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Country News - 2005

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Dales archaeology sell-out

Thursday 07 April 2005

A SEMINAR to discuss the unique archaeology of the Yorkshire Dales has proved so popular that all the tickets have been sold a week before it is due to take place.

Organisers of the annual Historic Environment in the Yorkshire Dales day school at Grassington Town Hall next Saturday (April 16) are having to turn people away who haven't booked.

The day school is the fifth organised by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA. It will examine some of the results of recent archaeological and historical surveys and research that have been carried out by the YDNPA and others in and around the park.

Robert White, the YDNPA's Senior Conservation Archaeologist, said: "The numbers wanting to come along this year have taken us by surprise. In past years we have always been busy but we have never sold out. This year we have sold all 190 available seats. We will be advising people to book even earlier for next year's day school, which is planned for April 22.

"We try to cater for everyone from the professional archaeologists and members of local historical and archaeological societies to people who just love the Dales landscape and want to know more about it and how it was formed."

Topics discussed on April 16 will include a report on the history and restoration of Gayle Mill - recently featured in the BBC2 Restoration programme - and a new theory that Ingleborough was not an Iron Age hill fort but was really a prehistoric burial site.

Ancient cruck (correct) buildings - whose roofs and sides were formed by huge wooden frames - and lead mining in western Arkengarthdale will also be covered by some of the guest speakers.

A new Yorkshire Archaeological Society book called Archaeology and Historic Landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales - co-edited by Mr White - will be launched at the day school. It comprises a collection of 21 articles written by professional archaeologists and local amateur groups on topics ranging from field barns and burnt mounds (believed to be prehistoric saunas), through the archaeology of drystone walls to Kilnsey Old Hall and the Ribblehead railway shantytowns of the 19th century.

One article, entitled Was the Skeleton Lady Dead?, reports on the discovery at Kettlewell during electricity line works of a buried crouching body and features illustrations from an innovative project with local school children. The book is available at Yorkshire Dales National Park Centres priced £20.


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