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Maulds Meaburn, Cumbria- Watching Brief and Excavation

Frudd, Andrew and Bates, Andrew and Zant, John (2012) Maulds Meaburn, Cumbria- Watching Brief and Excavation. Project Report. OA North. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Following proposals by United Utilities to construct a c 13km long flow transfer structure pipeline from Crosby Ravensworth through Maulds Meaburn, to the south-west of Colby in Cumbria (NGR NY 362134 513956 to NY 3666557 520400), Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) were commissioned to undertake a rapid desk-based assessment of the route. The results of this research highlighted, in particular, the village of Maulds Meaburn (NY 3625 5165), a Conservation Area, parts of which are also afforded statutory protection as a Scheduled Monument (SM 32844). The Scheduled Monument includes a millrace, running south from the former Maulds Meaburn corn and saw mill, which the proposed route of the pipeline would cross on an east/west alignment, before continuing south along the roadway parallel to the course of the millrace. Following the results of previous desk-based research (OA North 2009), Cumbria County Council's (CCC) Historical Environment Officer requested that a watching brief be undertaken during topsoil stripping activities in areas of previously undisturbed ground. An archaeological watching brief was also requested by English Heritage's Inspector of Ancient Monuments (North West region) for the duration of the works adjacent to the course of the millrace, which would assess the nature and extent of any surviving archaeology. The fieldwork for most of the route was undertaken between January and May 2011 with few significant results (OA North 2011), but this phase of work did not include crossing the scheduled mill race. Consequently, an additional watching brief phase was also required by English Heritage and CCC on the north side of the former mill, where the pipeline crossed the course of the mill's tail-race. Following an adjustment to the route of the pipeline, a watching brief, which subsequently developed into a small excavation, was maintained by OA North from January to March 2012 across the scheduled area immediately south of the modern road (Brackenslack Lane), and below the modern surface of the road itself, where the pipe crossed the tail-race. The area beneath the road lay outside the scheduled monument, but archaeological investigation and recording was conducted to the same standard whether within or without the scheduled area, in order to ensure consistency in methodology and results. In summary, the excavation revealed two earlier cobbled road surfaces, preceded by a possible clay and shale-surfaced trackway, below the modern road. A small ditch, the fill of which yielded a medieval potsherd, and another ditch (or pit) containing nineteenth-century pottery were also found, cutting the natural gravels. Both surfaces appeared to be of nineteenth-century (or later) date. The latest road had been cut through at some point in the nineteenth/tewentieth century in order to access the tail-race, probably for the purposes of cleaning, repair and maintenance.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cumbria
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
ID Code:2309
Deposited By: Sandra Bonsall
Deposited On:13 Jan 2015 11:52
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 10:37

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