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BY AMMON WRIGLEY.
WITH FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS Chiefly from Drawings by the Author.
White Hassocks in the distance.
Dean Clough, Friarmere.
The most famous
SADDLEWORTH: ITs PREHISTORIC REMAINS.
BY AMMON WRIGLEY.
WITH FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS, Chiefly from Drawings by the Author.
OLDHAM : W. E. CLEGG, 30, MARKET PLACE. Igit.
I RESPECTFULLY DEDICATE THIS SLIGHT WORK TO
THE MEMORY OF MY LIFE-LONG FRIEND,
FULLY CONSCIOUS THAT IT IS AN ALL-UNWORTHY TRIBUTE TO ONE WHO, IN A THOUSAND WAYS, PROVED HIMSELF A TRUE FRIEND AND A “ BOSOM
CRONY’’ IN THE BEST SENSE OF THE PHRASE.
INTRODUCTORY - - THe PREHISTORIC PERIODS THe PALZOLITHIC PERIOD THe NEOLITHIC PERIOD Physical Characteristics Agriculture - . Home =- - - Religion - - Fauna - - - Configuration The Peat Age Local Prehistoric Art Prehistoric Occupation Tus Bronze AGE -
Socketed Celt (probably Castleshaw)
Bronze Palstave, Greenfield -
Long Spear Head, Grotton
Stone Evidences” - Celt, Rishworth Moor Fuint REMAINS -
The Moorman’s Opinion
Distribution - -
Flint Sites in Saddleworth Do. outside Saddleworth
Workshops” - - Where Found - The Southern Side
Character of Implements
The Working Material
Fuint RemMains—continued. PAGE Hematite and Graphite - - - - - 31 Implements—How Fashioned - - - - 31 Some Characteristics of Worked Implements - 32 Personal - - - - - - - - 33 A ARROWHEAD FounD ON PULE HILL - - 33 STONE CeELTs, Castleshaw Valley - - - - 35 TUMULI - - - - - - - - - 37 The Long Barrow - - - - - - 37 The Round Barrow - - - - - - 38 Cremation and Inhumation - - - - - 38 The Place-Name “Low” - - - - : 40 Brownhill - - - - - - - - 40 A Barrow of the Bronze Age - - - - 43 Urns - - - - - - - - - 43 The Celt - - - - . - - - 44 Bottomley’s Urn - - - - - - - 44 Hilltop, Delph - - - - - - - 45 Broadhead Noddle, Castleshaw _ - - . - 47 Little Barrow, Diggle - - - - - - 47 Dowry Castle - - - - - - - 48 Pule Hill, Marsden - - - - - - 49 A Bronze Age Burial - - - - - - 50 Borlow - - - - - - - - 51 The Excavations of 1896 ~ - - - - - 51 Second Explorations, - - - - - 52 Urns” - - - - - - - - - 53 Incense Cup - - - - - - - - 55 Bones” - - - - - - - - - 56 Implements” - - - - - - - - 56 A Beacon Hill - - - - - - - 56
8 t 8 A “I
A GRAvE Mounp THE SuprposeD DruipicaAL ALTAR ON Pots AND PANs 60 Description of Plate M - - - - - - 71 Arrowhead, Diggle - - - - - - - 74 Description of Plate N - - - - - . 74
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Dean Clough, Friarmere _ - - - Socketed Bronze Celt and Flint Knife Bronze Palstave, or Winged Celt - Bronze Celt . - . - - . March Hill, from the Buckstones Road Pieces of Waste Flint - - - - Flint Chippings - - - - - . Small Flint Nodules and Cores - - - Implements Hafted, and Arrowhead Stone Celt, Cudworth - - - - - Stone Celt, Castleshaw Valley - - - Perforated Hammer, Stone Celt, and Frag- ment of Urn - - - - . Urns, Pule Hill - - - - - - Flint Implements, Plate M - - - - Do. Plate N - - - -
Frontispiece Facing page 17
18 1g 20 24 28 30 32 35 36
44 54 71 74
In dedicating this work to the memory of my old friend, I feel that I am but feebly discharging a long-standing obligation to one who was always ready and willing to help me in my archeological explorations. When I recall the personal sacrifices he made on my behalf, the times he laid his own business matters aside in order to shoulder a spade and tramp with me up to the mooredges, I marvel at the kindliness and the helpfulness of his nature. Archeology was not one of his subjects, nor was it to him even attractive reading. Yet the miles he went and the hours he gave to work of this kind I shall not attempt to total. He was not one of those men who stand by and look on while another man works, and trying to persuade him to give up the spade was often like trying to persuade a dog to give up a bone. We dug together in the trenches at Castleshaw (Roman Camp) often through bitter days in the winters of 1897-8-9, and at intervals up to January, 1908. On and off we dug for years on the bloomery sites in Cudworth and at other places among the Saddleworth hills. I recall the times that we were caught in rain storms on the bleak, wild moors which stretch away from the Friarmere border, but I cannot recall the time when his unfailing lightheartedness failed to make me forget, or at least, care nothing for the unpleasantness of our situation. He had the knack of finding sunshine where other people could see nothing but gloom, while his genuineness had become a byword even among his casual associates—a natural inherent genuineness, which makes me say that no man ever found a truer friend or a more faithful boon companion. Well do I know what it means to say: ‘In what corner of the world shall I find his fellow.”
With respect to the subject matter of the work, much, it must be admitted, is of a speculative character ; necessarily so, inasmuch as there are many questions where the answers are purely of the deductive order, where it is impossible for anyone to say that this or that is a well-established fact. In the larger areas of the subject, I have taken for my guidance the generally accepted opinions of men whose works may be said to represent the most authoritative expression of prehistoric research. In the local area, I have relied principally upon my own experience, and the primitive remains found in Saddleworth, both with regard to type and horizon, have been carefully compared with similar remains found in other districts, and consequently have been similarly assigned. Touching tumuli exploration, I know how easy it is to mistake an old forgotten field ‘‘ spoil heap” for a barrow, and how unwise it is to decide one way or the other before the mound has been tested by the spade. There are several matters, including Little Barrow, Diggle, Bottomley’s Urn, etc., which, to my regret, I have been compelled to leave almost as indefinite as I found them, this being due to a want of explicitness on the part of the early writers. In conclusion, I especially owe my thanks to Messrs. H. Emmott, W. Fell, W. F. Holroyd, G. Marsden, G. Radford, and W. Watts; and in no less a degree am I indebted to my friend, Mr. Thomas Thompson, through whose kindness I have been privileged to consult old and rare volumes which would otherwise have been beyond my reach. A. W. Hilltop, Delph, April 4th,
THE PREHISTORIC PERIODS
The Prehistoric Periods embrace the vast space of time through which man lived before the dawn of written history. Although early man can be proved to have passed through several stages of advancement ere he reached the epoch of civilization, yet much of his existence and the character of the various epochs is involved in great obscurity. Prehistoric time has been subjected to various divisions, but the following, originally suggested by Lord Avebury, are now pretty generally recognised :— I.—PALZo.uitHic Perrop—Or Old Stone Age. II.—NEoLITHIC Prriop—Possibly ending in Northern Europe about 1800 B.c. III.—Bronzz in Northern Europe, possibly about 500 B.C. IV.—Ear_y Iron Periop—Late Celtic or Early British Age in England.
THE PALAZOLITHIC PERIOD.
The Paleolithic Period, it will be noticed, is a name applied to the earliest stage of human existence of which there is any knowledge. The evidences of this period are found principally in the sealed-up gravels of old river systems, and consist of rude flint implements, and the remains of extinct mammals. What are supposed to be the oldest human remains found in England are a skull and thigh bone, found at Galley Hill, near Gravesend, in 1888. They were dug out of a bed of sand 8 feet below the surface, and about go feet above the present level of the river Thames. This possibly means that the river has lowered its bed go feet since the bones were deposited in the old level, which gives some vague suggestion of the antiquity of the remains. Paleolithic implements found in ancient river gravels are of a rude and massive type, differing greatly from the small and sometimes beautifully-worked later implements found on our moorland surfaces.
In England, the evidences of Palzolithic man are practically confined to the Southern Counties, his occupation of Yorkshire has yet to be proved. Therefore, this work being of a local character, it is unnecessary to discuss the period here, more especially as standard works on the subject may be consulted at almost every public library.
THE NEOLITHIC PERIOD.
I am not going to drag the reader over a lot of wearisome ground necessary to a lengthy general review of this period. All I propose to do is to state as clearly as I possibly can such matters as appear to concern us locally. The Neolithic is the period with which we are primarily concerned in the consideration of local prehistoric man, because what I would call the most ancient part of our moorland flint remains, probably belong to this period, and are the earliest evidences of human existence in Saddleworth. The first race to inhabit our hills, about which it is possible to speak—or rather write—with any degree of probability were the primitive flint workers, who fashioned many of the implements we find on the moors to-day.
What type of man this early flint worker was, and under what conditions he lived, are matters to some extent revealed by sepulchral remains and the character of various flint implements. The gravemounds, in which the Neolithic dead were interred, are now generally called long barrows, and the skeletons taken from these barrows are characterized by having small limbs and long heads. No long barrow has been found in Saddleworth, nor to my knowledge in any adjoining township. Therefore, the local existence of Neolithic man, so far as sepulchral evidences are concerned, remains to be proved. If we have a glimpse of his horizon it is in our flint remains.
The various types of the arrowhead found on our moors suggest that local primitive man lived to some extent by hunting, but probably more by the product of agriculture. Referring to the advancement of man in the Neolithic Age, Mr. Read says :— ‘‘ Man had now learned to train animals to his domestic ‘‘use; he cultivated cereals for food, and textile plants ‘to provide material for woven Equally clear and certain is Dr. March in the following :— ‘‘ Careful explorations have disclosed the state of their “ civilization—they wove flax into tissues, above all, they ‘‘ cultivated the soil, and ground their grain between two ‘“ stones.” It has been suggested by more than one antiquary that the rugged, broken character of the ground above Moorcroft Woods in the Castleshaw Valley is due to a primitive kind of terrace cultivation. Although I have found flints approximately on the site, I have practically no faith in the theory. The supposed terraces bear little, if any, similarity to admitted terrace remains in other parts of the country. There is no uniformity, either of elevation or direction in the ridges and the depressions. They run at every conceivable angle, and I think it more probable that the surface irregularity is partly due to quarrying, and partly to violent natural phenomena in the form of landslips.
The home of the Neolithic man is conjectured to have been a rudely constructed hut formed of the boughs of trees, hides of animals, and a plastering of mud. So far, I believe, no surface has been discovered, either at March Hill, Dean Clough, or any local flint site which can be identified as the floor of a prehistoric hut. I have repeatedly examined the hillside under Foxstones for evidences of ancient pit dwellings. There is certainly an indication here and there of what appears to be rude, uncoursed,
circular walling, but I have yet to find flint debris or other relics usually associated with such sites. Therefore, the assumption that Cudworth was the site of primitive habitations is not well sustained by present evidences.
What kind of idolatrous worship the prehistoric tribes of our hills observed there is no evidence to show. In the explorations of Hades Hill barrow, 1898, a piece of flint was found, which bore natural (not artificial) circular markings. These natural circles, it was stated, signified to prehistoric man “the sun and the moon.” It was all set down as a proved fact, not as a matter of assumption. Yet it is scarcely possible to conceive a greater conclusion based upon slenderer evidence. It is, I believe, an isolated discovery in what may be called our district, and for that reason does not speak well for the popular observance of sun worship. There is no other local sepulchral evidence of circles to support and confirm it, and the whole, I think, must be dismissed as an idle conjecture. How is it possible for us to know what the markings meant to prehistoric man? How do we know that they meant anything at all? Why dogmatize, then, on what is and probably must ever remain the purest speculation. For anything we know to the contrary, the circular markings may have been taken by primitive man as illustrative of a Bronze Age steak pudding, or any other object having a spherical form. The contents of some British barrows have been conjectured to indicate that early tribes had some idea of a future existence, but there is no man, no matter what the range of his research may be, who can safely say what the primitive inhabitant of our hills did or did not worship.
It is now held as almost proved that man in Neolithic times had learned to train and make a serviceable use of various animals; and there is much unanimity of opinion to the effect
that the species associated with man to-day are in the main the species associated with Neolithic man.
The configuration of the country is now in its primary characteristics probably what it was in the flint man’s age. Minor changes have taken place: the accumulation of peat deposits, the widening of the cloughs by the excavating force of water, and the denudation of timbered areas. But the sweep of hill and dale is much the same now as then. The contour of Dean Clough to-day was the Neolithic contour. The present elevation of March Hill was the Neolithic elevation. If the peat was removed, say from the White Hassocks to the Isle of Skye, every inch of the bared ground would probably be the prehistoric surface of the flint man, the last surface his feet trod, whatever space of time divides his age from ours.
THE PEAT AGE.
It is perhaps too much to even suggest the beginning of the Peat Age on our moors. If the roads over Blackstone Edge and over Stanedge are Roman roads, as they are generally supposed to be, it would appear that the peat lay thick on the hills when they were made, as the original track-ways appear to have been cut through the peat.
LOCAL PREHISTORIC ART.
To judge from the various types of urns or domestic utensils found on Pule Hill, local prehistoric man had acquired some knowledge of the potter’s art. His vessels, though composed of rude materials, are sometimes noticeable for their symmetrical proportions and a certain artisticness of design. The manufac- ture of stone and flint implements he seems to have carried to a high degree of excellence. These implements range from the highly polished and perforated stone celt, or axe head, to the minute flint implements called ‘‘ gravers.’’ I have here used the term prehistoric to cover both the late Neolithic and the Bronze Age.
14 PREHISTORIC OCCUPATION.
How long did the race of flint workers occupy our hills? Does the question admit of a reasonable conjectural answer ? In a correspondence with Professor Boyd Dawkins on this matter, the Professor says, among other things :— ‘“‘T cannot help you to the rate of accumulation of surface ‘© soil. It depends upon local conditions, and is therefore ‘¢ variable.” Now I am confining the question to one locality, March Hill and its environs, and I think the matter is one with open possibilities. 1 refer to it here in the hope that someone with more time on their hands than the present writer, may give the subject stricter investigation. If it is possible to ascertain the actual or approximate thick- ness of the flint-bearing layer on any particular site, it is, I conceive, possible to conjecture the approximate length of time it took the layer to accumulate, and by sequence the period of the flint man’s occupancy. The safest way to proceed would be to remove the peat, and then ascertain the depth of the flint- bearing layer under it. The work would also require to be done on ground which had not received deposits of washed soil. To try a denuded patch would be uncertain, because it would be impossible to say how long it had been denuded, and how much it had been weathered down. On a patch at the head of Dan Clough, which I had good reason to believe had been recently denuded, I found flint flakes at a depth of six inches below the surface. It does not follow, however, that because I found no flints below the six-inch line that this number of inches represented the actual thickness of the flint-bearing layer, hence the subject, it will be seen, is full of perplexities. One thing is perhaps certain, that this layer had accumulated during the time the flint workers occupied the site. What does the accumulation represent in years? Can it be measured by modern rates of surface increase? Are questions which confront us here, and which, I am optimistic enough to think, not unanswerable. I have tried denuded patches on the
Lominot and in Dean Clough, finding flints at various depths, but never below the six-inch line. Anyone who has had any experience of flint-hunting knows how continuous is the waste on these bare spaces, and how regularly flints appear on the surface, and will appear until the layer is wasted away. Although all I have written on this matter is merely in the form of a suggestion, I do think that if the peaty covering was removed, say on the Lominot, and the flint layer submitted to careful investigation, the results would be at least instructive, even if they should remain indefinite.
THE BRONZE AGE.
The Bronze Age succeeded the Neolithic or New Stone Age, and, as previously stated, is supposed by Lord Avebury to have ended in Europe about 500 B.c.. It must not be imagined that on the introduction of metal, stone implements were immediately rendered useless and discarded. On the contrary, their manufacture not only continued, but improved designs, it is conjectured, were introduced, and the best types of perforated stone celts and other implements are now generally attributed to the Bronze Age. Implements of metal, one may naturally assume, would be for a long period extremely scarce and costly. I believe if is Canon Atkinson who says that bronze implements would be for ages more scarce than is silver plate in the homes of the working classes of to-day. With regard to Saddleworth, although it is a matter upon which one cannot safely dogmatize, I incline to the opinion that many of the flint implements found on our moors were fashioned during the Bronze Age. Iam not in agreement with the view that our local flint remains belong strictly to the Neolithic Stone Age, nor am I able to understand how such an opinion can be satisfactorily based. To accept it is equivalent to drawing a straight line of demarkation between the two periods, which is obviously impossible.
Referring to the fact that flints are strewn over the Cleveland moors and gravemounds, in much the same manner in which they are strewn over our own, Canon Atkinson says :—
belong unquestionably to what is now universally “styled the Bronze Age, and to all appearances to the ‘later division of the same.”
Now everyone, I suppose, is prepared to grant that the pre- historic burials at Brownhill, Pule Hill, and Hades Hill, belong to the same period as the flints which lie scattered about their proximities. That being the case, to what period must those three interments be assigned; undoubtedly the Bronze Age. Logically, then, our moorland flints, or at least the surface flints, must receive the same assignment. I have referred to the approximate depth of the flint-bearing layers on our moors, and it must be evident that the flints which lie at the bottom of the layer belong to the earliest craftsman, while those which lie at the top of the layer, or immediately under the peat, were left by the latest craftsman; but what space of time divides the two is at present indeterminate. The earlier flints are, at a guess, possibly Neolithic, while the later can only be attributed to the Bronze Age. ‘The local manufacture of flint implements during the Bronze Age was no doubt compulsory, in the sense that the local flint man was unable to obtain a necessary supply of metal or metallic imple- ments. The examples of bronze implements found in Saddle-
worth are as follows :—
SOCKETED CELT (propaBiy CAsTLesHaw).
In the opening pages of Whitaker's ‘“‘ History of Manchester,”’ 1771, occurs the following passage :—
‘‘In a brass celt which was lately discovered among the of Saddleworth, and which is now in my possession, remains of the wooden handle were found actually inserted in the cavity of the hollow blade.”
Flint Knife. Stanedge Moors.
Socketed Bronze Celt.— Probably Castleshaw.
(See page 26.)
(See page 17.)
Then follows a detailed description of the implement, of which a reduced illustration is given. In another part of the work, referring to the Roman Station at Castleshaw, he says :—
‘“‘ And within one or two fields from it was lately discovered ‘‘a brazen celt, hollow in the blade, and carrying a loop ‘‘ at the head.” I regard the above quotations as referring to one and the same implement ; in other words plainly, that the socketed and looped celt found on the Saddleworth hills in Whitaker’s first reference is the looped and socketed celt found at Castleshaw in the second reference. Whitaker referred to the celt in the first place in a general survey of prehistoric implements, and probably considered that the district name Saddleworth was a sufficient indication of locality ; but he gives the strict locality (Castleshaw) in the second reference as evidence in support of his theory that the Roman fort was established on the site of an ancient British fort. The fact that both the quotations I have given contains the words ‘lately discovered,’’ is most significant, and in itself almost a sufficient proof that Whitaker in both instances referred to the same celt. Inthe text, the historian states that the Saddleworth celt is in his possession, but in a note appended to the plate he states that he had placed it in the collection of Ashton Lever, Esq., of Alkrington. This famous collection appears to have been dispersed about 1784, and all trace of the implement is, I fear, now lost. I have before me a catalogue of a recent exhibition of pre- historic implements in Manchester, and, among other things, are a series of sketches illustrating bronze implements. In this series I find (‘“ Socketed celt, Saddleworth.”) On visiting the exhibition, I felt justified in identifying the sketch as illustrating Whitaker’s celt. It depicts a fine example of its type, evidently in a good state of preservation. The drawing (Plate A) is from the ‘* History of Manchester.” I have, however, taken the liberty to enlarge it to about its actual size.
BRONZE PALSTAVE, GREENFIELD.
The bronze palstave, or winged celt (Plate B), was found on the site of the Co-operative Buildings, Greenfield, 1860-1. It is a shapely and beautiful implement, in a perfect state of preser- vation. It almost duplicates the bronze palstave found at Openshaw in 1908, and also resembles the one found at Shaw Heath, Cheadle. A fact which, perhaps, indicates that the design was a popular one with the maker of bronze implements. Archeologists generally do not regard the palstave as designed or intended for purposes of war, but incline to the idea that it was used for peaceful purposes, probably used in the art of carpentry. The local example became the property of the late R. T. Bradbury, Esq., and is, I am informed, still in the possession of the family. It is herein depicted, slightly reduced in size. The actual dimensions are as follows :—
Length - - - - 634 inches. Greatest width of blade - 234 inches. Width of wings profile - 1 inches.
LONG SPEAR HEAD, GROTTON.
This somewhat unusual type of bronze implement was found on the estate of Mr. W. Potts, Grotton. Unfortunately it is an imperfect specimen, wanting the head. The blade is in two pieces, and its condition variable, some parts having a well- preserved and highly polished surface, while other parts are much corroded. There is a fillet or ridge running down the middle, tapering with the blade. I have just seen in Manchester a conjectured restoration of this implement in the shape of a socketed head, but its extreme rarity makes the implement somewhat difficult to classify, and it is by no means certain that the name ‘long spear is the true classification. Its great length, 14 inches, added to the length of a wooden shaft inserted in the socket does not suggest a very spear-like form. I have seen somewhere, but cannot just remember, a short bronze sword with a similar fillet running down the blade, I think it was from the Swiss lacustrine settlements.
(See page 18.)
Bronze Palstave or Winged Celt
Bronze Celt.---Rishworth Moor.
The “find” at Grotton lay 18 inches below the surface, and was not associated with other prehistoric remains. Length - - - 193% inches. Greatest breadth - - 1% inches.
The perforated implements of stone mark an advanced stage of prehistoric manufacture in that material. Celts or axes and hammers were fashioned, polished, and drilled through in order to receive a wooden shaft after the manner in which the head and the shaft are united in the modern hammer. The improved character of the perforated implements, taken in con- nection with the fact that they are found in round barrows, has led to their being regarded as examples of Bronze Age work- manship in stone. The imperfect perforated stone celt found with the interment at Brownhill, in 1844, is a characteristic specimen. (See Tumuli.) The small oval-shaped hammer found by Dr. March, at Badger Slacks, Friarmere, may be placed in the same classifica- tion. (Plate K.) With respect to the spindle whorl found at Castleshaw (Plate N), I would prefer to leave its assignment indefinite. 1 have seen this type of prehistoric relic assigned to both periods— the Neolithic and the Bronze - but personally I think the Castle- shaw whorl belongs to the latter. Re flint implements, my opinions with regard to their classi- fication I expressed at the beginning of this chapter.
CELT, RISHWORTH MOOR. (Plate C.)
Rishworth Moor is not far from our Saddleworth boundary, and I have included this implement because it differs from those already described. It is of a simpler type, less elaborately fashioned, and will serve to show the varieties of bronze implements left on our hills by their prehistoric owners. It was found by a gamekeeper as likely as not among flint debris, for Rishworth Moor is a notable flint site. It appears to have seen
much service, as the extremities of the blade are fractured. It is now in the possession of Mr. W. Watts, of Wilmslow, to whom I am indebted for photo. and particulars. Length - - - - § inches. Width of blade- - - 2% inches.
From that rugged, weather-beaten wall of crags called Robin Hood’s Bed, on Blackstone Edge Moors, to Black Gate, on the Isle of Skye road, is, roughly speaking, about 11 miles north and south as the crow flies. From Cupwith Moor, on the Scammonden border to Brushes Clough, on Crompton Moor, is, approximately, 6 miles in a straight line east and west. In this length and breadth of moorland I have picked up during the last 17 years some thousands of flint flakes and chippings, together with a number of worked implements of well recognised types. Taken in the bulk, these finds, it is permissible to say, form a fair contribution to the accumulated proofs that Pre- historic man inhabited the area I have just defined. I say accumulated, because it must not be supposed that the flints which I have found represent the total yield during the period stated. There are other workers in the same field who have formed respectable collections from the saine hills, so that it becomes impossible to say what number of flints local prehistoric sites have yielded during late years. One of the first men to begin flint research within easy distance of Saddleworth was Captain Aitken, of Bacup, who, in 1878, found worked implements on the hills in that district. In 1879, Mr. Robert Law and Mr. James Horsfall began their joint investigations of the moors extending from Pule Hill, Marsden, to the country round Todmorden. In the transactions of the Yorkshire Geological and Poly- technic Society for 1882, there appears a list of their finds during the four years 1879-82. As many of the places in the
March Hill, from the Buckstones Road.
‘lint Sites on the Pennine Range.
One of the most famous
list can scarcely be called local, they need not be referred to here. The total number of flints found by Law and Horsfall in the years stated was 3,824; and out of this number 83 were identified as ‘worked flints.’’ It may be interesting for purposes of comparison to take from the list the number of flints found by these antiquaries in Saddleworth and its immediate vicinities. They were evidently not acquainted with the names of some of our local hills, therefore, I shall take the liberty to amend their list in this respect by giving the correct name in brackets.
Place where found No. found No. worked March Hill wee ... 2,300 vee 30 Moor south of March Hill (Lominot) ves vee 30 we I Dean Clough .. wee wee 300 we 8 Moor north of Dean Clough (White Hill) vee 20 Lee 2 Pule Hill eee nee wee 12 Foot of Pule Hill (Warcock Hill)... 200 vee 2
The 3,824 flints previously referred to were found on 34 different sites, while out of this number no less than 2,862 were found on the six sites just tabulated, leaving g62 flints as the total yield of the remaining 28 sites. These figures prove that the ancient artificer in flint has an exceptionally strong definition on the Saddleworth borderlands. It is important to notice that the Law and Horsfall list does not include Badger Slacks, Crompton Moor, and the hilltop from Crowstone Gate to Broadhead Noddle, hence it must be inferred that these sites were not examined ; consequently, the local definition is much stronger than Law’s figures indicate. Nor can I find any reference to the above-named places in an article published by Law, in 1897, wherein he writes of Cupwith as the most important of his new flint sites. Another enthusiast in early flint research, and a far abler man in the scientific sense than either Law or Horsfall, was Dr. H. Colley March, of Rochdale, now residing in Dorsetshire. His paper,
‘‘ Flints, and who Fashioned Them,” read in 1881, and published in 1883, stands, I believe, as the earliest important attempt to explain the occurrence of flints in the Rochdale district. Although a small work of 34 pp., it is remarkable for range of research and lucid analysis of the more problematic issues of the subject. But his work was not purely of a bookworm character; he personally examined the hills round Rochdale, and built up a fine collection of flints, which he subsequently presented to the town, where they are now open to public Inspection.
THE MOORMAN’S OPINION.
It is often interesting to hear the old moor folk account for the presence of flints on the moors, and, at the same time, ridicule the antiquarian searcher by calling him a ‘“* bowsteryed,” or some other equally forcible apellative. I remember one Sunday in November, when crossing the moor from Cupwith to Higher Green Owlers, I met a shepherd with two dogs at his heels. It was easy to see that he was a true son of the moor, one who had been cradled in heather. From continually tramping over rough ground he had acquired the moorman’s walk, a rolling up and down gait, a kind of pitching like a boat on a rough sea. He was like most moor- men, ruggedly built, with plenty of bone in his frame, and as weather-beaten as the rocks on Blacker Edge. From long association, the moor had grown into him from head to foot, giving him that fresh breeziness of personality which invariably makes a moorman an interesting companion. He had spent, as I knew, a lifetime wrestling with wind and weather on those bleak, pitiless heights, and, I believe, if the law had compelled him to doff his shepherd garments to don a silk hat and a frock coat, he would have pined away in three weeks. He pulled out a short, discoloured clay pipe, and began to fumble in his pockets— ‘‘ Hasto a match ?”’ he asked. “A match? yes, take a few,” I replied handing him a box.
When he had lit his pipe, he said: ‘A bit o bacca, mon, is like meyt un drink sumtimes.” prefer a rasher of ham and two eggs just now,” I replied, for I had tramped from Linsgreave over Waystone Edge that afternoon, and was about as hungry as the proverbial hunter. ‘‘ Theau’s bin gettin flints, aw guess?” he queried. ‘A few.” ‘Toh breyk op for th’ hens?” ‘* Not exactly.” ‘‘Wot for, then ?” ‘‘ Because they are relics of primitive man.” ‘¢Um,” he grunted, obviously mystified by my reply. ‘‘ I went on, triumphantly, and with the intention of mystifying him still further, ‘‘ The flints in my pocket belong to the Bronze Age, and probably also to the Neolithic ““O ay,” he replied, adding: ‘‘ Aw think ut theau belungs to thoose lot, too, does’nt toh? ”’ I laughed at this sally, and said, ‘‘ probably.” ‘“Theau favvers um a bit, for sure.”’ I lit my pipe, and made no reply. Then he went on: ‘‘There’s a lot o leatheryeds ut comes peylin op here after flints ut hasn’t wit thi were born wi.”’ ‘‘ How's that?’”’ I asked. ‘‘ Heaw’s he began, with the emphasis of the man who knows. ‘“ Thoose flints ut theau’s bin samming up wur browt op here bi a lot o young devuls o setting th’ moor a-foire afore ther wur ony matches.” ‘‘ How can that be?’”’ I said, feeling certain that I had a poser for him, ‘‘ when flints are never found in the peat but always on the hard ground under it.” He looked at me, pitying my ignorance, then he said, “ It’s this road, dosto see. Flint is so sharp ut its hetten through th’ turf on to th’ hard rock.”’ ‘‘ That sounds very strange,’ I replied. ‘¢ Ay, but it’s reet, lad.” We filled our pipes again, and I bade him good afternoon, for
I saw that it would be useless arguing the matter; and as the day was closing with a rising east wind and cold grey mist, I went down through the fields by Blake Lee and on to the Stanedge road. Subsequently, I met a man at the Great Western, who held exactly the same opinion that flint had been taken to the moors to fire the heather with, and that a man was a fool who went wandering about looking for flints when he could buy a barrowful for sixpence. I said every man to his hobby; and a hobby which takes a man out of the dusty road into the sweet, breezy places of the earth is not one of the worst ways of getting through a day's time.
Flints, so far as we can determine by their presence on the denuded parts of the moors, are anything but equally dis- tributed. For instance, on the southerly side of March Hill I have found a great many flakes and chippings, while on the northern side, which dips to Tom Clough, I have never found a single fragment. If you go from March Hill, across the Haigh to Cupwith Moor, it’s odds that you never find a flake or chipping until you get to Cupwith. To go in another direction, say from March Hill across the Clowes Moss, you will find no flints until you reach Warcock Hill, beyond the Great Western. This unequal distribution does not appear to be traceable, as Law supposed, entirely to matter of outlook. On some of the loftiest elevations in Saddleworth not a flint has been found, while a comparatively low altitude like Warcock Hill furnishes undoubted evidence of having been a prehistoric workshop. The famous March Hill is overlooked on three sides by higher elevations. The same observation applies to the Lominot, while the upper end of Dean Clough is a narrow defile with no advantage of outlook. Every man who has gone flint hunting will have had the experience of visiting seemingly favourable sites to find not
‘SITH 23SeM JO 2021
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even a flake. On the other hand, he will have stumbled across seemingly unfavourable sites and found flints in abundance. On the whole, the evidence, at least locally, is that primitive man did not select the site of his flint workshop purely on account of its range of outlook. There were other considera- tions, the evidence of which has vanished, leaving us to wrestle with surmise. For my part, the present flint sites are not the sites that I should select to-day if range of vision was my main consideration. The principal flint grounds in what may be termed our district are March Hill, near Buckstones, and Dean Clough, on the Denshaw Moors. The bare top of Cupwith has yielded well, and so has the Lominot, on the slope which dips to Wilmer Green Clough. Then there is Warcock Hill on the Stanedge, a flint site, the importance of which I think has been insufficiently recognised. To the contrary, there are commanding elevations like Foxstone Edge, Pule Hill, Great Hill, White Hill, Lurden, and many others where flints are of comparatively rare occurrence. To confine my attention entirely to Saddleworth, singular though it may seem, I have never found a piece of flint on the moors which run from the Bill’s o’ Jack’s road to the Cheshire boundary. I have examined the denuded patches of ground about Rimmon Clough, Holme Clough, and the moors which sweep round by Black Chew Head to Alphin, but without success. An antiquarian friend once told me that he had gone down on his knees to look for flints on Noon Sun Hill, but his search had been a failure. Yet, what a striking elevation it is. I only know of two pieces of flint which have been found between Rimmon Clough and Chew Clough, and both are nodules. Two small cherty flakes which I found one hunting day at Far Wain Stones, above Upperwood, are the only bits of flint I have from Greenfield. There has been a small barbed and stemmed arrowhead found at Lanehead, and a worked scraper found at Kinder Intake, but evidence of local working
in the form of flakes and small chippings is altogether wanting. Yet, Black Chew Head, Howell’s Head Hill, and Alphin are the highest hills in Saddleworth. Why are no flints found on them? Assuming that range of vision is the important theory it is often held to be. Immediately over the border, on Bucton, Harridge, and the moors above Swineshaw Reservoir, there is, I learn, a fair amount of flint debris to be picked up after rains. Going now to the other end of Greenfield, and crossing the moors, from the Isle of Skye road to Redbrook, on the Stanedge road, I have found flints here and there over the whole distance, a fact which appears to make their scarcity in Greenfield all the more difficult to explain. Coming now to the hills overlooking the Diggle valley, if we except the small elevation called Brownhill, they have revealed no pronounced evidences of prehistoric occupation. I have wandered round, from North Clough, over Broadstone Moor, to Pots and Pans, without finding a particle of flint. I have also examined the few denuded patches on Harropedge with the samewresult. I have, however, a fine old weathered flint nodule found on Harropedge and given to me by the finder, Mr. E. Dunlop. At the upper end of the valley, on the moors which extend from the Floating Light Reservoir to Black Moss, I have found a few flakes and two implements, one the finest flint knife which has been found in Saddleworth. (See plate A.) With the exception of Broadhead Noddle and the old lane by Crowstone Gate, few flints have been found on the hills which overlook the Castleshaw valley. Only two or three small flakes have been found on Millstone Edge and two in Cudworth. I have heard of an arrowhead having been found near the Dinner Stone, but have not been able to trace it. A few flakes and one implement have been found on the Roman Camp site at Castleshaw. The commanding elevations of the Denshaw valley which occasionally yield flints are Tame Scout and Badger Heights, on the bare ground behind High Lee. On Wharmton I have found a few nodules, flakes, and pieces of hematite. On
Highmoor nothing. An old friend of mine, Mr. Seth Radcliffe, of Mossley, has found a number of flints on Quickedge. From the foregoing it will be gathered that the distribution of flint remains in Saddleworth is, on the whole, of an unimportant character. But particular sites like Dean Clough and Badger Slacks, on the moorlands of Friarmere, have made up for the general deficiency. We have only to stride over the border to reach Crompton Moor, March Hill, Warcock Hill, and the Lominot. Therefore, if one may ignore parochial boundaries and use the term local in a broad sense, the definition of prehistoric man is, as I have previously stated, an important one. I now propose to give the names of the places in and out of Saddleworth where I have found flints, in the hope that it may be of some value to those who may hereafter take up this line of research. A worked flint picked up on the ancient floor of the hills, where ages ago it had dropped from the hand of its prehistoric owner, is often more highly prized than a thousand purchased flints of which nothing definite is known.
Flint Sites in Saddleworth.
Badger Slacks. Broadhead Noddle. Dean Clough. Crowstone Gate Lane. Lurden. Tame Scout. Wharmton. Badger Heights. Stanedge. Castleshaw (Camp). Ragstones.
Linsgreve. White Hill. Waystone Edge. March Hill. White Hassocks. Castleshore Hill. West Nab. Cupwith Moor. Rookstones Hill. Robin Hood’s Bed. Longden End Moor. Pule Hill. Lominot. Warcock Hill. Ladsgreave Moor. Wind Hill.
Black Moss. Wessenden.
The presence of cores, flakes, and chippings on any flint site is reasonable evidence that the place was used as a workshop for the manufacture of implements. The strongest evidence of this has been furnished by the “finds” at March Hill, where flakes and chippings have been found in such numbers that the hill has come to be regarded as the principal prehistoric workshop within a wide radius. I am not sure whether Dean Clough or Warcock Hill is second in importance, but if the difference in the denuded areas of the two places is considered, probably the distinction belongs to the latter place. Occasionally one comes across a patch of recently denuded moor simply littered with flint debris. Some two years ago I came across one of these patches at the head of Dan Clough, between March Hill and Lominot. It was not more than four feet square, and was covered with flakes and chippings lying round three or four cores or pieces of waste flint, the whole suggesting the debris one sees round the ‘‘ banker’ of a mason when he has finished dressing a stone. The waste was there—cores, flakes and chippings—just as they had been left, and apparently indestructible ; but of the workman, probably not a bone remains in his moorland grave. We can scarcely conjecture how many centuries have rolled over Dan Clough since the flint worker sat there chipping his scrapers and his arrowheads till, having used up his stock of flint, he went his way, leaving the debris just as I found it. Little did he dream that maybe thousands of years after someone would linger round the place filled with strange imaginings of the man and his work, and through the bits of waste flint try to read the riddle of his existence. On a similar patch on Crompton Moor, I found 76 pieces of flint, including the leaf-shaped arrowhead depicted on Plate N, Fig. 4. On the narrow footway along the grass-grown lane leading from Crowstone Gate to the four lane ends at Lowgate, I have picked up at various times over 200 flints, comprising flakes, chippings, and a few implements. From this I surmise that the
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old floor under the grass on either side of the path is just as well strewn with flints as the path itself has proved to be. To summarise, the local flint workshops are: The road just referred to, March Hill, Dean Clough, Warcock Hill, Crompton Moor, and the Lominot, near the Marsden Old Gate.
Flint remains on our moors are never found in the peat, but always on the earthy floor beneath. This means that peat isa later deposit, and did not exist on the Saddleworth hills when prehistoric man roamed over them. When the implement- maker of Dean Clough had vanished for ever, the peat age came and buried the track of his footsteps. Here and there, where wind and weather are tearing the peaty scalps from the hills, the faded impression of those footsteps are being revealed to us. The moorlands are a kind of great book, where the history of prehistoric man is more or less illegibly written. A few pages have been opened, and the characters thereon inscribed partly deciphered. There is much, however, which still 1s, and will probably ever remain surmise only. I hold the opinion that all the prehistoric relics which have been found on our moorlands are but a handful to the numbers which lie buried under the peat. That this is reasonably certain will be granted when it is considered how comparatively small an area is now available for investigation. The most favourable time to look for flints is in the spring, when the rains and the frosts of winter have exacted a further toll of the peat covering. They are also found in stream courses, having been washed down from the higher parts of the moors.
THE SOUTHERN SIDE.
Locally, the southern slopes of the hills yield the greater number of flints; this is decidedly the case with respect to March Hill, Dean Clough, and the Rapes at Badger Slacks. A notable exception is Crompton Moor, where flints are found chiefly on ground which slopes to the west. I cannot suggest a
reason for this beyond the fact that the southern would be the sunny side, and, probably, primitive man like our old handloom weavers loved to sit off the wind and on the sun.
CHARACTER OF IMPLEMENTS.
If the various types of local flint implements prove anything at all, it is that the men who fashioned them lived peaceful, unagegressive lives. Practically, all the implements found on our moors are distinctively such as would be used for domestic purposes, including scrapers, borers, knives, gravers, combination implements, saws, etc. The rare exceptions are the celt and the arrowhead. Yet, classifying these as implements of war and the chase, we can imagine a hundred peaceful purposes for
which the celt could be used.
THE WORKING MATERIAL,
We are told by geologists that pure flint forms no part of our local geological formation. Where then did the prehistoric flint worker obtain his supply of raw material ? There are two conjectural sources. Firstly, from the small nodules found in the local glacial drifts ; secondly, by barter from tribes inhabiting flint-bearing districts. On the whole, the balance of opinion inclines, I believe, in the direction of the glacial source. This view appears to be supported by the fact that locally-found nodules are invariably of small size, which is also the noticeable feature of local flint implements. A large implement is a rare find. I have a hazy notion that if flint had been easily obtainable by means of barter, our moorland “ finds ” would have included a larger type of implement, probably flint celts similar to those found in flint localities. But from whatever source the pre- historic artificer obtained his supply, it was evidently adequate. I take the scarcity of chert and quartzite implements locally to mean that he was not compelled to resort to these materials owing to want of flint. I only know of one white quartzite implement which has been found in Saddleworth, and that is
Small Flint Nodules and Cores.— Saddleworth Hills.
the arrowhead from the Chew Valley. With respect to chert, there is a denuded patch on the Great Hill, where I have found over 20 cores.
HEMATITE AND GRAPHITE.
Fragments of hard and also soft hematite are occasionally found among flint debris usually associated with the black substance called graphite. All these the writer has found in Dean Clough, and the two hematites on Wharmton, lying among broken flint nodules. The graphite, and the soft hematite, were, it is generally supposed, mixed with animal grease, and used by our early hill folks to smear their bodies after the fashion of modern savage races. The hard hematite, was, it is conjectured, used to obtain fire.
How prehistoric man fashioned his implements is surmised. I have just seen a round hammer stone, badly bruised, in all probability by flaking flint from the nodule. This flaking constitutes the primary working. The secondary working, the cutting of conchoidal or shell-like fractures and minute chipping, it will be recognized, could not be performed by any material less hard than flint. It takes a diamond to cut another diamond. Therefore, we may reasonably infer that prehistoric man used flint to cut flint. The cutting would, no doubt, be performed by pressure, and to what perfection the ancient workman carried his art is attested by the delicate chipping on minute implements like needles and borers. How long it took the primitive craftsman of Dean Clough to learn the art of making flint implements may be vaguely surmised from the fact that according to Dr. March, a modern craftsman once told Lord Avebury that it took him two years to learn the art of making gun flints. There has been found on our moors pieces of flint to which the name “ has been given, and if they were not used as tools in the manufacture of implements, it is difficult to determine their purpose.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF WORKED IMPLEMENTS.
