Monday 29 January 2024

HUTTONS AMBO HISTORY GROUP - Note of activities in the Village Hall - 14 January 2024


Note of activities in the Village Hall

14 January 2024

  1. Archaeological investigations in Low Hutton last spring and summer

Diarmaid Walshe’s presentation described what was found during the group excavation last summer. The work took place in the field north of Netherby Hall, at a location guided by the spring geophysics surveys. The finds appear to have come from a wide range of time periods, including flints, Roman and Iron Age pottery, burnt daub (clay from wattle and daub structures) and medieval pottery. The Hollies test pit revealed pottery from the 11th to 17th century and lots of plaster with wood imprints. It seems possible that this came from a cruck-built structure, perhaps a barn that was later remodelled as a dwelling. Mention was also made of pottery that is periodically revealed under the tree whose top blew over recently. One medieval item looks like part of a storage jar for grain. There was also part of a glazed pot from the 1600s.

More investigations are planned for this summer, from the 27th of July to the 11th of August. This will be a much bigger exercise than in 2023, with students from the University of Uppsala and others using the village hall as a daytime base and staying nearby overnight. There will also be places for local residents.

Further geophysics surveys are planned for during this fortnight: next to the scheduled monument, possibly also inside it (if permitted by Historic England) and by the village hall. There will also be an earthworks survey. Three trenches are envisaged, two on Netherby Hall land and one on The Hollies land. The fully funded work will be overseen by Emma Samuel and staffed by professional and academic archaeologists.

If anyone would like to join in the summer activities, they should contact Emma in advance at:

to book a day or days.

If you would like to see James Lyall’s 2023 geophysics report (in late draft form) or a pdf of Diarmaid’s presentation, contact Rona Charles at

  1. Washing of the investigation’s more robust finds

This mainly comprised pottery but also included fragments of clay pipe, flints and also some stones which had been masquerading as artefacts! Other finds are too fragile to be washed and will be brushed instead.

  1. Talk by John Dodsworth: “John Mansfield, Squire of Huttons Ambo, Master of Mines, Queen's Surveyor and Puritan”

"The life of John Mansfield takes us into a world of conspiracy and the Elizabethan succession crisis. It illustrates disenchantment with seventeenth century England and why, like Mansfield's children, many Puritans left the old world for Boston, Massachusetts."

This illustrated talk reflected an extraordinary amount of research by John. It was full of fascinating details, for example the Settrington survey of 1599, links to both the English and Scottish royalty, and was just as complex as John’s introduction above suggests!

© 2024

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.