It was an overcast and windy day when we met on Coal pit lane, an old packhorse route running from Weets house down to Gisburn. We photographed Bonny Black’s Farm, which was a stopover post on the packhorse route, for Magaret Dickinson who gave us a splendid talk on Packhorse Bridges and routes and the packhorse trade at our AGM last year.
From there we went to view the earthwork on the map which is Bomber Camp, a squarish/rectangular shape. The earthwork ditch and low banks are at ground level and can be viewed from the road on the south side and should stand out in an aerial view. Sadly there is no footpath near the site. These earthworks are all that remain of a Romano-British camp, villa or settlement, dating from the mid to late 4th century AD. In the 1980’s this site was excavated by our group.
From there we returned to Howgill Lane and aimed to find the Roman Road near Brogden Lane and after a detour caused by missing a concealed signpost we reached the track to Brogden. After using a metal probe which met stony resistance and viewing the changes in the colour of the grass we ascertained that we had found the track. Now we are no experts, but we are of the opinion that the darker middle strand is the top of the aggar or camber and the two dark patches on either side are the ditches or vallum.
Next time we are out hunting Roman Roads we will aim to take a tape measure. Had the grass not been recently cut we would probably not have seen these tracks as they were certainly not visible in the next field where the grass was longer. There seemed to be signs there of a previous excavation trench and the probe was still meeting stony resistance in places. After being surrounded by some beautiful chestnut horses we continued over a ford to the starting point.
A pleasant walk in an unspoilt and probably little visited lovely area, we were able to see Warren Knotts above Settle, near Victoria Cave before the mist descended.
Bomber Camp aerial view.