Aetiological monuments of hope for a future/past unknown… more from our Spodden Valley Revealed artist in residence David Chatton Barker…
…There is another much lesser-known endeavour carried out by 30 to 40 out-of-work mill operatives who carted stone to the top of Brown Wardle Hill (SD899187), which stands 1,312 ft above sea level on the South Pennine moors in Whitworth (on the other side of the valley from Rooley Moor). This massive quantity of stone was used to construct a monumental tower over several months, eventually reaching the grand height of 28ft and known by seemingly very few people as The Tower of Babel…
Read more on the fascinating history connecting Haslingden flagstone, the Lancashire Cotton Famine, the American Civil War and the construction, perhaps, of a monumental tower on Brown Wardle Hill in Famine Tower – Episode One on the SVR blog.
The latest blog from Spodden Valley Revealed artist in residence, David Chatton Barker, tells a magical tale from Brown Wardle Hill of the Queen in the Well. Featuring Whitworth Vale & Healey Band, the children’s choir at St Anselm’s School, Lancashire dialect poet Michael Higgins and musician Alison Cooper. The recording also involved many associated musicians of Folklore Tapes and features handmade instruments whose sound perfectly evokes a magical landscape. Read more and listen to the recording on the SVR blog.
On the weekend of 2 – 4 December an exciting new phase of the Spodden Valley Revealed project started, with field survey work by Archaeology team Dig Ventures and volunteer Explorers.
Starting out from Whitworth Library and Whitworth Museum the team recorded heritage sites such as Facit Incline and Peel Chimney, Healey Dell, Cowm Reservoir and a ruined farm and exciting standing stones at Brown Wardle.
Interesting finds included a fully intact cellar at the ruined farm site, with vaulted ceilings, and intriguing standing stones that are exactly nine metres apart with curious indents and uniformed points, are these stone tenter posts as part of tenter frames to dry cloth as part of the cottage industries? More to come as we investigate further – it has certainly caught the interest of our archaeology team…
It was such a great weekend, especially with our younger Explorers who really enjoyed being a part of the team, learning new skills and getting out into the wonderful landscape of Whitworth.
Keep an eye out in the New Year for more family based archaeology activities and for more ways you can get involved.
For more information email Diana Hamilton, visit the webpage and follow us on Facebook.
Posted in archaeology, Creative Learning, Cultural Tourism, Heritage, Spodden Valley Revealed, Volunteering, Wellbeing
Tagged archaeology, brown wardle, cown reservoir, diana hamilton, digventures, facit incline, healey dell, Lancashire Libraries, peel chiney, spodden valley, svr, whitworth, whitworth library, whitworth museum