Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Fortunate Finds


I’ve been squirreling away any little pieces of old crockery that have emerged during the building work (much to the amusement of some of the builders). I’ve had a fancy for a couple of decades now (you can’t rush these things) to make some sort of mosaic from the bits I’ve found…

Whilst most of it has been  Victorian blue and white pottery plus quite a lot of earthenware; some pieces stood, out as looking earlier.


I did a bit of rummaging around (AKA research)and found this delightful blog (which is sadly ‘resting’  as it is full of fascinating posts to be enjoyed) which would suggest it is indeed from the 17th or 18th century.

If I see our local museum is having a finds day, I’ll take them along and see what I can find out (they do write an interesting blog).


I’ve mentioned before that it is quite tricky to know just how old our house is. However a neighbour made a chance discovery, that a map of this area, from 1606 (yes sixteen hundred and six) rests in the National Archives at Kew.

He ordered a copy. It is delightful. I was so excited to see it, it was far more decorative and detailed than I imagined.

Map 1606

The detail, the trees, the gates and the fields (the boundaries of which we can still recognise) are carefully included. We can’t be sure our house is represented, as some of the detail doesn’t quite match up, but there were certainly homesteads nearby at that time. Maybe that is where the pottery out of ‘trench one’ came from. Who knows?

Map 1606 2


I think maps from this time must be quite scarce , apparently that this one survives results from the area, albeit in Derbyshire being part of the Duchy of Lancaster,  the map was drawn up in a land dispute, and forms part of their archives.

It has certainly whetted my appetite to try and find out more, when the dust settles.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

13 thoughts on “Fortunate Finds

  1. The mosaic ought to be a treat if your fragments here are typical.

  2. In living in an old house one has a very serious responsibility, not only to the property itself but to ensure that the history is kept alive – and it can be extremely interesting.

    We were very excited when we found out that “Dummy” one of the last witches to be charged with witchcraft suffered his ordeal by water in the brook that runs outside our front door.

    We were less pleased to find out that 200 years ago the father and daughter living in the other half of our house were found chained together and drowned in the pond opposite.

    Best of luck and prepare yourself for some surprises !!!!

    • Goodness, that is dramatic stuff! I look at the bags of supermarket shopping on the kitchen table sometimes and wonder just what they managed to rear/cultivate to feed themselves on 52 weeks are year. It must have been so tough.

  3. An interesting, post and informative links. I have yet to dig up anything of note on the plot. xx

  4. I find these chards amazing, treasures for sure. And the map…wow, that too is something I would spend hours looking at. you live in such an interesting area.

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous map! You need to find someone to draft the current situation in a similar style …

  6. How exciting to find such amazing history under your feet!! And that map is beautiful-how nice that you were able to obtain a copy and really look at it. There’s a bit of a garbage heap at the back of our woods, but the earliest pieces (bottles) we’ve found in there are from the 1940s or 50s.

  7. Wow, how fantastic! I love that map. And yes, you should get someone to draw up something similar for how it is now. Google Maps would be a useful starting point, plus some sketching in the field. What a lovely project. Even taking photographs of the street where we live is something we hardly ever do. I am more keenly aware of record keeping at the moment as I am in the archive group of my local WI. You have to be constantly on your toes to photograph events etc, but built up areas which stay the same for years in theory ought to be easier. But it rarely gets done. Thinking about it, I suddenly realise we don’t have photo of the building where we meet in our archive. I’ll get on to the rest of the archive group right away!

  8. Pingback: Mud Larks | Uphilldowndale

  9. Pingback: Home Improvements | Uphilldowndale

Come on, join in.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s