Date: November 22, 2010
Revisited the site again on Sunday (and another good turn-out) to look in the field south of Speckled Holly on the projected line. Met the farmer for the first time, Tom Stafford (or maybe his son) – seemed happy for us to be in his field (and encouragingly keen to know if we find anything).Difficult to get a bearing – as the projected line runs at about 45 degrees to the field boundary (and we couldn’t see the previous survey area). We picked our datum at the top (north) corner of the field and measured 60m eastward along the field boundary. This spot we used for the top base line of our survey and set out the line and survey area using 3, 4, 5, triangles. With this area we were confident we would cover the projected line.The map below compares last September’s result (at the top) with this Sunday’s result (at the bottom). As you can see, this Sunday’s result shows absolutely nothing. The pattern produced is very typical of underlying geology (i.e. higher resistivity on the higher therefore drier ground). There is another clue which strongly suggests that the Roman road did not cross this field – i.e. there is no sign on the ground of an agger, bank or terrace, which you might expect as the road came of the ridge. (This ridge points towards Wigan but the projected line goes down the hill towards Scott Lane bridge at Martland Mill and on to Goose Green, eventually lining up (in theory) with the road leading south out of Wigan.) Probing suggests there is a rocky sub-surface all over the field at no more than a ploughshare’s depth – and curiously the ground is a-ceramic (i.e. not a single piece of pottery could be seen) suggesting the field wasn’t ploughed until recent times (which in theory would giving more chance for a road to have survived).
Great turn out for today’s resistivity survey at Standish Wood Fold – Chris, Kat, Andy, Frank, Dave, Ken, Mark (on his bike) and me. Bit worried about gaining access but the lady living at Speckled Holly (formerly Lower Wood Fold) was most accommodating – she introduced us to her daughter who lives at Upper Wood Fold (turns out she has a degree in archaeology and is very interested in our project).Managed to completed a 40 x 25 grid despite the attentions of a herd of young bulls in the field (Mark and Frank showed off their skills as cowboys and kept them at bay). The grid we marked out straddled the suspected line of the Roman road projected from Standish Wood Lane (on the 1st Edition 6″ OS map of 1849 there is a tram road running along the projected line so suspect we may pick that up as well).Strange isn’t it that you never seem to get what you expect with resistivity. The high res (shown as the light areas) is predominantly on the left side which could be the road but looks to be too far over and is possibly just reflecting the shape of the ground (it falls away sharply at this point forming a terrace). Less prominent is strip of high res which seems to indicate a continuation of the track leading into the field, curving to the northwest as it enters the field. I’m not, however, convinced by this result that there was every a Roman road crossing this field (which also seemed to be confirmed by the long probing we did at the time).
Date: July 22, 2010
Met with Eric this evening to see if we could find out who owns the fields around the Standish Wood Folds where we could possibly do some geophysics. Spoke to a bloke walking his dogs (and cat) in the triangular field between the two folds (the lower one is now called Speckled Holly). He said the land round about is owned by a coal mining company (?) and leased to various farmers (none of which lived in any of the folds). The triangular field and the field south of Lower Fold are leased to Tom Stafford who’s farm was some distance away (the guy in the field never sees any of the farmers). The man himself lives in the one of the buildings at Upper Wood Fold and his mother-in-law lives at Speckled Holly . He thought there should be no problem us doing a survey in these field. Viewing the field south of Speckled Holly however it looks like we will need to wait until the farmer has taken the crop. All in all though a useful trip.
Date: December 17, 2009
Good trip on Sunday. We started at Brimlow Farm and worked our way up the old railway line (which Eric thought we might have possibilities with, until he saw how big the embankment is). At Wakefield’s Farm we crossed over onto Standish Wood Lane – fantastic view looking south over Wigan – can see why so many have assumed it to be the main Roman road north-south. Noticed though how deep the cutting is as you pass the ‘Rems of Cross’ (a Medieval Cross base). The cutting must be at least 4 metres at its deepest (however when you look on the map the cutting deviates off to the west – maybe this was added later to ease the slope – which is quite significant at this point). From Standish Wood Folds (where we looked for possibilities of doing some geophys) we crossed over towards Brockhurst where we examined an old bridge (18th century or earlier) – obviously another old route across these fields.
An extract from one of the earlier OS maps obtained from the Lancashire County Council Mario website. Prospect Hill just to the south of Standish is at the top of the map. The map includes Standish Wood Lane which some believe is the alignment.
The apparent railway sidings immediately to the north west of Brimelow Farm are my pencil lines that I failed to erase (Eric).
The society is hoping to carry out fieldwork north of Wigan soon in an attempt to determine the route of the Roman road between Brimlow Farm and Standish. It would be most useful if you would use this forum to share any ideas that you may have on this subject so that when we go up there we will be starting with some areas to investigate.
There is a useful article in our Wigapedia section entitled ‘Roman Road North Of Wigan.’