|White Coppice field walk.
A sunny day greeted us
for our first field walk of the year. Fine weather brought out 21
walkers which was much better than last year! After a brief introduction
we left the cricket field at White Coppice and headed towards the old
and abandoned Whtie Coppice quarries. These used to be run by William
Waring and some photographs were looked at of the quarry when it was
being worked in 1927.
William Waring in The Great War
White Coppice quarry 1927
Siddow Fold barn. Thomas & Margaret
A steep climb up
Stronstrey Bank took us to the top of the quarries and here we were able
to view some partially completed millstones. We then followed a fence
line to the south and towards Siddow Fold. Before reaching the road was
a stone monolith with a mysterious triangular marking on the east face.
At Siddow Fold we inspected the date stone on the Barn showing MTM 1686
referring to Thomas and Margaret Morris. Thomas was a Churchwarden at
Rivington. Fortunately we had Jonathan Morris with up who provided the
information and is a descendant of Thomas and Margaret. On the opposite
side of the barn is another date stone. This had been cut into an old
cheese-press stone and is build into the lean-to extension. The date is
1899 and is probably the date of the extension. The main building has a
date of 1706 over the door and the initials JN, who was John Newton and
was responsible for a large extension to the building at the time.
We then headed up the
lane and across the moor to a stone pit and another part finished
millstone. A short distance away were several old lead mine shafts on
the Sun vein. Continuing up the moor we came to the site of one of
Chorley Historical Societies first excavations, Jepson's Gate cairn. It
was further excavated and surveyed by Lancaster University between 1983
and 1985. It probably dates to the Bronze age.
Sitting on Jepson's Gate cairn
by Pike Stones long chambered cairn.
The next stop was the
remains of the Long Chambered Cairn at Pike Stones. At this point some
returned via the road while the rest continued to Hurst Hill to see the
recently re-located Ordnance Survey trig point. We descended to Dean
Brook to another lead mine, this time a horizontal
which had been partially blocked to prevent entry. The last climb of the
day followed up to the ruins of Coppice Stile House. Nearby was another
cheese press stone, this time with an Ordnance Survey bench mark cut in
it. It is probably the one shown on the 1893 map. A descent down the
main path took us back to the cricket field.
Ian Miller of Oxford
Archaeology (North) based in Lancaster visited the Society for the first
time to give his excellent presentation about the history of glass
manufacturing in England and some of the mills in Manchester.
Glass manufacturing was introduced to the country by the Romans but
glass dates back to the Egyptians about 3000BC. When the Romans left the
art of glassmaking was lost but re-introduced in the 14th century by the
Venetians. In the early 1600s there were so many trees being cut down
for the furnaces to make glass that James 1 banned glassmaking using
wood in 1615. The north west of England became a centre for glassmaking
because of our supplies of coal and the early 19th century saw a centre
of manufacture established in Ancoates, Manchester. Of 25 know mills
none remain. Ian showed photos and maps of the excavation of one of
these mills and the marvellous foundations of the furnaces and outer
Society held its annual dinner at the
evening of good company and good food.
Machine and Bletchley Park.
On Monday evening 5th
March four members of the Society attended the Leyland Historical
Society meeting at Farrington Lodge. Apparently this was the first
meeting they had held outside Leyland. It was a very palatial venue for
a very special evening. They had managed to get Dr Mark Baldwin to give
his excellent presentation about the German Enigma Machine that was used
for encoding messages before and during the Second World War.
Dr Mark Baldwin presents.
The Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.
The German Enigma machine.
The talk also covered the
top secret decoding work done by the Poles and later by the British at
Bletchley Park. Dr Baldwin had even brought an actual Enigma machine
along to the meeting.
Five members of the Society attended the
Chorley Parish Church of St Laurence to hear a talk by the composer
Clive Jenkins who spoke about his new composition
Pilgrims'. The full performance in the north will be at Chorley Town
Hall on Sat 31st March 2007. His talk began with an outline of the
events surrounding the voyage on the Mayflower and some of the first
problems with settling in America. He then went on to explain how he had
found ideas to prepare his composition.
Clive Jenkins explains his composition
Clive Jenkins being introduced by Rector