|Our machine has arrived at last and looks
like its been well worth the wait. The CIA and TR Systems, who designed and built
it, have done a great job. The build quality throughout is excellent; from the stainless
steel frame to the mahogany baseboard. The meter itself has as LCD display on the front
panel and controls which are comprehensive but easy to use. Downloading the data into the
computer couldnt be simpler and impatient to see it in action, last month I rapidly
organised a field trip to our regular site at Brimlow Farm. Readers of our newsletters
(No.34 in particularly) will know we have been trying to locate the Roman Road here for a
number of years now. Despite the short notice, I managed to muster enough of the usual
activists to carry out a quick survey. Im sorry if I missed anybody who wanted to be
involved, but there will be plenty of opportunities for more trips in the coming months.
The day was beautiful and the field was in perfect condition as the farmer is still
growing turf here. However, a fast meter doesnt always compensate for slow marking
out. Trees have grown since we first established the base line across these fields 16
years ago, so re-establishing the line proved more difficult then expected. However once
we got going, we managed a 24 x 24 metre grid in fairly rapid time with everybody having a
go with the meter. I brought my laptop in the car so was able to display the findings
immediately after we had finished (not too successful in the bright sunlight).
The section we attempted was in the south field opposite the farmhouse, straddling our
predicted line for the Road. Two years ago a similar section was completed in the north
field using our home-made meter. The results then were quite distinct with high readings
indicating the line of the road. This was expected as excavations in 1988 had already
proven the existence of a road. In this field, however the results were not so obvious but
the signs were encouraging. A very dark (high resistivity) area in the top right-hand
corner of the survey area corresponds with the old field boundary, which also happens to
be where it crosses the Parish boundary. There may be some significance here. There is
also some shadowing along the predicted line, although less distinct. In 1989 the Society
opened three trial trenches in this area, which although inconclusive,
did shows signs of a cobbled surfacing. As you
can see, we may have just been unlucky in sighting these trenches. The middle trench did
have indications of a ditch next to the cobble surfacing.
This field has always proved difficult, but any evidence of a road here
would I think prove conclusively that it had a Roman origin as it would be seen to be
spanning two unconnected fields. Next time
out, we should be able to cover a much larger area and hopefully establish the line of the
road once and for all. Please indicate at the
next meeting if you are interested in being involved in any future trips.
Tom Glover has been looking at the possibility of a trip to Kirkby Lonsdale and nearby
Hornby. He is in contact with a local archaeologist who may be able to provide us with a
guided tour. Tom will have more details at the meeting.
Mark Fletcher from Matrix Archaeology (who took us round Winstanley Hall in April) has
agreed to be our technical advisor. This means that in any future work undertaken we will
have professional guidance. Over the years, Mark has shown great interest in the work of
our Society and has helped us on a number of occasions. He also believes that the
archaeological heritage of the Wigan area is extremely important.
By the way he has given me a copy of his Winstanley Hall report, which will be available
at the next meeting for anybody who wants to borrow it.
Wednesday 5th June at the BP Centre (Scout HQ) in Greenough Street, at 7.30 pm as
usual. This months speaker is Steve Rigby, Secretary of the British Titanic
Society, who will be updating us on the latest developments (coincidentally he
has an exhibition running in the Wigan town centre at the moment).
Unfortunately I will be on holiday for this meeting but Im sure we will be able to
organise a site visit for the following week. B.A.