Fulford battlefied under threat

July 2015 dig

The Fulford Tapestry

Geophysics confirmation

Summary of published report

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Geophysics confirmation
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The Fulford Tapestry

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Evidence held by English Heritage and the City planners that supported the identification of the metal recycling hearths along Germany Beck which was apparently ignored!

This is either shockingly incompetent or an attempt to cover up the hearth finds.

This unseen plot provided extremely strong support for the existence of several more recycling hearths nearby the ones we found.

On May 28 2013, I was given access to the archive boxes for the Germany Beck development at English heritage HQ in Swindon.

Among the documents was a geophysical scan. The date on the document is February 2003 and it was found among documents that predated 2005. In 2010, I published details of the hearth finds (a draft have been widely circulated the year before) and when these data are plotted onto the geophysics there is a perfect match. I had also notified English Heritage in February 2005 that metal recycling evidence had been identified from this area of the battlesite. (Email R Burns to K Emerick 5 Feb 2005)

This is a plot of geophysical work undertaken on behalf of those applying to develop the land beside Germany Beck. The manuscript marks added in pencil are the OS grid lines, the letters are references to the field notebook (A-P) and the numbers are the quantity of ferrous finds from each area. The image shows a perfect match between items recovered and the geophysics. This is what one should expect of course.

But unlike English Heritage or the LPA, I had not seen this work. Those who are responsible for looking after our heritage, and overseeing the work done by those who want permission to change the landscape, should have noted that the finding from this geophysics matched the published findings from the battlefield archaeological project.

Furthermore, they should have noted that this was one of the areas where permission to conduct more work was requested by the applicant yet those who are supposed to have a care for our heritage failed to support this request even though they held this geophysical data.

This corroborates the claim that there are a number of compact sites where finds that are strongly supportive of the post-battle, metal recycling interpretation that has been offered. Had the responsible authorities done their job, these and other sites suggested by the geophysics, could have been properly investigated, confirming or refuting the claims made that this was the site of the 1066 battle. Please note that other recycling sites have been published which span the entire battlefield that are not covered by this geophysical plot.

The quality of the image was limited by the equipment available when inspecting the archives at English Heritage in May 2013.

Chas Jones     August 2013

This is the email I sent to the LPA, and copied to EH, on 6 June 2013. None of the questions have been answered in spite of a reminder (August 2013).

“Morning John
When going through the EH archives last week I saw a coloured version of the Geophysics for the in line ponds for the first time. The yellow plotted data did not appear on the photo copy I saw but when I plotted this onto the field work we did, it was a perfect match for one of the hearths. It also indicated that there were similar compact zones nearby that we missed which fit the pattern for the hearth we have located.
Questions:
Did you get these 'hot spots' investigated?
What was the date of this work? (I just want to check that it was before our visit - if it was after then there must be an amazing amount of iron there as I think our finding was 30times normal background iron)
Did you have this work available before the archaeological investigation of this area was planned?
Is there a similar geophysics plot for the north bank and if so, can I see it please? If not, can you arrange for one of these to be done urgently so that other possible hearth sites can be identified. (The sites are very compact and can easily be missed in a fieldwalk/metal detect survey).
 
What plans do you have to publish the schemes of work that you are preparing for the site as I am obviously very keen to see and comment on these. Can we arrange to have an independent observer on site when work is done as I suspect that any watching brief is impossible for you to undertake? Even though you have consented to destroy the site can you please ensure that we extract as much data as possible.

Can you clarify one other point: When I wanted to return to the site of the original hearth, in the field adjacent to Fulford Cemetery, you told me that this had now been incorporated into the plan and was to be a community wood and therefore you could not ask for any archaeological work to be done there (in situ preservation argument). But I cant trace anything to show that this field is part of the project, with only the northern part, adjacent to the beck, within the scheme. Could you clarify this point please - I would like to do more work in this area.
More anon   Chas

 

Related sites Facebook  Twitter (@ helpsavefulford)        Visiting Fulford        Map York

There is a site devoted to saving the battlesite: The site has the story of the process that has allowed the site to be designated an access road to a Green Belt, floodplain housing estate.

And another website for the Fulford Tapestry that tells the story of the September 1066: This tells the story embroidered into the panels.

The author of the content is Chas Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com  last updated June 2015

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