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of excavation, a sufficient working space having been obtained, the work is carried forward, and the required soft sandstone being removed, the hind portions are undermined until the superincumbent mass falls in and fills up the vacant space. On Saturday, the 4th of January, 1896, one of these falls took place, and part of a cup was observed showing on a large block of boulder clay in which it was imbedded. The block was broken up and two other broken vases were seen, one described as being larger and the other smaller than the specimen exhibited. The two broken ones, being valueless
in the workmen's eyes, lie buried in the mass of clay, and we may perhaps be able to find them again. The vase found whole, and now exhibited, is undoubtedly of very ancient date. There was no sign observable of any interference with the stratification of the soil, gravel, and brick clay, which superimpose the boulder clay, and hence there is no reason to suppose that it and the other vases were intentionally buried. The vase is rudely formed by hand, and not made by any aid from the potter's wheel. It cracked in drying or in process of burning. It almost seems as if it was burnt before being
properly dry. It posseses a rude form of decoration, which is of the most infantile kind possible, that most nearly allied to the dog-tooth pattern, produced by simple straight lines scratched by any pointed implement upon the external surface. The most important question attending upon this find is its probable age and date. For, if the mass of clay in which it was found be the boulder clay of the Glacial period, and of this we have positive assertion by experts, then, as scientists state, it may be of any time between twenty thousand and one hundred thousand years ago, we have a long interval to look back upon for the date at which they were lost or submerged therein. Its consideration must form an important factor in any theory upon the antiquity of man. On the other hand, we have to consider the great lake which existed on the place where it was found, and at a time when the great rock fault, which stretches from Stockport Market Place by the Castle area across the Mersey by Penny Lane and on into Lancashire, formed a barrier to the river flow, and threw the waters of the Goyt and the Tame back upon themselves; and we have to consider the boulder clay as being fissured in situ by the flow of the stream, and the fissures being filled up by the sand and gravel and alluvial clay. But before the sand and gravel and alluvial clay were deposited in this lake these pots or vases had been sunk or deposited on the boulder clay, and partially embedded in the plastic mass, where they remained for the superincumbent accumulation to arrive. Its age, under these circumstances, would be considerably modified. The consideration is that of the elevation above the present river, and the length of time it would take for the two rivers to abrade the rampart of red sandstone triassic rock, which is at the old Mersey ford a very hard conglomerate. By any
hypothesis the vase, as you see it, brings us to the contemplation of a prehistoric past, which can not be without interest to the members of the Lancashire and
Cheshire Antiquarian Society. I hope to have the opportunity of reverting to this on a subsequent occasion. The vase was found thirteen feet below the present level of the land, of which there is one foot soil, three or four feet gravel, eight or nine feet brick clay, site of vase eleven feet of boulder clay, then follows the red sandstone or moulders' sand.
Friday, February 7th, 1896.
The monthly meeting was held in the Chetham Library, Mr. C. W. Sutton presiding.
Mr. Thomas Parker made a few remarks on “Some Ancient Bloomeries," which he had investigated in company with Messrs. J. R. Knott and Frank Chadderton. The first is about two miles from Diggle Station (on the London and North-Western Railway), and near the rifle butts. Digging down through the dross or scoria, they came upon the original hearth, consisting of small blocks of sandstone, showing discolouration by heat, and with quantities of charcoal in close proximity. The slag contained a large proportion of metal, the iron having been imperfectly extracted. As no ironstone is found in the district, it would appear that the bloomery was located here on account of the plentiful supply of wood for supplying the charcoal. This is in striking contrast to the bare and desolate appearance of the moorland at the present time. Another of these interesting embryo ironworks visited is situated near Castle Shaw, two miles from Delph, and very near a presumptive Roman road. It is close to the uppermost of the Oldham Corporation
reservoirs, and the heaps of dross have been disturbed by men engaged in their construction. Here also they found charcoal very abundant, but although now very few trees are to be seen the ancient inhabitant has his tale to tell of a well-wooded valley in his youth stretching as far as Delph. Mr. Parker referred to the numerous slag heaps found in other parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and particularly to the large accumulation at Rievaulx Abbey, testifying to the industrial activity fostered by the monks. He exhibited specimens of the iron slag and charcoal obtained in these visits.
Mr. William Harrison read a short communication on "The Mounds in the Lune Valley," by Mr. J. S. Slinger: The Halton mound is circular, about fifty yards east of Halton Church, from which it is separated by the Foundry Beck; the soil had been taken from the east side to make the mound; it overlooks the old ford, and is known by the name of Castle Hill. The Arkholme mound is oblong, nearly twenty yards long and four or five yards broad, and is not twenty yards from the church. It overlooks the ford or ferry over the Lune. The Melling mound is circular, about fifty yards east of the church, and adjoining the vicarage garden. There is no summer-house on it now; it is about a dozen yards across at the top, which is level. It is raised about seven yards above the adjoining land. There is a terrace or walk, more than half way up it, nearly a yard wide. It is too far from the Lune to be of any service in defending the ford. A mile and a half south-west is Gressingham or Lune Bridge mound. It is circular, and made for defence; for three parts of its circumference it is protected by a ditch. On the remaining part the ground is very steep. One part of the ditch separates it from the camp, which is about two acres. The mound is walled
round and planted with fir trees. On the north-west and north of the camp and mound the ground is very steep, and nearly all unclimbable. The mound and camp were undoubtedly for guarding the old ford just above Gressingham Bridge. Three of the mounds are each due east of a neighbouring church; but this one has Hornby Church, the nearest, three quarters of a mile south.
Mr. Slinger exhibited four pencil sketches, made many years ago, of the four mounds at Halton, Arkholme, Melling, and Gressingham; a lithograph showing the last arch of Lancaster old bridge, before its final removal; a view of the curious doorway in Bridge Lane, Lancaster; and a stereoscopic view of Dunald Mill Hole, Kellet.
Mr. Thomas Kay, J.P., read a paper on "The Town Walls of Stockport." (See page 55.)
Mr. Isaac Taylor read a paper on "The Architecture of Great Budworth Church." (See page 95.)
The principal paper of the evening was by Mr. Wm. E. A. Axon on "Lancashire Folk-lore."
Friday, March 6th, 1896.
The monthly meeting of the Society was held in the Chetham Library, Mr. W. E. A. Axon presiding.
The Rev. E. C. Collier, Dinting; Messrs. John Butterworth, F.R.M.S., Rochdale, and Frederick J. Harte, Cannon Street, were elected members.
Dr. H. Colley March read a short communication on "The Moustache in Early Irish Sculpture." (See page 131). Mr. F. A. Bromwich read a paper on "Monumental Brasses."
The following donations were made to the Society's scrap books: Councillor A. Taylor (Bury), a series of