Creative Winter

WinterscapeSeasons greetings,

and many thanks to all followers and supporters of HeritageLandscapeCreativity.

Winter is a great time to get out and explore the Heritage of Landscapes.

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 The picture is of bubbles drifting over the wintery landscape of the Vikos Gorge, one location forming part of the Vjosa-Aoos Ecomuseum

Recipe:

  • Visit a winter landscape.
  • Add bubbles.
  • Photograph.

Iron Age Twilights

HomesteadThe prehistoric site at Barr A’ Chaistealain has been described as a dun.

LayersAround which the remains of a Medieval or Later Rural Settlement can be found.  The settlement is associated with the Clan McNab.  It is said to have been occupied by the McNabs in the mid fifteenth century AD and that they were armourers and blacksmiths to the Lairds of Glenorchy.

AbandonedApparently one building was still occupied in the 1950’s,

perhaps the bedstead relates to this last dwelling.

SleepingTwighlightIronic perhaps, in the twilight of a settlement associated with metalworking,

Bucket that such abandoned artefacts slowly corrode.

SmithyDwelling———————————————————————————————————————

Barr A’ Chaistealain was clearly occupied, at least intermittently, for over a thousand years and had a strong association with iron working.  It could be described as an example of  ‘the long iron age’.

The site of Barr A’ Chaistealain was surveyed in 1992 by ACFA 

Further information about Barr A’ Chaistealain can be found via RCAHMS

Langdale Axescape

Harnessing

elemental

powers

Langdale 1 Langdale 2

 

 

 

 

with rush and splash.

Langdale 3

 

A  pressure change

Langdale 5

 

 

 

 

brings new perspectives.

 

Langdale 6

 

 

Rock washed,                                     rain cleansed,

 

Langdale 4

 

 

offerings of eras,

 

Langdale 8

 

found to remind us.

 

 

Clink and clack.

Langdale 9Clack and clink.

Langdale 10Stone scarred                                  millennial,

Langdale 11

pillar standing sentinel.

Langdale 12

Langdale 13Slow,                                        clink and clack,                              flow the rocks,

Langdale 14industrial residues                                              pooling

            downwards.

Langdale 15Sharp

Langdale 16smooth

Langdale 17

 

 

 

 

 

shards of light.

Langdale 18Clack and clink.

Langdale 19Stone whack                                                                                                              crack

 

Langdale 20cold traces.

Langdale 21

 

 

 

 

Pillars mark                                        special places,

 Langdale 22

fling,                                                                                                          the stones sing.

 

Langdale 23

Langdale 24

 

 

 

Rush and crash,

sharp echoes below.

 Damp sun streams,

Langdale 25

Langdale 26

 

 

 

 

slowly warmed

banded sedimentary secrets.

Langdale 28Langdale 27

 

Langdale 29Silent sanctuary

 

from rivulets of stone,

 

 

 from richochets of time.

Langdale 30                              Langdale 31

Stone and earth,

slide,

scree flow.

Langdale 32

 

Langdale 33Clack and clink.

 

 

Crush and rush.

 

 

Elemental source

Langdale 34

 

fades

 

 

Langdale 35

with twilight’s shades.

 

 

 

 

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Many thanks to Peter Style who kindly led me through the Langdale Axescape: please visit his blog Mountains of Meaning.

In the Central Lakes, high up on the mountain sides, there is a marked band of geology, a fine grained tuff, which was sought in the Neolithic period for producing stone axes.  The lumps and flakes of stone which can be found prolifically on the mountain side (and should be left where there), are the working debris from quarrying and from roughing out stone axes from this tuff approximately 5500 years ago.  The rough outs would be worked further and typically polished to create a smooth lustrous finish to the axe.

Descent from Pike of Stickle beyond the edge of the scree slope is possible only with great care: indeed as a sensitive archaeological site it really should be avoided.  This is demonstrated by example of the cave found down the stone shoot.  It has clearly been quarried into the rock face and there is a photo from the 1940s (in the Clare Fell 1950 article ‘The Great Langdale stone-axe factory’ in Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society) which apparently shows that only the top of the cave was visible.  The remainder was sealed by several meters of axe working debris.  In the intervening sixty years, tons of material has moved down the hill, despite probably having remained largely untouched for several millennia.  Why the cave was quarried and what this cave was used for within a wider axescape is unclear.  Whether as a location for polishing stone axes, or perhaps a place where one or two people could shelter as stone showered down from quarrying taking place above, the sounds echoing on the sides of the shoot.

Further background information on prehistoric axe working sites in the Lake District can be found in the Oxford Archaeology survey report On Axe Working Sites On Path Renewal Schemes.

For further thoughts on the circulation of polished stone axes in the Neolithic can be found in the classic text by Richard Bradley and Mark Edmonds ‘Interpreting the Axe Trade: production and exchange in Neolithic Britain.’