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News 2012
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Iron Age Excavation at Claxby
Visit to University of Kent site in the Wolds

The University of Kent are currently digging at Otby Top in Claxby parish on the site of a late Iron Age/Roman enclosure identified from crop-marks.

They have discovered the corner of the enclosure ditch, but are struggling to make sense of evidence for a hut within. Other structures are known down in the valley to the west.

The photo shows several features including post-holes.

The site was visited by a SLHA small group on Sunday 26 August.


SLHA group at excavation site, Otby Top, Claxby
Excavation site at Otby Top

August 2012Iron Age, Roman, excavations, enclosure, Claxby, Otby Top

Pyewipe Pumping Station, Lincoln
Drainage Board opens up historic site for SLHA

The SLHA Industrial Archaeology team and the Dogdyke Pumping Station Preservation Trust joined forces on 21 May for a visit to the pumping station at Pyewipe on the Fossdyke to the west of Lincoln (SK 954720).

They were generously entertained by the Chairman, Chief Executive, Engineer and other staff members of the Upper Witham Internal Drainage Board.

The Gwynnes pumps driven by Ruston and Hornsby diesel engines – all made by Lincoln firms - of the original pumping station of 1936 were operated for the visitors.

Water was drawn at an impressive rate from the drain serving some 3300 hectares of land to the south and discharged into the adjacent Fossdyke Canal. These pumps, kept in exemplary condition, provide back-up to the electrically operated pumps installed in 1993.

Close by the pumping station is the cast iron tunnel with large concave brick portals designed by John Rennie in 1805-08 to transfer water from the Burton Main Drain to the north-west under the Fossdyke canal to the Skellingthorpe Main Drain to the south. This is a most interesting and important survival.

SLHA group at Pyewipe Pumping Station
Outside the Pyewipe Pumping station

Pyewipe Pumping Station, Lincoln
The Pumping Station from the south

May 2012Pyewipe pumping station, Lincoln, Rennie, Fossdyke

Visit to Sutton Bridge Dock & Foul Anchor
Drainage features at Tydd Gote and former dock at Sutton Bridge examined

Members of the SLHA Industrial Archaeology team visited sites in and around Sutton Bridge on Thursday 22 March.

David Clowes and Beryl Jackson (local SLHA members) were the guides and interpreters of the complex system of sluices and bridges where the North Level Main Drain joins the River Nene at Foul Anchor to the east of Tydd Gote (TF 467180).

The history of drainage of this area bordering Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk is long and involved; there are helpful modern interpretation boards at two sites; examination of Beryl’s comprehensive collection of maps, diagrams and photographs was also invaluable.

In the afternoon we looked at the remains of the former Sutton Bridge Dock, now the site of the local Golf Club. The 13-acre dock was completed in 1881, but within a few weeks several lengths of the concrete faced banks had collapsed and could not be satisfactorily repaired and stabilised.

The overall profile of the dock can still be recognised and several features remain, notably the 750-foot timber jetty along the face the south-east quay. Measurements and photographs were taken for a full report which will appear in the society’s journal in due course.

We are grateful to Norman Davis, our guide, and members of the Sutton Bridge Golf Club for allowing access.

Neil Wright's recent book Sutton Bridge: An Industrial History gives full details of the dock's construction and demise. 

Drainage sluice at Tydd Gote
At Foul Anchor

Sutton Bridge Dock
Crane jetty at Sutton Bridge Dock

March 2012Sutton Bridge, Dock, Foul Anchor, river Nene