Rare local example of a Late Neolithic axe found at Catlow, May 2015. The  tool was manufactured from pale green volcanic tuff  in the Langdale region of the Lake District. These axes were manufactured in Cumbria in large numbers - many were highly polished, possibly to be used as currency or as symbols of status. This particular example was a workaday tool, exhibiting many scars from the heavy use it was put to in clearing trees around Briercliffe and Catlow some 4,000 to 4,500 years ago.

Incised stone found at Catlow, June 2014. The pecked square panel design features two serpents framing the head of a deity.

A selection of the tools etc. found recently in Burnley, Pendle and Gisburn by members of the PDCAS

A similar example to the Catlow axe from the south - this one appears to have been almost unused.

Another Langdale volcanic tuff tool - found within 100 metres of the axe above.


This indicates that the Langdale ‘factories’ were turning out tools other than axes.

The carving depicts a female head in profile with a serpent on either side (these represent healing). This is  possibly a depiction of the Roman goddess Salus - the goddess of health, cleanliness and healing.


This deity came from an origin in the Greek goddess Hygieaia. Our particular carving shows the goddess with the same hairstyle as Venus - possibly dating to around 200-300 AD.



Small Roman or Romano-British bust of local stone found by an ancient ford that connected areas of Nelson and Brierciffe (Burnley).


Due to the damage sustained by river action the face is impossible to determine - however, it is very possible that the artefact was placed in the river as a ritual or votive offering.


Local stone artefact, again found beside a ford - displays five separate facets of  striking but the use or design is unknown.



Carved gritstone head found in wall at Briercliffe - possibly broken from a bust or statue or could be a decorative item from the recent past. A large amount of original plaster coating remains suggesting that the head has not spent much time exposed to the elements or buried in the ground.


The face has a moustache and goatee beard, much in the Scandinavian style but, at this stage, the head can only be said to be of indeterminable date.







Stylised ‘Celtic’ head found in Walverden Beck. The material is white limestone which displays a number of  linear fossil imprints - probably from flora or from the action of nematodes many millions of years ago when the limestone was being laid down.    

Celtic head carving found at Walverden by the author in the 1970s. The style of the face is identical in style to Celtic heads found in numbers across Britain.

Example of  a Celtic head from southern England



Bark found beneath a massive earthbound stone to the north of the village of Fence. Sent to Oxford Archaeology North for lab test - confirmed as bark of the species Betula (birch).


The bark was preserved through being pressure-trapped within a wet layer of boulder clay. From contextual dating evidence elsewhere on the site the bark probably dates to the Late Neolithic (2,000 to 2,500 BC)



Flint thumb scrapers from Castercliffe hillfort (Neolithic period)

Stone hoe found at Cock Leach, just outside of the Castercliffe hillfort.


Made of local sandstone the implement is one of two from the site - these would have been mounted in a wooden frame and pulled along plough furrows by oxen to clear weeds. Period indefinite.

Assorted flint and chert ‘wasters’ from the western flanks of  Boulsworth Hill.


These are the ‘cores’ and manufacturing waste from the flint tool  and weapon making process

Stone figure in a Nelson garden. Appears to be a ‘cherubim’ holding a now missing article. Possibly originally had wings - a Christian grave marker of unknown period or a modern garden ornament?


D. Ormerod  2014

   Palaeolithic flint hand axes used by the pre-Ice Age nomadic people perhaps 15,000 - 30,000 years ago.

This nice example of the head of a Romano-British deity is approximately 28cm in height and was found at Spen Brook (Newchurch-in-Pendle). This is probably a representation of the amalgamated Roman goddess Sulis with the Roman goddess Minerva .- Suils Minerva.


The head was originally found near to Tinedale Farm by members of the Nutter family. A sacred well dedicated to St. Chad stands near to the find spot and this suggests the possibility that the well was sacred during the Romano-British period.


Photograph courtesy of Joan Parsons

Chert implement from the area of Catlow Bottoms hillfort  - probably a small version of the Palaeolithic axe

Unusual fossil: located below Catlow Bottoms hillfort - this sandstone object has been trimmed to a triangular shape.


The imprints appear to have been caused by sand settling on a random jumble of pebbles .

Inverted casting

Burnt chert and flint from below the Catlow Bottoms hillfort site.


The example bottom left of picture is black flint set within hardened clay - possibly a form of daub from round house construction?

Artefacts 2

     Local Artefacts and Tools Discovered 2014-2015

Large stone from a Bronze Age /Iron Age site on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border. Yorkshire sandstone -probably  a broken saddle quern stone or possibly used for tool sharpening - the stone has been heavily marked and broken by plough action.

Examples of  chert and black flint wasters from the same site as the sharpening stone above. Far right are two flint scrapers - the paler flint is probably of Yorkshire origin. The larger one is a well made black flint tool and has been worn smooth by plough tumbling.

ABOVE LEFT:  Coarse local clay pot sherds from the site above. The small piece in the centre is hardened clay - probably a remnant of wattle-and-daub


ABOVE RIGHT: Two sherds of Roman Samian ware pott from the same site.  

Another example of a sharpening stone. Coarse blue limestone with a distinct lateral groove across the flat surface  



          John A Clayton          

           ARTEFACTS PAGE 1