Yes, a keeill.
Recorded in ‘The Royal Forest of Lancaster’ by R. Cunliffe Shaw is the following grant: “All Carr furlong between Keldbreckwell and the ditch of Stalmine grange with the meadow belonging was given by Henry of Stalmine son of William Beaufort.”
“So what?” you’re probably asking yourself. (What do you mean, “So what?” What sort of attitude is that to take? We’re trying to educate you lot here!)
Right, the name Keldbreckwell suggests a well belonging to a keeill (a fifth to eleventh century chapel of Norse/Celtic origin…in case you’re wondering) situated on a breck (the Norse word for the slope of a hill).
Now, if All Carr furlong referred to the field highlighted in blue on the first edition Ordnance Survey map below, then Keldbreckwell could easily have been the well recorded at the bottom of the platform.
That there was a keeill somewhere in Stalmine is, in our opinion, a given. In the same work, Cunliffe Shaw also refers to the coucher of Furness mentioning strip grants in a number of fields, one being Kelbrick. (Again, apply the same interpretation and that keeill’s got to be around somewhere.) Moreover, outside the porch at St. James’ (previously St. Oswald’s) church stands the preaching cross shown in the photograph below, the base of which (hewn from a single slab of stone) is typical of keeill cross bases.
Now whether the base was moved to its current location from close to Back Lane or not we couldn’t, at this time, honestly say, although the most likely location for our missing keeill, all matters considered, is the brow of the hill by the side of Grange Road (now occupied by a ‘Stud’ farm) rather than the platform itself.
At the time of writing, the most obvious theory as to why the platform was constructed, remains for the housing of the watermill, although it should be noted that several maps spanning the last few centuries detail buildings (the exact size and shape of which we wouldn’t like to commit ourselves to) perched on it.
One last item before we leave this matter alone for a while, during our initial investigation, we discovered a few pieces of pottery (including delft and treacle ware) along with a fragment of clay pipe stem in the partially collapsed northeast embankment, indicating that a certain amount of post mediaeval activity had taken place on the platform. The scan below shows a selection of these ‘small finds’ such as they are. (The treacle and delft ware are currently in the possession of Chris Clayton.)
And one last photograph for now, showing the platform as viewed from its about halfway along on its east side.