Most flint implements, especially of the scraper class, are characterized by having a well-defined bulb and pit of per- cussion. In some examples there is evidence of their having been primarily fashioned (from absence of flaking) by one blow, and fashioned as intended by the workman. It is remarkable how easily and naturally the thumb fits into the hollow of percussion, making the grip firm and the implement easy to use. It is also noticeable that some scrapers fit the left hand better than the right, which suggests that their prehistoric owners were left-handed. Scrapers are almost without exception worked by secondary chipping from one side only, usually the back, the face side being that which bears the pit of percussion, while the cutting edge is, in many examples, uniformly rounded. (See Fig. 4, Plate M). There are several types of arrowheads showing more or less elaborate workmanship. They include the barbed and stemmed, leaf-shaped, round based, one-fanged, etc. The chipping was evidently done in a manner which preserved the balance of the implement. On the back of other implements are strongly-defined ridges, generally termed dorsal ridges. (See Fig. 5, Plate N). While clean, straight-flaking, like that shown on the Castleshaw im- plement (Fig. 15, Plate M), is another recognised characteristic of the worked flint. Written descriptions are, however, weak, and the best way to distinguish and understand what is meant by secondary working is to compare a worked implement with an ordinary flake. On genuine flints there is a glossy, lustrous surface, due, it is supposed, to weathering. This patina or glossy surface has been a great obstacle in the way of the flint forger, but I learn that something like the desired effect has been produced by burying flints for some time in hot sand; also by boiling them for weeks in a kettle, and that many forgeries are now abroad having approximately the correct surface tints.
Conjectured method of fixing Celt in Shaft. 9 »» Arrowhead.
hafting Flint Knife. Flint Arrowhead, Diggle.
PERSONAL. Before leaving local flint research, it is necessary to refer to my old friend, Mr. David Gartside, of Denshaw. Although his work is largely in the field of fossil botany, yet nothing in the way of science comes amiss to him. In those subjects which he has specialised, his ability is generally and widely acknowledged. Flint research has been a kind of bypath to my old friend, but among his notable finds is an arrowhead (barbed and stemmed) from Dean Clough, now in the March Collection, Rochdale Museum.
A FLINT ARROWHEAD FOUND ON PULE HILL.
The same wild hills are round me flung, And this the same stern brow, But where’s the hand that fashioned me ? Where ts that hunter now ? With him I ranged the oaken wood, The mountain clough, in storm and flood, When oft my barbs were red with blood. O! hunter, where art thou ?
The deer that loved yon southern hills, Now looming bare and grey ; The wolf that oft, like light’ning flash, I flew so straight to slay ; The shaft to which he bound me true, The springy bow of upland yew His bare strong arm oft backward drew ; tell me, where are they ?
I wake and see the flight of time, From ages pale and wan; The myriads that have come and gone Since first my race began ;
And I, a bit of fashioned stone Left on this moorland, bleak and lone, Hath seen all that these hills have known Of little human span.
I saw the Roman shield and spear Come flashing from the west : Their sentry fires blaze at night Along yon eastern crest ;* And Cesar’s great imperial train, And raiding Scot, and fair-haired Dane, And many a lordly Saxon thane, Have trod this rocky breast.
I’ve dreamed through England’s story Among these tangled greens, Through all her long and brave array Of mighty kings and queens; Through Norman sway and Tudor prime, Through age of peace and age of crime, Through reign corrupt and reign sublime, Through great and stirring scenes.
Fling me afar among the ling, Where I would ever be, Till this proud England shall return To her wild infancy ; And when the ages long have rolled, And Time repeats its usage old, Some young barbarian, strong and bold, Will head a shaft with me.
* The Roman Station at Cambodunum (Slack Outlane).
eres Ce, iss: oe oe A ise 4 RE ore Se Mine ae
TOD MO Lee
oe Ce en
ae eee Re,
Soni ey ne
ee ST Be ene
(See page 35.)
Stone Celt.—Cudworth, Castleshaw Valley.
35 STONE CELTS.
The two stone celts found at the head of the Castleshaw Valley during the construction of the Waterworks are, I believe, the only implements of the type found in Saddleworth of which anything definite is known. The works of early local writers contain a few references to what I regard as similar implements, but each reference is too brief to be of any value. This brevity on the part of our early writers is perhaps excusable, when we remember that little importance was attached to prehistoric “ finds’’ a century ago. The Lightside celts are of the type generally regarded as the product of the Neolithic Age. They are wedge-shaped, especially the smaller celt, and no doubt intentionally shaped in order that they might be inserted in a wooden shaft, after the manner shown on Plate H, Fig. 1. It will be seen that the harder a blow was struck and the firmer the axe head would become fixed in the shaft. Ultimately the shaft, under the continuous strain, we may infer, would break, and require to be replaced by a new one. In order, it is supposed, to reduce the strain on the shaft, this type of celt is sometimes found in the old Swiss settlements, fixed in a small socket of stag’s horn.
CeLtt 1.—Puars I.
This implement, I learn from Mr. Watts, was found in Cudworth Quarry, 26th March, 1887, and had, conjecturally, dropped from the hand of its prehistoric owner down a cleft in the rock to an irrecoverable depth. Shortly after the discovery about two inches were broken from the upper part by a quarryman, and unfortunately lost. It is, according to Mr. Watts, covered with dendritic markings. As to the kind of stone of which it is composed, he is by no means certain.
A friend of mine—Mr. S. Sydney Platt, Borough Surveyor, Rochdale—writes me to the effect: That the Cudworth Celt is, from his recollection, a Diorite, the average analysis of which variety of stone has a percentage of about 55 per cent. of silica. It cannot, therefore, be strictly classified as a flint celt. All the flint nodules I have seen from the local glacial drift are too small for celt manufacture. Writing from memory, I only remember one example of flint celt found among our local hills. It is from Stonefolds Quarry, Marsden, and is now in the possession of Mr. W. Fell.
Colour - - dark marine blue. Length - - - - 7 inches. Width - - - - 3 inches.
This implement was found 11th June, 1891, while preparing clay for puddle, which had been conveyed from a clay bed lying within the basin of the Broadhead Reservoir. Of its position in situ, depth below the surface, etc., Mr. Watts: was unable to obtain any information. As in Celt No. 1, dendritic markings are present. Its fine polish is also a noticeable feature. It is, Mr. Watts suggests, composed of greenstone.
Length - - - - 444 inches. Width at cutting edge - 2% inches.
Both implements were described by Mr. Watts in the Journal of the Oldham Microscopical Society at the time of their discovery. They are still in his possession, and to him I am indebted for particulars, and also the photographs.
Stone Celt.—Castleshaw Valley.
It may at first sight appear unaccountably strange that while flint evidences of prehistoric man in and about Saddleworth are fairly strong, the evidences of barrows or gravemounds are, on the other hand, altogether weak. I There is any amount of evidence in the form of flint debris to suggest that prehistoric man inhabited the district round Dean Clough for a lengthened period. Yet so far no burial sites have been discovered. Where are they? In much roaming over the moors I have come to the conclusion that they are hidden away under the vast accumulation of peat, and hidden so completely that it is practically impossible to observe any outward indica- tions. Round about March Hill there are several small elevations not unlike well authenticated barrows, but such as I have examined, where the peat is denuded, disclose a regular stratifi- cation, which makes it impossible for them to be artificial constructions. I have put the spade into the ground in many other places on our hills, but not with very satisfactory results. Perhaps some day accident will reveal what designed research has hitherto failed to discover.
THE LONG BARROW.
This type of gravemound is now regarded as distinctively the burial place of man in the Stone Age. It is mainly the absence of metal and the physical character of the skeleton found in the long barrow which has led to its being assigned to the period before the Bronze Age. The remains ATG, generally indicative of a long-headed and slight-limbed race. A characteristic feature of the long barrow is that it usually points east and west. No gravemound of this type has been found in Saddleworth. There is, however, a mound on Wharmton which, in shape and orientation, answers the descrip- tion of the long barrow, but as J have not had an opportunity of exploring it, I can say nothing further. Possibly it is of
natural formation. If it is any evidence in favour of a barrow, I have found flints on that hill.
THE ROUND BARROW.
This type of ancient burial mound is assigned to the Bronze Age from the fact that articles of bronze have been found in them. The skeletons they contain differ from those found in the long barrow, inasmuch as they indicate a round-headed and taller race of people. Unfortunately, no barrow has been found in Saddleworth where burial by inhumation had been performed. Consequently, we have nothing to suggest the stature of the early local inhabitant. We may, however, be guided to an estimate by the evidence of the round barrow skeletons gener- ally, which is that they were a race averaging about 5 ft. 7 ins. in height, and I risk the opinion that the cremated remains found at Brownhill and at Pule Hill belonged to this race of Bronze Age people. The round barrow sometimes takes the shape of an inverted bowl; another kind is what is commonly called a ring mound, a ring or circle of elevated ground occasion- ally 20 yards in diameter, and generally about 2 ft. in height.
CREMATION AND INHUMATION.
As I have already stated, there is so far no proof that local prehistoric tribes buried their dead by inhumation, but there is proof that they practised cremation. The barrow at Brownhill in the township, and the interments at Pule Hill and Hades Hill over our borders, prove beyond question that the bodies had been cremated. To assert that local tribes did not practise inhumation would perhaps be saying too much, for cremation is not the exclusive feature of round barrow interments. Out of nearly 400 barrows of the Bronze Age explored by Canon Greenwell, 78 contained cremated remains, while 300 furnished evidences of burial by inhumation. In some barrows both cremated and inhumated remains were found, indicating that both forms of burial were performed in the same period. What- ever reasons decided either form of interment, they remain
undiscovered. Did the prehistoric tribesman intimate the manner in which his remains were to be interred, as is the case to-day, where a person prefers cremation to burial by inhumation. In some of our ancient barrows, where interment by inhumation had taken place, there is evidence from the position of the skeleton and the disposal of the bones, that the dead were not buried in the flesh. In one way or another the flesh was removed, after which the bare bones were consigned to the earth. This practice is, or recently was, in vogue among primitive tribes in various parts of the world. Dr. March states that :— ‘‘ Among the Society Islanders, dead bodies were placed on ‘¢ platforms railed in with bamboo. When the flesh had ‘‘ vanished, the bones were buried sometimes within a ‘‘ pyramidal stone structure, not unlike a barrow. In ‘*‘ Guiana, the dead body, secured in a net, was lowered ‘“‘ into the river, where the flesh was removed by fish.” Among Indian tribes, the custom was to fasten the dead bodies on trees until nothing but the bones remained. I believe it is among his illustrations to ‘“‘ Atala” that Gustave Doré has a touching picture of an Indian mother singing to. her dead child, which is shown fastened to a leafy branch above her head. Forster, when travelling beyond the Volga, about 1766, says :— ‘‘T met with more than one corpse of the Kalmucks ‘‘ exposed in the fields to the open air, to be devoured by ‘‘ birds and beasts of prey ; some were incompassed by a ‘‘ little wooden wall about 3 feet high.” Thus it will be seen that, if a gravemound, where burial by inhumation had been performed should be located in Saddle- worth, it would be for many reasons a most interesting find, possibly indicating that nothing but the fleshless bones had been interred. There is a current theory to the effect that our stone circles were sacred enclosures where bodies were placed to await the removal of the flesh. That this theory is worthy of consideration is indicated by the fact that two rows of skeletons were found interred outside the circle on Hakpen Hill.
In and about Saddleworth, however, cremation appears to have been the prevailing form of ancient burial.
THE PLACE-NAME “LOW.”
The element “low” in English place-names, usually means an ancient sepulchral site. ‘*‘ Hlaw—what covers, a grave, a heap, a barrow, a small hill.’’ The general correctness of this meaning is proved by Bateman, who gives seven pages of place-names in which this element “low” occurs, chiefly as a suffix. The list is confined to the Counties of Derby and Stafford, and each place-name marks the site of a barrow. In our Saddleworth place-names, this significant element occurs in Lowgate, Warlow, Herdslow, Back o’th Low, Shelderslow, and Roebucklow. I have casually examined the vicinities of the above-named places, but, with one exception, have failed to observe any external indications of a mound or ring circle. Still, I confess to holding the opinion that our local ‘lows ”’ were originally so-called from the presence of tumuli remains. I have seen, somewhere, a derivation offered that Shelderslow is the site of the grave of Scheldi, an ancient
The only well-attested evidence of tumuli in Saddleworth is the barrow opened at Brownhill, near the present Saddleworth Station, in May, 1844. Unfortunately, it was opened by quarry- men, and the contents were for the most part irrecoverably destroyed. It is certain that if the exploration of this barrow. had been undertaken and supervised by capable archeologists, its importance would have been considerably enlarged. A quarryman with a spade in his hands is a dangerous quantity to deal with prehistoric remains. In the ‘‘ Saddleworth Sketches ” there is an amusing story of how the “ find,’”’ which included incinerated bones, was received in the locality. The common view was that a brutal murder
had been committed, and the remains of the victim interred at Brownhill. This got noised abroad, until at length it reached the ears of two worthy local magistrates, the Rev. T. Sturgess Mills, the then Vicar of Dobcross, and Dr. Broughton, the village medical practitioner. Recognising the necessity for immediate action if the majesty of the law was to be upheld, and the murderer brought to justice, these “ potent, grave, and reverend signiors ’’ moved in the matter with becoming dignity. After proper, and no doubt weighty deliberation, a notification was sent to the Coroner, a Mr. Dyson, a jury summoned, and all arrangements made for holding an inquest over the prehistoric remains. When everything was complete, a local antiquary, Mr. George Shaw, of Uppermill, unwisely, in my opinion, informed the magisterial luminaries that the bones were interred about 1000 B.c. Probably, dimly realising that it would be difficult to secure the murderer, or to procure evidence sufficient to convict, the magistrates gravely cancelled the proceedings, and, I infer, hurried home, one to the preparation of his sermon, and the other to the preparation of his physic. One can imagine what excitement the supposed murder would arouse in the district, and how heavily the jurymen would bear the weight of their responsibilities. I think Mr. Shaw’s inter- ference, if only for the sake of the story, is a thing to be regretted. It would have been delightful had the inquest been carried through to a solemn verdict of wilful murder, particularly if the evidence had come down to us. Yet, no doubt, Mr. Shaw, in staying the proceedings, was actuated by a desire to save the credit of the district. The further references to the barrow in the “ Sketches” are not only historically inaccurate, but are also of little value from an archeological point of view. The following account is based mainly upon two letters written by Mr. Shaw, one in May, 1844, the day after the dis- covery, and the other on the 17th June of the same year. They appear in Canon Raines’ MS., (to which source I am
indebted), accompanied by a sheet of drawings signed, ‘“G. Shaw, del,” the whole is, therefore, perfectly authenticated and reliable. The first letter is addressed to James Dearden, Esq., F.S.A., of Rochdale. As it was written at close quarters, with a full knowledge of the circumstances attending the discovery, I give it in full :—
‘‘ Upon my arrival at home last night I was told that some employed in a stone quarry a short distance from *‘ our house had discovered ‘ the bones of a child in a jar, ‘‘and with them the hammer with which the child had ‘been murdered.’ I immediately suspected this to have ‘‘been an ancient British interment by cremation, and the ‘ subsequent arrival of my father with some pieces of “urns of partially burnt clay and calcined bones con- ‘‘firmed my impression. This morning I visited the ‘‘ spot, a stone quarry situated on the edge of a small hill ‘‘or knoll called ‘ Brownhill,’ and the discovery appears ‘“to have been made by the men clearing away a portion ‘‘ of turf or soil for a further ‘ fall’ of stone.
