Usage of YAHS collections in Brotherton Special Collections

Another post in today’s tsunami… But many members will be very interested in this. Special Collections is keeping detailed note of who is consulting YAHS archives in the reading room.

Almost half the readers coming to SC are looking at YAHS items. Unsurprisingly, Wakefield court rolls are the single most viewed. The largest group of readers (33%) are private individuals, and 16% are YAHS members.

The 940 consulting our archives in the six months to August 2017 include 307 private individuals, 155 YAHS members, 149 university staff and postgraduates, with 125 visiting postgrads and 55 visiting academics.

Towton battlefield trail

Jane Ellis reported back on a very successful walk around the Towton  battlefield in mid-September.

Eighteen members enjoyed a lovely summer’s day on 12th September 2017, exploring the Towton Battlefield Trail, near Tadcaster. This circular walk takes in the ten information boards provided by the Battlefield Society, which tell the full story in graphic detail of this Wars of the Roses encounter which took place in a snowstorm on Palm Sunday 1461, described as ‘probably the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil’. From this elevated position in the clear air we had views of a wide area, extending from York Minster to Howden Minster and even the spire of the distant Patrington Church.


Harrogate Archaeological Soc events

Harrogate Archaeological Society events that weren’t available in time for YAHS printed Programme:

HAS talks are at Harlow Hill Methodist Church, Otley Road, Harrogate.  Free on-street parking. Frequent bus service. Talks start at 2.30pm followed by refreshments. £1 members. £3 for non-members.

October 6th The Charnel House at Ripon Cathedral – Joe Priestley

November 4th   In search of Raikeswood  [WW1 German POW] Camp, Skipton – John Mitton and Anne Buckley.

December 2nd     Short talks on local interests:

Sue Kitching [Chair of Friends of Aspin Pond Group] – Aspin Pond Project, Knaresborough.

Liz Dent:  ‘Greenhow Mining Group’.

Tricia Cowell ‘Harlow Hill and Beckwithshaw’ followed by a ‘bun fight’ [sausage rolls, buns, cake etc and tea/coffee] to round off the year.


Written On Our Bones: Yorkshire Skeletons and Human Stories

Leeds City Museum, 12 Oct 2017 from

10.30 am

‘The Bare Bones of Burials in Commercial Archaeology: Challenges and Rewards?’ Dave Hunter (West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Services WYAAS) and David Williams (Archaeological Services ASWYAS)

‘Past London Lives: revealed through skeletal time travel’ Jelena Bekvalac (Museum of London)

‘Human remains: the museum perspective’ Katherine Baxter (Leeds Museums & Galleries) and Natalie Buy (York Museums Trust)

‘One thousand years of life and death in Northern England: the story revealed by the University of Sheffield’s skeletal collections’ Dr Elizabeth Craig-Atkins (University of Sheffield)

‘Towton and beyond: the skeletal collections at the University of Bradford’ Dr Jo Buckberry (University of Bradford)

£20 including refreshments and lunch.

£15 concessions – 16-18 year olds, students, unemployed people, disabled people (carers free). Proof of identity required.

Booking required, visit

Early modern women – free access to articles

Message arrived about The Seventeenth Century’s latest Virtual Special Issue, with free access, but ONLY until late October 2017.
The title is ‘Early Modern Women in Public and in Private’, and it is available via this link:
There are 16 articles in this VSI, and an additional 10 important articles for ‘Further Reading’. The latter group have also been given free access, but only through the VSI page on the link above.

I’m back

I was away, so miles behind with the blog. There is a lot to catch up with, including news of the Dales Life and Tradition 2018 project, plus the Yorkshire Dialect Dictionary, on which work is starting soon. Also further digitisation to announce, new website and YIHO (industrial history database) both fairly close to public unveiling. It’s going to be quite an autumn.

I’m looking forward to the Prehistory event on Saturday in Leeds – a new venture, free and fascinating. See previous post for details.

The Must Farm pile dwelling

A new addition to the programme for YAHS Prehistoric Research Section, who are teaming up with The Prehistoric Society to present a free annual lecture, in a new venue, aiming to attract both PreRS members and the general public. The inaugural lecturer is David Gibson of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, on

The Must Farm pile dwelling: Taste, appearance, lifestyle and communication in the Late Bronze Age

It’s on Saturday 30 September 2017, Leeds City Museum, 2pm in the Denny Room.

‘It now seems that the Must Farm Bronze Age pile dwelling (aka Fenland’s Pompeii) was built, occupied and burnt down in quick succession. The brevity of settlement and its catastrophic demise provided a rare set of circumstances which in turn ensured exceptional preservation. Individual roundhouses replete with entire household inventories (whole pots, tool kits, textiles, wooden vessels, weapons, food remains etc.) were preserved within the gentle sediments of a small river buried deep beneath the fens.

This talk will present the context, circumstance and public outreach of the excavation and, at the same, attempt to come to terms with the sheer intensity of materials and what they might tell us about taste, appearance, lifestyle and communication in Late Bronze Age Britain and beyond’.

After the talk, free tea and coffee refreshments will be provided, enabling attendees to discuss the talk and to meet the speaker.



Lead Mining and Textile Heritage in the Yorkshire Dales

We were pleased to support the Dales Countryside Museum in their HLF bid for the Rich Seam mining and textiles project. The application was successful, and the museum has now asked us to pass their news to YAHS members.

There’s a free talk by David Joy, related to his book Men of Lead, on Wednesday 20 September at 2pm at the Dales Countryside Museum.

More details of the project are here. It involves re-housing and exhibiting one of the country’s most fascinating lead mining collections.

A total of 860 objects, including mining wagons and tools, were given to the DCM by the Yorkshire Dales Mining Museum in Earby when it closed in 2015. Now with a fantastic grant of £90,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund the artefacts can be re-examined and displayed, while the stories of miners and of the members of Earby Mine Research Group who assembled the objects over 50 years can be told.