1 Registered Charity No Registered Charity No NEWSLETTER 139 October 2015 Boscawen-un Circle, St Buryan. Painting copyright by Millie Holman A Reinterpretation of the Rock Art at Boscawen-ûn Stone Circle: Thomas Goskar FSA In 1986 Ian Cooke first recorded, on the north-east side of the central stone at Boscawen-ûn stone circle, the presence of a pair of carvings interpreted as representations of stone axes. This remarkable discovery is relatively obscure and beyond the initial plans to record their location, and beyond Peter Herring s excellent report in 2000, little research has been undertaken. In early July 2015 the author was kindly taken to Boscawen-ûn by Adrian Rodda and shown the carvings. During this visit the central stone was recorded using photogrammetry, a technique which uses photographs to create a highly detailed 3D surface model. Close analysis of the resulting 3D model of the central stone revealed the carvings clearly. The model was straightened so that they could be inspected more closely. Surface colour was removed and digital techniques were employed to accentuate any surface features. The results were surprising.
2 Fig1.Depth Image of the NE (inner leaning face) of the central stone. Fig 2(Right)). Accessibility shaded image. The carvings appear to represent not two stone axes but a pair of feet, soles outwards, carved in low relief. A row of toes can be discerned, especially on the right- hand foot. They bear a striking resemblance, albeit weathered and on coarse Land s End granite, to those recorded at Dolmen du Petit-Mont at Arzon in Brittany. Barbara Bender noted in 1986 that the stone bearing the feet motif had disappeared. Presumably it was removed or destroyed in WW2. However, the author has discovered a photograph in Pequart & Le Rouzic s 1927 Corpus des Signes Graves des Monuments Megalithiques du Morbihan, which is reproduced here. The feet are quite similar in appearance, albeit slightly smaller at 230mm (ours are about 450mm long) Fig 3. Plate 77 from Pequart & Le Rouzic 1927, showing the twin feet motif on stone 8 at Dolmen du Petit-Mont. This is not the only surprise at Boscawen-un. The data has revealed about 500mm above the feet a pair of circular features, also in low relief, which appear very similar to carvings interpreted as breasts on some alleecouvertes in Brittany (Tresse, Prajou-Menhir, etc.) Along with the presence of the possible cromlech noted by Dr Borlase, perhaps we could consider that the stone circle was, for reasons unknown, constructed with reused stone from a much larger chambered tomb which incorporated decorated stones in the Breton style. Those symbols may have had potent significance, enough to position them in the centre of a new monument. Reuse of decorated and standing stones is known in Brittany (see Scarre 2011, p 147). Many of the inner faces of the stones at Boscawen-un are flat perhaps once lining a small passage or chamber. More research is in progress and a more detailed article is in preparation. References: Barbara Bender with Robert Caillaud. The Archaeology of Brittany, Normandy and the Channel Islands: An introduction and Guide. London: Faber and Faber, 1986.
3 Peter Herring. Boscawen, St Buryan, Cornwall: archaeological assessment. Truro: Cornwall County Council, Martha et Saint-Just Péquart & Zacharie Le Rouzic. Corpus des Signes Gravés des Monuments Mégalithiques du Morbihan. Paris A. Picard & Berger-Levrault, Chris Scarre. Landscapes of Neolithic Brittany. OUP THE PRESIDENT S PIECE Nick Johnson By way of introduction, I joined the Society in It was a time of great change in the archaeological world, with professional archaeological units being formed across the country. Cornwall and Devon were early adopters. I was appointed Rural Survey Officer with the Cornwall Committee for Rescue Archaeology (CCRA). This became the Cornwall Archaeological Unit and later the Historic Environment Service (Cornwall Council). What many Members may not know is that it was Cornwall Archaeological Society that sponsored CCRA in the first place. The Society had been a pioneer of Parish Checklists, which were in effect embryo Historic Environment Records. Professor Charles Thomas (former President of CAS) was chair of CCRA, and Peter Trudgian (CAS Hon Treasurer) its Vice-Chairman, and Mary Irwin (CAS Hon Sec) its Hon Secretary. The Society has been the midwife and long term friend and ally of the professional archaeological service, which has served Cornwall and Scilly since then. It seems an uncomfortable coincidence therefore that 40 years on, at the start of my Presidency, the Society is seeing equally momentous changes in the heritage world. Public sector archaeology is changing dramatically: In the face of huge cuts to Cornwall Council budgets, the Historic Environment Service has been chopped up into four separate units and staff numbers drastically reduced: 1) Planning archaeology and historic buildings; 2) World Heritage Site office; 3) Cornwall Archaeological Unit (project consultancy); 4) Historic Environment Strategy with the Historic Environment Record. The Royal Cornwall Museum, which looks after the huge majority of archaeological finds in Cornwall, has also suffered a dramatic drop in public funding over the last five years, and like most museums has a chronic storage problem and has not accepted archaeological archives for the last five years. At the same time the government s principal heritage advisor has been split into two parts, with the English Heritage Trust retaining the national collection of historic properties, and Historic England continuing the task of advice, grant support, heritage designation and as the keeper of national archaeological records. Lastly, but by no means least, the Government intends to devolve more responsibility to Cornwall Council for the care of the historic environment as part of a more general devolution package, at a time when the local authority s heritage advice and information capacity has been reduced by over 75% This is not a good time to be faced with the urgent need for more housing and a more general loosening up of the planning process that is bound to result in much greater pressure on the historic environment. It seems almost sadistic to mention that in the background lurks the inevitability of sea level rise that will affect our historic coastal towns and villages, and the no less dramatic changes that we are seeing in the countryside as we begin to stumble towards green energy. How should CAS react to all this? Do we panic or do we step up to the plate?...in reality we probably should do both! As volunteers we can never hope to replace the lost capacity of the Archaeological Planning Advisors and Conservation Officers in County Hall. Despite this there is a lot that CAS can do and over the next few issues of the Newsletter I hope to explore how the Society can help to ensure that most of the changes mentioned above are turned into opportunities for CAS Members to get even more involved in archaeology around the county. I should finish on a positive note. We must always remember that a massive amount has been achieved over the last 40 years in protecting the archaeological legacy. Cornwall and Scilly now have a very large number and range of designated buildings, monuments and sites. Scheduled Monuments: 1,347 Cornwall; 238 Scilly Listed Buildings: 12,552 Cornwall; 128 Scilly Conservation Areas: 145 Cornwall (4411 ha); 1 Scilly (1603 ha) Registered Parks and Gardens; 37 Cornwall (3709 ha); 1 Scilly (30ha) Registered Battlefields: 4 Cornwall (Civil War) (613 ha) Designated Wrecks: 8 Cornwall; 4 Scilly Protected War Grave wrecks: 5 Cornwall Cornish Mining World Heritage Site that covers (18,222ha, 5.5 % of the county) Tax- exempt Heritage Land properties: 7 Cornwall Cornwall and Scilly have the largest number of designated heritage assets in England, and Cornwall Council owns the largest portfolio of designated heritage assets of any local authority. This is both a cultural blessing and a huge responsibility, and one, which CAS can be involved in. Mick Aston - We were delighted to hear last year that the Society was to receive a legacy from Mick Aston s estate. Mick joined the Society in 1965 and throughout his illustrious career as Somerset County Archaeologist, extra-mural lecturer, Professor of Archaeology
4 at Bristol, as prolific author, and as the famously tousled stripeyjerseyed Time Team presenter he never lost interest in local archaeological societies and the value of community archaeology. We are now in receipt of a generous benefaction of 8, After much debate Trustees agreed that the money would be used to match-fund CAS and other organisations research and fieldwork projects across Cornwall over the coming years. Members of the public were invited to the site to meet the diggers, inspect the finds, and try their hand at excavation. CBA FESTIVAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY Tywardreath Priory. experimental test-pitting. As part of the CBA archaeology week, on Sunday 18 July, Help Find Tywardreath Priory ran an open day. Find Tywardreath Priory is a group of individuals who are attempting to locate the exact position of the Priory, with long term aims of running a community archaeology project based around the Priory. There was Anna Tyacke, Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme was on hand to identify visitors finds. Tom Goskar hardly had time to draw breath as his presentation on LiDAR was so popular. A display of material, documentary and finds, also attracted a lot of interest. Many thanks are due to Neill Wood and his student Mike Andow from Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, who gave up their Sunday to continue their work on the geophysics survey, and explain the details to the audience. Neill has been involved from the outset, and Mike Andow will be doing his Masters dissertation on the survey results so far. We estimate that over 200 people turned up during the day, including CBA members. Please keep checking for updates and the progress of the project. Report and pictures from Jenny Moore. The Festival of Archaeology 2015 at Boden To mark the beginning of the Festival of Archaeology, Members of Meneage Archaeology Group (MAG) met at Boden, a Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement site near Manaccan on the Lizard. The site was first investigated as part of a CAU led project in 2003, primarily to excavate a re-discovered fogou, and continued interest in the site inspired formation of the group. MAG opened up new test pits in the area of the field that had long been of interest, containing geophysical anomalies possibly indicative of settlement features. In addition, a trench to the east of the fogou was extended where parallel stone walls had been identified by an earlier test pit. Although only the tops of the walls have so far been located it is likely that this forms an extension to the main fogou passage. It is hoped that future excavation will reveal the full extent of this feature and help us to understand both its relationship with the principal north-south passage and the adjacent earth-cut void. Excavation of the test pits on the west side of the field produced both Iron Age and Bronze Age pottery, possibly derived from features cut into the subsoil. Further work is planned here in order to define the nature of the archaeology. Around 60 people, young and old(er) visited the site in the July sunshine to have their finds identified and admire the continuing work of MAG members. As always the group is indebted to the landowner and farmer Chris Hosken for allowing the ongoing investigation of his land. Reports and pictures from James Gossip and Chris Harris.
