Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

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Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 13 Nov 2015, 19:55

Archaeologist Dr Keith Boughey has written a book about the excavation of the bronze age ring cairn on Thornton Moor by Welbury Holgate and his sisters in the 1930's. The Holgates spent years on this project and their many finds eventually went to the Craven Museum but no report was ever written. Dr Boughey has studied the finds, applying modern techniques such as radio carbon dating to them and this book, about to be published by the YAS, is the result of his research. We have ordered a copy for the EDLHS, but I thought it worth posting on here in case anyone else is interested.

Life and Death in Prehistoric Craven
Welbury Wilkinson Holgate and the Excavation of the Hare Hill Ring Cairn
Keith Boughey


Between 1932 and 1950, a Bronze Age ring cairn on Hare Hill, Thornton Moor, near Thornton-in-Craven, North Yorkshire (NGR: SD 92957 47686), was excavated by an amateur archaeologist, Welbury Wilkinson Holgate, assisted by his three sisters. Their excavation exposed the full structure of the cairn. The site has rising ground to the south, but commands extensive views of the broad valley of Earby and Thornton Becks below to the west and the hills of Airedale to the north. Conspicuous both on the ground and from aerial photography, it survives today as a circular flat-topped mound of stone and earth up to 0.7m in height and 28m in diameter, surrounded by a bank, with faint indications of a ditch between the bank and the mound.

Flint finds and radiocarbon dating of charcoal and cremated bone have revealed a long and complex history for the site, beginning in the Mesolithic. A shallow pit beneath the cairn containing ash, charcoal, worked flint and a ground Neolithic axehead revealed a date of 3957-3797 cal BC. The cairn contained the cremated remains of between 15-21 individuals, mostly children and adolescents, associated with Beakers, Food Vessels and Collared Urns, and returned radiocarbon dates spanning the Beaker-Early Bronze Age period from 2026-1895 cal BC to 1746-1620 cal BC. Finds also included a fine jet ear stud, a jet ‘napkin’ ring and two bone points or needles.

Sadly, nothing was ever published. But what the author has now produced for Hare Hill is a comprehensive account backed up by a suite of secure radiocarbon dates. We also have clear evidence of trade in key materials such as flint and jet. The ring cairn occupies a key location straddling the Aire-Ribble gap, to the east providing access into and across the Pennines and beyond, and to the north and west to Cumbria and the Irish Sea coastline. The people who built and used the cairn on Hare Hill undoubtedly belong to this wider economic and cultural narrative. The final publication of the excavation will ensure that the hitherto unheralded work of the Holgates will at last make its long overdue contribution to our understanding of this story.

“…a cracking piece of work…(the author) deserves a medal for bringing it fully into the public domain.” Clive Waddington (Archaeological Research Services Ltd.)

114+xii pp. + Appendices CD. Fully illustrated in colour and black-and-white. ISBN 978-0-9932383-3-8
Yorkshire Archaeological Society. £17.50 + £2.50 UK p&p (less £2.50 without Appendices CD, £2.50 discount to YAS/PRS members or if ordered pre-publication) Expected date of publication: December 2015
All inquires/orders to:
Dr. K. Boughey, c/o YAS, ‘Church Bank’, Church Hill, Hall Cliffe, Baildon, W. Yorks.BD17 6NE.
Tel.: 01274-580737. keith_boughey@hotmail.com

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Stanley » 14 Nov 2015, 03:56

Thanks for that Wendy, I've mailed him.....
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Stanley » 15 Nov 2015, 06:55

Keith got straight back to me and I put the cheque in the post this morning. He asked me how I had heard about the book and I cited you as his sales-person on OG!
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 15 Nov 2015, 08:32

I had a chat with him on Friday. We hope he will come and give a talk to the society at some point.

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Stanley » 07 Dec 2015, 05:19

The book arrived and I have read it. Avery good piece of work and a fascinating insight into life in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age in our locality. Well worth getting hold of if you have an interest in these matters.
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by plaques » 07 Dec 2015, 08:10

Currently reading the book by John Clayton " Burnley and Pendle Archaeology" (Lancashire Libraries) . Ice Age to Early Bronze Age. Very easy to read with lots of illustrations plus excellent background information on burial sites etc. Possibly a good complimentary book to the Welbury Holgate .... book.

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Stanley » 08 Dec 2015, 05:19

There is a growing interest in the local archaeology and John is well to the fore. About time too, for far too long the subject has been neglected. When John and I were field walking a few years ago we both agreed we were seeing signs of pre-Ice Age activity on the tops where glaciation hadn't scraped all the evidence away. There is a lot out there if we just look hard enough and the work of Welbury Holgate and his sisters shows what can be done.
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by John C Layton » 03 Jan 2016, 14:31

Image Image
The Hare Hill ring cairn extracted from 50cm LiDAR imaging. It is apparent that Hare Hill was possibly a defensive settlement during the Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age.
Images copyright Environment Agency - All Rights Reserved C 2015

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 03 Jan 2016, 17:14

Can you give us an explanation of what we are looking at John?

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by plaques » 03 Jan 2016, 18:51

I get the impression that it is about here on the Mario maps 392930 447710
or google maps

Of course, as you let everybody know on OG I'm not very good with maps and the google thingy.

