Malham Chapel Dig 2016

The second dig in July 2016 was carried out to determine the parameters and condition of the chapel, to bracket date the site, and to investigate ancillary features revealed by the surveys. A trench was placed across part of the nave, extending the previous year’s trenches, and another across the chancel.


The eastern wall foundations of the chancel were fully exposed and furthered our knowledge of the means of construction. A further pit in the nave, used for melting lead,  was partially exposed.  Samples were taken from the earth floor in the nave.


Beneath the chancel floor were found numerous animal bones, which may have been from a midden and used to shore up the site during construction. An infant’s body had been placed between the nave and the chancel; it is believed  this took place shortly after the chapel was destroyed, but before it was completely derelict.  This may suggest that the site continued to be regarded as sacred for some time after its demolition.


Excavating the nave

The dig established that the structure was the ‘lost’ chapel and generated information on the construction and destruction of the building.   Pottery sherds and three broken flints were found.  Post-excavation results are still pending.

See Stuart Gledhill’s Drone Flight of the 2016 Dig: