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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Savage 1988: 10 Herdsman and Quarryman

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Time for the 10th section of Richard Savage's 1988 booklet: to him and the Crickley Hill Trust thanks for the permission to reproduce.

"10 Herdsman and Quarryman

After the burning of the final dark age settlement the hill reverted to pasture. In the Middle Ages the northern slopes may have served as grazing for Brockworth Parish, whose boundary runs along the crest overlooking Gloucester. A small rectangle of stone-walled building, perhaps a shepherd's shieling, lay just inside the boundary. At about this time the hamlets below the site is first mentioned by name, as Creke in 1237 and Crekelege in c. 1240. The name is understood to mean "clearing (leah) by the hill (*crouc)”. The latter is a British word, and although the eminence became known eventually as Crickley Hill, "the hill of Crickley", it is interesting to note that it seems in our earliest sources simply to have been known by a Celtic name, "the hill". During the 17th century pits for lime burning were opened, destroying about an acre of the prehistoric settlements.

In the next century quarrying began on the slopes, and had produced steep cliffs by the early 19th century. The Iron Age ramparts had already been noticed, and appears as "Roman intrenchment" on the Tithe Map of 1838. The bulk of the site to lay by now in the ownership of Hallingwood (Ullenwood) Farm nearly a mile away. Maps of the holding in 1807 and 1863 revealed the reason of the survival of the archaeological deposits, the arable land of Ullenwood stretched west of the farm as far as Crippets long barrow, and east and south towards Coberley. Crickley was protected by two belts of woodland (Short-wood and Hallingwood) and was used as a rough pasture too far from the farmhouse to be worth ploughing. So it remained, threatened by the quarry on its north flank, in separate annual tenancy from the lords of Badgeworth Manor, but not devastated by agriculture. Quarry workings slackened in the 1930s, and ended in the 1960s, shortly before the beginning of excavations.

[Photo: a 17th century pit for lime burning]"

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