5 St Piran s Oratory the skeletal evidence The exposure of skeletons has been documented at St Piran s Oratory many times, with rows of skeletons being recorded in 1820, 1835 and In 1910, during the construction of the protective shell, the skeleton of a (probable) female was revealed, apparently holding a child in her arms. More bones were noted by visitors to the site throughout the 20 th century, and in 1980 twelve cist graves were revealed 10-13m away from the Oratory. It was therefore not surprising when clearance of sand during the recent re-excavation of St Piran s Oratory revealed the remains of several skeletons to the north-west of the surviving concrete shell. In order to create a safe working environment for the team excavating the Oratory it was necessary to record and excavate twelve skeletons buried approximately 0.6m (24 inches) below ground surface. Bones were carefully recorded in situ in accordance with guidelines set out by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and under licence from the Ministry of Justice. Bagged and labelled bones were then transferred to the lab where they were cleaned and analysed by osteo-archaeologist Richard Mikulski. The results are presented in a report which forms part of the excavation archive and a summary of which will be included in the future publication. On completion of analysis the bones will be re-interred at the site with due care and respect. With one exception the burials were all aligned east-west in the Christian tradition, with their limbs extended and their heads at the western end of the grave. Unusually, one had been buried in a flexed position on an almost north-south alignment, the reasons for which are uncertain. Some of the graves had been marked with upright stones at the head and feet and the bodies are likely to have been wrapped in shrouds before being placed in grave pits dug into the sand. Samples from two burials, and 211, were selected for radiocarbon dating, and sent to the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre. Burial 208.1, the skeleton of a child buried on its side in a flexed position, produced a date suggesting burial in the 8 th or 9 th centuries AD. Burial 211, also a child, appears to have been buried around the same time, but more probably in the 9 th century AD. These results are very important as they strongly suggest the existence of a place of Christian worship at this time. It is thought likely that the surviving Oratory building is of Norman date (11 th or 12 th century AD); if this is the case then these burials relate to an earlier structure, the presence of which has long been suspected. The dates also suggest the development of the dune system earlier than previously thought, and it is likely that the building was constructed within a terrace in an already existing dune. It is possible that these burials form part of a sequence and that earlier burials are present cut into the sands beneath. Due to the scarcity of religious structures scientifically dated to the early medieval period these findings are of national significance and help to confirm the early medieval origins of a religious centre at the Oratory site. It is hoped that further archaeological work, including excavation which may reveal additional, perhaps earlier burials, and more detailed analysis of the skeletal material which can be used to provide information on origins, migration and diet, will add significantly to our knowledge of the early origins of this iconic site and the development of the early Church in Cornwall. Of the twelve individuals only two were adults, both female, one aged at least 45 and the other probably aged The children were aged 1-5 years, with one early post neonatal aged between 1 and 6 months. The bones of two skeletons exhibited familial traits and appeared to have been buried together, suggesting a close relationship. James Gossip Cornwall Archaeological Unit 'CAS member and archaeologist Dr Tom Greeves will be offering his popular Discovery Holiday on the Isles of Scilly, June per person. Visit for information.'
6 Kresen Kernow Project, Jennie Hancock. At the beginning of August the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced they were awarding Cornwall Council 11.7m to create Kresen Kernow, an inspirational new archive centre for Cornwall. content. For the first time it will be possible to consult an 18 th century estate atlas, HER survey drawing and 1960s OS map side-by-side in the dedicated reading room. Knowledgeable staff and comprehensive guidance will support new users and suggest new possibilities for more experienced researchers. Based on the former Redruth Brewery site, Kresen Kernow will bring together the Cornwall and Scilly Historic Environment Record (HER), Cornwall Record Office (CRO) and the Cornish Studies Library (CSL). With more than 864m 3 of manuscripts, books, plans and photographs and over 2TB of digital data, this will form the world s largest collection for the study of Cornish history, culture and archaeology. It will safeguard the historic brewery buildings whilst providing exemplary research and learning spaces and purpose-built collection storage areas. An ambitious programme of activities, excellent digital provision and a dynamic volunteer programme will connect new and existing audiences with the rich heritage of Cornwall. Workrooms will have space for up to 30 staff and volunteers. A fully-equipped preservation suite will enable the cleaning and packaging of many different types of document. Using material from across our collections, coupled with a strategic approach, will see us create, enhance and link more HER records and catalogue descriptions. Supporting members of the Cornish Archive Network and CAS Area Representatives will extend the benefits of Kresen Kernow to heritage across Cornwall. State-of-the-art strongrooms will maintain the environmental conditions required for long-term preservation. 25 years expansion space will let us take in new records, some of which are currently held in unsuitable conditions, and proactively develop our collections to be more representative of Cornwall. The Brewing up the Past project involved former brewery workers and local residents exploring the history of the brewery. Visitors to Kresen Kernow will enter the historic brewhouse to find welcoming and accessible exhibition, refreshment and meeting areas which showcase original features. Displays will employ digital technology alongside more traditional interactives to engage diverse audiences with our fantastic collections. Documents, artefacts and oral histories will tell the story of Redruth Brewery whilst another zone will introduce key family and local history sources. A changing programme of exhibits on topics derived from public consultation will ensure there is always something new to see. Upstairs an environmentally-controlled exhibition space will host significant Cornish manuscripts from national collections. One of the two learning spaces has been specifically designed for us to excite and engage young people with Cornwall s heritage through school workshops and more informal family learning events. The second will host activities as varied as archive film shows, creative ArTchive workshops and Monument Watch training. On-site activities will be augmented by outreach visits, touring exhibitions and other events delivered in partnership venues throughout Cornwall. Modern research facilities on the first floor will encourage exploration of our collections. A browsing area will display popular sources with access points for digital, microfilm and audio-visual Digital technology will be embraced to open up our collections to wide-ranging audiences. An inspirational user-friendly website will aid discovery with features including map-based browsing, enhanced catalogues and downloadable learning resources. The cutting-edge digitisation suite will produce high-quality copies of records including glass negatives and large-scale plans. These will be shared online via our website, social media platforms and the HER. Volunteers will be vital to the success of the Kresen Kernow project. Varied and stimulating activities available might include researching for exhibitions, cataloguing archives and digitising slides for addition to the HER. Flexible opportunities, including off-site and online, will allow people across Cornwall and beyond to contribute as much or little time as they wish. The Public Realm scheme, which has cleared modern industrial buildings, secured historic structures and created an accessible public space on the site, should be completed this autumn. Construction of Kresen Kernow will begin in spring 2016, with phased closures of the current sites starting late Kresen Kernow is due to open in More information is available on our website To keep up-to-date with progress you can Like us on Facebook: follow us on Twitter or Instagram You can also subscribe to our quarterly e-newsletter by ing with Subscribe to e-newsletter in the subject line.
