Rural Settlement

Data gathering and research on industrial period rural settlement since 2006 can be broadly split in to two types; localised surveys of small monuments done through the planning process and larger landscape surveys, often the result of landscape management projects.

The Lake District National Park has many examples of small-scale studies undertaken as planning or management conditions that could be integrated into wider synthetic studies on the impact of agricultural intensification and the impact of industrialisation. These include farmstead surveys at Peel Place, Lanthwaite (C) where features associated with the farm were recorded, including building platforms, trackways, walls, lynchets, and a possible corn-drier or stack stand. One building was probably used for housing animals and several different floor surfaces were revealed, some likely relating to pens or stalls accessed off an aisle. The farmstead probably dates to the first half of the 19th century. Fieldwork as part of the Black Beck Hydropower Scheme (C) revealed post-medieval and industrial-period enclosures that were shown on later mapping.

Several largescale estate and landscape surveys reveal the impact of land management and vernacular building changes during the 18th to the early 20th centuries. At Alston Moor on the high moorland of in north-eastern Cumbria (C) English Heritage/Historic England have undertaken a study of the industrial village and its surrounding farming and upland lead mining landscape (Jessop, Whitefield & Davison 2013).

Other upland studies include a desk-based assessment by UMAU at Healey Dell, Rochdale (GM), undertaken to inform understanding of the relict industrial landscape for management and community engagement purposes. The work comprised the detailed survey of four sites, Broadley Mill, Broadley Wood Mill, Broadley Stone Rubbing Mill, and Th’Owd Mill I’t Thrutch (UMAU 2006). The Mellor Archaeological Trust have surveyed the industrial and rural landscape of part of the south-western Pennine upland in Stockport (GM), noting the growth of new industrial hamlets and the water management systems needed for new textile spinning mills (Hearle 2011). Recording of a series of farmsteads around Kingsway in Rochdale (GM) ahead of redevelopment noted the development of post-medieval enclosure, the shift from timber to brick building, and the arrival of farmer weavers (Forthcoming 2018).

Healey Dell, Rochdale, Greater Manchester (courtesy of GMAAS)

In the lowlands two adjacent township surveys are also noteworthy. A study of the evolution and character of the lowland Dunham Massey Estate (GM) by the National Trust recorded the investment by the earls of Stamford in over 20 farmsteads and their farm buildings from the early 18th century to the early 20th century. Some of the trends this study recorded included the shift from timber to brick building and a move from mixed farming to dairying (Gregory & Miller 2013). The adjacent township to the west was recorded as part of the Warburton Archaeological Survey (1996 to 2015). This work, led by the South Trafford Archaeological Group, encompassed detailed vernacular building recording, historic studies of manorial records, and landscape exploration. It produced a story of continuity and gradual change in contrast to the major horizons of estate investment seen next door at Dunham (Nevell with Carney, Cracknell, Haworth, Hill and Jubb 2015). In northern Cheshire a further landscape survey, the Alderley Sandhills Project, run in the early 2000s, was published in 2009-10 (Casella 2009; Casella & Croucher 2010). The project combined farmstead excavation with family and oral history, and artefact studies to look at the impact of the industrialisation process on an estate community, in this case owned by the Stanleys, from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

Finally, a number of rural freehold and manor houses have been excavated around Greater Manchester with deposits running into the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. These include Booth Hall, Etherstone Hall, Moston Hall, Royton Hall, Timperley Hall, and Wood Hall (Garratt 2009; Pierce, North & Nevell 2013; Thompson, Stott & Malcolmson 2007; Wooler & Newman 2016). Each is a detailed case study reflecting the development of local vernacular building traditions, the impact of new agricultural and landscape management techniques, and estate decline through their material remains. In Cheshire the publication of the excavations undertaken at Bewsey Old Hall near Warrington during the 1970s and 1980s provide a similar detailed case study of building development, agricultural change and decline (Lewis, Heawood & Howard-Davis 2011).

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