‘‘The urns—for I find there were two of them—lay ‘“‘about 4 feet apart and some 18 or 20 inches from the ‘‘ surface in a sort of bed of partially burnt wood, with the uppermost, and covered with stones.
‘¢ Unlike most such interments, there was no pavement ‘‘for the urns to rest upon, or Cist vaeu for their recep- “tion, but they were evidently deposited in a small ‘circular hollow without any other preparation save the bed of charcoal.
“In the one was a stone celt, or, as the workmen it, ‘a boldering hammer made of bouther,’ broken ‘in three pieces, perhaps by the action of the fire.
‘¢ When the men first discovered the urns they supposed ‘them to contain money, and very patiently dug them ‘out without damage, but upon discovering nothing but “remains of bone they threw them and their contents
‘‘into the quarry, and consequently they became a mass ‘“‘ of confused fragments. ‘¢ The celt is said to be carried off by one of the men ‘*to Stalybridge.” We gather that there were two urns, not one, as we have been informed by Bradbury, while other material facts are clearly stated. The reference to the ‘‘ boldering hammer ” is a good example of local description. The second letter of 17th June was addressed to Edward Holme, M.D., F.R.S., of Manchester. In it Mr. Shaw states that his grandmother Radcliffe, then 85 years of age, could remember a pile of stones standing upon the site of the Brownhill discovery, which the country people looked upon with superstitious awe. It is worthy of remark that some of the North Yorkshire barrows were surmounted by a pyramidal pile of loose stones. Mr. Shaw also makes an important correction with regard to the depth at which the urns were found. His first letter gave it as about 18 inches below the surface, but the second makes it 4 feet 6 inches, which is probably approximately correct.
A BARROW OF THE BRONZE AGE.
The above stated depth at which the urns were found has to me the significance that they lay under a small artificial circular mound, or round barrow of the Bronze period. The depth nearly 5 feet, if below the natural ground level, is improbable, but is in agreement with the level at which finds are made when overlaid by heaped up mounds. The charred bones and the presence of charcoal are, of course, proofs that the interment or interments were preceded by cremation.
There were two urns placed 4 feet apart, a distance which I[ look upon as suggesting two interments. There is nothing clear with regard to the type of the urns, whether they were food or cinerary vessels, but the network scheme of decoration
is, perhaps, more characteristic of the latter than the former. Nothing is said of the dimensions of the vessels, and, probably, the fragments recovered were insufficient to allow Mr. Shaw to form an opinion. The ornamentation was very similar on both vessels—a reticulated or network pattern—formed by twisted cable-like impressions worked upon the wet clay before the urn was fired. On the fragment shown (Plate K) there is a projecting shoulder, above which, it will be noticed, are diagonal inden- tations, probably forming the upper part of the decoration.
The celt found in the larger urn was not broken by the quarrymen as stated by Bradbury, but was in three pieces when picked up. Mr. Shaw, in his letter, supposes the fractures to be due to the action of fire. It is, however, more probable that it was intentionally broken before being placed in the urn. Other barrows have furnished similar evidences of an intentional destruction of implements. What reasons prompted and decided this course we may never know, but the celt, broken and rendered useless, may have been considered symbolical of the broken useless remains of the dead. The Brownhill implement is termed a perforated celt, a type now commonly accepted as belonging to the Bronze Period. Its dimensions are not stated by Mr. Shaw, but his sketch, reproduced on Plate K, probably indicates its actual size. One cannot say what the Brownhill barrow contained in the way of minor implements. In the careless, ignorant excavation, these, if any, would be unnoticed and lost. If the “ boldering hammer” had been without perforation we might never of heard of it. Bradbury refers to another type of celt, subsequently found at Brownhill, but gives no particulars.
In Bottomley’s short history of the township, there is an illustration of a cinerary urn, which is described as follows :—
Perforated Celt and Fragment of Urn. Badger Slacks. Brownhill, May, 1844.
(Marcu Collection.) (From Canon Raines’ M.SS.)
Perforated Stone Hammer.
‘Tt seems from many circumstances that the Danes spread over this neighbourhood, for which reason ‘‘ I have inserted the urn. It was found with two others ‘‘at the gates at the bottom of the walk near Shaw Hill, ‘leading to a house in Skircoat called Heath. This ‘‘ contained calcined bones and dust.” This find, consisting of three urns, was evidently an important one, and deserved to be explicitly described. The vessels, Bottomley says, ‘‘lay in a line, one yard deep and one yard facts which are, perhaps, suggestive of three distinct cremated interments. If ‘‘this neighbourhood ’’ does not mean Saddleworth, what does it mean? Yet the description is so meagre and indefinite that I would not like to say strictly that the “find” is local. But if not local, why was it referred to in that sense? The illustration given by Bottomley of one of the urns appears to lend credence to his story, but other evidences are apparently contradictory. Shaw Hill, I have regarded as a possible printer’s error for Shaw Hall; but Skircoat and Heath, where are they? Neither of these place-names are referred to as local in the parish registers. Skircoat occurs, but is described as parish of Halifax. Some years ago I was shown the supposed exact site of the discovery in the corner of a field between Shaw Hall and Friezland school, but I have failed to verify the local existence of the place-names, Skircoat and Heath. If I am rightly informed, no one about Shaw Hall to-day ever heard of them. If Bottomley meant Skircoat, near Halifax, he was not justified in writing ‘“ this neighbourhood,’”’ and thereby leading people astray. The whole, it will be admitted, is much confused, and I offer no opinion either way. I have referred to the urn merely in case a subsequent discovery should give an air of probability to Bottomley’s story.
In one of the meadows near Hilltop there is a large and well-
defined ring mound, 15 yards in diameter and 1 foot 6 inches high. It is, so far as outward indications go, the only ring mound I have found in Saddleworth which agrees in form and elevation with the undoubted ring mounds of other districts. Its position on the top of the hill, and just off the track of the Roman way, is one of favourable significance. Last November, in conjunction with my friend, the late Mr. P. Winterbottom, I sunk five small trenches in various parts of the mound, but the only suggestive finds we made were pieces of charcoal and fragments of burnt stone. This is invariably the nett result of ring mound exploration. Canon Atkinson, referring to this low type of mound in the Cleveland district, says that he had opened a great number, but in one instance only had he found distinct evidences of an interment. In exploring the low circles near Pickering, Mr. Kendall had practically the same experience, while the same want of success attended Canon Greenwell’s explorations of many ring mounds in North Yorkshire. Although admitting the prehistoric character of these circlea, opinions differ as to the real purpose of their construction. Their low elevation is a singular point of agreement, for no matter in what district they occur they are rarely more than two feet above the natural ground level. Then again, the presence of charcoal is more or less evident on these sites. Although urns were found in the ring mounds on the moors above Roggerham, near Burnley, yet I believe that indications: of interments are the exception rather than rule, and it is by no means certain that these round elevations were burial enclosures. Nor is it certain that they were a kind of ossuary, or charnel-house, where the dead were deposited to await interment after the flesh had decayed from their bones. The prevalence of this kind of mound in some districts appears to stand in opposition to the above view. I have a supposition that they were small settlement areas—three or four huts, surrounded by wooden stockade for protection against the wolf and other predatory animals.
The site of the mound at Hilltop being meadow land means that it is not always available for excavation work. I, however, hope to put the spade in again.
BROADHEAD NODDLE, CASTLESHAW.
In the summer of 1908 I partially explored a bell-shaped mound on the eastern shoulder of this hill. It was 60 feet in circumference and just over 3 feet in height at the middle. It must be remembered that it is not far from Lowgate, a significant place-name. The exploration revealed strong evidences of fire, also a substance resembling wet chalk, perfectly white and soft to the touch. Subsequently this was analysed by Professor Boyd Dawkins, and also by an expert at Owens College, with the result that it was identified as a kind of white marl. A similar substance was revealed during the excavations at Pule Hill in 1896. I found nothing of prehistoric interest during the actual work of excavation, but some six months later, when the site had been weathered and washed by rains, several flint flakes and small chippings were found. As stated in the chapter on Flint Remains, I have found both worked and unworked flints on the higher parts of the hill. With respect to the mound, I would classify. it as one of the unproductive order. A few yards away to the west was a smaller mound showing a depression from the eastern side to the middle, suggesting that it had been opened and rifled at some period.
LITTLE BARROW, DIGGLE.
There is a rough brown pasture against the moors, and under the shadow of Ravenstone, which is known by the significant name of Little Barrow. Bradbury, in the “ Sketches,” 1871, says that it is the site of a tumulus which was opened some years ago with unknown results. If Bradbury knew the exact site, it is to be regretted that he left the matter as indefinite as he possibly could. He says, ‘the tumulus may still be seen.”
Why did he not give us some references as to form, dimensions, etc.? I would have undertaken (with permission) further explorations. I will not say that the tumulus was an imagina- tive effort on the part of the author of the ‘“ Sketches,’’ but I will say that Mr. Thos. Bradbury, the present owner of Fair- banks, who has lived on the farm for over go years, informed the writer, in August, 1g1o, that he had never heard of the matter before. He, however, kindly granted to myself anda friend, Mr. Thos. Thompson, the privilege of going over the estate and making such investigations as we considered neces- sary. We availed ourselves of this privilege, and not only examined the whole of the enclosures comprising the Fairbanks estate, but also the adjoining enclosures running along the mooredge as far as Diggle Mill. We found no indications of an artificial mound, either intact or revealing evidence of partial exploration. The enclosure, Little Barrow, is the site of a rather extensive sandpit, and the conclusion we arrived at was that if ever a tumulus had existed it had formed a part of the pit surface area, and had been care- lessly destroyed by the pitmen. The field-name is admittedly one which immediately suggests prehistoric remains. It is remarkable that no one with the single exception of Bradbury appears to have heard of this tumulus, and especially remarkable when we remember that the present owner of Fairbanks was in his prime when the author of the ‘‘ Sketches’ wrote the paragraph I am now discussing. I have made enquiries among the older end of the dalesfolk, but have so far failed to obtain the slightest confirmation of the story. If there is any evidence at all of verification, it is in the suggestive character of the place-name, Little Barrow. But place-names have frequently unsuspected derivations.
The remarkable conical mound called Dowry Castle, which stands at the foot of Ravenslade on the Friarmere Moors, has often been supposed to be a prehistoric barrow, and anyone who
looks at the mound from the Buckstones road may be forgiven for entertaining such a supposition. The uniformity of its rounded slope suggests at once designed construction. Some- one possessed of the idea undertook excavations at the top, where a small pit indicates the extent of the work. Writing of the antiquities near Castleshaw in 1766, the Rev. John Watson says :— ‘‘ Lastly, something like the situation of a fort, called by ‘‘the name of Dowry Castle, having a much better view the country than Castleshaw, and, as I conjecture, built as a ‘ Turris exploratorius.’ ” I have never heard of any place on Friarmere or reasonably near Castleshaw called Dowry Castle, except the one under consideration, and if this is the one Watson refers to, it is difficult to understand why he should say that it had a “much better view of the country than Castleshaw.” As a matter of fact, Dowry Castle is almost in the Clough, and commands a much more limited view than Castleshaw. As to its being a ‘‘ Turris exploratorius,” its comparatively low altitude, overlooked on all sides by higher ground, makes it the last place a person would select as a point of outlook. Was there another Dowry Castle in Watson’s time, of which nothing is now known ? The mound is an eccentric natural formation. I have proved this by repeated excavations at various parts of the slope, finding in each instance a perfectly regular stratification of shale.
PULE HILL, MARSDEN.
Although geographically considered, Pule Hill cannot be regarded as coming within the scope of this work. Yet the inclusion of that important prehistoric find may be permitted on the ground that it may serve to indicate the character of the burials observed by the primitive tribes on these hills during the Bronze Age. Therefore, I am going to drag Pule Hill, figura- tively speaking, over the Stanedge, and borrow for a time some I of ‘Bellas Town’s glory.” In the great upheaval of the
Pennine Range, Pule Hill had the bad taste to grow up just outside our Saddleworth boundary, a proceeding unrecognised before the recent finds invested the hill with more than ordinary importance, and looking at old Pule from the low ground, I cannot help but think what a noble burial place the ancient flint man had. Whata sense of light, freedom and freshness about it, so widely different from our cold, formal, high-walled cemeteries, overlooked by dingy houses and black mill chimneys. He was laid high up with the great hill for his monument, with nothing above his grave but the everlasting pageantry of the skies, moving century after century over his ashes, and for his requiem the eternal song of the winds. The most vivid imagination cannot picture the ceremonial rites of that ancient burial on Pule Hill; the wild, uncouth figures of the barbarian mourners ; the weird pagan rites, and probably chanted lamen- tations round the funeral pyre; the great, grey column of smoke rising from the cremating fires; and last of all, the laying of the ashes and the rude urns in that lonely mountain grave. Yet we, to-day, in the name of science, with irreverent hands, rifle the graves of our primitive forefathers, forgetting— ‘¢ Time was those ashes lived, And time will be When others thus may stand And look on thee.”’
A BRONZE AGE BURIAL.