7 Monument Watch training Day May 10 th 2015 The day was organised by Ann Preston-Jones (Historic England) and Andrew Langdon and hosted by North Cornwall Heritage at The Arthurian Centre at Slaughterbridge. Thanks to Joe Parsons for his hospitality and support to all the work in North Cornwall. Ann s illustrated lecture, which will be repeated on the Area Reps Evenings for all CAS members to enjoy, showed the variety of threats to existing scheduled and unscheduled monuments. Emma Trevarthen (CAU) explained how the internet can help research of the monuments and referred to Roger Smith s access to Cornwall Council s heritage records which was distributed with Newsletter 138 in June. The group visited the inscribed stone at the NCH Centre and this made us think about it having been used as a bridge and the possibility of inscription on the underside of other clapper bridges. You may imagine that the underside of the Trecarne bridge on which the group was photographed was well examined. CAS members excavate a midden containing limpets, bones and pottery. After lunch at Lanteglos Church Andrew Langdon demonstrated the threats to churchyard crosses and we all felt concern for the condition of the stonework of the church itself. Our next stop was Helsbury Hill fort with its ruined chapel inside. People were still visiting the site and leaving mementoes of loved ones. There was visible erosion by sheep and deep rooted overgrowth. We were able to examine a geophysical survey of the site. The two walls, one on the right has two faces, one with herringbone decoration and terminates. The other to the left is curvilinear. There was much tumble between them and a circular roof slate with a hole punched through along with other roof slate fragments. There was also a granitic ball hammer stone. Ann then took us to Stannon Circle on Bodmin Moor, where a huge area had been scheduled and set us off in groups to justify it and to list any potential threats. Thus we had seen sites on moorland, farmland, protected in a churchyard and threatened by water erosion and flooding. A very thought provoking day. I am sure that members will find Ann s lecture in December (Truro) and January (Liskeard) very stimulating. Gunwalloe August 2015, Imogen Wood Dr Imogen Wood conducted a small excavation for NT to assess the damage done by erosion over the Early Medieval settlement identified there in previous years. Cattle had revealed more middens and excavation exposed walls belonging to two houses. Open Day. Children help clean finds.
8 Fieldwork on Isles of Scilly, Michael Tangye. The ferocious gales and high seas of the winter 2014 caused much damage to coastal archaeological sites in IOS. Annual monitoring in July 2014 on Tresco showed that boulder movement and the collapse of a long length of dune at the south end of Appletree Bay had revealed a rectangular grave-like structure of granite, oriented E- W, with two large orthostats at its west end. Discovered by the writer in 2009, it was found to be built on the old land surface at the base of a tall dune, indicating an early feature, possibly a large cist. It was planned, photographed etc and details reported to Eileen Breen, the resident archaeologist, and to Prof Charles Thomas. In 1990, a few yards away from the above site, again on the Old Land Surface at the east of the dune, was found a curved sector of walling, three courses high, appearing to represent a round house. A short distance away a saddle quern was found, and in 1992 some sherds, which were passed to the CAU. This site too has been destroyed. Samson. In 1994, on the south side of Wise Porth, granite tumble had fallen from a tall dune onto the Old Land Surface at its base. Annual monitoring in 1999 produced a granitic sherd from the dune and another a few yards to the south. By 2002 the dune face was covered with small growth, but some tumble was still visible..a check in 2015 showed that the dune was still collapsing with some granite tumble, but with two orthostats set in the OLS below. Behind that and abutting the dune face was a smooth faced granitic sherd. The finds suggest a living site at a higher level in the dune, perhaps replacing an earlier one on the OLS evacuated by constant sand blows? St Mary s. At Halangy Porth remnants of the cliff-face huts were severely damaged in 2014, resulting since in large sections of the features collapsing onto the beach. The polythene and sandbags positioned to the north of the site by the late Paul Ashbee, to preserve the level for future excavation, have recently been destroyed. At Porthcressa a Romano- British cist, found in the cliff face by this writer in 1990, and excavated in 1994, is now unrecognisable as such after the recent gales. A short distance away, in a similar position, all the remains of a Bronze Age hut is a small length of limpet midden, the last large stones of the structure having fallen onto the foreshore in Book Reviews. Plen an Gwari, The Playing Places of Cornwall. Will Coleman, Golden Tree Productions, St Buryan This is a lavishly illustrated A4 sized book about this important aspect of Cornish Culture. It is the product of HLF funded research by the drama group led by Coleman. Expanding on research by Rod Lyon, the project set out to identify Playing Places in all parishes and involved volunteers to check OS maps, tithe maps, HER and local traditions, as well as to walk the fields and lanes and even to get involved in some geophysical surveys. Coleman concludes his book by declaring that there is much still to do and much of it should be done by archaeologists. The book outlines what is known from historical sources and imaginatively interprets what it was like to watch a play in the round, open air theatres. The Cornish language is used judiciously and the pages are not crowded by captions under the many illustrations, but numbered and attributed at the end of the book. It does not assume any knowledge of the history of Cornwall or of the language; everything is simply and clearly explained. There was a limited print run, but some may still be available. To order go to goldentreeproductions.org.uk Gunwalloe Through The Ages: Middle Bronze Age to 12 th century AD. Dr Imogen Wood. NT. 15 This is an evaluation report for the work carried out 2011 and 2012, updated to include the work on the Iron Age Promontory fort and its Bronze Age cist burial dug in It is of course very technical, with specialist reports on the pottery, bones, phytolith analysis, soil micro-morphology and molluscs. These all show how very scientific archaeology has become and what secrets can be unravelled not only from the finds themselves but even the soil and sand they are dug from. Fascinating! Imogen describes life in the bay through the ages, but most detail of course is on the Early Medieval settlement, which is eroding from the cliffs. With the new discoveries about the burials at St Piran s Oratory (see this NL) and the discussion of whether the oldest church was built of stone or wood, it is interesting to read Imogen s research into pre-norman building techniques in stone. More work is planned at the site for next summer, so this is a good introduction into what has been discovered so far. Copies can be bought from Adrian Rodda (see contacts) at lectures or through the NT at Penrose Estate, Helston. Penrose, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 0RD Telephone:
9 CARN BREA WALK 1 st Jan TONY BLACKMAN MEMORIAL WALK with Adrian Rodda. Adrian began with a tribute to Tony as a walks guide. My first guided walk with Tony Blackman was at his beloved Hurlers and he was a master guide, showing knowledge, humour and a sense of wonder and pride in all he saw. Tony had first hand knowledge of the area and its history and archaeology. He used Oral History, quoting people who had lived on the moor when the American and Canadian troops camped there before D- Day. He was as interested in the medieval and modern remains as in the Neolithic and above all the lives of the people associated with them. When we came across a steed, a small mound used for drying peat, he described the last man who had used it and his cottage. Tony was a people person. Above all young people: he never stopped being a teacher. He had invited Andrew Langdon on that walk because some time previously he had been there with his Young Archaeologists and he was so proud to tell us how a teenage girl had called his attention to a round, obviously dressed stone nestled in the bracken and wondered what it had been made for and if it had been finished and left or was unfinished. Andrew s opinion was sought to see if it was a cross base. Tony kept in touch with his young people and some owed their careers, and many others their hobbies to his inspired introduction to archaeology. As we walked around Stowe s pound and over to