Archaeological Dig – Aireyholme Farm

Spent the day digging a hole. Well taking part in an archaeological dig really to find the boyhood home of Capt. James Cook.

It’s well known that James’ father was employed at Aireyholme Farm near Great Ayton and his family lived there with him at the farm. What is not known is precisely where the family lived. All the present farm buildings are of a later date and the story handed down through the various tenants of the farm was that the actual cottage was a few hundred metres away nearer to Cliff Rigg. A photo exists of the present farmer’s grandfather standing at the supposed spot beside a pile of stones.

A geophysical survey was commissioned earlier this year resulting in some interesting dark, straight lines indicating a potential wall or foundation. So this dig, comprising two small tests pits, is to see what’s there.

It’s still early days yet. Finds so far have included pieces of roof and floor tiles, hand made bricks, pottery, glass, a neolithic flint arrow head, bits of clay pipes and some large stones which could be the foundations of a wall. All very interesting but not the definite proof of a dwelling that we were looking for.

The dig is expected to continue on Saturday and in true Time Team style another trench was opened this afternoon. I’ll keep you posted.

Link to location.

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