This is a bit of an odd one that may interest the Stonnall folks – particularly Julian Ward-Davies. On Saturday afternoon, when I was pottering around Lower Stonnall, I took a ride up the rough track that runs between Gravelly Lane and Mill Lane, behind Stonnallhouse Farm. Just as I entered the track from Gravelly Lane, I heard a metallic clank and instinctively stopped to find out what had fallen off the bike. To my surprise, nothing had, but what was lying in the dust was a lump of black iron, poured or spilled and run into a puddle where it hardened. Searching around there were several small lumps of metal runoff like this lying around, most highly polished where they’d been ground under vehicle wheels. It rings with a satisfying clank.
This is clearly the remnants of someone casting iron, or maybe the remains of something in a smithy hearth that got too hot. It’s an unusual thing to find, and I’m wondering if it’s a clue to past metalworking activity nearby – maybe a blacksmiths forge or some such. Of course, the metal could have got there by other means, like flytipping or maybe in a batch of foundry slag used as hardcore to augment a bad track. It surely is a wonder.
Anyone any ideas?