October Meeting

Wednesday 4th October. John Pendlebury was an egyptologist, archaeologist and war hero. While fighting in Crete in the Second World War, he was captured by the Germans and legend has it that he was executed as a spy. He was born in London but his father was a Wiganer, the son of the owner of the famous Pendleburys department store on Standishgate. John worked for many years in Egypt at Amarna and Knossos in Crete where he enlisted when war broke out. John Johnson has been researching his fascinating life story and I’m sure his talk will be very interesting.

August Trip

Sunday 20th August. Ian Trumble has kindly arranged for us to visit Hall i’th Wood and Smithills Hall – both grade I listed buildings on the outskirts of Bolton. Please contact me direct on bill@wiganarchsoc.co.uk if you interested in going.

Hall i’th Wood is 16th century and famous for being the home of Samuel Crompton, who invented of the Spinning Mule. The oldest part of Smithill’s Hall dates to the early 14th century and was probably moated.

Ian will be opening Hall i’th Wood specifically for us in the morning but for Smithill’s Hall we will be joining a regular tour in the afternoon. Ian is also seeing if he can get us access to the Bolton Museum archive store which has over a million items in store.

Toddington Lane Activity

Over the last few weeks there has been much activity at our Toddington Lane site (Mrs Pendlebury’s Milestone), including the GM Festival of Archaeology where volunteers from the general public were invited to join in. We’ve even had 3D models made of our trenches, kindly produced by one of our volunteers, Lee McStein, who is a specialist with this sort of thing  (3D-Trench 13D-Trench 3).

July Meeting

Wednesday 5th July. In the 1600s Wigan was only second to London for its Pewter industry and supplied much of the North as well as trading abroad through Liverpool. Caroline Heaven has been studying the subject over the last year or so and will be presenting her findings (and some examples). We’ll also be reporting on our excavations at Toddington Lane (more details here).

June Meeting

Wednesday 7th June.  This month we have Karl Taylor from Oxford Archaeology North. Karl is their Geophysics expert and in his talk he will be demonstrating projects where geophysics has been used by the unit to detect the archaeology.  As you may have seen over the last few years, geophysics has proved a very useful tool for our Society, so it will be interesting to see how this essential tool is used by the professionals.

May Meeting

Wednesday 3rd May. Mark Fletcher from Matrix Archaeology will be giving our Society a talk about Manchester’s ‘Mythical’ Castle. It was first mentioned in the late 12th and early 13th centuries but nobody knows exactly where it was or whether it really existed – could it have been just a ring-work around a Saxon burgh. Mark has been carrying out extensive excavations around the Cathedral area where it is was supposed to have been, so hopefully he will be able to cast more light on the mystery.

Mrs Pendlebury’s Milestone Excavations

This month we have started excavating this roadside stone which Mrs Pendlebury is convinced is Roman. Her reason for thinking this is that it lies near where she lives in Haigh on Toddington Lane which is thought to be the Roman Road from Wigan to Ribchester. You can see the reason for thinking this here. The stone, which was broken a few years ago by an excavator, is obviously not Roman and may not even be a milestone, but what exactly is it. You can follow our progress finding out what it is here.

April Meeting

Wednesday 5th April. This month we have invited Steve Baldwin to speak about his Kingmaker 1485 Project project. Steve has recently got permission to carry out extensive excavations on the site of the famous Medieval Lathom Hall. To fund the work, he is setting up a series of field-schools and inviting interested parties to come and help him dig there. The first of these schools is to be held over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, i.e. Saturday 15th April to Sunday 17th April. Visit the website – http://www.kingmaker1485.org.uk/ to book a place. At our meeting Steve will be explaining the project in more detail and also answer any questions you have regarding the dig.

October Meeting

Wednesday 5th October. The Medieval Graffiti Survey project was first established in Norfolk in 2010 and was the large-scale survey of early graffiti inscriptions in the UK. Entirely volunteer led, the project changed the way we look at our medieval church heritage. Here in the northwest, the number of medieval churches is limited. Therefore the project has evolved and been developed into the NW Historic Graffiti Project. This will look at any building of interest up to and including the 17th century.  The project is being run by Carolanne King from the CBA NW and at our next meeting, she has agreed to come along and  explaining how local groups can get involved. Project will include workshops and training session and already a number of groups in the northwest have had sessions and have carried out surveys. These include Middleton Arch Soc and the South Manchester Arch Research Team.  It will be interesting to hear whether there could be an opportunity for our Society to get involved in this very interesting project.