Looking back to May – A journey through time with Burnley College Students

We were pleased to welcome students from the Forensic Science courses at Burnley College and take them on a coach trip around the local area.

We journeyed through time starting at Portfield  Camp, a late Bronze Age (BA) or Iron Age (IA) hillfort at the western end of the Hidden Valley which is a scheduled ancient monument.  Then down into Whalley to look at the remains of the mediaeval abbey and church. After the dissolution of the monasteries during the Reformation the site passed through a succession of owners until it was purchased by the Diocese of Blackburn. Only a very small part remains of the original abbey.

Whalley Bridge by JMW Turner. Credit: C. Hudson
Whalley Bridge by JMW Turner. Credit: C. Hudson
Whalley Bridge by JMW Turner. Credit: C. Hudson

Next we moved to a newly built housing estate outside Clitheroe where a watching brief revealed an early BA ring ditch and cremation urns. Which  was exactly what the students will be studying on reaching university.  Lime and hazel had been involved in the cremation as found in the charcoal and wood samples. Bone samples were found in a decorated collared urn.

When moving on to Downham, we stood on what was thought to be the agger of a Roman road and from there we journeyed eastwards to Brogden where the outline of the Roman road can be seen before reaching Barnoldswick.

Our last stop was at the Water Meetings at Barrowford. David Taylor joined us here to explain the layout of this late pre-historic hillfort.

So we started off at one end of the Hidden Valley in the west and finished at the eastern end.  Of course our journey was much quicker than those of the people in those ancient times.  It was a pleasure to introduce students to the lovelier aspects of the area.