Sunday, 27 January 2013


For over 60 years I've been collecting all sorts of stuff that's taken my eye from fossils to flints to clay pipe heads, and file them in old biscuit tins. There's canals and railways locally so allot of the 17 and 1800's pipe heads have an Irish theme from the Navies (mainly made in Manchester though) but about 20 years ago they were building an industrial estate down by the river at Kildwick, about 12 miles from where we live now and they’d just scraped the top soil off the fields so I went down with my metal detector and straight away found a pipe head then another and another. I gave up to the detector and gathered a pocket full of pipe heads – the next weekend when I went back the foundations were poured and the green field site lost forever. Crosshills used to be a small village with green fields and woods between it and the next villages Sutton, Glusburn, Eastburn it’s becoming one urban sprawl now. Here's a 1930's OS
Here's as they were building with pipe heads found in red oval
but it soon looked like this
If you have Google Earth the site is at
Linky if it works ?

 I don’t know what was going on in the early 1600’s for there to be so many pipe heads (Fair, Market, Horse race, it’s very near an old crossing over the river only 400 years and no one knows) but most of the heads were small Tobacco being a scarce and taxed ! (so nothing’s new) it was seen as a luxury item hence the very small bowls at the time. I think the next “idea” came while pruning the Bamboo in the front garden. 

 that being hollow it would make pipe stems to repair the heads, so using 1/8” brass tube as a tennon

the next pipe is from the early 1600's 
This is pre English civil war and with Tobacco being a scarce and taxed ! 
(so nothing’s new) it was seen as a luxury item hence the very small bowls at the time 

1572 Sir Francis Drake returns from the Americas and introduces pipe smoking to Britain.
1585 Sir Francis Drake introduces smoking to Sir Walter Raleigh.
1586 Some of the Virginia colonists return to England smoking pipes. The habit quickly spreads and tobacco takes root in English society.
1600 Sir Walter Raleigh persuades Queen Elizabeth to try smoking
1603 Physicians are upset that tobacco used by people without physician prescription. They complain to King James I.
1610 Sir Francis Bacon writes that tobacco use is increasing and that it is a custom hard to quit.
1614 First sale of native Virginia tobacco in England. Virginia colony enters world tobacco market under English protection.
1620 Trade agreement between the Crown and Virginia Company bans commercial tobacco growing in England, in return for a 1 shilling/lb. duty on Virginia tobacco.

 They smoke a treat and it's nice to use and hold something that's up to 400 years old. It's like shaking hands with Oldmortality 

 "Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything."

cheers all Danny


  1. And then what do you do with it, Walt?
    You set fire to it ?!!

    Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire

    1. The mind is not a vessel to be filled
      but a fire to be kindled.
      Plutarch 46 to 120 AD
      Faster on the Draw than William Butler Yeats!

    2. pipes - faster on the draw - see what I did there ?