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SABDEN FOLD BLOOMERY




Laying out the site grid 24th April 2010.  The sides of the site look artificially steepened and iron bloom and slag 
can be seen on the surface roughly where the bags and coats lie.

We wanted a quick project to give some members experience of planning, laying out and undertaking an excavation.  However, as is so often the case, the site has taken a life of its own.  The dig is being organised by experienced excavators Christine Barnet and Janet Suggett under the general supervision of David Taylor MIFA.  Recently, Doug Moir the Planning Officer (Archaeology) at Lancashire County Archaeology Service, Dr Gerry McDonnell of Gerry McDonnell Archaeometals and Dr John Gater of GSB Prospection Ltd and, of course, Time Team have been helping us out with the site.

The area lies in the former Pendle Forest where we are studying the medieval and post medieval landscape.  The excavation is to see whether there was a bloomery (a furnace for producing iron) in the hamlet of Sabden Fold which lies to the east of Sabden village, near Padiham, Lancashire.  By chance, we had earlier found  small pieces of iron slag on what looked to be an artificially raised area adjacent a stream near Old House farm.  This lies in the heart of the winter pastures of the mediaeval (probably Nether) Goldshaw Vaccary so it is possible that any bloomery could be ancient.

The site was laid out on the 24th April, see the daily links for photographs and details.  The project design, site plans etc. are attached below and click on the map for the site's location.