Talk on Whirlow Hall archaeology findings

Dr Clive Waddington is speaking about new discoveries made during two HLF-funded archaeological projects at Whirlow Hall Farm, Sheffield. At King Ecgbert School, Dore, on Thursday 30 March, 7 pm. Entrance is free, with doors opening at 6:30 pm. There’s a lot of interest, and as seating is limited to 300 it’s suggested you arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Industrial History lecture on Saturday


by Robert Light, Historic Nidderdale Project Officer

Upper Nidderdale’s rich resources have long been exploited and the remains of these industries are still evident. The Heritage Lottery funded Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership has identified ‘Flagship Heritage Sites’ such as Scar Navvy Camp, the Prosperous Lead Mine complex and Wath Mill. The talk will explain the work being done to conserve and explain these sites for future generations.

On Saturday 18 March, at the Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds, LS3 1AD, starting at 11.00 am. Parking (free on Saturdays) at Joseph’s Well.

New office – new phone…

Well and truly into the 21st century with a new VOIP phone system. We’re on the same number as at Claremont – 0113 245 7910. When there’s no one in the office it will take a message and email it to officers. And I know this works, as the first message has just landed – someone asking how to join, and interested in some hands-on archaeology. Excellent!

P.S. At a risk of jinxing it: we hope and expect the Claremont sale to complete on Friday.

Yorkshire Numismatic Society lecture in Harrogate

‘Quite devoid of sense’?


Harrogate Spring Coin Fair

Swan Hotel,

Swan Road, Harrogate, HG1 2SR

(car parking tickets at hotel reception)

3:00pm, Friday 17th March 2017

Humphrey Sutherland and many subsequent eminent numismatists have condemned the York gold shilling as ‘quite devoid of sense’ and later than seventh-century southern shillings. New research on the inscriptions and iconography now puts the York gold shilling at the forefront of English coinage. This finding challenges the chronology of early Anglo-Saxon coinage, dating the York shilling to the time of the ship burial at Sutton Hoo around 625CE and casting new light on the history of Northumbria, particularly its balance of power. The distribution of finds evidences evangelical activity in the Conversion Period and the literacy of the inscriptions, as with sceats, distinguishes Northumbrian coinage from southern issues.

In January, speaking at the York Stamp and Coin Fair, Tony Abramson gave the first part of this lecture, disclosing that one of the two inscriptions on the York shillings reads PAULINUS EP – Paulinus, first Archbishop of York, 627-33. Uninscribed varieties are arguably earlier.

Mary Garrison of the University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies will now complete the other inscription, revealed in March 2015 by Jonathan Mann, to commence SANCTE….

Mary will also explored possible interpretations of the intriguing iconography on this coinage.

Industrial heritage – a walk in the Dales

A message from Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group:

Dr David Johnson, author of a recent book on the history of quarrying in the Pennines, will lead a walk around the recently-completed heritage trail at Threshfield Quarry on Saturday March 18th, starting at 10.30 am.

The event marks the formal hand-over of the trail by the Yorkshire Dales Landscape Research Trust, which carried out most of the work for the Heritage Lottery-funded project, to the Threshfield Quarry Development Trust.

The project cleared hundreds of tons of rubble to reveal unique remains of the lime kilns, and constructed over a kilometre of new footpaths.

Narrow-gauge rail track, similar to the tracks originally used in the quarry, was installed on the railway inclines in the quarry with the help of funding from the Sustainable Development Fund.

Three Hudson V-skips, the cable-pulled carts that were used to move stone in the quarry, were acquired on long -term loan from Leeds Industrial Museum and can now be seen, cleaned up and re-painted by volunteers, on rail track at the top of one of the inclines.

The walk will take approximately two hours and is free, as is the second edition of a booklet about the history of the quarry which will be available on the day. 

To get there turn onto Skirethorns Lane from the B6160 in Threshfield, and take the right turn into the quarry entrance. Keep left along the quarry road and park near the first building on the left.  

There’s no need to book in advance, if you require any further information contact Roger Martlew on

Finding good homes

It’s pleasing to know that surplus items from Claremont, things which can’t be sold, have been found good homes – where they will be helping other voluntary groups and public collections. Here are just some of the donations YAHS has made very recently:

To the Yorkshire Air Museum, various items of library equipment; Narrow Gauge Railway Society, fiche and film reader and printer; Leeds Library, some of the leftover bookbinding materials (the main collection went some while ago to, I think, West Yorks Archives); to Doncaster and District Society of Change Ringers, casts of West Riding bell inscriptions by J. Eyre Poppleton; to West Yorkshire Archive Service, Morley, rather a lot of archival equipment which may actually have come from them originally; to the Friends of Settle Area Swimming Pool, yet more loads of waste paper; and some of our overstock of coloured paper to Esklets playgroup and Castleton Primary School. This is not to mention several car boots full of charity shop donations.

We’ve taken as much as possible to Leeds City Library, particularly those ‘grey’ items which aren’t archival, may have been digitised, but perhaps are still useful – on the proviso that the local studies library sorts and keeps or disposes as they judge wisest. We have also presented items to Leeds CC Museums and Galleries, with plans to join in a research project at Armley Mills museum about the Fenton family, subjects of two portraits.IMG_0564

Here’s a picture of the Heaton triptych, by Norman Shaw, one of the pieces given to Leeds CC.



‘Early Medieval Execution’ – Medieval Section lecture this Saturday

‘Early Medieval Execution in England and the Problem of the North’, by Alyx Mattison, University of Sheffield. Saturday 11th March, 2pm, at Swarthmore.

This talk will discuss the archaeological and historical evidence for execution in early medieval England. Anglo-Saxons had very specific beliefs surrounding judicial punishment and the treatment of criminals in death, many of which came to an end after the Norman Conquest. The impetuses behind these changes and what they meant for the future of criminality in England will be explored. The talk will then venture to the Yorkshire (and the Danelaw) and the problem of how it fit into this Anglo-Saxon scheme of punishment.  Did the Danelaw use the same punishments and treatment of criminals as the rest of Anglo-Saxon England? What sort of evidence, or lack thereof, do we have for judicial punishment in the Danelaw?

Selling surplus things from Claremont

Hartley’s of Ilkley are selling more items from Claremont this week – viewing Tuesday, sale Wednesday. Numbered in the 700s/ 800s of their online list.

Look out too for their Fine Art sale on 22 March, featuring two portraits from Claremont. The subjects are Thomas Gent, the Yorkshire historian (left); and Henry Jenkins of Ellerton-on-Swale, who supposedly died aged 169 in 1670. The Jenkins artist is unknown, while Gent is possibly a nineteenth-century copy of an original (whereabouts unknown) by Nathan Drake. Estimated value of Jenkins is £300-£500, while Gent may command a higher price.IMG_0520 IMG_0523