Monthly Archives: September 2018

Sunday 30th September – Day 4

Two trenches are now exposed. In the morning the currently exposed surfaces were recorded photographically and then troweling of soil and removal of loose scattered stones continued. A large quantity of stone has already been removed from the surface – possibly from collapsed structures or washed down in the past from the hillside above. Built structures are becoming more obvious but their interpretation is still unclear. So far there are no small finds to help date the site but we are not yet at the floor level in the potential round house, which is where we might hope to find domestic remains.

The diggers are working hard and we are making good progress but there is plenty more to do.

Saturday 29th September – Day 3

Day 3.

We were joined today by 18 members of the Young Archaeologists Club and their leaders and by 12 Yorkshire Dales National Park Young Rangers and their leaders. This enthusiastic team of youngsters excavated in trench 2 and uncovered the remains of a roundhouse plus a second associated circular feature whose purpose is not yet certain.

Excavations continued in trench 1. The features exposed so far will now be recorded before digging down further to the layers underneath.

Once again the weather has been splendid and it has been a great (but tiring) day of excavations.

28th September Day2

Day 2

Another day of hard work by our keen volunteer diggers in beautiful weather. In the first trench, deturfed yesterday, troweling back has started to reveal a constructed stone feature amongst all the tumble.

A second trench has been deturfed over what appears from the geophysics to be a possible round house. Exploration of both trenches will continue tomorrow.

27th September. Day 1

Day 1 of the dig.

The weather has been beautiful and a day of very hard work has seen the first trench deturfed. A large area of 6m by 10m has been uncovered. This trench is over the lumps and bumps of what we believe to be a boundary between 2 different phases of development of the site. The stony ground is covered by a very thin layer of turf and soil and prising off the turf to reveal the archaeology underneath has been back-breaking labour. Another area has been strimmed ready to start a second trench over  a presumed round house.  It has been a very hard but successful day.

Tomorrow we will start to scrape back the thin soils to reveal the archaeology beneath.

26th September

Set up day.

David moved the sheep from the site where they had been doing a splendid job cropping the long grass. The gazebos are erected and the loos are on site – so a tea tent and relief afterwards. What more do we need?

Perhaps we need to find a settlement! We are all ready to start digging tomorrow. Check out our instagram site @lunesdale (user name Lunesdale Archaeology) to see daily pictures of our progress.

The weather is set to clear in the next day or so and hopefully remain settled!

We will post updates here regularly.

Dig update 21st Sept

Dig update 21st September

We are a few days away from starting the dig and the planning is all in place. Hopefully the weather will settle – the forecast is quite good. We will be on site from 10.00am until 4.00pm every day but there will be no public open days because of the difficulties of organising parking and the nature of the site, which is steep and uneven in places and may be wet underfoot. Organised local groups are coming by prior arrangement.

The geophysics and photogrammetry were completed a couple of months ago and the full report is on the website The results showed hut circles and enclosures and gives many targets for exploring with trenches. We aim to look at the domestic sites this year and perhaps possible industrial sites in the Spring dig.

We can have up to 20 volunteers each day, supervised by Solstice Heritage who are experienced in community digs. We have worked with them before and have been impressed with their patience and the level of training they give. We have plenty of volunteers but still have a place or 2 for volunteers on most days so if you still want to volunteer or volunteer for extra days then just let me know and I can tell you if there is space. If you don’t want to dig all day or even at all, but want to be involved then don’t be put off. There are other more sedentary tasks such as recording and finds processing.

We will try to post a daily diary on this page of the website each evening and also have an Instagram account @lunesdale (user name lunesdale archaeology) for “live” pictures and videos. If the weather is absolutely dreadful and we have to cancel for safety reasons we will post that on the website and attempt to email volunteers but the notification may be last minute once the archaeologists have examined the site in the morning. If you have volunteered and think the day might be cancelled then you can ring us before setting out on 07586422491 (Jan) 07792530626 (Gray) 07956234698 (Jackie) or 01539622067 (Gray and Jackie) but please bear in mind that although there are good mobile signals on the site we may be travelling and there are big areas of no signal in the vicinity because of the hills. We will answer if we can!

Hopefully there will be fabulous weather – the forecast is good – and we will have a fantastic dig on a fascinating site.