Duncan spent the afternoon up the Coquet valley in Northumberland visiting an archaeological excavation at an old mill site at Barrowburn. The excavation has revealed much of interest and also much to puzzle those trying to make sense of the site. The most obvious find has been a wonderfully shaped former water wheel pit to house an undershot (or breastshot) waterwheel of about 3-4m in diameter. The surveyors at the dig will come up with all the detailed measurements in due course. It’s an exciting find in the mill world – the traces of a 12th century water powered fulling mill.
The drive up the valley was a pleasant experience in itself with bright blue skies and haymaking going on at full speed on many of the remote farms. Harebells and ladies’ bedstraw were amongst the plants providing colour along the road verges.