Silkstone waggonway 2

Rain – it’s the bane of all archaeologists. Too much of the stuff and your site turns into mud. Too little and your site turns into a desert. It’s enough to depress anyone – anyone that is apart from some Year 6 pupils from Silkstone Common Primary School who worked very hard today in some very damp conditions.

With their help we’ve managed to uncover part of the trackbed from the pass-by on the Silkstone Waggonway. And it has, as these things always do, given us something to think about. We’ve begun to wonder about the sequence of events that created the need for a pass-by in the first place. Originally this part of the waggonway ended at Silkstone Cross – the extension up to Silkstone Common came quite a bit later. So we’ve begun to wonder if the whole need for a pass-by here was due to the extension further south. After all if you were only a few hundred yards away from your home base why would there be a need for a pass-by?

And there’s something that readers might be able to help us with. Every time I take on school work I ask children to bring in things they have found so that I can have a look ‘just in case’. The brick in the photo gallery is one such recovery. It’s probably Victorian: it’s certainly machine-made. Unfortunately we’ve not enough of the lettering on the frog of the brick to work out who it was made by or when. It is however distinctive enough and somebody must have seen something like it before. If you’re the one perhaps you could get in touch and let us know.

Dave Weldrake

June 2013

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