Centuries old military items left behind by Scottish rebels recovered from Yorkshire waterways as part of the Sky River Hunters archeology series Yorkshire News

Experts who searched the medieval battlefields of Yorkshire for an upcoming episode in the Sky History series, River Hunters, have made several important finds.

The Nidd at Knaresborough
The Nidd at Knaresborough

The presentation team Beau Ouimette, Rick Edwards and Gary Bankhead, who specialize in underwater detection and archeology, surveyed the Nidd and Swale rivers for elements left over from the 14th century fighting between English forces and Scottish raiders during the First Scottish War of Independence.

Two battles were fought in the area in 1318 and 1319. In the first, warriors led by Sir James ‘Black’ Douglas crossed the border and attacked Knaresborough Castle, looting the city. As the River Nidd passes near the fortifications, the team concentrated their search on the canal.

There was another raid led by Black Douglas a year later at Swale, when a makeshift force of the local militia engaged the Scots at the Battle of Myton, known as ‘the White Battle’ because many York Minster priests in training were forced to to fight. and were killed near Boroughbridge.

The team’s discoveries will air on Sky History on Monday, May 10 at 9 p.m.

These include a lead token with a geometric design dating back to the 1300s, when they were often used in place of coins, and what is believed to be a medieval game piece or lead weight from the same period.

Another find at the Nidd was part of an iron pot. It has been speculated that the Scots would have taken the stolen iron products with them, as little iron was available in Scotland at the time.

On the White Battle site at the Swale, a 1300 copper button was verified by the program’s findings liaison officer, Susheela Burford.

A more speculative find from the river was a possible lead curse tablet, used to write messages that would be thrown into the water to enact a curse. Its origin is difficult to confirm but it could be centuries old.

Later finds included an Irish half penny from the reign of King George III in the 1700s, a Scottish Turner coin from the 1600s, and an ornate stair carpet grip from the Victorian era.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-21 14:25:15