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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Would-be archaeologists will dig this deserted hamlet opportunity

Budding archaeologists are invited to take part in an exciting new project to help unearth important local history.

Local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is on the look out for volunteers to take part in an archaeological survey of the long-deserted hamlet of Thorns near Ribblehead.

Training will be provided in a range of techniques including surveying, identifying and excavating features, drawing, photography and recording, as well as botanical surveying techniques.

Dr David Johnson, a local independent landscape archaeologist who is leading the project, said: "The history of Thorns is both long and varied. Though it has been abandoned as a settlement for over a century it once played an important part in the economy of the Ribblehead area. This project gives us the opportunity to unlock its secrets and tell its story. We’re very grateful to the landowner for giving us permission for the project.”

Thorns was an important location on a former packhorse route, and records of the settlement date back to 1190, when it belonged to Furness Abbey. Wills, parish records and censuses indicate that there were five tenements in 1538, three households in 1841, and one uninhabited dwelling in 1891.

The survey will start in April and anyone interested in being involved should contact Don Gamble at the trust on 015242 51002 or email

The project is part of Stories in Stone, a four-year programme of community and heritage projects that has been developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The programme will enable people from all backgrounds and of all ages to learn about, enjoy and help manage the stunning limestone landscape around Ingleborough, both above and below ground.

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