Good morning, we are going to continue with our Thirty-One days of the Time Team for October, and let us throw it back to an episode from series 13 and the history of the Industrial Revolution in Manchester. The run time for this episode is 48:47.
Underneath a car park in Manchester lies the remains of a mill. Manchester was a powerhouse in the cotton industry and it was a city that had a lot of mills. In 1780, the first cotton mill in Manchester was built and was built by Richard Arkwright. It housed the first steam engines. It is now buried under a car park. The Time Team has three days to discover and recover one of Britain’s most important historic sites. Will the Time Team find the mill?
Tony catches up with Francis Pryor, Phil Harding, and a local historian. There was a layer of cobblestones found on the site and these stones come from a layer that would have been the mill yard. There was plenty of documentation and maps that show the mill, however, they are unreliable. Mike Nevell, the local historians talk about how the site developed and that there may be multiple buildings on the site. These different buildings would demonstrate the different phases of development. Mike is optimistic about finding the mill. Phil is thrilled with the dig, Tony points out that Phil likes prehistory. Phil replies that this site is the prehistory of the Industrial Revolution.
Trench One goes in and it is hoped that at least one side of the mill. A mill built in the Victorian Era was destroyed during the Blitz and the site has not been rebuilt. As the asphalt is removed, Phil discovers a wall. The trench is expanded and more of the wall is revealed. Tony catches up with Mike and talks about the history of Manchester while looking at a map from the 1700s.
The Mill would have had an impact on the country. The mill would have been a boom for Manchester and would have shocked the people who saw it. People across the country came to Manchester to see the mill as if it was a tourist attraction. This mill was the start of the Industrial Revolution. Richard Arkwright, who built the man, was the father of the factory system in Britain. He was a socially awkward man but grew wealthy through business.
Back at the car park, Phil strongly believes that he has found a mill wall. Francis is skeptical that what was found is a wall. Phil says he will find the proof that he found the wall of the mill. Trench two goes in over the middle of the mill. The Time Team is going to find where the mill was powered. However, as they dig, they are finding fire-scarred bricks. The mills were vulnerable to fire. Additionally, there were broken clay pipes found on the site. The workers would have been puffing on those pipes while they worked. There were plenty of fires that happened in the mills at Manchester. These mills would have burned down and would have been rebuilt.
The mills caused the population in Manchester to explode. This population explosion leads to horrible living conditions in Manchester. Karl Marx would have visited his mate Fredrich Engels in Manchester. Here they would discuss the working and living conditions for the workers. Tony catches up with Helen Geake about Marx’s writing. Stewart is on the job as well, working on a survey on the site. He is working with Helen to look into the living conditions of the workers.
The Time Team starts recording their findings. They have discovered a door and a wall from the original mill that was built by Arkwright. Additionally there are sites for the mill engine. Will Phil prove that he is right about the wall? What else will the Time Team find out about the mill? Tune into this episode to find out more.
This was an interesting Time Team. The archaeology was fantastic for the site and it gave a glimpse into the history of the Industrial Revolution. This would be a second good episode to show while teaching the history of the Industrial Revolution.
Good morning, we are continuing to wrap up October of the Time Team. This time the Time Team will have to look at under 5000 tons of stone for their excavation.
What was this site? It has been called everything from a stone-age homestead to a fortress. This site sits on a hill on a sheep farm. Its crumbling walls still provide an interesting puzzle. The site was nicknamed the castles. The Time Team will have to find a date and the function of this enclosure. A ditch may provide environmental evidence. What will the Time Team discover about this site? How many stones will the Time Team have to move to learn more about the site?
The Time Team converges on the site. Stewart is looking at the walls and geophysics is doing its work. An environmental archeologist looks at the ditches. There was a lot of curiosity about the site. However, the site has been investigated once and that was in the 1920s. The archeologist was local and he looked in the enclosure for internal structures. There were no internal structures. There were no finds made at the time. However, local sources seem to hint at fossilized trunks and flints found at the site. There were photos of the site made during the 1920s.
The Time Team starts moving stones away from the site of the gatehouse. Another trench will go in on a wall in hopes of finding datable evidence. Since it is a dry-stone structure, it is difficult to tell the difference between rubble and wall. Geophysics is having a little bit of difficulty with the trees and the stones so John will rely on the knowledge of a local farmer to find a place to start geophysics.
Tony catches u with David Mason a county archeologist to talk about the site. It is County Durham’s least understood site. There are a variety of stories about the site. The rock enclosure was home to a local tribe. The Romans used it as a penal colony where slaves were kept. Tony concludes that there were plenty of stories about the site that eventually people believed the stories. The variety of stories will prove to be a challenge for the Time Team.
Mick and Stewart talk with experts from English Heritage to talk about the possibility of the site being Roman. The experts do not necessarily believe that the site was Roman. That said, the trenches are progressing well. The entrance or gate site’s archeology is proving to be a challenge. Unfortunately, the site has provided no finds so environmental archelogy will take center stage. A third trench is put in on the south wall. Moving stone on trench three will be a huge job.
Phil is getting somewhere in trench one. Maybe he is hitting the original ground surface. Mick catches up with Phil to talk about the wall and the ground level. The interior is going to be cleared so that geophysics can find evidence of the site. At the end of Day One, there is a Time Team catch-up. They go over the photos taken in the 1920s. Mick seems to believe that it was a defensive site based on a small body of evidence. What were these walls protecting? Was it really a defensive site? What will the Time Team find out inside? Tune into the rest of this Time Team episode to find out more.
This would be an interesting show for a class on landscaping because environmental archeology took center stage. This would also be a good episode for a fun history day in the classroom.
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