at the end of it! scratch

    Phil got back out, trembling, but excited as I remember! He'd been the first person to go into this tunnel since.....well, since whenever the blocking stone had been placed over it many centuries beforehand.

    When we first found the site, summer vegetation was well in growth. It was only the following winter when we came here (though it had become one of our regular sitting spots) that we saw how the hillside itself had been artificially altered. This is blatantly obvious on some of the photos we have of the place and when you visit the site; but I've found no written record of any human activity here.

    I came here years back with a regional archaeo from the Midlands - who didn't know what to make of the place (not surprisingly, when I contacted the Bradford council's archaeologist about the place, he wasn't even interested; I think that was my first encounter of his apathy). Archaeology and folklore writer Bob Trubshaw came here and was equally puzzled, though thought it medieval in age. And we've since found foundation ruins of rectangular buildings on the hill above the site, but I don't think they're 'officially' logged again. There's a line of old walling running up on the flat above here (I'm uncertain whether it's Iron Age or later) about 100 yards away; and we have a well-preserved unrecognised prehistoric cairn, very similar to Bleara Lowe, a coupla hundred yards away. However, the medieval nature of the site seems more probable John.

    Odd innit?

    If you fancy a look at the place, we could meet up & show y' the place. It's not the sorta spot I wanna show to archaeologists, as I no longer have any faith in them. Every time I come here, I always make sure I close the entrance so it cannot be seen; though that's only possible for just a few months of the year. We came looking here only a few months back with Dave and, after nearly an hour, gave up trying to find it! - cos when the vegetation's here, it's nigh on impossible to locate - and as I always cover it up very well to stop other people finding it. Silly I know, but there's some other ingredients here which have always made us do this, from its very first discovery...

    All the best - Paul Cool
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  Paulus on Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:29 am

    ooh - nearly forgot!

    lowergate wrote:... and is it cut through rock or earth?john

    It's layered stone, built like walling, with flat covering stones laying across its 'roof' - literally like a mini-mine-shaft running horizontally into the hillside. The ground above it has been artificially layered with earth and stone. And the dimensions...? I recall measuring it when we were kids, but have lost the data. Just big enough for an average 6-7yr old lad to squeeze into! (pause on that last description: a 6-7yr old lad 40yrs ago - not a modern 6-7yr old, who are increasingly fat & unhealthy. sad but true...)

    Cheers - Paul
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    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  lowergate on Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:01 am

    Most intriguing Paul.

    Type of Kiln ? Doubt it

    A salt pie (store) ?

    Who held the land here pre 1540 ? Maybe a clue here if a monastic estate as they were involved with many industries.

    Again, intriguing.

    Best

    john

    bearbump

    Join date : 2011-02-13

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  bearbump on Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:29 pm

    Could be a stone sough ( drain ) .

    Pete
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  Paulus on Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:42 pm

    Hi Pete -

    bearbump wrote:Could be a stone sough ( drain ) .

    Yeahhh... it's summat we've wondered, looked at, & it aint. There's evidence of a fire on a nearby rock, but not a scrap of water erosion or any evidence of drainage.

    Cheers - Paul Smile
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  Paulus on Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:55 pm

    Hi John -

    lowergate wrote:Most intriguing Paul.

    Type of Kiln?

    That's the most likely idea to date. Paul Hornby suggested the same thing & with evidence of burning he found on one of the stones, could substantiate such a thing. But the oddity is the direction of the tunnel. If it was for a kiln, wouldn't it be directed into the open and below the hillside as opposed to going into the hill? Kilns aint my subject at all, but it could be such a thing.

    lowergate wrote:Who held the land here pre 1540 ? Maybe a clue here if a monastic estate as they were involved with many industries

    I think the lands here were at one time held by the Knights of St. John and then the Abbey of Rievaulx - but like I said, this aint my period, so don't quote me on that!

    Cheers - Paul

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    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    Re: Anyone know what this is?

    Post  lowergate on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:10 am


    Rievaulx was involved in iron smelting in a big way.


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