NT8610 : Archaeological excavation of Barrowburn Fulling Mill

near to Barrowburn, Northumberland, Great Britain

Archaeological excavation of Barrowburn Fulling Mill
Archaeological excavation of Barrowburn Fulling Mill
An excavation of the remains of a C13th fulling mill by members of the Coquetdale Community Archaeology Group in July 2011. The main site shown here along the edge of the River Coquet, just upstream from the remaining piers of a old footbridge, consists of the remains of a water channel and water wheel pit along with a horizontal wooden structure on the river bed. Finds of a cut silver halfpenny and shards of medieval pottery confirmed the radiocarbon dates already obtained.
Barrowburn Fulling Mill
Remains of the C13th Fulling Mill in Upper Coquetdale, founded by the monks of Newminster Abbey near Morpeth NZ1885 : Newminster Abbey 1, were found in 2010 by members of the Coquetdale Community Archaeology Group at a location previously suggested in a description written by David Dippie Dixon in 1903 LinkExternal link Many of the dressed stone blocks on the site had already been robbed for other buildings in the neighbourhood.

The group arranged and conducted a full archaeological excavation in July 2011. Masonry blocks and wooden structures on the river bed and its northern bank were identified as part of the water channel and water wheel pit with a likely water control system a further 60m upstream.

In a fulling mill, newly woven woollen cloth was beaten with water-powered hammers to remove grease and close up the threads, a process involving chemical agents probably derived from urine, fuller's earth and burnt bracken. In Scotland and parts of northern England, the process is known as 'waulking'.

A search of Geograph shows a much better preserved example from Hampshire SU5833 : Alresford - Fulling Mill but it is likely the one formerly here would have been a much cruder structure.

The full story, detailed ongoing report LinkExternal link and excavation diary LinkExternal link are available here LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2011
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NT8610, 31 images   (more nearby)
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Geograph
Date Taken
Friday, 29 July, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 30 July, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Uplands  Rivers, Streams, Drainage 
River (from Tags)
Coquet 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 8655 1096 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:23.5445N 2:12.8329W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 8654 1097
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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