“The Bee Project” – recording available

If you missed this week’s talk “The Bee Project” by Catherine Mercer, then a recording is available. The link was sent out on 26 Jan by email entitled “Recording of Talk: The Bee Project”.

Walking the Talk

Tomorrow sees the start of what we hope will be a new theme for us: “Walking the talk”. To follow up Dr John Helm’s talk “Into the Dark: The Grassington Mines”, we will be visiting some of the sites that the Grassington Mines Appreciation Group have been working on.

If you would like to join then meet at Yarnbury above Grassington at 9.45 for a 10.00 start on Saturday 28 Jan 22. The Mines are in an exposed area so please dress appropriately.

A memory of the late Les Bloom’s archives.

Hanneke writes: Philip Sugden, Phyllida Oates and I visited the home of Les last Saturday to ascertain if there were any books that may be of interest to the Field Society Library.  Amongst the books, I found an article that Les wrote –

On the Archaeology of Malham Moor, dated 18th April 1998:

“A party of 15 members and friends met at Malham Tarn field Centre which had originally been built by Thomas Lister (1752 1826) – Later Lord Ribblesdale – as a grand shooting “box”.  His agent and friend Rev. Thomas Collins added and improved the house and built the high stables. In 1852 the Malham Tarn estate was purchased by James Morrison of Basildon Park, Berkshire – a millionaire business man and native of Hampshire.  His fifth son (of seven) Walter Morrison (1836 -1921) inherited the estate on his 21st birthday in 1857 and occupied it, on and off over the rest of his long life.  He was a great philanthropist and model landlord, building the estate properties and the school.

Our late member, Helen Ward, remembered Walter well as her father, Alfred Ward, had been the Head Gamekeeper for many years.  In 1947 Mrs. Hutton Croft, who was a descendant of the Morrison family, presented the house to the National Trust, who have since added to the estate.  In 1948 the Field Studies Council leased the Tarn House and much of the estate.

The excursion continued to some archaeological sites of the area, starting with the Priest’s House and the Medieval House near Highfolds Scar. (Permission is required to visit these sites). The different methods of construction were discussed, from the 7th century Priest House to the 11th or 12th century farm house. The track towards Middle House was then taken with a diversion to a large Iron Age complex on Middle House Pasture with about 20 hut circles and a strongly built enclosure wall, thought to be Romano-British 2nd or 3rd century A.D.

Lunch was taken picnic style at Middle House – the present building dating to the late 16th century, but on a site which would have been very important in Norse times as the “Moot” place or meeting place.  The monks of Fountains Abbey also made use of this site and it is mentioned in their records of 1379 and 1480. The ‘Columbarium’ or Dove-cot would provide for the ‘Pigeon Pies’ when the salt meat began to pall on the plate.

Dew Bottoms overlooking Cowside Beck was the last site to be visited – a spectacular situation, thought to be late Bronze Age or early Iron Age, but no firm date can be given.

The walk back to the cars along the Monks Road completed an excellent day, dry and mostly sunny, and with memories again on the excavation work by Dr Arthur Raistrick and his groups from the Field Centre.”