The Northern Antiquarian Forum

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The Northern Antiquarian Forum

Archaeology, folklore & myth of Britain's pre-christian sites & heritage: stone circles, holy wells, maypoles, tombs, archaic cosmologies and human consciousness. Everyone welcome - even Southerners!

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    Middop Medieval Village


    Join date : 2011-10-05

    Middop Medieval Village Empty Middop Medieval Village

    Post  scocker626 Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:12 am

    Hi all, I think its about time I started this Middop topic although it will have to be a work in progress and update when I have more time. To start things off I have included an aerial Photograph showing the site boundaries of a Medieval village located at Middop. I don’t think this site comes as a surprise as it quite well known that during a drought in the 70s outlines of buildings could be seen.

    I will update the topic with photographs of finds within these boundaries, and also Bronze Age items outside but close by.

    This site is quite difficult to date due to not finding a single coin here in 8 years (within these boundaries). The amount of lead dross found here has been overwhelming, and copper alloy artefacts have almost been non existent. At a rough guess, I would say this site is mid 12th century and earlier as some of the artefacts suggest that although poor, they were educated.
    Coinage became more widely available towards the end of King John and Henry 111 rule. The most common Hammered coins found today are Edward 1st where many people started to prosper (until black death) as stated earlier, no hammered coins have been found here and this supports that the site could be pre 1200.

    Back in 2004 after having a chat with the landowner, he said that Monks lived here (meaning Middop Hall) and that some people had come round looking inside the hall for clues on the date. Apparently they said the hall was built in the 15th – 16th century. The landowner disagreed with this date as he thought it was much earlier. After detecting this land for 8 years I believe that the hall is indeed 15th Century an no earlier.

    The Monk rumour proved to be correct but not at the hall, there was a large building where the Laithe now stands, you can make out the earthworks where I have placed an arrow. This area had many Spindle whorls scattered on either side of this Laithe – probably way over 150. The majority of them were plain but some were decorated and saucer shaped, they varied in size considerably.

    I will keep updating the thread with info and photos.

    Link to aerial Photo

    This Vesica Seal Matrix was found on the site

    I sent photos of the Seal to an Expert in the field who was kind enough to write me a report, please see link below.

    Please note the reference to a convent.

    Here is just a small selection of spindle whorls found round the Laithe.

    Another Lead Seal Matrix

    Scallop Shell Ampulla

    Ampullae were commonly distributed at shrines which had sources of sacred or thaumaturgically active water. Canterbury, for example, distributed water from the well in which the body of Thomas Becket was washed after he was murdered. Many ampullae cannot be firmly identified by the shrine from which they came.

    To produce these ampullae, a mold with a large cavity is filled up entirely with molten lead, then as the metal starts to freeze from the outside first, the still molten center of the pool is poured back out, leaving a hollow shell. Lead and tin both have rather small ranges of temperature between really molten and really solid, so they can be used in this "slush casting." Other metals and alloys have a longer period between phases, during which the metal is grainy and sticky - these metals slush cast very poorly. The cavity was then filled with the 'Holy water' and sealed. The Ampulla was then perhaps hung round the pilgrims neck by the lugs.


    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 66
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Middop Medieval Village Empty Re: Middop Medieval Village

    Post  Sunbright57 Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:15 pm

    I have often wondered whether the mound and part quarry along Stocks Road was a hill-fort dating back before the Norman Conquest, certainly local author A Clayton thinks it is. I took photos there a year or so back, but am not sure for certain about its age. It may have been partly detroyed due to quarrying. Do you know anything about it. Its not far from Middop Hall at the bend in the road going towards Stocks House.

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