The burial on the Pule Hill belonged to the Bronze Age; the character of the urn finds appears to admit of no other asign- ment. Yet I am absolutely certain that in 1896 the urns were not overlaid by a round barrow of the period. I picked flints up on the actual site years before the discovery was made, while years before my flint-hunting began, Messrs. Law and Horsfall had diligently searched the hill for evidences of early man without observing any outward indications of a barrow or mound. At least, this is what I infer from the fact that their references to Pule Hill are entirely upon flint research. Had an
artificial mound existed, it could scarcely have escaped the observation of two such capable and experienced antiquaries. I believe that a mound originally existed, but had been weathered down and all traces finally obliterated. The site on the point of the hill where the ground dips precipitously away on three sides is a place where disintegration by weather is comparatively rapid.
It 1s worthy of mention in connection with the sepulchral finds on the top of Pule that there is the place-name of Borlow on the hillside at a point over which the old road runs to Marsden. Thus, again, we see the term ‘low”’ in juxtaposi- tion with a prehistoric burial site.
THE EXCAVATIONS, OF 1866.
The accidental finding of a flint arrowhead on Pule Hill by a shepherd led to the first excavations of 1896, the results of which were, so far as urn finds are concerned, eminently successful. It is, however, to be regretted that those excavations were, like my own at Castleshaw in 1897-8, of a somewhat careless and unscientific character. Of course, the area of a Roman Station is infinitely greater than that of a small gravemound, and for that reason a little slipshod work (always unexcusable) would be of less consequence to the station than it would be to the barrow. The researches of Messrs. Marsden and Fell were wanting in that precise data with respect to the position, arrangement, and contents of the sepulchral chamber or chambers, which is now considered of such importance in barrow exploration. No one can say what the chambers and their proximities contained in the shape of less easily recognised relics. It is quite possible that they contained bits of bronze, which in haphazard explora- tions are liable to be overlooked. Mr. E. K. Clark, F.S.A., in his account of the explorations, 1899, states that no burnt flints were found. If this statement refers to both explorations, I may say that I have several bits of
calcined flint which I picked up on the site a few days after the first discovery had been made; also bits of bone and a few ordinary flint flakes. Nothing is known of the relative positions in which the urns lay, nor was anything known until the explorations of 1899 respecting the probable number of interments. Still, Messrs. Marsden and Fell, who bore the brunt of the work on that weather-beaten moor-top, and heavy work I know it to be, are to be congratulated on making the most important prehistoric find within a wide radius of Pule Hill. The discovery was reported to the Society of Antiquaries, London, 1897, and subsequently recorded in the Society’s proceedings.
SECOND EXPLORATIONS, 1899.
In the autumn of 1899, investigations were resumed at Pule Hill, under the auspices and direction of the Yorkshire Archzo- logical Society. The object appears to have been to re-examine the previously disturbed area with a view to further discoveries, and also of learning something, if possible, with regard to the original character of the sepulchral chamber. Nor were those responsible for the work altogether disappointed, as certain well- defined cavities were found which had an illuminating effect on the earlier investigations. Describing the preliminary work, Mr. Clark says :— ‘‘A trench was driven straight across the top from west to ‘‘ east, the ground then bared to the bed rock as far as the ‘‘ outcrop on the western, eastern, and southern sides.”’
Three cavities were found in various parts of the site, one having evidently been formed in a shattered part of the rock to the depth of about 18 inches. The evidence of these cavities was that the interments had been made below the natural surface, the whole being afterwards, most probably, covered by an artificial mound which had been weathered down until no traces were observable. Canon Greenwell, ‘‘ British Barrows,” states :-— I I ‘* Holes below the surface were frequently found within the
‘‘area of a barrow, sometimes four or five in a barrow of ‘‘ various sizes, differing in shape, but generally circular ‘‘and about 18 inches in diameter and the same in depth.” In a barrow opened by Bateman, at High Needham, in Derbyshire, the grave was found cut in the rock to a depth of 18 inches, thus bearing a similarity to the rock grave on Pule Hill. The same antiquary, in his account of the barrow near the village of Waterfall, says :—
‘¢ Near the middle, about 8 feet from the surface, was a 3 feet long and 18 inches wide, cut in the rock ‘“to a depth of between 1 foot and 2 feet, containing ‘fragments of bones.”’
From this it is clear that the rock grave on Pule Hill presents no exceptional feature. All this serves to show that the primitive people who inhabited the district round Pule Hill followed the same principle of grave construction, and the same custom of cremated burial as the Bronze Age peoples of Derbyshire and the Yorkshire Wolds. At the bottom of each of the three cavities were found bits of bone, flint and charcoal, all of which I look upon, surmisably, as indicating three, or possibly four, interments. But whether these interments were made at one and the same time, or at different periods, the investigations of 1896 were not sufficientiy detailed to permit an expression of opinion.
The urns are of the type usually called ‘‘ food vessels.”’ They are four in number, varying in size and shape, but of similar ornamentation. The lip of another, and fifth, urn has since been found down the hill slope. There is also one small incense cup. The vessels are composed of clay, and appear to be of a slight, frail character. They vary in colour from a darkish to a yellowish brown. The ornamentation is mostly the chevron,” or herring bone, in combination with lines of short punctures made in the clay while it was still damp.
Urn No.1 (Plate L).—This urn, as will be seen from the dimensions given below, is of an unusually shallow type. It is excellently preserved, and presents one or two features which, according to Greenwell, are unknown in examples of primitive pottery of the north. ‘‘ Cornwall and Devon urns have perforated projections ‘‘never occurring on the Wolds or anywhere in North ‘“ Britain.” This statement seems greatly at variance with the following, from Bateman’s ‘‘ Ten Years’ Diggings ”’ :— ‘‘A more highly finished type is constantly found both in ‘Derbyshire and Yorkshire, having a groove round the “upper part, in which are four stops or projections of ‘clay, often pierced with a small hole just sufficient to ‘‘ receive a thin cord.” The urn under consideration has one of these pierced ears, and evidence of another having been broken away. A peculiarity is that the two ears were not fixed opposite each other, the diameter being 54 inches, while the diameter of the vessel is 7 inches. The space left by the ear which has been broken away indicates that it had not been formed by the clay being pinched up from the body of the vessel, but had been made separately, and then fixed in position. The addition of ears was, no doubt, an important expansion of the potter's art in a useful direction. A string, passed through the pierced ears, and slung round the neck, would admit of the urns being easily carried about. The scheme of decoration, (Urn, Fig. 1, Plate L), consists of three circumferential’ grooves round the upper part, and also round thebase, the ground or intervening space being filled with short vertical and diagonal indentations. It stands four feet, or slight projections of clay. Dimensions :—
Approximate width across the top - 7 inches. » ” shoulder - 7 inches. Height - - - - - 34 inches.
Thickness - - - - - # 1inch.
‘9681 ‘IIH 2[Nq 3e punoj susp)
Urn No. 2 (Plate L).—This is, I think, the most shapely of all the Pule Urns. It is, in fact, a type of vessel which Bateman would have classified as a vase rather than an urn. Unfortunately, it was badly broken during the excavation. Round the projecting shoulder it has three stops or ears (not perforated). These are formed from the body clay of the urn, and not superimposed as in the case with the ears of the vessel just described. The rim is well formed, sloping towards the interior, and fully ornamented with round punctures. The scheme of outward decoration is of a chevron character, relieved by circular lines of dotted punctures, which are carried over the ears. Bateman has a striking observation to the effect that ‘‘in the decoration of prehistoric pottery, the craftsman, or potter, does not appear to ever have imitated a natural object.” The dimensions, kindly supplied by Mr. William Fell, in whose possession the urn remains, are as follows :—
Diameter across the top - - 5% inches. ” across the shoulder - 6 inches. ” of base - - - 2% inches. Height - - - - - 42 inches.
INCENSE CUP. The term “incense cup” is frequently described by leading antiquaries as misleading, and it is safe to say that the purpose of this small vessel has not been clearly established. Its distinctive character, however, suggests a distinctive purpose. It is also noticeable that incense cups are invariably found in barrows where cremation has been the form of interment, some- times enclosed in larger vessels. The Pule Cup has two small perforations at the bottom, 14 inches apart. Ifthe contents were intended to be consumed by fire, it would be necessary, in order to obtain an air current, either to elevate the vessel or tilt it on its side. The orna- mentation is composed of circumferential lines and zigzag incisions on sides and base. Dimensions :—-
Diameter of top - - - - 4+ inches.
9 of base - - - 34 inches. Height, irregular, about - - 3 Inches.
For the dimensions of urn No. 1 and the incense cup, I must acknowledge my indebtedness to the owner, Mr. George Marsden. Twomore Pule urns in Mr. Marsden’s possession need not be described, as neither presents any unusual feature.
The bones which were found principally in the urns were submitted to Professor Boyd Dawkins, who indentified them as the calcined fragments of the human skull, elbow, lower jaw,
humerus, etc. FLINT IMPLEMENTS.
The flint implements found with the interments consist of an arrowhead, one or two scrapers, one disc or thumb-flint, and a few gravers, together with a number of flakes and chippings.
PULE HILL: A Bracon HItu.
A great deal of nonsense has been written about an oblong stone-walled cavity discovered on Pule top during the researches of 1896, and its conjectured connection with the prehistoric finds. As I saw it shortly after the peaty covering had been removed, it had the appearance of a small stone-walled well; it was rectangular in form, about 3 feet by 1 foot 6 inches, and strongly constructed of coursed stone, set in mortar, with flagged bottom and flagged covers. The whole was evidently the work of a mason, and constructed in accordance with definite instructions. To explain its origin and purpose, it is necessary to go back to about 1803, or the time when Napoleon I. was preparing to carry out his threatened invasion of England. In this troublous period the necessity for establishing an efficient system of beacon signalling was fully recognized, and on a plan of beacon sites issued in 1803, we find Pule Hill marked as one of a line of beacons which stretched from York into Lancashire. A sister signal light was near Cambodunum, Outlane. In remote moorland districts a small hut was generally erected, in which the pitch and the iron pitch box were stored to be ready and easily accessible in case of emergency.
At Pule Hill and other places in the north, a small stone- built receptacle appears to have been considered sufficient for storage purposes. The pitch, which, from its inflammable character formed the principal lighting material, was placed in the iron cage, which was then hung on an iron projection fixed at the top of a stout upright post. I saw no evidence of pitch in the stone-built cavity on Pule Hill, and probably as the threatened invasion never took place, both the pitch pan and the combustibles were removed when the period of national danger had passed. I have heard old Friarmere folk say that their forbears were, in that unsettled time, afraid of going to bed at night until they were assured that there was no light on Pule Hill, or other beacon eminence within eye range. In some districts, so great was the fear of an invasion that drilling and target practice took place each Sunday morning. Some years before, or about 1798, the patriotism of Saddleworth had taken shape in the formation of a Volunteer Company. I wonder if this led Napoleon to abandon his projected invasion.
A MOORLAND GRAVE MOUND.
O, gentle spirit of the hills, Come stay with me and rest Where rolls this lonely heather sea, Grey billowed, to the west. The passion of the day hath died Along yon fading height, And white the stars like flowers throng The garden of the night.
In upland hollows lies the mist In folds of silver-grey, And sleeping lies the harvest wind Among the new-mown hay ; The moor crags rise against the sky A dark and ragged line, And red, along the dusky hills, The farmhouse windows shine. -
Far from the rude and noisy throng, By some sweet impulse led, I lie among the grass that hides The long-forgotten dead ; And thou, meek spirit of the hills, O hearken to my plea, For fain would I this summer night Go down the past with thee.
The purple flame of August ling, The bracken green and deep, The sweet, clear bugles of the wind That play along the steep; The flush of dawn, the grey of eve, The storms that rip and rave, Have they not brought thee secrets from This lonely moorland grave ?
Then say in what departed age This simple mound was reared, By what strange people of the past, With pagan rites and weird ; Whence did they come and whither gone, The unknown mountain race Who found on this bird-haunted hill A noble burial place.
How lived they on these windy heights ? What simple span was theirs ? To what strange customs were they bound ? To what gods said their prayers ? A speck of dust, a smear on time, Is all that we can see; So much will future ages know Of all my friends and me.
And who was laid with reverence here : What mother, youth, or maid, Or stalwart father done to death In some wild hunting raid ?
Or heathen seer, whose name by all The hillmen was revered ? Or warrior chief, whose spear of flint Had made him great and feared ?
Perchance some maid, the loved of all, The flower of her race, Here gave to earth all that was hers Of loveliness and grace ; And here, maybe, some valiant youth Was stretched upon the pyre, While hapless kindred wailed around The red cremating fire.
O well it is, these ancient dead, That their last sleep should be Far out upon the heathery moor, Where all is wild and free; Though rough their way o’er darksome paths, Their gods to us unknown, Are they less sacred than the dead Beneath the sculptured stone ?
I feel, sweet spirit, thou art near, So holy and profound ; I feel thy presence in the night Above this grassy mound ; I hear thee speak a mystic tongue In accents all divine, A language that immortals speak In other worlds than mine.
Good night, sweet spirit, I am earth, And dark, and dull, and foul, And all unfit to question thee, Who art the purest soul ; And as I came so I return, Still leaving in thy trust What far-off ages gave to thee: An ancient Briton’s dust.
THE SUPPOSED DRUIDICAL ALTAR ON POTS AND PANS.
On a high bleak shoulder of the moor near Alderman, there stands a great weather-beaten mass of millstone, locally, but I fear erroneously, called ‘‘ The Druid’s Altar.’ Perched like an eagle on the edge of the hill, it forms a striking, and possibly somewhat reverential, landmark to the older dalesfolk, or at least to those who may still cling to an ancestral belief in its Druidical character. Perhaps, in a dim visionary sort of aay, they imagine a period when their forefathers looked up to the rock as the throne of some invisible moorland god, who in some way or other shaped their destinies. In wild weather, when the north-east wind on the moortop is tearing the grey mist into rags, the rock, half seen through the whirl of the storm, has a certain weird and mysterious majesty, which seems akin to something we imagine of ancient pagan idolatries. Even the man who has no faith in the Druidical theory, feels a sort of reverence for the weathered old crag which, down the centuries, has looked over Saddleworth, and seen generation after generation flit by at its feet and vanish for ever. But in this age iconoclastic forces are at work, uprooting old beliefs, and hurling old idols from their pedestals, to trample the whole in the dust. In this dust lies many a so-called Druidical Altar. In other words, current research has come to regard Druidical Altars as fictitious antiquities. Therefore it is now rare, if not impossible, to find them seriously considered as archeological assets. How our supposed local altar came to acquire historical dis- tinction may be stated in a few sentences. One of the first antiquaries to invest it with Druidical significance was a Mr. Thos. Barritt, who contributed a paper on the subject to the ‘‘ Transactions of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical
Society.”” This paper is quoted at length by Bottomley in the historical sketch appended to ‘‘ Greenfield, a Poem,” and published in the early part of the last century. The writer, Mr. Barritt, appears to base his conclusions mainly upon the basin- shaped depressions found on the surface of the rock, which he identifies as similar to the basins described by Borlase in his ‘‘ Antiquities of Cornwall ’’ as Druidical Remains. He quotes
Borlase as follows :— ‘‘ These basins are generally found on the highest hills, and ‘on the tops of the most conspicuous kerns, some are ‘found sunk into thin flat stones, but they are oftener ‘‘ worked into more substantial and massive rocks.”’
