Since our founding, in March 2010, Marchers Archaeology have carried out three small-scale excavations and field walking.
Herd Law Farmstead March - July 2010
This is a turf-built house in the grounds of Moss Peteral farm, interestingly sited at what appears to be the junction of a drove road with a mediaeval boundary ditch. Pottery from within the building indicated that it was occupied in the first half of the 18th century. Fragments of seventeenth century clay pipes embedded in the walls showed that the house had probably been built on the site of a previous one.
Popping Stone Shieling August - September 2010
Excavation of a small part of a building trace close to the Popping Stone in the grounds of Gilsland Spa Hotel indicated that it was probably one of the many shielings along the upper reaches of the Irthing. The drystone construction and flagged floor were typical of other shielings but there were no finds to provide additional information.
The Murrows Tenement September 2013 -
This tenement is shown on William Howard's 1603 map of the Barony of Gilsland, but is now a slight mound in a field at Kiln Hill farm. Sondages have revealed a mass of wall plaster but so far no walls have been revealed.
Orchard House Mill September 2013
An investigation into the site of Orchard House Mill, also shown on the 1603 map. By reference to historic maps and taking into account the probable movement of the mouth of Red Beck we concluded that the remains of the mill must be under the Gilsland sewage works, in the grounds of Howard House Farm. A pivot stone was found on the river bank near the works.
We are carrying out a program of field walking on ploughed areas of higher ground in the Gilsland area. The main object is to find out what is in the soil in these areas, and the answer seems to be mainly Victorian crockery, with a sprinkling of earlier and mediaeval pottery, clay pipes and worked flints.