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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Deserted village gives up its secrets

Visitors to the remains of the 20th century-abandoned Lodge Village got a glimpse into the past as part of the archaeological excavations searching for evidence of the settlement’s medieval origins.

Digging it ... excavating the Lodge Village site.
They saw the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership’s dig team in action, heard about the site's history and looked at what the team's found so far during an open day.

The remains of Lodge sit in stunning scenery above Yorkshire Water’s Scar House reservoir at the top of Upper Nidderdale.

The lottery-supported excavation is an important part of the partnership’s work to look after the area's heritage and help people understand the area’s past and present.

The village has its roots as a medieval grange farm linked to Byland Abbey. It appears on 16th century maps and was continually occupied up until its abandonment in the early 20th century when Scar House reservoir was built to provide drinking water for Bradford. Untouched since, the settlement survives only as a ghostly outline of tumbled dry-stone walls marking the outline of the houses.

Historic Nidderdale project officer Louise Brown said: "We have a fantastic opportunity to investigate one of the buildings and its associated garden to see if we can gather more clues about the lives of the people who once lived here, and hopefully find some evidence of its Medieval past."

Local volunteers and students from the University of Bradford are working on the dig led by archaeology company Solstice Heritage.

Jim Brightman, archaeologist in charge of the excavations, said "This is a really fascinating site. We have already found lots of 19th century glass and pottery, as well as a pocket watch. We are also starting to find fragments of earlier pottery which is great news."

The excavations continue until Saturday (23 July). Later in the summer, the volunteers will have an opportunity to work with Solstice Heritage as its sorts through all of the artefacts and the excavation records.

The partnership is holding an heritage forum on Saturday 8 October for anyone wanting to know more about the project at Lofthouse Memorial Hall, which will focus on Lodge Village,

Further information about the event:

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