Following up on last months geophys work, I have superimposed the plot on
to the map of the north field at Brimlow. From this, it is possible to get an idea
of the direction the road takes. I have also added the plan of the results from the
work we did in the 1980s, as it was directly adjacent to the current area. As
you can see there is a remarkably close correlation between the two plots. This
gives me great confidence that the work we are doing here is true and representative of
the underlying archaeology. Writing in the 19th century, W.T Watkins, describes the
road in this area as being 14 yards wide - certainly within the range of our findings.
The small area at the top of the left picture is the area surveyed in 1988. The
superimposed rectangular areas below A & B are the site of the 1988 excavations.
The larger area below is the recently surveyed area (2000) and shows the clear outlines of
the road that is approximately 14 yards (12.8 metres) wide.
With this success under our belt, this month we turned are attentions to the south
field at Brimlow. Finding evidence in this field would definitely give a compelling
argument for the existence of the Roman road at Brimlow. Nothing is shown on any map
here and there is no visible sign on the surface. Previous work in this field has
also proved negative or inconclusive.
This session turned out to be a bit of a disaster. First the 100-metre cable got
tangled in the reel, taking ages to unravel. Then we could not get the meter to work
properly. Normally I use a 10-milliamp setting over the long distance between the
fixed and mobile probes, but for some reason this output was overloading the
voltmeter. I was forced to use the 1-milliamp setting, but with such a small output
we could not achieve any consistency. After two attempts, covering areas at 90
degrees to each other, and still no repeatable results, we decided to abandon the
session. To top it all, when John Barker got back to his car, he found it had been
broken into and the tax disc stolen. A miserable day all round.
It was only when I got home that I realised the difference between this and last
months session. I had set the fixed probe separation at 3 metres instead of
the usual 1 metre. This was a recommendation I had received over the Internet, which
in theory would give enhanced sensitivity. Obviously I had over cooked it (next time
Ill stick to the tried and tested settings).
As mentioned last month this years trip is to Carlisle - here are the
details. The coach will leave Wigan at 8.45am. to arrive in Carlisle before 11am.
This will give us chance to visit the Tullie House Museum for half price (£1.85 adults
£1.35 children and OAPs). The attractions here include interactive exhibits of the
Roman town of Luguvalium and a unique audio-visual show telling the bloody tales of the
lawless Border Reivers.
The Castle is only across the way and if we go in a group we get 15% off which means
£2.55 adults £1.70 OAPs and £1.35 for children.
Other attractions in Carlisle are; the Cathedral, the Miltary museum, the Citadel (an
unfinished fortress for the southern end of the city walls) and the West Wall (built in
the 1200s, between the Cathedral and the Town Dyke Orchard car park).
Birdoswald Roman Fort is a half-hours drive away and therefore may not be
possible in the time available (something to discuss at the meeting). Hopefully, if
the coach leaves at 5.00pm we should be back in Wigan for about 7.00pm. The cost of
the coach is £14 (£7 for children), which is a little more than usual but Im sure
it will be well worth it. Incidentally there are still some places left.
Wednesday 5th July at the BP Centre (Scout HQ) in Greenough Street, at 7.30 pm as
usual. This months speaker is Dr Mary Higham who will be giving us the 2nd
instalment of her talk on Medieval Parks and Gardens.
Hope to see you at there - B.A.