12,000 BC ~ 410AD
THE ICE AGE TO THE ROMAN INVASION..
END OF THE LAST ICE AGE - 12 to 10,000BC -
About 12 to 10.000 thousand years ago, only a few ticks of the clock in Geological Time, the last Ice Age is thought to have ended and the glaciers, estimated to have been some 800 feet deep over the Skelton area, began to retreat to
their present Arctic level.
8,000BC - It is further theorised that Britain was connected to the rest of Europe until about this time and the emerging land was gradually colonised by plants and then animals.
Closely followed by parasites and predators, including an ugly half hairy animal who had the poorest sense of hearing, scent, eyesight, taste, etc but was the most intelligent and cunning.
This creature would eventually kill many of the other animals and many of his own kind to extinction, Man.
7000BC - Skeletons of wild ox and deer have been found in peat bogs just a few miles from Skelton and have been dated' to around this time.
It has been claimed that layers of charcoal are the result of human activity.
"Hammer-axe of Greenstone from a houe on
|4000BC - The many burial sites or "howes"
on the hills around Skelton provide the first real evidence of humans
in these parts.
Tools of stone and flint show that Man was in this area at a time when
he probably still survived by hunting and making
It is surmised that about this time these neolithic people began
farming and living in settled communities.
They clearly believed in an after life and buried their dead in long
barrows - communal tombs covered with a mound of stones.
These graves are found on high ground and thought to be connected with
sun and ancestor worship.
Cremation had often taken place and the remains buried with items of
jewellery, weapons and articles of daily life.
Artefacts, including jet beads, found in Victorian
times by local historian, the Rev J. C. Atkinson
Ironage fort at Eston Nab
|2300BC - Knowledge of using metals - first
copper then bronze - spread to Britain. The Howe Hill Barrow at
Brotton, a mile or so from Skelton, probably dates from this time. It
contained a hollowed out oak tree, which held the remains of a man.
1800BC - The use of the wheel and the ox drawn plough
brought more land into cultivation, with more sheep and cattle farming
increase in population.
600BC - The use of iron for tools and weapons was
introduced. Some historians say tribes of Celts, displaced their
predecessors, about this time. There were perhaps intermittent
movements of people across the North Sea, as this was to be the pattern
for the future. The use of iron made it possible to farm the heavier
soils of the lowlands. There is no evidence of settlements, which would
have been of timber and thatch, but
the iron age people built earthworks on high positions for defence and
remains of these can still be seen
Modern replicas of the Bronze Age, 2000 to 650 BC, hoard found on Roseberry Topping, about 5 miles from Skelton.
Today these items are illogically exhibited 110 miles away, in the Sheffield City Museum, Yorkshire, where most visitors could never make the connection to Sheffield's History or ours.
They should at least be in the Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, Cleveland, or better still, in a new much superior local one to bring Pride in the great History of our area and the British Isles.
To retrieve these articacts now, I imagine, we would have to replay the saga of the Elgin Marbles.
Roman camps near Malton
Roman helmet found at Guisborough
|43AD - Britain was invaded and conquered
by the Romans.
70AD - This area was part of the realm of Brigantia,
which stretched from the Peak district north to the Tyne and coast to
At first the Brigantes accepted a client state position under the
Romans, but later revolted.
The Roman legions were ordered North, made their headquarters at York
and defeated the Brigantes at Stanwick, near Richmond.
Roman road N Yorks Moors
| Forts were established at Malton, Catterick and
Boroughbridge], and this area became part of the district of Maxima
It was to remain under Roman rule for the next 350 years.
122 - Building of Hadrian's Wall between the Tyne and
196 - When some legions were withdrawn there was an
uprising in Brigantia and some Roman forts sacked.
Order was restored by Septimus Severus, who carried the suppression
right up into Scotland.
200 - The next century seems to have been peaceful.
There was a town at Catterick and Aldbrough, with streets laid out in a
grid and public buildings etc, but nothing known closer to this area.
Wades Causeway, the Roman road, still seen on Wheeldale moor, seems to
head from Pickering towards Whitby.
|Foundations of villas with mosaic floors and
heated bathhouses have been found at Malton.
Until recently the only evidence of the Roman presence in this area was a soldier's helmet and a few coins, which were found at Guisborough and the Signal Station on Huntcliff.
Now a Roman Villa has been unearthed on the coast near Loftus and the archaeologist, Dr Stephen Sherlock, believes there could be much more to find.
296 - Britain was divided into four administrative
zones by the Romans.
This area was part of Britannia Secunda which stretched from the Humber
to the Tyne.
315 - Christianity replaced much of the nature worship
of previous times and there was a Bishop at York.
380 - Attacks by Anglo Saxons on the east coast had
caused the Romanised Britons to build beacon towers to warn of raids from the sea.
25 coins were found there, the earliest showing Constantius
337 - 361 and the latest dated to 395 - 408.
There was a signal station on Huntcliff [the land where it stood has
now eroded away].
The fort-like station was square with thick stone walls and a 20ft
Excavations revealed a well, 14 feet deep and 6 feet wide, in which
were 14 skeletons, leading to suppositions of a
successful attack by the Anglo-Saxons.
Roman pottery, an iron axe, a bronze vessel and a jet finger ring were
Excavation of Roman Signal Station on Huntcliff.
Lecture at Saltburn 13th March 1911.
"Definite traces, too, of the Roman occupation of the district had also been detected, including a Roman Camp, Roman coins of the time of the Emperor Valentine and fragments of Roman pottery.
There were also indications of a Roman road running from near Huntcliff to Street Houses, near Loftus."