Bury Archaeological Group

Est. 1953

Home Current Dig HISTORY PAST DIGS GALLERY Links Contact

Meadowcroft Farm, Elton (SD 76951130)



Meadowcroft Farm lies two miles west of Bury, alongside the Roman Road connecting Manchester with Ribchester. The site stands at a height of 168m above OD, on a south facing ridge, in a westerly extension of Elton Township. In medieval times, this part of Elton contained the estate of Haslom Hey, then held by the Knights Hospitallers. A rent roll of 1540 lists Edward Earl of Derby paying 12d per annum for four messuages in Haslom Hey.


Documentary research by B.A.G. suggested that Meadowcroft might be one of the messuages where an early house, abandoned in the late 19th century, once stood.


Nine test pits 1.25m square, also two trenches 1.25m wide by 3.75m long, dug to a maximum depth of 1m, extended across an area 20m wide by 45m long. At an average depth of 0.5m, a cobble and stone pitching, set in stiff boulder clay appeared in all pits.  In excavations nearest the present house and lane the overburden comprised of cinder, clay and rubble, further away it consisted of loam of garden soil. Imported deposits spread over the early house site, following its demolition, introduced much later material. Although most finds from the excavation came from the 19th century, a few earlier pieces found included a sherd from a Westerwald salt-glazed tankard, of late 17th to early 18th century date.