The phrase, ‘‘ oftener worked,’’ obviously means that the basins were worked out by the human hand, or craftsmanship. The possibility of their having been worked out by natural forces, time and storm acting upon peculiar formations of grit, does not appear to have received at that time sufficient attention. In Aitken’s Miles Round Manchester”’ occurs the
following slight reference to Pots and Pans :— ‘‘In the neighbourhood are the much-frequented and cele- ‘brated rocks of Greenfield, as well as several Druidical ‘¢ Remains—a rocking stone, etc.”
In his history of Saddleworth, published 1828, James Butter- worth, referring to the Druidical Stone, appears to accept the theory laid down by Barritt. In much later times, 1871, we find Bradbury, author of the ‘‘ Saddleworth Sketches,” saying of the stones— ‘‘ These, with others, at one time formed a Druidical temple, ‘‘the first religious edifice erected in Saddleworth.” The cocksureness of this statement is its own refutation. It is so complete and definite in itself that one is almost led to believe that Bradbury had attended divine service in the Druidical temple. Why he omitted to furnish us with the names of the Druidical parsons and churchwardens I cannot imagine. He might also have supplied us with a list of church fees, and some account of the sacramental refreshments, with the quantity consumed per head, and other interesting particulars.
In 1902, the plot upon which the rock stands was given by Mr. Brook, of Meltham, to the Saddleworth District Council, on condition that certain claims to rights of way over the moors were withdrawn and annulled. When the plot was conveyed to the Council, and our parochial fathers had attached their important signatures to the deed, a great stir was made over the matter, all of which served to accentuate the alleged archzo- logical importance of the Stone. Had the parochial funds permitted, I have no doubt a glass globe would have been placed over it, accompanied by an officially signed inscription. This prominence, I cannot help but think, did a great deal more harm than good, because it led people to accept as an estab- lished fact what is at most a wild and intangible speculation. Still, the rock has been the subject of many amusing discourses. I remember climbing Pots and Pans one Saturday afternoon, shortly after the plot had been thrown open to the public. On the hill were parties of scholars from a neighbouring town, attended by the usual complement of teachers and class leaders. A number of little boys and girls kept running about an elderly gentleman, saying :— do tell us something about this big stone. What is it for ?” At length he yielded to their persistent appeals, and mounted a small elevation of projecting rock. ‘‘Come up here, Joey,’ shouted a small boy, adding, ‘Old Sammy is starting o “Edward, I'll make you smart,” said an annoyed mother, running the little interrupter down the hill. With order restored, the old gentleman began :— ‘‘Well, boys and girls, you see this big rock. Now, like 200 years ago, when the Druids ‘‘ worshipped here, all the country which now lies before you was one great forest, and Saddleworth people were race of uncivilised savages.” There was an interruption at this point. ‘‘Excuse me, sir,’ said a person at the back. ‘' Will you
kindly say at what date Saddleworth people became civilised, and are you prepared to swear on oath that they are all civilised now ?”’ The old gentleman slowly and carefully descended from his impromptu platform, and, having thrown a withering glance in the direction of the questioner, said :— ‘‘ Now, then, children, run away down the hill, it’s tea time.” ‘QO, but the big stone? ”’ said a little girl, disappointedly. ‘‘ Bother the big stone,” snapped a haughty young lady. ‘‘' You run away, before that savage eats you.”
The foregoing extracts from the works of various local authors may be said to embrace, in the main, all that has been said in support of the Druidical theory. Of what value it all is when examined in the light of current investigation, remains to be seen. Personally, I hold Bottomley’s historical sketch of the parish to be largely responsible for the local circulation of the Druidical romance. Not only did he quote extensively from Barritt’s paper, but he illustrated the subject with two plates, one showing the surface of the rock, and the other showing a Druidical parson, or somebody, preparing to kill an ox, probably for the Wakes beef. Butterworth’s account is merely a repetition of Bottomley ; but Bradbury, in the ‘ Sketches,” reached a new and sensational elevation. His ridiculously cocksure statement, unsupported by a scrap of evidence, no doubt did great harm by causing a large section of the local community to regard the Druidical temple as a fact beyond question. There is not the slightest evidence of a Druidical temple on Pots and Pans. No evidence of design, order, or arrangement; the rocks are piled at random, much as they are piled on other local moors. I shall, therefore, confine this discussion chiefly to the supposed Altar stone. Getting close to the subject, why was the Pots and Pans rock, in the first instance, called a Druidical Altar? What particular feature or features about it first suggested its connection with the Druids? Undoubtedly, the basin-shaped depressions found on its upper surface. If these basins had been wanting, no one
would for a moment have dreamed of associating the stone with the primitive priesthood. From this it follows that any local rock having these potholes must for that reason be nothing less than a Druidical Altar. If two stones are found of the same grit, and showing precisely the same external evidences of weathering, surely they must be placed in the same classification. This means that if the stone on Pots and Pans is a Druidical Altar, then there are scores of altars on the moors between the Dish Stones on Chew Wells and the White House on Blackstone Edge. If we are to assume that each of these moorland altars had its attendant priests, the local Druidical parson list would have filled a goodly-sized ‘‘ Crockford”’ directory. To proceed, the matter we have to determine is the origin of these rock-basins. Were they formed by natural agencies, or where they hollowed out by human workmanship? The latter appears to have been the opinion of early archzologists, and to have formed the base upon which their conclusions of Druidical association were made to rest. Now it is, however, generally conceded that the basins are due to long exposure and weathering. Convincing evidence of this is afforded when one comes across a moor rock having four or five of these basins on its surface, all varying in size and approximately circular in form. For instance, one basin may be 12 inches in diameter, while another, a few feet away, may be only 4 inches in diameter, or in a comparatively early stage of formation. It is, I think, certain that these small basins, and probably some of the larger basins, have been weathered out long since the Druidical period vanished. Anyone who is famaliar with our rocky moorland localities must have observed the peculiar effects of weather on the vertical face of millstone grit, as distinct from the flat surface effects. The upright face is often scored into longitudinal ridges and depressions, often perfectly regular, and not unlike the blackened pages of a partially-opened book. On the flat top of probably the same rock, weather effects will be found to have
taken another form—namely, the wearing-out of circular and also irregularly-shaped basins or hollows. In rainy weather these rock-basins are frequently full of water, which has the effect of softening the sides. In dry weather the water in the shallower basins is dried up, leaving a gritty deposit in the bottom. This grit, it is supposed, when agitated by storms, forms a sort of grinding medium, which slowly but surely enlarges the basin. Apart from this, I learned from an eminent geological friend that wasting away in circles is a peculiar characteristic of the millstone grit. Evidence of this form of rock disintegration is more or less definite on all our moortops. Perhaps the most definite of all on West Nab, near the Isle of Skye, and, curiously enough, this bleak elevation, 1,640 feet above the sea level, is another supposed Druidical site. There are two stones on the Wilderness between Turvin and Blackstone Edge, which, on account of their weather-worn depressions, have been ascribed to the Druids. How rock-basins may be formed in another way can be seen on Blacker Edge. On this moortop large nodules have dropped out of the rocks, leaving in some cases a circular, and in other cases an elliptical basin of remarkable uniformity. I could, if necessary, easily multiply similar references, but perhaps sufficient has been said to prove that no rock, at least in our moorland localities, can be called a Druidical Altar purely on account of its basin-shaped depressions. This, I will hazard, is the only possible con- clusion which can be formed from investigation at close quarters. These Druidical Rocks are sometimes called ‘slaughter stones,” from the supposition that they were used for sacrificial purposes. The argument directed by Professor Petrie against the supposed ‘slaughter stones’’ at Stonehenge may be directed against the supposed Druidical Altars, namely :— ‘‘The sacrificial intention is strongly contradicted by the ‘absence of all traces of fire or calcination.” Having seen what the Druidical theory amounts to, locally considered, it now becomes necessary to see what value it has when broadly considered.
The learned author of ‘“‘ Three Centuries of Derbyshire” and other important works, in a note of advice to the student, says :— ‘‘ If there are any so-called Druidical (invariably a complete ‘¢misnomer) or other prehistoric remains of the class, ‘‘not a word should be written respecting them until ‘‘Fergusson’s ‘Rude Stone Monuments’ has _ been ‘thoroughly digested. Though published in 1872, not ‘‘one of the old-fashioned antiquarians has made any ‘‘ serious attempt to refute its Referring to the origin of Druidical Stones, Fergusson says :— ‘‘No writer of any age or country suggested their being ‘‘ prehistoric, or even pre-Roman, before say 1700.” After describing Dr. Stukely as one of the most imaginative of men and the wildest of theorists, he makes this striking assertion :— ‘‘There is no passage in any classical author which ‘connects the Druids directly or indirectly with any temples or stones of any kind.” There is the utmost significance in the fact that no reference either to Stonehenge or Avebury has been found in the works of any Roman historian. If these imposing circles had been in existence during the Occupation, it certainly seems impossible for the Roman writers to have overlooked them, and particularly if they were the religious temples of the Druids. Indeed, one may ask why, if these so-called temples existed, did the Roman historians describe the Druids as worshipping in the heart of dense forests. Even if Druidism was ever practised in this district, the top of Pots and Pans would never be the temple site, for that exposed elevation one can hardly conceive as the densest and most secluded part of the ancient Saddleworth forest. Referring to the theory of prehisteric origin, Fergusson says of Stonehenge :— ‘“‘ It certainly seems one of the strangest inversions of logic “that the same people erected Stonehenge who, during
‘‘ hundreds—or, maybe thousands—of years of their ‘occupation, could attempt nothing greater than the ‘‘wretched mole hills which they scraped up all over the ‘‘ Wiltshire downs. Not one of these has even a circle ‘Sof stones round the base or a battle-stone monument ‘Sof any kind.”
localise. this view, if the prehistoric inhabitants of
Saddleworth were able to erect a Druidical temple on the top of Pots and Pans, they were able to do other work of a proportionate importance; but of this there is no evidence. Much has been written respecting the astronomical purpose of the supposed local Druidical circle, and written not as though it was a matter of conjecture but one of settled fact. As it appears to be based upon a theory connected with Stonehenge, on the principle that the greater includes the less, I may give one more quotation from ‘‘ Rude Stone Monu- ments :— ‘‘One antiquary, who ought to be better informed, con-
‘‘cluded that Stonehenge was an observatory, because, “sitting on a stone called the Altar, on a midsummer ‘‘ morning, he saw the sun rise behind a stone called the ‘‘Friar’s Heel. This is the only recorded observation
fever made so far as I know, and, if this is all, it is
‘evident that any two stones would have answered the ‘‘ purpose equally well; and as the Altar Stone is sixteen long, it allows a latitude of observation which ‘augurs ill for the Druidical knowledge of the exact ‘© sciences. Neither Mr. Ellis, however, nor Dr. Smith, ‘‘nor the Rev. Mr. Duke, nor, indeed, any of those who ‘‘ have taken up the astronomical theory, have yet pointed ‘‘ out one single observation that could be made by these that could not be made as well, or better, “without them.”
Referring to stone circles, Dr. March says :— ‘‘ It has been thought that they were used for astronomical
‘observations, but the orientation that they possess is ‘* too variable to support this
The prehistoric origin of Stonehenge and other stone circles is now seriously questioned. Fergusson, and also more recent writers, are inclined to regard them as being of a post Roman date. If Fergusson is the authority that he is held to be, and his statement that the supposed Druidical Stones were unknown as prehistoric relics until about 1700 is correct, then the assertion that the Druidical story of Pots and Pans has come down to us from traditional times, must be dismissed as pure fallacy. There is evidence, at least to my view, which assists us to the approximate date when the rocks on Pots and Pans were first called Druidical remains. This date I would assign to the close of the 18th century. We know that two famous antiquaries, the Rev. John Watson and Thomas Perceval, traced the Roman road through Saddleworth to Castleshaw, and forward into Yorkshire, about 1751. Now, the former was an active and enthusiastic searcher for Druidical remains, and, at that time, was collecting materials for an essay on the subject. Yet in his paper on Castleshaw, read before the Society of Antiquaries, 20th Feb., 1766, I find no reference to Pots and Pans or other Druidical stones in Saddleworth. Nor is that all, for on Nov. 21st, 1771, he delivered a lecture before the above-named Society on ‘‘ Druidical Remains.” The lecture contained personal investigations over a fairly wide area. In dealing with the Rocking Stone (it is now off its seat), which stood on the moor between Halifax road and Ladsgreave Clough, he comes nearly to our parochial boundary, but refers to no Druidical evidences in Saddleworth. Yet, had Pots and Pans been recognised at that date as a Druidical site, he must have been cognizant of the fact, and would scarcely have allowed it to pass unnoticed. The paper by Barritt, previously quoted, was written after Watson’s death, and appears to be the earliest reference to local Druidical remains of which we have any knowledge. He appears to have been the first antiquary to explore and give a detailed description of Pots and Pans. Had anything been
written on the subject before, Barritt would assuredly have referred to it, but the character of the local references in his paper points to its being the initial note. Another matter which weighs strongly in favour of this conclusion is Bottomley’s poem, ‘‘ Greenfield.” This poem, first published, I believe, about 1790, deals with the love and romance of the Greenfield hills. In fact, with the precise locality of Pots and Pans, yet contains no mention of the Druids or of any tradition or relic relating to them. The poem indicates that the poet was steeped in local tradition, and it must be admitted that had any Druidical tradition existed at that date, it must have been known to Bottomley, who lived and died under the shadow of the hill. The theme of the poem, which is purely romantic, would have gained something from association with the poetic and imaginative atmosphere of Druidical tradition. On the whole, then, one seems justified in saying that no man or woman in Saddleworth had ever heard of the existence of Druidical Remains prior to the publication of Barritt’s paper in 1790, and that those remains were nothing more nor less than the invention of that antiquary. All that Barritt did was to take the descriptions of rocks in Cornwall given by Borlase, and apply them to the rocks on Pots and Pans. Subsequently, local authors, Lieut. Bottomley, Butterworth, and Bradbury, in the order named, followed Barritt in a sort of blind acceptance of his theories.
