Community Archaeology at Farndon 27 November 2011

Our Revealing the Riverbank audit of archaeology saw a bumper volunteer turnout on a wonderfully sunny autumn day last week with the Notts County Council Community Archaeologists.

Claper gates are a unique abd classic feature along the River Trent.

The aim of the day was to record archaeological features on the part of the river that loops around Farndon, Notts. The survey recorded seven in-situ clapper gates, and one that was laid on the riverbank. The survey also recorded a number of earthworks by the side of the river. One of these was a broad ditch that represented a palaeochannel; an old branch or course of the River Trent. This sat between an area of ridge and furrow (the remains of historic ploughing techniques) and a possible holloway (historic pathway).

A series of disused channels associated with the remains of a sluice gate were recorded, and these may be part of a water meadow system. These were areas that could be flooded to increase the fertility of the land so that it could produce an extra hay crop during the year. These places were very important for agricultural communities and some were still in operation in the 20th century. Nottinghamshire has some very fine examples of extensive water meadows around Mansfield and Edwinstowe, which were built by the Duke of Portland. These particular water meadows were seen as such a fine example that people from all over the country would come to see how they worked.

Thanks to everyone who came along! Next week.... North Clifton and Bubble Dyke. If you would like to join us and elarn a bit of archaeology and history of the local area please contact Emily Gillott on 0115 977 2160 or mobile 07917 212554 to book your place.