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Memoirs of a Moldywarp

Memoirs of a Moldywarp - Episodes of Underground Exploration






The Cross Slabs of Brancepeth

The Cross Slabs of Brancepeth.. after the fire, a major archaeological discovery


Elaine and Peter publish as "Broomlee Publications". There are now two books for sale - see below - but there are still ISBN numbers available if you would like to publish through our imprint. Contact Elaine via her e-mail:

Memoirs of a Moldywarp

This is Pete’s caving book; you can buy it here for £8.75. . It is about caving, that is, the practise of going down into natural limestone caves, exploring then, mapping them, and generally enjoying the underground environment, and the company of like-minded people who also find this is one of their pleasures. It is not a scientific treatise, and does not seek to relate events that changed the world. Writing it was merely a pleasurable exercise, to some extent self-indulgent, which enabled the author to relive in mind forty years of speleology without suffering the pain that reliving it in body would have meant.

Peter Ryder is a founder member of the Moldywarps Speleological Group. Cluff, who did the drawings, is an old school friend and also an the original Moldywarps, who cartoons full time (you can see his work every day in ‘The Northern Echo’ but has also figured in such august publications as Punch and Private Eye).

Please click here to read the preface >

The Cross Slabs of Brancepeth . . .
after the fire, a major archaeological discovery

by Peter F Ryder

Price is £5.00 plus £1.00 postage and packing

When St Brandon's Church at Brancepeth in County Durham was gutted by fire in September 1998 the virtually complete destruction of its unique fittings and furnishings was one of the greatest art/historical losses that the North East has suffered in the last century or so.

However, as the burned-out church was slowly reconstructed, literally dozens of medieval cross slab grave covers came to light, eventually totalling over a hundred. Peter supervised archaeological recording throughout the reconstruction, and in this book describes and discusses this remarkable collection of medieval monuments, and what their varied and beautiful cross designs, emblems and symbols might mean.

Also included is a section detailing how the post-fire recording aided our understanding of the complex structural history of the church itself.



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