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No.195 July 2016

Monthly Newsletter

Treasure the Extraordinary to the Everyday

Opened last Friday by the Mayor of Wigan, Councillor Ron Conway, this new exhibition in the Museum of Wigan Life celebrates some of the finest art and artefacts from the Borough's collection, many of which have not previously been on display. The exhibition includes objects ranging from gold Jacobite jewellery to ancient pots from the Royal Cemetery in Persia. Also on display are sacred scrolls from Burma, engraved whales teeth and the flag from General Custer's Last Stand. This 'Cabinet of Curiosity' is quite an eclectic mix of objects and well worth a visit.

Garstang High School GPR Survey

Once again we have been out in the field with the GPR equipment; this time in search of the Roman road between Preston and Lancaster. Our visit came as a request from the Wyre Archaeology Group, who had been prompted by David Ratledge, who had spotted something on LiDAR which he thought worth investigating. The potential site lies just south of the Garstang High School in the field on the east side of the B6430 at Bowgreave. The A6 skirts around Garstang here and the B6430 also takes a detour to the west, as it approaches Garstang from the south. A straight line from the Garstang Road takes you into the field. It is here where David spotted the ditch which could possibly represent the Roman road.

We didn't take much persuading when asked if we could do anything with the GPR equipment. So last Saturday morning, Andy and I were joined by Chris and Simon from the Wyre Group, and together with David Ratledge we carried out a quick survey of the site. I say quick - establishing a base line and marking out the area always takes time, Having to flatten the long grass before each run added to our troubles. However by early afternoon we had obtained the results from a 20m by 10m scan across the potential line.

This showed good responses from a depth of between 0.72m to 1.00m on the line of the ditch (the one that showed up on the Lidar) and also 10m east of it (about the expected width of the Roman road). If these are the road ditches, it could be reminiscent of the ditch we uncovered at Amberswood, where it looked like large stones had been thrown into the ditch after the surface metalling had been robbed. Chris says the Group are hoping to arrange excavations here in the near future but now at least they have good targets to aim for.

Summer Trip

This year we will be visiting the ancient City of Lancaster. Our trip will include a tour of the Castle followed by a visit to Roman sites (Bath House and Fort remains) and then the City Museum to finish off (and other sites if we have time). The Lancaster Heritage Group have offered to help us with the arrangements and maybe a drink in their spiritual home of The George & Dragon. The date hasn't been totally fixed yet but we are looking at Sunday 14th or Sunday 21st August. Please let me know asap which suites you best.

Next Meeting

Wednesday 6th July. - in the Standish Suite at the Brocket Arms (7.30pm as usual). This month's speaker is David Trippier, a professional archaeologist from Bolton. He will be giving us a talk on the research he carried out on Smithill's Coaching House on Crompton Way Bolton. For many years this Grade II listed building operated as a restaurant, but it closed down a few years ago with fears that it would be pulled down when it became derelict. The Council however gave permission for the site to be converted into apartments. This is when David was commissioned to provide a full survey and report on its history. David is a great speaker and I'm sure his talk will be very interesting - hope to see you there, BA.