ERG are a working group within the Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group (UWHG). Initially set up for documentary research work to support the Whitfield Syke Project in 2010, ERG continue to work as a research group focusing on several aspects of the local history and historic landscape of the parish of Embsay-with-Eastby, near Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales.
In addition, we are currently working in partnership with the St Mary's Embsay Churchyard Survey Project team.
Saturday, 2 December 2017
Thursday 30 November 2017
We have just spent 2 days brushing up on our RTI photography
in 2 burial grounds.
On Wednesday we went to Skipton – at the invitation of Jean
Robinson, of the Friends of Raikes Road Burial Ground we took a series of RTI
sequences for 6 gravestones considered to be most at risk from weathering over
this coming winter.
Erosion typical of Raikes Road Burial Ground
We were surprised that despite this burial ground being only
2 miles from Embsay, and opened at about the same time as St Mary’s churchyard,
the nature and scale of erosion was very different. The main problem at St
Mary’s, Embsay, is delamination, while at Raikes Road the stones are more likely
to be weathered, the lettering blurred and fuzzy due to a powdery, friable
granulation presumably caused by wind and rain. Raikes Road stands on a slope,
facing towards the town. Perhaps this combined with a different quality of the
stone used by Skipton masons has something to do with it – although some of the
masons in Skipton also provided stones for Embsay churchyard.
It was a cold, crisp day and the light was perfect for RTI.
We finished off all 6 gravestones by lunch-time, and were able to get back to
Embsay in time for a hearty, warming pub lunch at the Elm Tree Inn.
And so to Kettlewell Thursday. We arrived just after
lunchtime, in order to avoid the very low temperatures of the morning. We took
advantage of the brief “warmer” spell over the next couple of hours to set up
our horizontal camera beam and have another go at the listed gravestone. We had
taken RTI photos of this earlier in the year, but hadn’t been fully satisfied
with the results. This time we didn’t try to fill the frame with the whole
grave slab, but took two sets of photos to enable us to zoom in closer to the
details of the carving. We also managed to avoid the bright sunlight of last
spring’s session. Besides, this time when the sun did briefly shine, followed
by a snow flurry, we were prepared with our umbrella attached to a tripod –
although Sue did somehow manage to turn the umbrella inside out at first!
Using the horizontal beam for a ledger stone
Hopefully this will produce better results. The only problem
is that we were unable to do anything about the ice embedded into the surface
of the grave stone – it was so hard and thick that we couldn’t remove it
without risking damage to the stone, so had to leave it in. It will be
interesting to see how this new problem affects the results.