Discover the Heritage of Otley and District

Wharfedale looking towards Burley and Otley

Wharfedale looking towards Burley and Otley

For seven Thursdays starting on January 19th 2017 (with a break for half term) I will be teaching a new heritage course for the WEA.  It will be based at Otley Courthouse, (Courthouse Street, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3AN.The standard fee £48.00 though the course is FREE if you are in receipt of income related benefit (only SEA funded).

The course will look at the following topics:

  • Anglo-Scandinavian cross shaft with dragon carving. Otley.

    Anglo-Scandinavian cross shaft with dragon carving. Otley.

    The Wharfe Valley in Prehistoric and Roman times: prehistoric trackways, Roman roads, prehistoric monuments (e.g. Bull Stone, hut circles on Otley Chevin), Roman settlement in the locality

  • Anglo-Saxon and Domesday Otley – place name evidence, Elmet and Craven, archbishop of York’s estates in Wharfedale, effects of Norman Conquest
  • Medieval Otley – place name evidence, documentary sources, field systems, modern map evidence
  • Tudors and Stuarts – effects of the dissolution of the Monasteries, development of gentry classes, Tudor/Jacobean housing boom
  • Church and chapel; rise of non-conformity, Waterloo Churches, role of churches in social life
  • Transport networks- pack horse routes, turnpikes, railways
  • Victorian and early 2th century Otley – agriculture and industry, tourism, development of commuting

To find out more or to book a please visit the WEA website.

 

The Growth of a City: Bradford 1750-1950

A new heritage course in Pudsey

St James Hospital, formerly the workhouse.

St James Hospital, formerly the workhouse.

For seven Tuesdays starting on January 17th 2017 (with a break for half term) I will be teaching another heritage course for the WEA based at the Parish Church of St James the Great, (Galloway Lane, Pudsey, LS28 8JR).The standard fee £48.00 though the course is FREE if you are in receipt of income related benefit (only SEA funded).

Course details

The seven sessions will look at:

  • Bradford Mechanics' Institute

    Bradford Mechanics’ Institute

    Welfare – Poor Law, workhouses charitable foundations, alms-houses

  • Public Health – Slum conditions, cholera outbreaks, hospitals and dispensaries
  • Education – from church school to comprehensive
  • Public utilities – water, gas, electric
  • Law and order
  • Public transport – buses trams

 

To find out more or to book a please visit the WEA website.

 

The Lost Kingdom of Elmet

Castle Hill Almondbury (West Yorkshire UK)

Castle Hill Almondbury (West Yorkshire UK)

For some time now I have been doing a talk about The Lost Kingdom of Elmet – one of the many small British principalities which sprang up after the collapse of Roman rule in Britain.  If you are interested in booking this talk for your organization, full details are available by clicking on the link below.

 The Lost Kingdom of Elmet

The Lost Kingdom of Elmet is only one of several talks available through Heritage Education. For a full list, click here.

Aspects of Life in Bradford in the 19th and 20th centuries

A new heritage course in Pudsey

The statue of Spring in Peel Park Bradford

The statue of Spring in Peel Park Bradford

For seven Tuesdays starting on the 27th of September 2016 I will be teaching another heritage course for the WEA based at the Parish Church of St James the Great in Pudsey. The course consists of six indoor sessions and one guided walk. The standard fee £48.00 though the course is FREE if you are in receipt of income related benefit (only SEA funded).

Course details

The course consists of six classroom sessions and one guided walk.  These are as follows:

1st classroom session

Religion: Waterloo churches, chapels, role of Nonconformity in the development of Bradford, other religious groups

2nd classroom session

Houses: mansions, back to backs, semis and suburbia

Walk

Bradford Town Centre: Midland Hotel, Georgian Bradford, theatres, shops and masonic lodges

3rd classroom session

Shops: Markets, the Co-op in Bradford, Busby’s, Brown Muff’s

4th classroom session

Entertainment: cinemas, music hall s, theatres

5th classroom session

Cemeteries and burial grounds

6th classroom session

Bradford in WW1

To find out more or to book please visit the WEA website.

 

Archaeology at Austhorpe: Results

Last June I posted to say that I was looking forward to working with Austhorpe Primary School on their forthcoming archaeological project. At the time I wondered whether the finds would be similar to those which we found in during a similar project in 2013.

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19th and 20th century pottery

It became clear that they weren’t, soon after we began to excavate. . In 2013 we found a large range of finds including what might have been a Roman coin and what were certainly fragments of medieval pottery. In 2016 was found only a few artefacts of 19th and 20th century date. The only way I can think of to explain the contrast is that in 2013 were working at the edge of the school playing filed on what used to be farmland and that in 2016 we were not . The 2013 finds could have come from night soiling – the practice of spreading household waste and farmyard manure onto the fields as fertiliser. This year we were probably working on part of the grounds which had been landscaped during the building of the school. If that’s so, the soil (and the finds in it) could have been brought in from anywhere as bedding for laying the school lawns.

Children working on site

Children working on site

Despite the small number of finds the children all enjoyed themselves and worked very hard during their excavations sessions. For me it proves (if proof were needed) that there’s more to education than learning from books…

To download a pdf of the complete site report click on the link below.

Austhorpe 2016 Site Report v 3

 

 

Austhorpe Excavations 2016

Fragments of clay tobacco pipe

Fragments of clay tobacco pipe

It’s nearly three years since I last dug at Austhorpe Primary School on the outskirts of Leeds (West Yorkshire, UK). We’ve started on a on a second dig there today. We’ve not done any excavation yet just some classroom teaching and some site preparation. Fieldwork starts in earnest tomorrow. However, I can’t help wondering what we are going to find. Perhaps there’ll be more pipe stems like these from the 2013 excavations.

There are more pictures of finds from the 2013 excavations at Austhorpe on my Facebook page.

History and Folklore in the Meanwood Valley: A free guided walk

Suicide Stone, Meanwood Woods

Suicide Stone, Meanwood Woods

I have been asked by the WEA to lead a guided walk In the Meanwood Park (Leeds, UK) on the evening of the 22nd of June 2016. The walk will start at 7.00 pm  from the public car park at the end of Green Lane and will follow the course of Meanwood Beck through the Park to Parkside Road and back. The walk is free of charge and all are welcome.

The Meanwood Valley is an oasis of quiet among the bustling suburbs of Leeds. In past centuries it was a centre of the Leeds tanning industry and must have been a much busier place. The present Meanwood Park was formerly the grounds of a large house called Meanwoodside which was developed by Edward Oates in the 1830s. The house has now gone but the park remains as a recreation facility for the citizens of Leeds.

The route follows park paths but some of these can be muddy; suitable outdoor shoes and outdoor clothing should be worn.