Craddock Moor he kept drawing our attention to the landscape, what could be seen from certain monuments and how those monuments fitted into the landscape. He made us look for ourselves and keep our eyes open. Tony s last guided walk was to Stannon Stone Circle in October He had little sight and could only walk with sticks, but he wanted to tell us himself what he and Dot had noticed about the alignments and the outliers and the position of the circle. He was unable to continue the walk and Peter Rose took us further to Fernacre Stone Circle. It was a clear, Autumn day and I was keen to use the curiosity that Tony had taught me to look about from the circle and thrilled to discover that from the centre of the circle, through a gap in the hills we could see Carn Brea! Walk away from the circle and it was lost to view. What could that mean about the siting of Fernacre? Why was Carn Brea so important in the Late Neolithic /Early Bronze Age? That s what we hope to discover today. About 20 walkers heard about the excavations of the Iron Age settlement by Thurstan Peter in 1895 and the CAS excavations in 1970 directed by Roger Mercer, which discovered a new class of monument, a Neolithic Tor Enclosure. The Iron Age houses were well cleared and visible. The Neolithic ramparts and gateways could be made out through the dead bracken. By March they would be almost hidden again, but near the Monument to Lord de Dunstanville and Basset the footpath crosses one of them. The houses and the standing stones that braced the ramparts had been interpreted by William Borlase as remains of a Druidic ritual site, chosen to exploit the solution basins on the tors at the summit of the hill. After an excellent lunch at The Old Shire the party drove up to Treslothan, where the warden kindly opened the little church for them. Leaving their cars parked in this model village, the party crossed the fields to Carwynnen Quoit. There was just enough daylight left to view it before a shower of rain ended a cold and windy day spent celebrating the Neolithic monuments around Camborne and the work of our late President, who showed us how to think about and appreciate them. Looking from Carn Brea. Photo: Abi Brown Roughtor June 2015 with Roger Smith and Adrian Rodda. June found CAS walkers in another of Tony Blackman s favourite places. St Michael s Holy Well. Photo Stuart Dow. 34 walkers met at the NT car park in view of the awe inspiring Showery Tor. Part of the group followed Colin Retallick to St Michael s Holy Well, while others followed Adrian and Roger up the ritual bank cairn towards Showery Tor. The cairn is 500m long and changes its direction to point first towards Showery, then towards Roughtor. Time Team had explored the area in 2006 and sectioned the cairn to reveal that it was built with uprights along its two sides, about 2 metres apart and filled with rubble. More rubble had been laid against the outside of the walls, often leaving quartz stones glowing along its length. The bank cairn had been built in 6 sections. Some worked flint suggested that it had been built in the Late Neolithic Period. (1) Phosphate analysis of the peat near to the bank cairn suggested that many fewer cattle had grazed there, than on the land around the settlement below Roughtor, so it was not just a field boundary and had been respected through generations. Pollen analysis showed that oak and hazel had flourished on the moor about 5,000 years ago. There had been no indication of arable grain cropping; the farming appeared to be limited to grazing, which may, even in the Bronze Age, have been seasonal.(2) We passed a platform cairn to arrive at Showery Tor, a natural cheesewring surrounded by a piled bank of stones to honour it. An easy walk to Little Roughtor found us a sheltered lunch spot where Colin s group joined us. Richard Heard showed us the gateway through the Neolithic Tor enclosures on its northern slope. We discussed the significance of St Michael s Chapel on the summit and then took a route Roger Smith had nominated as the safest way down the steep southern slope. Our walk to Fernacre
10 Stone Circle took us through a settlement of Middle Bronze Age houses and enclosures. The houses varied in size and states of preservation. Settlement at foot of Roughtor. Photo Colin Retallick. Just clear of the settlement we located what appeared to be a propped stone contributing to a line of significant uprights aligned on a particularly high point of the tor, which may have been a stone row. Fernacre Stone Circle had probably been laid out by eye, being 46 by 44m in diameter. There are 61 existing stones, but may have been as many as 95 according to Barnatt.(3) In the south- east quadrant there is the remnants of a bank against the stones. We discussed the position and significance of some outliers, but came to no conclusions. It is cut off from the settlements around it by streams and marshy ground. many fallen stones and its shape is clearly seen, measuring 45.5 by 43m in diameter. There were possibly stones in all.(3) Fernacre and Stannon Circles are visible from this site. For most of us Stannon circle was the most satisfying with its 66 stones and a diameter of 42.7m by 39m. It was a suitable place for a tea break while we explored the outliers, lined up the tors of Brown Willey which poked over Louden Hill and marvelled at the Roughtor effect in the distance. More cists and cairns brought us up the northern slope of Louden to look down at a Medieval longhouse and then to rock the logan stone. Our route back to the car park took us through another Middle Bronze Age settlement where Time Team had excavated 2 houses. Eventually we stopped at a turf stead to listen to Charles Causley s Ballad of Charlotte Dymond in sight of her memorial in the marshy bank where her body had been found. 1) Cornish Archaeology Thompson and Birbeck. 2) ghtor%20 3) Barnatt, J. Prehistoric Cornwall The Ceremonial Monuments Bude Canal Walk with Colin Buck April 26 th 2015 Beach; it was estimated that over the 50 years the level of the sand was reduced by nearly 10 feet. Unlike most canals inclined planes instead of locks were used but these were not on the section of canal we were to see. We walked along the section of canal from the modern road bridge dividing the seaward section from the canal leading inland and saw the wider area where boats could turn round after unloading. At this point the cargo, mainly sand, would be loaded on to canal barges [specially built tub boats with wheels, to engage the rails on the inclined planes] for onward journeys to be used for agricultural purposes. The quays and buildings, such as the smithy, lime kiln and saw mill, later converted to a steam laundry which were associated with the canal in its working days, were still visible; although used in a different way today. We then crossed over the river Neet and associated flood plain now a nature reserve - and walked back towards Bude Haven. Colin pointed out the route of the railway, the LSWR branch to Bude opened in 1898 and closed in The railway brought tourism to Bude and probably contributed to the demise of the canal at the same time. We rejoined the canal at the bridge [originally a swing bridge allowing masted vessels to reach the upper wharfs] and followed the canal seaward. The buildings on this stretch of the canal before reaching the sea lock may be modern in their usage but former canal functions were still known. The Harbourmaster s office is now a Tea Room and a shop had been a Canal Warehouse. Most interesting of all were the remains of the tramway which ran from the beach to the quays transporting beach sand to the boats. Cist on S slope of Louden. Photo Helen Peters. Stopping to admire a line of cists and cairns we soon found Louden Circle which has only one stone standing and four stumps, but recent activity has revealed Bude Canal Entrance to Lower Lock. A small group gathered by the Bude Canal with Colin Buck who took us along the part of the canal still extant at the seaward end. Originally the canal reached Launceston with a shorter branch ending at Holsworthy. Colin gave us a brief history of the canal which opened in 1823 and worked successfully for about 50 years, finally closing in the 1890 s. Sir Thomas Acland was a shareholder in the 1820 s and we were to see buildings still existing from this period of Acland funding. The main cargo was sand from Bude Bude Canal, Lower end. We followed the tramway to the beach, seeing the sea lock which allowed the ketches to enter the canal for their cargoes, and then walked along the breakwater to Chapel Rock. The breakwater was destroyed by a storm in 1838 and rebuilt with Acland money still standing with minor repairs of modern concrete. We climbed up to the Chapel Rock site, possibly dedicated to St Michael and certainly predating the canal.
