Reply To: Hac Noose, Brighouse

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John Shields

From Alan James – 1 May 2020

Indeed, that feature at Goat Well Bay (not apparent on the 1854 6″ map) does look like another very possible fish-trap.

And evidently that’s what the surveyors were told it was – a ‘yair’ being

‘A structure erected on the bank of a river or inlet of the sea and extending out into the water,

where fish can be trapped and caught in nets; a fish-trap. ‘ DOST

Thanks for the link to the TDGNHAS 1994 report, I haven’t got that volume. It evidently agrees with and confirms the reduction in relative sea-levels over the past 6000 years or so. The superficial deposits along the line of the pipeline reflect a complicated history, with deeper deposits of sand and peat going back to before the last glaciation. More recent events are well explained, the main observation that is relevant to my hypothesis into question being on pp. 20-1:

Third Period of Wind Blown Sand

The soil that formed over the Roman shell middens was covered by an episode of besanding that gave the dune system at Brighouse its present appearance. It is probably this episode of besanding that placed material in the small valley which drains into Brighouse Bay. Here the sand blanketed a peaty mire with up 0.5 metre of material. The sand also partially covered an area of peat 200 metres to the north west from which column 1 was taken.The soil horizon was covered by to 0.5 metre of sand, although locally this was over a metre in places. Above this, the modern soil horizon formed. There is no strong evidence for the date of this episode of wind blown sand. It occurred after the deposition of Roman period objects, but must have been separated from them by some period in time. A possible date for this is suggested by Luce Sands where there appears to be activity in the eighth and ninth centuries AD in dune movements.

Allowing for reasonable margins of uncertainty, that doesn’t seem to me inconsistent with my suggestion that, when Norse-speakers arrived (possiby in the 9th century, more certainly by mid-10th) they would have seen a ‘sandy creek’, extending inland where the peat and sand deposits are shown on Fig. 2 p. 14, overlooked by Senwick on the high ground to the NE. Whether this ‘creek’ was still regularly, or occasionally, flooded by the sea at that time must be uncertain, but I think it reasonable to suppose that the outlet of the valley at the head of the bay was still wide enough for their boats to have come in on the tide to be hauled onto the sand not too far below Senwick.