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 03 Jan 2016, 19:07

:peace:

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Stanley » 04 Jan 2016, 03:29

Have a look at it on side by side.... LINK, it stands out on Google as well.
Welbury and his sisters would have loved this technology.....
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 20 Feb 2016, 09:39

John, do you think that the oval feature that surrounds the burial mound is natural or man made? I've only been up there once, but Margaret tells me that there is nothing obvious on the ground, and that it's quite flat and featureless.

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 20 Feb 2016, 09:45

We have added an extra date to the Earby History Society season so that Roger Boughey can give us a talk on this subject. It will be on Tuesday June 21st 7.30pm at New Road
Community Centre. We are hoping that Skipton Museum will allow him to bring along some of the artefacts from the excavation.

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by John C Layton » 20 Feb 2016, 12:27

Wendy - this is the age-old problem with ground-based survey. What might appear to be featureless level ground can turn out to have been very different thousands of years ago. The Hare Hill LiDAR illustrates this nicely.

Taking the extended landscape features into account the raised oval area on which the cairn is located appears to be of glacial origin with possible engineering work to form a defined platform or enclosure. So the answer to your question really is 'both.'

It is also possible that the cairn was created when any occupied enclosure here became redundant. It is significant that the site corresponds with a proposed early kingdom boundary and so the cairn my have been located here as a territorial marker.

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 20 Feb 2016, 13:31

You can see it quite clearly on the aerial photograph in the NLS Side by Side view (Stanley posted a link back up the page) and it follows the 900ft contour quite closely. Once the weather picks up a bit we will be exploring!
We need tips on using GPS to locate things on the ground!

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by PanBiker » 20 Feb 2016, 14:03

All you need is the coordinates from the OS map, Google Earth or any other mapping utility. Either NG reference or Lat, Long most GPS units can work from either. What kind of GPS unit do you have Wendy?
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by PanBiker » 20 Feb 2016, 14:16

My phone uses the built in GPS for a number of different apps that I use. I have just downloaded a free basic GPS trekking app (Handy GPS) and installed it. It allows you to select a waypoint simply by indicating it on Google Maps and navigate to it using the built in animated magnetic compass. You can enter coordinates manually and save them as waypoints also.
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Wendyf » 20 Feb 2016, 14:53

Only mobile phones Ian. I have the Viewranger App, but have only used it for measuring a route taken on a walk rather than navigating by it. Looks like it should be possible with a bit of practise. HERE

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by PanBiker » 20 Feb 2016, 15:50

Very similar to the one I have just downloaded. I'll have a go with that one as well and see which is best. As you know I use Endomondo for our walking and cycling as it integrates with the other applications we use. Top and bottom is that a modern phone has a lot of the capability of many handheld GPS units.. The geocaching app I use can navigate to within inches of coordinates produced on dedicated GPS units. It's just down to the software you have driving it. You should be fine with that.
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by Stanley » 21 Feb 2016, 04:54

Fascinating......
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by John C Layton » 21 Feb 2016, 16:34

Ian - I'm interested to hear that the mobile phone GPS can navigate to within inches of coordinate points. I'm confused, however, as to whether the apps allow for cross-reference of mobile signal and satellite? I trained with Oxford Uni Archaeology on GPS costing £15,000 - this system combined mobile signal with satellites and is accurate to within millimetres - it also converts masses of data to file for incorporating into GIS systems for survey. My Garmin handheld, on the other hand, relies purely on satellite and is accurate to the nearest cow pat (around 3 m actually) - that said it does much the same job and is acceptable for rapid surveys.

My question is, then, can the mobile apps be used to upload elevation and linear data (ascii. etc. or even kml.) from the ground imput in order to transfer to survey utilities? Or are they limited to actually finding locations by coordinate imput?

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by PanBiker » 21 Feb 2016, 16:52

My Motorola phone is quite good in that it uses both the US GPS and the Russian GLONASS satellites simultaneously. With high accuracy turned on it also uses the mobile network to triangulate from ground transmitters. I use various apps on the phone that use the built in GPS. I do Geocaching and the app for that can take me to within inches of a cache location. I have only just started using a "dedicated" GPS app (two actually) for comparison and am not yet fully aware of their capabilities, I'm using free versions of each. At first looks they allow you to set way points or POI's and then navigate to them. They can use most mapping methods and various basemap variants. One is encouraging me to buy basemaps the other defaults to and uses Google mapping. I think you may be able to save out a breadcrumb route on one of them in the common GPS formats.
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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by John C Layton » 21 Feb 2016, 17:10

OK Ian - thanks for that. Looks like it's horses for courses - mobile apps useful for navigation and dedicated GPS for surveying.

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Re: Welbury Holgate and the Hare Hill Burial Mound

Post by PanBiker » 21 Feb 2016, 17:20

Additional:

"Handy GPS" allows you enable a tracklog and to export .kml I have no routes tracked yet so can't see what it actually saves.

"ViewRanger GPS" allows import/export of GPX files. It has standard export and an export visible to GPX modes. I think it also has a corresponding web based utility as I had to set up an account after I installed the app on the phone.
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