11 It would have been a marker for the entry to Bude Haven for centuries and still is an outstanding monument. Looking across to the coastline under Efford Downs there are structures at the water s edge. Described as lime kilns but possibly fish cellars, Colin said it was not certain what they had been; any further information about these would be most welcome. of the ridge above the River Fal, with houses either side of a wide road, each with a long, narrow burgage plot. Characteristically the wide main street was used as a marketplace for buying and selling goods, for fairs and for social occasions. Established as a medieval planned settlement, Tregony was therefore deliberately created to make money from the land. the Pomeroys built in the 13 th century leading towards Creed and Grampound, meant the church could also have been an embarkation point for travellers to Brittany and possibly pilgrims to Santa de Compostella in Northern Spain. Bude Cana Sanitary Steam laundry and Saw Mills. Back to the Falcon Hotel, another Acland financed building, passing by the cottages built by him for the workers on the canal and finishing where we started at the modern bridge which replaced the swing bridge. Many thanks to Colin for a most informative walk giving the historical background to the Bude Canal. Report by Jenny Beale, Photos Roger Smith. Tregony Historic Town CAS Walk with Graeme Kirkham, 15 th February 2015 Forty of us met at the Tregony War Memorial, where we were transported back to the early medieval period, when the town was a busy port and the Fal was navigable by ships of up to 800 tons. It was a beautiful morning as members walked round the old Borough listening to Graeme s fascinating and fact packed talk on how the town developed. Prior to the Norman Conquest the land around this tidal location and crossing point of the Fal belonged to an Anglo- Saxon called Aeodolf. A charter of 1049 shows that it contained the same stretch of river and trees as the later medieval town, suggesting Tregony Parish, lying between Cuby and Veryan, was already partly formed before the Conquest. Tregony was built as one of many new Norman towns developed across the country after the invasion. A typical street town, it followed a schematic plan passed round, running along the summit Almshouses. Walking down the hill towards the almshouses built by Boscawen for the poore, members saw the edge of the rocky outcrop the 11 th century castle was built on, when the Manor of Tregony, together with others in South Devon, including Berry Pomeroy, were given to the Norman baronial family, the de la Pomerais. The imposing motte and bailey design ensured the administrative centre overlooked both the enclosed courtyard area, where people did their business, and the crossing point of the Fal. Significant to the development of the trading town, this introduction of civility gained Tregony Borough status, though nothing of the castle remains today. Looking closer behind the largely 18 th and 19 th century fabric of the buildings as we walked, members gained a tantalising glimpse of how medieval inhabitants may have experienced themselves in their surroundings. Walking down the steeply sided Mill Lane, an original track from the river to the town, it s easy to see why 15 miles from the sea, Tregony became an important and strategic inland port, when the river was tidal and navigable. Though nothing is visible, an earlier settlement probably existed there before the town was established. In 1267 the Pomeroys built a church dedicated to St James by the river below the town. It may have belonged to the Augustinian Priory the family set up. The long causeway and single arched bridge Possible site of St James s Church on the once navigable river bridged by a single span. Whatever the purpose of the church by the river, beyond the castle gatehouse and Swine Lane in the marketplace, the Pomeroys built a chapel dedicated to St Anne. Graeme showed pictures of ornate stone work finds thought to be from the church. These included a holy water stoop and a Bodmin type font with a carved lion on it. Members heard anecdotal evidence of local people recalling boats sailing up to the port and of the ruins of the church being excavated for building stone. By the 17 th century the church was ruinous, though barges continued to use the port to unload and distribute agricultural sand. But plans for a canal to take goods further along the valley failed after disputes concerning interference with the town s water supply to the town s mills. Later, in the 18 th century, the whole area was streamed for tin. From Sand Park by the bridge we saw a place called Toady Port, meaning leper and referring to the C14th leper hospital built on the road leading towards Ruan Lanihorne. Attempts made to set up a fair and to develop the area similar to Launceston, failed. Returning to the town by another original route, members were told there are no surviving port records showing the trade that went on, but the main occupations evidenced by the houses and workshops in the town were those of weaver, miller, shoemaker, farmer, vintner, mason, blacksmith, tanner and bargeman. Hopswere grown so extensively in the
12 area so that in 1631 there were 36 alehouses. Clearly wool, cloth, hides and leather, tin, wine and agricultural goods would have been shipped out, and by 1267 the port was sufficiently developed to gain Borough status with authority from the King to open a market. Tregony was then licensed to hold three fairs, and later, five. One of these fairs was held on St Leonard s Day, around November 6 th or 7 th, and members were told a wonderful tale about Sir Henry Pomeroy and friends, including Alan de Dunstanville, revelling at the fair. Drunkenly they incarcerated a man called Baldwin Tyrell in the castle cellars, for a ransom of 15 marks, and the next morning went round the town blowing a horn and denouncing him. Bravely, Tyrell stood up to the bullies, who made him pay one hundred shillings not to take proceedings against him. The ensuring litigation took over a year, with Henry and the other knights away in France fighting for the King, but eventually the case came to nothing. That religious life figured prominently in medieval Tregony is hinted at again when walking along Lady Lane. After much investigation, Charles Henderson determined there was a chapel of Our Lady sited at the lane s end. In the 19 th century a fogou was discovered along the lane. Similar to that found at Penhale Round, in reality it is more likely to have been used as a smuggling cache, perhaps for cloth, like that hidden inside pilchard barrels at Pentire, to avoid the excise men. The Borough was also able to elect burgesses to attend Parliament, but during the C16 th and C17 th was a rotten Borough, where members of Parliament bought their votes. Trade and industry, especially the cloth trade, led to the population greatly increasing. Spinning and weaving flourished in the town. Cottages were built in alleyways and on medieval burgage plots, as at Guerney Row near the Tregony clock tower. Every available space was visibly taken up with rows of cottages built for cloth workers. Some were even built back to back, like the workers cottages for the factories up north. Late in the C18th maps of Tregony show a wide street with a market house in the middle of it. Raised up on pillars, there would have been market traders stalls all around it and underneath. Towards the C19th the Borough Council started making everything more sanitised, and regulated. Walking through town to the clock tower we could see where the Market House had been moved into an enclosed and controlled space, in front of the Town Hall. Clock tower on site of market. Next we walked up towards Cuby Church. Built in 1260, from the C17th it had served the religious needs of the combined Parishes of Tregony and Cuby. Turning into Lord s Meadow opposite the church, we saw the site of an early phase of Tregony s history, where Sean Taylor recently excavated the cremation urns of a mature woman found inside a grain dryer of the late Roman, early Christian period. This evidence and several other Roman remains, including tesserae found at the site, hint at a high status building somewhere nearby. Walking to the extension graveyard of the church, we saw another site of the same period, where