Archive for the ‘flint knappers’ Category

Fornham Circular Run Suffolk

In Brandon, flint knappers, Fornham All Saints, Fornham Saint Martin, Fornham St Genevieve, Grimes Graves, suffolk on September 11, 2005 at 10:06 am

9am 7.5 miles in 1hr 14 seconds.

Year to date mileage 878

Month to date 68 miles

Average miles per month 105

Average weekly rate 24.2

Weather: Dry overcast and feeling close.

A fairly slow run today as it is feeling very sticky and close and mainly because I was tired and couldn’t run any faster. The above pictures are of Fornham St Martin. Many of the buildings and walls in this area make great use of flints. It could be said to be the chief building material in Suffolk.

Brandon in Suffolk is said to be the first workshop in England. Here in this area many excavations have now confirmed the ancient art of flint knapping has been carried out for 400,000 years. There are many pits and quarries perhaps the most famous at Grimes Graves.

Flint is a form of silica, and comes from the remains of sea creatures, especially sponges and sea
urchins, which collected on the sea-bed, about seventy million years ago. Broken flint has razor-sharp edges, which made it an ideal material for use by prehistoric peo ple before the invention of metal tools. Finds that are still made in the area include scrapers and hand axes .

At the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars nine Brandon gunflint makers were commissioned to supply 360,000 flints a month, worth £4500 in a year. In 1813 fourteen flint masters were
contracted to supply 1,060,000 musket flints a month,worth about £18,000 annually, giving employment to160 knappers and miners.

Many of the flintknappers died of ‘knapper’s rot’, a form of the lung disease silicosis which was the result ofinhaling razor-sharp flint dust for many years.