Saddleworth is not the only parish where this kind of thing has happened. The lead of Borlase and Stukely was followed by lesser antiquaries all over the country, with the result that Druidical Altars and Rocking Stones sprang up like mushrooms, particularly in moorland districts. Prominently situated rocks, which had previously received no attention, were immediately invested with a high degree of sacred and archzological import- ance, all of which is now looked upon as the purest romance, plainly because these classes of so-called Druidical Remains are now regarded as comparatively modern inventions.
The Pots and Pans stone is nothing more than an ordinary weathered moorland crag, and neither Bradbury nor any other writer has ever proved it to be anything else. Croston, in his important work on Lancashire, referring to the supposed Druidical Remains on Pots and Pans, says :— ‘‘ The oft-repeated statement that these rocks are Druidical ‘¢ Remains must be dismissed as unworthy of credence.” Here is a story of Pots and Pans, which is, perhaps, worth telling, because it proves that the rock has been worshipped, and also that the pot holes are not entirely of nature’s making :— It was at atime of national rejoicing; it had been arranged that the pot holes should be filled with what women contemp- tuously call ‘‘ leatheryed broth.”” Just before the eventful day arrived, it was discovered that some highly-refined person or persons had filled the holes with excreta. The trick naturally roused the ire of many worthy bacchanalians, who had been eagerly looking forward to getting a ‘“‘chep skinful.”’ But the day was at hand, and there was no time to waste; so after furiously cursing several suspected teetotalers, and earnestly wishing them in the fire and brimstone district, they set to work and emptied the pot holes of the offensive contents. Then followed a good deal of scrubbing and washing, after which the holes were chiselled all round, until they were considered free from contamination. It is natural to suppose that the worthy drymouths who did the chisel work would be alive to the fact that the larger they made the holes, and the more punch they would hold. The day came; the pot holes were filled with a lustier liquid than rain water, and it is certain that if the rock was ever an object of real veneration and worship, it was on that occasion. _ Now, I am a believer in authorised and properly-conducted ceremonials of this kind, and if our Parish Council could be persuaded to fill the pot holes, say every Saturday afternoon, with a Druid’s Brew, rock worship in Saddleworth would receive a great and enthusiastic revival, possibly to the extinction of other religious sects. -
. an Ros A ~ a Se
8 rn io ae rit ae oe. gifs
Flint Implements.—-Saddleworth Hills.
(No. 5 excepted.)
DESCRIPTION OF PLATE M.
As this is the first. plate of flint implements which has been issued in Saddleworth to illustrate locally-found types, it is perhaps necessary, for the information of the general reader, that each type should be briefly described. The implements depicted have, with one exception (No. 5) been found in Saddle- worth, while the exception was found not far from our Friarmere boundary. Nos. 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, and 19, were found by the present writer on the sites herein stated. All are shown actual size. Fic. 1.—This is a triangular barbed and stemmed arrowhead, found by Mr. G. Radford on the Scouts, a precipitous projec- tion of the hill above Old Tame, and near the Crompton boundary of Friarmere. It is a fair specimen of the arrowhead, well barbed, and along one edge fully and delicately chipped. The other edge is, however, rather irregular in its sweep and less carefully worked. At the same time, and in close proximity, Mr. Radford found two worked scrapers. None of the implements appear to have seen much service, while the fact that they were found on the same denuded patch, along with flakes and small chippings, suggests that they had been fashioned on the Scouts. On the Saddleworth side of the hill there is not much of the prehistoric floor exposed, so that at present it is impossible to say to what extent flint manufacture had been carried on above Old Tame. The arrowhead, of which there are several types, was in various ways fixed to a shaft, and probably in this district used chiefly for hunting. Fic. 2.—This is a type of arrowhead usually termed the ‘“leaf-shaped,”’ and was found by Mr. James Horsfall in Dean Clough, Friarmere. The implement shows fair workmanship, while the point, being somewhat elongated, could be used as a borer. Fic. 3.—This is a triangular arrowhead, and is remarkable as being, so far as I know, the only implement of white quartzite which has been found in Saddleworth. There are traces of secondary working round the edges, but, probably from the
character of the material, less distinctly shown than the working round a flint implement. The slight projection appears to suggest a fractured barb. It was found by Mr. James Nield, in the Chew Valley, Greenfield. Fic. 4.—This is a lozenge-shaped scraper, from Badger Slacks. As will be noticed, the cutting edge is uniformly rounded and finely chipped. On the side not shown in the illustration, the bulb and pit of percussion are beautifully expressed. The scraper is variously shaped, and is one of the commonest implements found on our moors, a fact which probably means that it was frequently required for use. It was used, it is conjectured, for scraping bones, skins, etc. Fic. 5.—Is a rather uncommon type of implement, sometimes called a lop-sided arrowhead, yet it appears to have the charac- teristics of the rare combination implement, for in addition to being an arrowpoint, it has also concave and convex cutting edges. It was found on Foxstone Edge, near the Tup Inn, and was, I believe, originally in the possession of Dr. March. Fic. 6.—Is not unlike the implement just described, but inferior both in shape and workmanship. That it was used as an arrowhead is probable, but its scraper characteristics are rather indefinite. It is from the ‘“ Jockey Gowff,” near Ragstone Clough. I have its twin from the White Hassocks. Fics. 5 and 14.—Are small arrowheads, sometimes called early types. No. 14 appears too small to be of much use, yet it bears evidence of secondary working. Both are from the Black Gowff, Dean Clough. Fic. 8.—May be termed a kind of combination scraper, having a fine large concave cutting edge. It is from Broadhead Noddle, Castleshaw Valley, found with a half-a-dozen small flakes. The concave edge, it is supposed, was used for scraping round bones and arrow shafts. Fics. 9, 10, 11.—Are minute implements, to which the name of ‘fish throttles” has been given, from its being supposed that they were used for the purpose of catching fish. In shape, they are not unlike the “ fish throttles’ found among the relics
of the lacustrine settlements in Switzerland. Two I found in Dean Clough, and the other near the Floating Light, Stanedge. Fics. 12, 13.—It is not easy to suggest a use for these implements, unless they are small knives. The noticeable peculiarity about them is that one edge is chipped and the other flaked. They are from the old lane near Crowstone Gate, above Heights Chapel. Fic. 15.—This is a characteristic scraper of more than ordinary importance, from the fact that it was found on the site of the Roman Camp, at Castleshaw. It ranks with the stone spindle whorl as one of the most ancient relics exhibiting human handicraft which the site has so far disclosed. It is by no means the only evidence of flint occurrence on the Roman site. In the excavations undertaken by Mr. G. F. Buckley, in 1898, a broken flint nodule was found in one of the trenches, and on 13th May of the same year, Mr. F. LI. Griffiith, the eminent Egyptologist, wrote the present writer to the effect that on the previous Saturday he had found a fine flint flake in the camp area. During the recent explorations several flakes have been found by myself and friends, but so far as I know the imple- ment under discussion is the only worked flint that has been picked up. As will be noticed, it is a shapely implement, well flaked, and showing decided evidences of secondary chipping. It was found by Mr. Thos. Thompson, at the north- eastern corner of the rampart. Fic. 16.—This is a fair specimen of the flint knife, well flaked to a keen edge, and from absence of fracture, does not appear to have been much used. It is from the Rapes at Badger Slacks. There is reason to suppose that prehistoric man had a method of hafting his knives as illustrated. (See Plate H, Fig. 3.) Fig. 17.—This is a longitudinal scraper, remarkable for the extent of its secondary chipping. It is worked all round, while at the broader end the chipping is not less than half-an-inch in depth. It may also be noticed that one end is round and the other square, perhaps purposely fashioned for distinctive uses.
I found it on the Dean Clough shoulder of Great Hill lying among a few chippings. Fics. 18, 19.—Are worked discs, commonly called thumb- flints. They appear to belong to the scraper class, but it 1s not easy to define their use. That they are designed implements is proved by the secondary working all round. No. 18 is from Dean Clough, and No. 19 from Crowshaw Hey.
The arrowhead, Fig. 4, Plate H, is the largest and also one of the best examples of its type which I have seen in Saddle- worth. It was found by a local gamekeeper named Holroyd, but where, is not exactly known. There are, however, the strongest reasons for supposing that he picked it up on the moors overlooking the Diggle Valley. It is of good flint, evenly balanced, well barbed and stemmed, while the secondary working, particularly round the edges, is of a fairly elaborate character. The present owner is Mr. S. H. Broadbent, Marsh Head, to whom my thanks are due for permission to illustrate the implement.
DESCRIPTION OF PLATE N.
A few of the implements shown on this plate were found outside the township. They are included mainly because they are better examples of their respective types than any which have been found in Saddleworth, Figs. 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 came to my own hand at the places I mention. They are shown actual size. Fic. 1.—This is a barbed and stemmed arrowhead of triangular form, beautifully worked and well preserved. It was found by Mr. T. Robinson at Marsden Old Gate, on the Friarmere boundary. Fic, 2.—This is a rather small type of arrowhead, barbed and stemmed, well proportioned, and showing fine workmanship, with the outer edges of the barbs gracefully rounded. It was found by Mr. H. Emmott, at a place I identify from his descrip-
Flint Implements.— Saddleworth and adjoininy Hills. (No. 6 Spindle Whorl.)
tion as lying between Haugh Gutter (Old Gutter) and Ben Cut, Friarmere. Fic. 3.—Is a barbed and stemmed arrowhead of light grey flint, which appears to have seen much service. It was found by Mr. W. Whitehead on the moors near the Tup Inn. Fic. 4.—This is a leaf-shaped arrowhead, showing fine secondary chipping on both sides. It is from Brushes Clough, Crompton Moor, and was found lying among 76 pieces of flint, flakes and chippings. Fic. 5.—May be termed a combination implement, the long flaked edges forming a double knife, while the broader end is - rounded off and worked into a scraper. It bears evidence of having been much used. I picked it up in a watercourse on the top. of Lurden, behind the site of Dowry Castle, and is the only implement I have found there, the rest of my finds on the hill being small flakes and one or two cores. Fic. 6.—This is the only spindle whorl which has been found in Saddleworth, and is probably the most important evidence of prehistoric times the parish has yet yielded. Its importance lies in the fact that it proves presumptively that the primitive art of spinning was a local occupation. Its interest is therefore exceptional. I dug it up in November, 1897, on the site of the Roman Camp at Castleshaw. It lay on the shale at a depth ot three feet below the surface, and, as I concluded at the time, belowthe Roman horizon. It isa stone of fine texture fairly well rounded, and on one side has two small circular holes, which remain a somewhat speculative feature. When exhibited before the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society at Manchester, it was suggested that the holes were bored in order to receive wooden pegs. There is a spindle whorl in Owen’s College Museum found on Kersal Moor associated with flint implements ; also one in the Manchester Museum found at Hollingworth Lake. Similar whorls appear in Sir John Evans’ works. They are supposed to have been used by women in some simple con- trivance for spinning. In peasant folk lore they are sometimes called ‘‘ Fairy Millstones,” .etc. That the old superstitions
relating to celts, spindle whorls, and other kinds of prehistoric implements are not dead will be gathered from the following :— I recently met a man who had been trying to buy primitive implements from old farmers on the Yorkshire Wolds. He said that it was difficult to persuade the farmers to sell, as they regarded their celts, etc., as fairy gifts which brought luck to the farm. Fic. 7.—This is a remarkably well preserved, and for our moors, somewhat unusual type of implement. It is finely chipped, and could evidently be used for various purposes, it ‘may therefore be reasonably called a combination implement. It could be made to answer the purpose of an arrowhead, also of a small spear head, while the straighter side has a serrated or saw-like edge. No implement of this type has been found in Saddleworth, the one under notice was found by Mr. H. Emmott on Rishworth Moor above the Derby Bar. Fics. 8, 9, 10.—Are minute implements, usually termed ‘‘ gravers,” and belong to the small kind of worked flints which are referred to by the authorities at the British Museum as peculiar to the hills of East Lancashire. It may therefore be of interest to state that I found the specimens above numbered with many more at Badger Slacks, Friarmere. These small implements owe their recognition to Messrs. Law and Horsfall, who read a joint paper on them before the British Association at Montreal, 1884. They are so small that I think they would be fixed in some kind of wooden handle before they could be conveniently used. Figs. 11, 12.—These are examples of another type of small implement called ‘‘borers.”’ It is supposed that they were used to bore through the skins of animals that they might be stitched together, they are both from Mere Clough. Fic. 13.—Appears rather large fora scraper, and possibly was used as a flayer to separate the skin from the flesh of animals, the upper edge, it will be noticed, has a scraper-like chipping rounding the bulb. I found it in the rough pasture between Ragstones and the old road over the Rapes.
Fic. 14.—This is a fine example of the symmetrical and well rounded by secondary chipping, with bulb and pit of percussion strongly defined, it is from the Boxing Hole, Friarmere. 1 have several similar scrapers from Linsgreve Clough, Waystone Edge, Warcock Hill, March Hill, Cupwith, and other moorland sites outside the township. The Boxing Hole is a gloomy hollow at the farther end of Lurden, very quiet and lonely now, but it has seen more wild scenes and more bloodshed than all the hollows of the Saddle- worth hills. It was the resort of prize fighters in the old days, when it was the fashion to knock men down with the bare fist, even after the law was passed which compelled fighting men to wear gloves. Lancashire and Yorkshire men told the law to go to the devil, and came here to fight with the bare knuckles, they said that gloves were for women. Manya stubborn hard-fought battle has been won and lost in the Boxing Hole, and many a famous main of cocks has been fought there even within late