Late Roman pottery and Trethurgy ware had been recovered from a ditch measuring 5m wide and 5m deep. The inscribed Cuby Stone Returning to the church to look at the Cuby Stone made from Pentewan elvan and built into the church wall near the south porch, members listened to a translation of the inscribed memorial on the stone. Dated to the C6th by Charles Thomas, it shows people had access to literacy in Latin. So it seems that there may have been a high status settlement at Tregony, at least in part Christian, with links into the Roman period, which shows the way that people buried their dead and the way in which they recorded them. Finally members were treated to a view of the medieval field system at Tregony. Brought alive by the aerial photographs handed around, it is a remarkably surviving legacy of curving strip fields. Though many looked to have been amalgamated, the fields still appear as very narrow strips, like those at Forrabury, above Boscastle. The almost elongated S shaped strips show how the ox team turned, and are almost perfectly preserved in the landscape. The stone-faced earth bank Cornish wall boundaries are typical of an early phase of medieval field enclosure from around 1250 to Although Tregony continues to be developed, the amazing field system is now protected. Report by Lynne Hendy. Photos by Kathryn Conder. CAS/DAS walk Colliford Lake reservoir Sixteen of us met in the car park on the shores of Colliford Lake reservoir on Bodmin Moor for this joint CAS/DAS walk led by Sandy Gerrard. His introduction to the day included a lament for the loss of evidence of former medieval tin streaming sites now submerged under Colliford Lake reservoir. They and the nearby area of Redhill Downs were where Sandy had researched part of his PhD some 36 years ago. For a year he lived in a hayloft accessed by a ladder while his days were spent single-handedly surveying the moor using the Plane Table method. He reckoned he must have walked/ran 25 miles a day using 30 ranging rods and a 30m tape measure recording the medieval tin streaming remains in the area. On the day of this walk the weather was slightly overcast as we made our way across the road to Redhill Downs. The moorland appeared vast, open and undulating with a herd of cattle grazing on the higher ground. Closer inspection showed a landscape pockmarked with
13 abandoned prospecting pits of which the deepest recorded was apparently 3.5m. Sandy described how miners had to shovel away layers of turf, sand and gravel to access any potential tin lodes or deposits. If a pit showed promise they would begin digging uphill so as to take advantage of and divert any water to wash over and remove soil to expose tin bearing rocks. Unwanted rocks were piled alongside the vein of tin and the landscape developed a distinctive pattern of arterial gouges and earth banks with minor tributaries. Over time these medieval sites would become later reworked as the price of tin made it worthwhile. A pollen core taken between two of the dumps at Colliford indicated that at least part of the streamwork was Anglo-Saxon. The focus of extraction in Cornwall was seen to move from east to west. Walking by Colliford Lake. The seemingly free, casual and tax-free life of a tinner had its attractions but optimism was needed and the wherewithal to survive lean periods. Tinners had rights and could stake a claim on land if tin was to be found there landowners were unable to refuse and it could wreck fields. Seasonal advantages also meant more water was available during the winter, essential for tin streaming, and farming was easier in the summer resulting in farmers also being part-time tinners. Tin ore was processed in blowing houses (in Devon blowing mills!) but tinners could only sell their tin twice a year in coinage towns. Many loan sharks operated offering tinners money to tide them over. Complex laws evolved from around 1200 and Sandy said thousands of rolls of medieval Latin exist untranslated about the tin industry. Abraham the Tinner was one known individual who was reputed to have had seven tin works and employed 300 tinners in 1357 in this area and was responsible for the silting up of Fowey harbour. Interesting that this would have been just after the Black Death. Sandy explains how prospecting pits were dug. The day ended with Sandy showing us Penkestle Moor a short distance from Redhill. We saw Arrow s Flight tinwork mentioned in a document of 1690 together with leats, dumps, banks, medieval boundaries and a large ring cairn together with more recent artillery emplacements from WWII. Report and Photos by Kathryn Conder Archaeology In Cornwall Summaries of lectures. Part 3. Mesolithic and Neolithic maritime connections: recent excavations at Old Quay, St Martin s, Isles of Scilly. Dr Duncan Garrow. (University of Reading.) Dr Garrow and Fraser Sturt (Southampton Uni) have been research into maritime activity on islands around Britain, funded by AMRC and Museum of London. They have shown that it took a thousand years for the Neolithic culture to cross the channel from France to Great Britain, circa 5000BC to4050bc. During the 5 th millennium skin/hide and log boats were used to cross the channel and the western seaways may have been an alternative to the Kent/Dover route. They had excavated on Guernsey at L Ecree during , which was dated to calBC by the material culture and showed sporadic occupation. On South Uist in the Outer Hebrides they discovered stone built Neolithic hearths and walls. The site at Old Quay, St Martin s was revealed by coastal erosion. They dug test pits along the coast and found 57 microliths which did not resemble British types, but those from Northern France, north of the Seine and dated to 6000BC. There were no obvious connections with Brittany, so presumably people had sailed down the channel coast. It was difficult to decide if they had found early Neolithic structures or a midden, but there was Early Neolithic pottery, charcoal and postholes which suggected the lean-to structures from Carn Brea. A Carbon date gave calBC, with 10 more dates to come. There were many finds including 4,687 sherds from open bowls of the Early Neolithic, a greenstone axe, a pierced pebble and a complete mace head. Dr Garrow recommended these sources for further study: Gathering Time by Whittle, Healey and Bayliss Antiquity 85 (2011) for Mesolithic movement. for updates on the whole project. Multi-phase prehistoric and Roman settlement at Par Lane, Par. Dr Ben Pears (AC Archaeology) Par is situated on the south coast, east of St Austell. Geophysical surveys revealed mining disturbance, masonry and field boundaries. Area I contained linear land divisions with ditches. Area 2 had dense archaeology from industrial and domestic settlements. An enclosure dated to the 1-2 nd century AD had metalled surfaces, a truncated roundhouse and ovens and pits. A low level timber structure enclosed an oven with associated grain storage pits. This area was remodelled in the 2 nd century AD when a larger ditch cut off the oven features. In the 3 rd century AD a complex oval structure (12m x 7.5m) was built of stone. The yard or working area contained another large oven, probably for industrial rather than domestic use. Phase 4 in this area, in the 3 rd century AD meant a new enclosure to the N.E. of the first with an oval structure, a cobbled floor and few finds. However, finds from the
