Under the leadership of Alex Whitlock, thirteen intrepid explorers crossed the border into the rather windy (and occasionally wet) Yorkshire Dales to join the Ingleborough Archaeology Group to view the widely publicised Gauber Viking Settlement. However, a slight detour above Settle on our outward journey allowed us – like a flock of sheep – to follow AW to view Kinsey cave, which excavations have shown to have been inhabited in the paleolithic era.
Half an hours drive then brought us to Ribblehead Quarry where we were taken on a fascinating walk by archaeologist and author David Johnson who led us out of the quarry onto a fabulous area of limestone pavement to view what was obviously an old settlement. But why on earth would you build on such uneven ground? Answer – they didn’t! Soil erosion transformed the landscape from good to unusable land leading to a relatively short period of habitation. With walls 2 metres thick and an internal length of nearly 20 metres the main building has long been considered to be of Viking origin but the relatively recent discovery of two 9th century coins has led to it being reassessed as pre 900AD which is some years before the Vikings invaded! This theory is supported by the layout of the building which appear to have been for human use only (the vikings are believed to have kept livestock in one half).
So ended a most interesting trip with the sun coming out to light up Ingleborough. The change in the weather must have been even more welcome to the dozens of walkers attempting the Three Peaks walk!