More photos of Helmsley Castle, North Yorkshire – Autumn 2014

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A bitterly cold autumnal morning near Helmsley Castle, North Yorkshire

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Eden House, a cairnfield on the North York Moors near Whitby

Aerial view of the cairnfield and linear boundary at Eden House

Aerial view of the cairnfield and linear boundary at Eden House

This time last year we battled through the snow and ice on our journey over to survey a small cairnfield located on the North York Moors near Whitby. The report for this particular project has just been posted online to the OA Library and you can download it here. Did it really snow so late last year? I just can’t contemplate anything other than rain rain rain at the moment, but luckily (and selfishly) I’m still indoors writing up reports.

View of Eden House and the rough grazing behind it that contains the cairnfield

View of Eden House and the rough grazing behind it that contains the cairnfield

We undertook at topographic survey to record all of the surviving earthworks located on a small plot of rough pasture by the farmstead of Eden House, which is near the village of Hutton Mulgrave, on what was once part of Barnby Moor. The 4.66 hectare area of the cairnfield is statutorily protected as a Scheduled Monument, and as part of an ongoing management plan for it further detailed recording was needed. You can find a description of the monument here.

Eden House cairnfield - topographic survey

Eden House cairnfield – topographic survey

Eden House cairnfield - georectified aerial photography

Eden House cairnfield – georectified aerial photography

The survey was completed using a combination of photogrammetry and GPS survey. The photogrammetry was undertaken using photographs taken from a small UAV helicopter that were used to generate a metrically accurate model of the surface of the study area, including all surface features that were not obscured by vegetation. Some features were obscured, and so in addition a ground topographic survey was undertaken to record the more subtle features by GPS survey.

The survey presents a thorough record of all the archaeological structures and components identified in the form of a detailed measured plan, profiles across the putative deer park boundary, digital photography and an outline site gazetteer.

Upland Peat – Ingleborough

Ingleborough hillfort viewed from Simon Fell

Ingleborough hillfort viewed from Simon Fell

I am in the middle of spending a happy couple of weeks back out in the Yorkshire Dales in the vicinity of Ingleborough. We are doing another landscape survey in advance of a programme of peatland restoration works. The survey involves looking at peat erosion scars and any drainage gullies for exposed artefacts such as flint flake scatters. I haven’t managed to get to the summit of Ingleborough so far this year but I should do, weather permitting, by the end of the project.

Trow Gill, Ingleborough

Trow Gill, Ingleborough

As I have previously mentioned I am quite partial to limestone scenery and the patterns of erosion and the forces of nature that have shaped it greatly over time. The gorge at Trow Gill is a fine example and is located sandwiched between Ingleborough Cave and the Gaping Gill pot hole. It is particularly scenic at the southern mouth where you follow the footpath up into its narrow confines.

Ash tree growing out of a shake hole, Ingleborough

Ash tree growing out of a shake hole, Ingleborough

The shake hole pocked area is a contrast between elevated sparse grassland with swathes of blanket peat and lower scarp slopes with exposed limestone pavement fringes. It is on these lower slopes where the greatest concentration of archaeological sites are to be found.

Peat erosion at Lord's Seat, Simon Fell, Ingleborough

Peat erosion at Lord’s Seat, Simon Fell, Ingleborough

Today I was quite taken with the colour differentiations between the grassland, eroded areas of peat, standing water and sphagnum mosses.

Bright green moss

Bright green moss

Close up of bright green moss

Close up of bright green moss

Overcast in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Yew Cogar Scar, Arncliffe, Yorkshire Dales

Yew Cogar Scar, Arncliffe, Yorkshire Dales

Kilnsea Crag, Yorkshire Dales

Kilnsea Crag, Yorkshire Dales

Just a couple of photos of an otherwise fruitless day in the Yorkshire Dales.