14 1 st /2 nd century AD included a T shaped brooch, spindle whorls, both stone and ceramic, samian and South Devon Ware, black burnished ware and gabbroic storage jars. Area 3 led off a deep hollow way from Par Lane. There were 3 rectilinear structures. Structure 1 was orientated down the slope, not across it. It was 20m x 6m and divided into two rooms, the larger being to the north and the smaller to the south. The walls were well made. The north room had a fireplace and had been terraced in the 11 th -12 th century; there was masonry form the 13 th -14 th century and a beam slot and postholes for internal division. The smaller south room had been terraced in the 11 th -12 th century. A central pit contained a complete vessel from the 14 th - 15 th century. There was a mash pit for making beer, which may have held a cache in the house towards the end of its life. Structure 2 was for storage with a stone floor. Structure 3 was U shaped from the 13 th - 14 th century and had been demolished in the 15 th century. The houses were similar to the Bodmin Moor longhouses at Garrow and Treworld. Dr Pears wondered if the site was associated with the Tywardreath Priory and had been destroyed with its demise. Beaker Burial and Bronze Age homes at Burnt House, Mabe. Dr Bryn Morris. The site consisted of two fields across the road from the site at Tremough where the Bronze Age worked assemblage described by Henrietta Quinnell, had been discovered. (See Newsletter 137, February 2015). Geophysical survey had suggested a busy North field and a quiet South field. The North field held a stone lined pit with burnt bone, presumably human, charcoal and a piece of beaker pottery. This cist burial was surrounded by satellite pits. What had been assumed to be modern debris in the South field turned out to be a Middle Bronze Age sunken roundhouse. It had a stone hearth and concentric rings of postholes, with 40 in the outer ring and more in the inner ring, suggesting that the floor may have been recut and the house remodelled. There was a second house 15m away and a third which showed only through its postholes. Pits in the middle contained jumbled stones and were not obviously interpreted at hearths. There was evidence of structured decommission of the houses with the discovery of a very large saddle quern and mullers and a greenstone pebble. Two pots of classic cord impressed Trevisker Ware had been buried in a manner, reminiscent of Boden and one was packed with granite stone, similar to a find at Scarcewater. There was also a copper alloy fragment from a sheet. This may have been a linear-band settlement and associated with the houses and working areas nearby at Tremough. Penryn s Lost Plen-an-Gwary. Dr Carodoc Peters. Caradoc explained that a plen-an-gwary was an earthwork circular enclosure for the performance of medieval miracle plays, such as the ones written in the Cornish language at Glasney College, Penryn before its dissolution in After Bishop Grandisson s prohibition in 1360 the plays were not allowed to be acted at the College itself or within churches on the major religious feasts, so one would expect that Penryn, along with other towns throughout Cornwall, would have its own open air theatre. There is evidence that drama persisted in Penryn after the loss of Glasney. In 1567 a company of actors were performing late at night in the town when- certaine Spaniards were landed the same night with intent to take the towne, spoyle and burn it; when suddenly even upon their entrance, the players (ignorant as the towne s men of any such attempt) presenting a battle on the stage, with their drums and trumpets stroke up a lowed alarme: which the enemy hearing, and fearing they were discovered, amazedly retired, made some few idle shots on a bravado, and so in a hurly-burly fled disorderly to their boats. (Quoted by James Whetter Pp 103-4, History of Glasney College, Padstow.1988.) Caradoc began his search with a review of map evidence including Lord Burghley s Map of 1580 and the OS Map 10 to 1mile and Google. He spotted a circular structure by St Gluvias s church, labelled on the 10 map as Camp. He recognised in the place name BOHELLAND the elements meaning House of the old Monastery. The church had been bigger in 1318 with cloisters, which had been lost. Fieldwork involved photogrammetry of the old churchyard, but it was shown to be flat. However, there was a faint earthwork noticed in the eastern churchyard ridge. The churchyard had been cut into the hillside on a wave-cut notch from the last Ice Age. The plen was cut into the periglacial notch and in turn had been cut into by Islington Wharf. Intriguing! Research on the Plenis-an-Gwari is being carried out by Goldentree Theatre under the direction of Matt Blewett. Please see the website for more information. or the Facebook page. Golden Tree Plen an Gwari Project Summaries were from notes by Millie Holman and Adrian Rodda. CAS LECTURES. Bodmin Gospels February 20 th Professor Michelle Brown Professor Brown began her talk with a brief outline of the history, through ownership, of the manuscripts making up the Gospels. Written in the 940s they were kept at the altar of St Petroc s church, Bodmin. Then they passed into private ownership in Oxfordshire at the time of the Reformation, bought by an antiquarian early in 1833 and finally passed to the British Museum. They are a major linguistic monument in Cornish history; probably the earliest surviving documents written in Cornish. She mentioned other examples of inscriptions from the 6 th C AD, such as Men Scryfa. The Gospels have many instances of Manumissions from 940s to 1100s where the names of those in bondage were freed, with Cornish names added to the Latin words used in the Gospels. In fact both Cornish and English were used in listing the manumissions. This list is an important part of the Gospels; it is possible that the idea came from Christian areas of the Middle East, Armenia in particular. Professor Brown
15 explained that the idea of bondage or slavery at the time of the Bodmin Gospels is rather different to the modern concept of slavery. Often those listed were high born and had been in bondage or slavery perhaps because of lack of funds to pay wergilt. Another interesting fact is the inclusion of children named in the Gospels, with both Cornish and English backgrounds. Children were freed with the mother. Cornish places are mentioned in the Gospels; Bodmin and Padstow twice and Liskeard, which was important before the Normans reached England, being the seat of secular power. The Caroline minuscule script used in the Gospels indicates influences from Brittany; in fact two scripts were used, the other being Anglo Saxon minuscule. It is probable that the Gospels started out in Brittany at Landevennec and were brought to Bodmin at the time of Athlestan, the grandson of Alfred the Great. Landevennac was founded by monks in the early 500s who travelled from SW Britain, and was sacked in 913. The connections between SW Britain, particularly Cornwall, and Brittany were close. The new fangled manner of musical notation, first used in the 10 th -12 th C, was used here; a rare early example. The binding has not been tampered with, perhaps due to the connection with a saintly context. There may have been a panel of ivory/metal as a protective covering. After X-ray by the British Library the binding was found to be of the 10 th - 12 th C. Jenny Beale AGM LECTURE 16 th April 2015 What is wrong with Archaeology? Julian Richards. Julian described himself as a loose cannon who had done a variety of jobs in archaeology and had fun in his chosen vocation. The earliest antiquarians were well heeled enthusiasts, such as Inigo Jones, who tried to show that Stonehenge was a Roman monument. The barrow diggers of Salisbury Plain, Colt Hoare and Connington were wealthy men who could afford to employ artists and engravers to help publish their work. The digging was all done by labourers and some of them became expert interpreters of their local soils. General Pitt-Rivers had his own estate in Cranborne Chase to explore and when he became the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments he bemoaned his lack of powers to force landowners to respect their own sites. Even in the 1950s archaeologists like R.J.C. Atkinson, working on Stonehenge, still used paid labourers. Sir Mortimer Wheeler, ex Indian army, popularised archaeology through television programmes such as Animal, Vegetable and Mineral, but he, like most of the site directors of his generation, was still gents. However, the large projects they undertook, such as Maiden Castle, needed scores of volunteers, mostly students, who could be accommodated under canvas. County Societies furnished local volunteers, such as at Wharram Percy. By the time Julian began his first excavation in 1969, volunteers were the usual labour force, with supervisors often having little experience. Health and Safety concerns were not paramount and Julian was almost killed in a trench collapse. The building boom of the 1960s led to the formation of Rescue Archaeology Groups and the need to survey and record what was extant before the bulldozers crushed them. Volunteers were paid subsistence allowance and were expected to camp in village halls or schools. In the early 80s