CWAAS paper – Low Borrowbridge

A paper on the work at Low Borrowbridge in 2014 – 16 is being published in the 2019 CWAAS transactions. The paper is available for download from the Publications page.

High Carlingill

We have now received the palaeoenvironmental analysis from the dig earlier this year at High Carlingill. The report shows the use of spelt wheat and barley (typical of Iron Age sites in the North) along with samples of material that could have been used for fodder, bedding and/or thatch. We have eight good samples from four different contexts suitable for dating and these have now been sent for analysis. When we get some results we will publish them here.

In the meantime members may be interested to hear that we have a poster [LINK] accepted for a conference at Tullie House in Carlisle on Northern Pre-History that will take place 12-13 October (see Tullie House website for details if you wish to attend)

Copies of the analysis and the abstract are downloadable from the High Carlingill page


High Carlingill 2018 interim report

The Solstice report for the first dig is now available on the High Carlingill page.

May 20 2019. Day 1

A hard morning of deturfing brought us straight down onto the archaeology just below the surface. Two trenches were opened over possible round house platforms in the presumed early and later phases of the site. Almost immediately floor surfaces of flat stones were visible. Our mission for this second dig at the site is to gather more dating evidence to confirm the use of the site from pre to post Roman. We look forward to splendid weather and lots of interesting archaeology. We will again be welcoming volunteers to the site; children from Orton primary school will visit again, as will young archaeologist groups. Here’s to a great dig. We will be posting pictures from the site on our instagram pages.

Now recruiting volunteers

25th March 2019. We are now looking for volunteers for the next dig at High Carlingill. Dates are 20th May to 4th June. You can volunteer for as many or as few days as you like and no previous experience is necessary as we will be supervised again by the lovely team from Solstice Heritage. You do not have to be a member of LAS to participate.

If you want to volunteer or want further information you must email us at

We will include you on our mailing list and keep you updated about the project and the mailing list will be used for nothing else and will be deleted at the end of the project.

We can have up to 20 volunteers each day and places will be given on a first come/first served basis so sign up today!



Finishing up

The dig is now finished and the trenches backfilled with stone and soil. All that remains to be done is the returfing which shouldn’t take too long now the rain has bedded everything in nicely for us. If you can help on Wednesday to just finish this off please let me know. I will be putting some of the photos from the dig on the web page as soon as I can.

We now have to wait for the environmental and finds analyses and dating but as soon as we get the report from Solstice we will post that up as well.

Thursday 11th and Friday 12th

WE WILL NOT BE ON SITE TOMORROW (Friday) – the weather will be dreadful!
Today (Thursday) the digging and recording was completed and the trenches were filled in but the turf still needs replacing. We will look at the weather forecast and pick a day next week to finish off and I will send round an email to all diggers begging for help. If we can get enough people this should only take a couple of hours.
Please look out for the email and come along if you can.
WE WILL NOT BE ON SITE TOMORROW (Friday) – the weather will be dreadful!

Wednesday 10th October

Glorious weather today – if only it had been like this for the whole dig but this is Cumbria and that would be too much to hope for!

In Trench 1 a slot was dug through the trackway down to the natural surface to look at the construction. In Trench 2 the same was done through the bank to see how it was made. In Trench 2 a broken quern stone was found. This appears to have been broken during its manufacture as there do not seem to be any signs of wear so it was presumably discarded and used as building material.

Both trenches are being recorded and charcoal lifted from the hearth in Trench 1 for radiocarbon dating.

Tomorrow we will complete the recording of the trenches and then fill them in again. We need as much help as possible and hope to finish tomorrow ahead of the bad weather forecast for Friday. If you can put in a few hours to help then please come along.

Tuesday 9th October

A really good day – overcast but dry. Orton primary school have been on site. Two primary classes had a fabulous time with our archaeologists and had a chance to do their own bit of digging in Trench 2. Happy (and muddy) budding archaeologists returned to school for the afternoon, excited about the past.

In the afternoon Levens History Society and Sedbergh History Society both visited the site for a conducted tour.

We are now closing trenches once they are finished. Trench 3 is already backfilled and the other 2 will be closed down soon. The forecast for Friday is awful so we are trying to get as much done as possible before then. If you are down to dig or visit on Friday then please check your emails or back here on the blog for an update before travelling.

Monday 8th October

Another hard day in the trenches. Stronger winds than forecast collapsed the gazebos overnight but with less damage that we originally thought form the sight of them.

Trench 3, across the external bank, was completed, recorded and backfilled. Trench 2 was extended to look at one of the circular features in more detail and the central oval platform was further excavated. further trowelling in trench one cleaned more of the cobbled trackway and also parts of the trench outside the round structure.

The forecast for Friday and beyond is grim – gales and heavy rain – so we will try to complete and backfill trenches as we can.