|Yvonne Luke gave an excellent talk to us in July, about the prehistoric monument complex at Sleight’s Pasture, near Ribblehead. Ingleborough Archaeology Group have surveyed this unusual site and meticulously plotted all the stones. This has revealed a ring cairn within a stone circle. Little wonder that the antiquarians of old thought that they were dealing with druids! An excavation took place in 1828 and a newspaper article, published shortly afterwards, referred to the recovery of an antique drinking cup, a bronze spearhead, and a flint. These finds suggest multiple use of the site from the Neolithic to the middle Bronze Age. No bones were recovered. The site has been robbed out on one side and the stones used in field walls along the Richmond to Lancaster turnpike road which runs nearby. There is some 18th century documentary evidence to suggest there may have originally been two cairns in the area. The site also has curious, unexplained lobes which abut the stone circle, one of which lies on a cardinal point. Research into the site continues.
Later in July, over 20 SWAAG members enjoyed a visit to Binchester Roman Fort (Vinovia), on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland. Our guide was David Mason, who is the Principal Archaeologist at Durham County Council. David provided a fascinating insight into life in the forts (there were two) and updated us about the most recent discoveries there. The sun shone, so most of us stayed on for a picnic and a further potter around the site.