there was no career structure for field archaeologists, but this began to change with the need for evaluations before planning permission could be granted. PPG16 in December 1990 put an obligation on developers to find out what was there through desk studies, large scale geophysical surveys and mitigation preservation of archaeology by not disturbing it. If it should be destroyed it would have to be properly excavated and recorded. Competitive tendering by private firms led to the ridiculous situation where firms worked in each other s territories, possibly unfamiliar with the geology, the pottery styles or even how to recognise worked flint in a chalk area. There was a skill shortage and a boom in University courses around Often the students could have only limited experience of digging and were not prepared to work under pressure, at speed or as independently as developers required. Traditionally excavation reports were published in county society journals, but there were now too many reports, which led to the growth of Grey Literature, which ought to be all on the Archaeological Data Service (ADS), but are not. If work was done by competitive groups there might be no liaison because of commercial secrecy, so no-one was getting an overview of discoveries unless an academic could get a grant to trawl the literature. People were not made aware of unpublished finds or the discoveries in their localities. The huge quantity of finds, eg from Roman sites in Wessex, brings its own problems as museums have no space for archives to be deposited and properly curated. Companies are forced to keep finds in poor storage conditions. This leads to a temptation to select; what is thrown away might, one day, be of interest to a researcher. With archaeology following the developers boom and bust cycle, the career has become unstable. In the low times archaeologists take on better jobs, leading to another skills shortage in the boom times. Recruits learn on the job, often with zero hours contracts and no sick pay. Their place of work could be 100 miles away and they don t get paid for travelling time. Students now have massive debts so are not applying for posts with no security. Cuts in Local Government grants have led to redundancies in planning departments and in museums. There are fewer curators and conservators. (This echoed a statement made to the AGM by Jane Marley, the now redundant curator of archaeology in Truro Museum. Ed) Time Team had built up an interest amongst the public for archaeology, but developers thought it all could be discovered in 3 days! Television companies had seen a need to build excitement into the programme and invented Extreme Archaeology, which owed more to Charlie s Angels than to academia. Celebrities, such as Nick Knowles, had been brought in to front programmes and Treasure series possibly encouraged night hawks! Channel 5 s 10,000 BC, where a bunch of Essex chavs were taken to caves in Bulgaria and dressed in skins, did no good at all, having been inspired by Big
16 Brother. Julian called for proper programmes, written and presented by proper archaeologists telling exciting stories. (He did have a good word for Prof Alice Roberts. Most men do! Ed) The Heritage Lottery Fund had spurred a growth in community archaeology, such as Carwynnen Quoit, where a variety of skills and approaches were used to involve local people in the heritage. Julian hoped to see children digging on real sites, building replica houses and making pottery and tools. It was not all doom and gloom. Adrian Rodda Soaprock and porcelain on the Lizard, Kathryn Conder The simple act of pouring boiling water into a cup belies a complex history; the origins of which partly lie in a stretch of coastline between Mullion Cove and Pentreath on the Lizard peninsular and the subsequent manufacture of Soft Paste Porcelain. For it was from these Serpentine cliffs during the 1680 s that samples of soaprock were sent to the Royal Society in London to try to establish its characteristics and possible economic uses. By the 1720 s it was known that the high magnesium content of this metamorphic rock provided heat resistant properties for the production of porcelain. William Borlase in 1729 presented the work of Dr John Woodward who noted that soapy clay at Kynance and Gew Gaze was suitable for porcelain manufacture. Penruddock one the former soaprock quarries near Mullion Cove now home to diverse species of plants and animals. Ceramic porcelain prior to this was imported from China into many European countries. However the growing trade in coffee, chocolate and later tea along with the increasing number who could afford to eat their food from porcelain plates and dishes meant the race was on to replicate the Chinese methods of porcelain production and so engage in a spreading and lucrative market. In the 1730s new technology including accurate measurement of kiln temperatures and new, more skilful and reliable methods of storing the pots in the kiln to get an even temperature were developed. Recent research has suggested that the first soaprock extracted for economic use was from Kynance Cove, and in the later 1740s new deposits were discovered at Gew Graze (Soapy Cove). The first known licences to quarry soaprock were granted for this location in 1748 and the pottery run by Benjamin Lund, who was located at Bristol. By 1752 the newly formed Worcester factory had taken over this pottery and the licence for the site and began to extend the area it covered. By 1760 Worcester were the largest consumers of soaprock from quarries as far north as Mullion, as far south as Pentreath and inland at Daroose and Lizard Common. It was also extracted by the porcelain factories at Vauxhall in London, Liverpool, Caughley and South Wales. The quarry sites are still visible with a little practice on the cliffs and inland and one these is Penruddock Quarry near Mullion Cove, now a site of managed wetland conservation and home to diverse species of plants and animals. Soaprock changed the face of trade in the UK introducing a competitive industry. It was later superseded by the production of China Clay derived from granite and the production of Hard Paste Porcelain of which William Cookworthy played a part. He attempted to produce the original recipe for Hard Paste Porcelain as used by the Chinese, using Cornish China Clay and China Stone but was not able to produce merchantable quality products until It all began with the quarrymen on the west Lizard Coast in Cornwall and their work should be celebrated and not forgotten. Acknowledgement and thanks to Bob Felce (BScHons) Mullion See the Walks Flyer for details of the walk on 27 th September with Bob Felce along the Soaprock Coast. This little introduction to the subject by our Walks Organiser, Kathryn Conder, should whet your appetites to join her on the day. Cornwall & Devon Archaeological Societies Joint Symposium 2015 IRON AGE HILLFORTS, ENCLOSURES AND LANDUSE IN SOUTH WEST BRITAIN 31 st October 2015 at Eagle House Hotel, Launceston 10.00am 5.30 pm Recent work has seen advances in the way we understand hillforts and enclosures, and the land use of communities who constructed and used them. Different aspects will be addressed for South West Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, with the focus on the Iron Age, but with extensions before and after this period where appropriate. Extensive geophysical survey, new excavations and new approaches to dating have been especially rewarding. Speakers arranged are Catherine Frieman, Ralph Fyfe, Frances Griffith, Andy Jones, Clare Randall, Henrietta Quinnell and Eileen Wilkes. See booking form accompanying this newsletter, and on both Societies websites, for further details on the programme and the venue. The cost to include tea, coffee and lunch will be 25 per person. The booking form, together with cheques made payable to Cornwall Archaeological Society, should be sent, by October 14 th, to: Konstanze Rahn, 13 Beach Road, Porthtowan, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 8AA. Telephone Contacts: Secretary: Roger Smith, 18, St Sulien, Luxulyan, Bodmin, PL30 5EB ( ) Membership secretary: Konstanze Rahn, 13 Beach Road, Porthtowan, Truro. TR4 8AA. Newsletter Editor: Adrian Rodda, 52, Mount Pleasant Road, Camborne, TR14 7RJ ( )
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