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Ingleborough Archaeology and History series

  • Posted On: 18 June 2020
Ingleborough Archaeology and History series

About the tutor

David Johnson initially studied history and historical geography, gained his first experience of field archaeology at the age of 22, and has spent a lifetime trying to make sense of rural landscapes and ‘deconstruct’ the links between the physical landscape  and the ways in which people through the ages have interacted with their environment.

His PhD was on an aspect of landscape history in the Central Pennines and he has been based in Upper Ribblesdale since 1983. David has lectured and published widely on his research interests, led Stories in Stone's four archaeology projects and jointly led the Stories in Stone tree-ring dating project.

 

About the course

David provides a comprehensive overview of the key archaeology and history in the Stories in Stone area, focussing on Ingleborough.

Part 1 - Ingleborough hillfort

The first of five online presentations on the archaeology and history of the Ingleborough massif.
It has been repeated many times that the summit plateau of Ingleborough was an Iron Age hillfort occupied during the centuries of Roman occupation, from which native Brigantian tribesmen sallied forth against Roman troops. Unfortunately for this romanticised (and nationalistic?) hypothesis the evidence is lacking. This presentation will discuss the reasons why the notion of a defensive hillfort makes no sense and suggests what may have been going on up there – and when.

For high quality full screen viewing, please watch this video on our YouTube channel.

Part 2 - Burials, liminality and stone settings

The second of five online presentations on the archaeology and history of the Ingleborough massif.
On the limestone plateau that surrounds Ingleborough’s summit there is archaeological evidence of prehistoric funerary activity from within the Neolithic and Bronze Age eras. In both eras this activity is visible to us as burial mounds: large and linear within the Neolithic, small and circular in the Bronze Age. This presentation looks at the evidence from around the hill and makes suggestions to help interpret burial mounds, and introduces the concept of liminality. It also looks at evidence gleaned from the Stories in Stone project that surveyed what are termed ‘stone settings’ – slabs of limestone pavement ripped from the horizontal and set vertically in the grikes, not randomly but in an organised manner.

For high quality full screen viewing, please watch this video on our YouTube channel.

Part 3 - Ingleborough in the 'Dark Ages'

The third of five online presentations on the archaeology and history of the Ingleborough massif.
As with the so-called hillfort, it has also been said time and again that there was a significant Viking presence in North Craven; however, archaeological excavations over the past decade, partly funded by Stories in Stone and led by David Johnson, have proven a more complex scenario. Eight individual farmsteads, and a tight nucleation of five farmsteads, all surviving as foundations, have been proven by radiocarbon dating to be from the Anglo-Saxon period, that is, between the mid seventh and the late tenth century. This presentation summarises the findings of these excavations.

For high quality full screen viewing, please watch this video on our YouTube channel.

Part 4 - Ingleborough's developing human landscape

The fourth of five online presentations on the archaeology and history of the Ingleborough massif.
Throughout and beyond the medieval period the Ingleborough massif was a hive of activity which has modified the landscape in many ways. Livestock management dominates now but there is archaeological evidence of medieval crop farming; there is a network of historical routeways around the hill; and evidence of ‘lost’ farms and grouse shooting. This presentation examines how the massif has been used by local people over the years. 

For high quality full screen viewing, please watch this video on our YouTube channel.

Part 5 - Industrial Ingleborough

The final of five online presentations on the archaeology and history of the Ingleborough massif.
It is obvious that quarrying around the edges of the Ingleborough massif is still a significant contributor to the local and national economy but there is also less obvious evidence of past industrial activity across the massif. The Millstone Grit and Yoredale Sandstone have been exploited for building stone and millstone production; lead and copper deposits were trialled to test their economic viability; and Carboniferous Limestone was quarried for producing lime in clamp kilns, isolated field kilns and in the major industrial concerns at Horton in Ribblesdale and Helwith Bridge. This presentation looks at this past and present activity.    

For high quality full screen viewing, please watch this video on our YouTube channel.

 

There is an accompanying handout detailing the further reading appropriate for each part of the series.

Thanks to Ben Niall Video Productions.

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