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Coastal Alum Works Project 2017 – Stoupe Brow Final Week Update

By the start of our final week at Stoupe Brow Alum Works, the team from Archaeological Research Services Ltd has opened all four of the trenches that it was intended to open.

In our first two trenches we identified surviving wall foundations, successive phases of floor surfaces of the yard and a drain (possibly post-dating the Alum Works) running out to the cliff face. Our third trench has revealed more of the original yard surface with a feature cut through it, containing slag and assorted debris. Finally the fourth trench was opened last week at the southern end of the site, which exposed a small section of the Alum Works reservoir wall and base.

Following a meeting with representatives from Historic England and the North York Moors National Parks Authority, as well as local alum-working expert David Pybus, and follow-up consultation with Historic England’s Regional Inspector, it was decided to open a fifth trench to try and find one of the drains identified in the cliff-face which is thought to have been associated with the Alum Works. This week we aim to finish excavating all the trenches, as well as to backfill and reinstate the site as neatly as possible.