Thursday, 18 July 2019

Wednesday 17 July 2019 

A hot, muggy day – Skipton bustling with locals and tourists. We spent just the morning in the churchyard. 

Despite the direct sunlight, the team had quite a bit of difficulty, struggling to read some of the inscriptions. Hopefully, when the RTI photographs are completed these inscriptions will become beautifully and immediately clear. But in the meantime it was quite fun listening to the various attempts to decipher the words and letters, while I was doing some photography at the other end of the site.  

It was hot work, since I like to have “clean” photographs of gravestones, without shadows or weeds and grass obscuring even the edges of the stone. At least I didn’t face the scale of vegetation that we had yesterday at Conistone! Nevertheless, I had to spend about 20 minutes cutting away the vegetation and sweeping off the dust, flower petals and leaves before I could start the photography on each memorial. In the hot weather that was a bit of a slog, but I do think it worthwhile to make sure the photographic record as good as possible.

Naturally, our morning tea break was a little longer than usual as we relaxed in the shade, but it was a good opportunity to discuss local archaeological sites around the town – and in our home village of Embsay - and bemoan how local heritage and historic landscape is being lost forever under the housing developments sweeping around what was once a lovely market town and a small village in a distinctly rural area. The least we can do with our small-scale resources is to continue recording the graveyards. 

Jane Lunnon

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