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Burial Mound in Newton-le-Willows


StevenD
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Since someone has already posted a link in the lost treasures thread, to the video clips I have on youtube, I may as well post some detail of our discovery in Newton-le-Willows

 

Over the last 6 months a few of my website members have been arranging the excavation of a local mound, Its never been clear what the mound was, it could have just been a natural feature, it could have been a mound from a watchtower, Celtic, Roman, it could have been the base for an Armada Beacon, an Archery Butt, or something to stand a target on for firing cannons at. we considered and research every possibility, and none wholly fitted the bill.. So we decided it had to be investigated.

 

We enlisted the help of local Archaeological Societies, getting Wigan Archaeological Society to undertake a geophysical survey of the mound, but this didn't provide to much information, so we decided to go ahead and organise a community based dig, asking for volunteers from my Newton-le-Willows website, and also acquiring the services of local Scouts, who were in need of a project to work upon, while they completed a 4 night and three day Duke of Edinburgh, Gold Badge.

 

We asked Mark Olly to oversee the dig as Site Director, through Mark we enlisted the help of volunteers from his Celtic Warrington Project, visiting them on their site at Manley, Cheshire, to discuss the project and show them maps, photos, and what history we had compiled of the area around the mound, we also acquired through Mark Olly further help from South Trafford Archaeological Group, and from Metal detectorist Glen(?) who has appeared in one of marks Lost Treasure's episodes.

 

The main dig was completed around three weeks ago, over what turned out to be a glorious sunny weekend, It soon became obvious that we were excavating something which was man made, and as we worked through the weekend, it turned out to be a burial mound, and or cremation platform on a mound, with a Cist on the top.

 

We returned after the main weekend, for a second visit with archaeologists from STAG, and a few volunteers from my Newton-le-Willows website, later joined by some of the older Scouts, and on that visit, we discovered an intact Cremation Burial, within and below the Stones comprising the Cist like structure.

 

We have since had a site visit by Ron Cowell (curator of prehistoric archaeology) from Liverpool Museums, who has been advising on a course of action to get the mound listed and protected.

 

Mark Olly and the people from STAG had already suggested a date for the mound to be somewhere in the region of 1500BC-3000BC, Ron Cowell agreed with this, suggesting that the mound is of national importance, that its one of the best examples of Neolithic/Bronze Aged structures in Merseyside if not the North West, and that its one of the only sites which has provided an intact Burial with surviving Bone fragments. These charcoal and bone finds are to be sent for c14 dating, hopefully this will prove successful and give a defined date.

 

I am currently busy writing a report of the whole excavation, find, photos, drawings and video, and this will be put online sometime in the near future, after it has been submitted to the Merseyside Archaeological Service and English Heritage representative for our area.

 

In the meantime, I have put some of the raw video clips from the dig into my youtube account.

 

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=3AA3D905D8DE24E9

 

There are some other details and background info to all this on my Newton-le-Willows website forum, but for your benefit, here's a selection of photos from the excavation.

 

 

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I wasn't going to post details about this outside of my own forum until such time that the report was nearly completed, but since the link to my youtube account is already posted in the lost treasures thread, its best if I post some detail to explain what's been going on.

 

The videos are not edited, they have been posted straight from the raw files, mainly for the viewing of those people who took part, they are in a date/time order, which shows the progression of the excavation from arrival, to cremation discovery. Hope you don't mind the shaky camera work, it was never filmed to be released beyond the people who took part, but its a good record, and will be added to the archive that gets submitted to get the mound listed.

 

Regards

 

Steven Dowd

 

[ 26.06.2007, 16:37: Message edited by: Steven Dowd ]

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Here's the extra few photos, I didn't realise there was an 8 photo limit to a single post

 

 

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As I posted above, the corresponding video clips, in raw mode, straight from the camera are online in my youtube account, here

 

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=3AA3D905D8DE24E9

 

 

Regards

 

 

Steven Dowd

 

[ 26.06.2007, 16:42: Message edited by: Steven Dowd ]

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mark

 

Thanks, but your playing down your own efforts as usual :)

 

We would still be sitting looking at maps and the mound from afar, if we didn't have the opportunity you gave us, to follow through and find out what it actually is.

 

we have other things locally which we would love to look at, so maybe we can arrange similar at another date..

 

 

We cannot thank you enough for the many hours work overseeing the excavation.

 

Regards

 

Steven Dowd

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