Reports on 2010 Activities

The following reports give a flavour of what took place in 2010; see what you may have missed!

Cawthorn Camps

Following on from his interesting and informative lecture two days earlier, Dr. Pete Wilson guided 20 Members of the Society around Cawthorn Camps on Sunday 17th October 2010; the weather was fine and bright!

GPS trace of our 2.3 km route (shown in yellow) around Cawthorn Camps started at the car park (at the south), then north-west to the viewing platform, then north-east to the defile which descends to Sutherland Beck (the most northerly point), then south along the east rampart of the coffin-shaped camp, then going east to enter the annex, and finally returning south-west to the car park.

View northwards from the viewing platform

The group starting by visiting the viewing platform (the north-west point on the yellow trace above), which gave a splendid view (above) of the escarpment over Cropton Forest to Spaunton and Wheeldale Moors in the distance. The surving ramparts of the site were also clearly visible (below).

Click on the images to enlarge them.

View over the westerly fort ramparts from the viewing platform

We then proceeded north-east in a clockwise direction around the site, frequently stopping for Pete Wilson to point out features of the irregular, coffin-shaped camp - such as the three gateways on its east side, which are protected by external claviculae. The camp is sited between two forts - the easterly one having an annexe.

A good overview of the 1998 programme of research is available here. A limited "shoebox of finds" indicates a date of late 1st / early 2nd century AD.

Many thanks to Pete Wilson for his excellent and informative guidance!

Dr Pete Wilson points out features of the camp, forts and ramparts to HAHS Members

Railway Heritage and Archaeology in York

John Oxley, Archaeologist for York City Council took members of the Society to see what little remains of the great railway age of York.

Gone are the sidings, sheds and coal staiths of The York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway Company, and The North Midland Railway, to be replaced by the City of York Rowing Club, Memorial Gardens and commercial sites. York’s first station has completely gone, but George Hudson’s station of 1852 is now office accommodation inside the saxon area of the city.

George Hudson's station of 1852
Victorian city walls

The medieval city wall and the glacial drumlins on which the wall was built were removed to allow rail access to this terminal station. Then a new wall was built allowing pedestrians to walk the ramparts.

As a hub for numerous railways, York had a zero-point from which distances were measured.

Leaving York zero-point
John Oxley and trench

Railway navvies excavated huge quantities of earth to give level track beds, but under the platforms of the present and second station there is undisturbed ground, which has recently been excavated and Roman burials unearthed.

Susan Harrison

Guided Visit to Easingwold

Sixteen Members of the Society assembled in Easingwold Market Square on Saturday 22nd May 2010 - the hottest and sunniest day of the year, so far!

We were most fortunate to have Valerie Taylor and husband Brian as our guides; their knowledge of the town made for a very educational and entertaining visit. The history of the Town Hall (replacing the double row of shambles, and erected in 1864), the two-acre Market Square, and the Market Cross were outlined, followed by a short walk to the now-defunct public fountain, erected in 1873 by John Haxby.

Valerie gave us an excellent description of the fine Georgian buildings on the west of Market Place, and pointed out the outline of the old Bull Ring. We then walked up Tanpit Lane to the green outside the old English National School (1862), and past the last surviving tannery, to Church Hill, and to St John the Baptist and All Saints Church - where the Parish Coffin, dating from around 1645 was to be seen, together with a gravestone to:

well known by the name of NANNE RAM DAWN.
Who was chaste but not rude and ........
by principle virtuous, by education a protestant

Easingwold Town Hall and  Clock Spire (erected 1869)


On the green in front of the old English National School and prison cells
The Public Fountain at Easingwold

Our tour finished by vising Millfield Lane - the site of the old Manor House, now managed by the Woodland Trust - and back to the Market Place via Uppleby with its timber-framed house having diagonal braces at first floor level - then on to Spring Street with its culverted spring, alms house, and rebuilt house with an inscription ‘GOD WITH US 1664’ (also displaying the date of its rebuild in 1907).

Our thanks are due to Terence for the arrangements...

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