Site Visit to Excavation of a Medieval Chapel at Kildale

WhereKildaleType of EventSite Visit
WhenWednesday 5th July 2023TutorRoger Inman

Following the lecture by Roger Inman, chair of Hidden Valleys Community Project, in February 2023, some LHG members visited the site near to Kildale.  Eleven members attended in the morning and others attended in the afternoon.

The parties were welcomed by Roger and the team of enthusiastic, friendly and cheerful volunteer excavators.  An information board was provided which showed the layout of the site, images of scans and other information.  Some of the material had been presented at the lecture but it does no harm to remind the people who are visiting.

The emphasis at the visit was on the medieval activity and particularly that of the post-conquest landowners.  As we were told at the lecture the chapel was dedicated to Saint Hilda, first granted to Augustinian Canons and then the Crutched Friars.  They were moved on for a variety of reasons.

The site is in its third season of excavation and consists of many trenches which reveal the architecture and the different kinds of building stone.  The chapel and domicile were revealed last year.  Of the six trenches opened previously four were backfilled last year.  It was interesting to look at what was revealed on the ground and relate it to the images on the information board.  There had been a lot of pottery finds, over a thousand shards, and we were shown some examples of the different types.  We had the opportunity to handle the pieces and appreciate the different textures.  As we were informed at the lecture the project has secured permission to look for the source of the clay.

We were informed of three questions which the Project would like to answer:

  • Why was this building here?
  • Why is there pre-12th century pottery-pre Canons?
  • Presence of Romano-British and Iron Age pottery?

We were invited to have a go at some excavating.  A few did.  We were invited to join the Project which excavates on Wednesdays and Sundays.  This would involve an annual fee of £10 which is mainly for insurance.  This may be of interest to some.

The visit was engrossing and interesting.  The Project team was happy to answer any questions.After the morning visit lunch awaited at the Dudley Arms.

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