Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Tonight I am speaking to our local study group about the village beck. It says something for our village that this is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the group's foundation, and it is still going strong.
There have been people living around the beck for thousands of years - as with any settlement, water was the main reason for them being here. To show that we have proof of people living here I am taking along some artefacts which have been found on our farmland over the years.
By popular request (well, two or three people have asked) I am therefore posting the photograph showing those artefacts. They are:-
A Neolithic stone axe head found in one of our fields when it was being prepared for ploughing. It would have been bound to a wooden handle. The stone is identified as probably coming from the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District - maybe a hundred miles away. A tiny flint tool chipped to a sharp edge. This was found on my garden wall. There is no flint in this area - so how far did the owner of this little knife walk - and where did he come from? Two crotal bells - one of which is probably sixteenth century (the broken one) - this would have been hung round the neck of a horse most likely - although it could have been on a child. The other crotal bell is in much better condition and is probably much later. On the right hand side of the stone axe is a Victorian horse bell. The little round object with a hole in the middle is a whorl weight. You still see these in nomadic tribes where the man is riding on the donkey and the woman is trailing along behind spinning as she walks. This whorl weight would have been fastened on the end of the spun thread to keep it taut. Finally - a clay pipe. There are masses of these everywhere, usually broken as they are easily snapped. This one is interesting because it has a heart logo on the bowl. There is a good site about clay pipes on the internet and from there I discovered that the heart was a symbol of one of the earliest Farm Workers' Trade Unions.
They will all be together on the table tonight - as I said yesterday - time is all in the mind really -= today they are all here now.