Sunday 7th October

A blustery day and cold! The day’s activities have been mainly cleaning back further in the existing trenches and recording. In trenches 2 and 3 slots have been cleared through the archaeology to look at the construction of the bank in trench 3 and of the circular platform in the middle of trench 2.

Saturday 6th October

A splendid day after the wet of the previous 2 days. The extension to trench 1 has exposed a clearly cobbled track to the enclosure, which cuts the banks and is possibly a late addition to the site (Roman?). The roundhouse in trench 1 is very clear now and the small entrance to that is exposed. There is a small hearth or patch of charcoal inside which should provide good dating evidence. I

The new trench 3 has exposed more of the boundary bank above trench 2. Check out the photos on our instagram site @lunesdale


Friday update 10.30am

Ok the few diggers currently on-site have tried to get up to the trenches and the decision has been made that the site is now very unsafe and digging has been called off for today – if you haven’t yet set out then don’t.
If you are on rota for the next few days then please note that the parking area we have been using for 4 wheeled drives is also waterlogged and very unsafe for parking. Even 4 -wheelers were skidding badly today and churning up the field. No cars will be able to park on site until further notice. Parking will be either on the road at Low Borrowbridge or on the left hand verge down at the farm with a short walk from either.

Friday 5th

The weather is dreadful again and the site very wet. The dig will close today at lunchtime. If you were planning to dig today and haven’t yet set out then stay in the dry at home.

The forecast for tomorrow and beyond is much better and digging will go ahead as planned (we hope).

Thursday 4th October

Well – what a wet day. We were in driving cloud all day – the really wetting sort. However good progress was made deturfing a new trench 3 and extending trench 1. Howgill and Firbank WI visited in the morning for a tour. The weather deteriorated further by lunch time and sadly the site became very slippery in the wet. The afternoon digging was called off and the visit by Levens History Society had to be cancelled. There was just too much risk of slipping on the steep grass and by then we were soaked to the skin. The weather looks set to improve over the next few days and the archaeologists assure us that digging will continue tomorrow.

If there is any change to that I will post here but decisions are unlikely to be made before we reach the site in the morning.

Wednesday 3rd October

Rather damp and drizzly today. We took delivery of the lock-up for safely storing our equipment in future. It looked thief-proof. Trench 1 was extended to try to find the site entrance and slots were taken out in each of the trenches in the substantial stone banks to look at the structure beneath the tumble. Trench 2 is still as complex, with apparent multiple layers of settlement. We did find a couple of shards of Roman pottery today in one of the trenches.

Next phase of the HLF funded project

The second excavation at High Carlingill will take place from 20th May – 4th June 2019. If you are on our mailing list we will contact you in the Spring to recruit volunteers. If you are not currently on the email list but would like to be then let us know by emailing

Tuesday 2nd October

Day 6

The day started really badly. We arrived on site to find that the field had been broken into overnight and the trailer and its contents stolen, together with a number of tools and other things from the tents. There was nothing taken that has stopped the dig but it was very upsetting for all concerned and used a lot of the organisers’ time and energy for the day. The trailer is a very distinctive streamlined model called Venter and there are very few in the UK so please keep an eye out for it on your travels – it is so distinctive that it could not be sold on or used by the thieves. It contained very little of any value to anyone other than us – after all who else wants gazebo covers, an LAS banner and a huge roll of permatrace? Though why on earth did they take the old camping kettle? It is just mean. If there is someone reading this who knows where everything is then please let us know. It is of virtually no value to anyone except us and will inevitably end up dumped and littering the countryside.

It didn’t halt the dig, which continued to add to the confusion. I guess there will be more days of head scratching before we start to understand the site. We originally postulated that the site was occupied for a long time and that seems to be the case, with multiple phases of development, overlapping, reusing and covering. Thank goodness we have professionals – Solstice Heritage – supervising. Sorting it out is way beyond our amateur capabilities.

One interesting feature, identified as man-made by one of our members, Tim who is a geologist, is a groove cut into a large rock in the middle of Trench 1 which was presumably for channeling water. There is a picture of it on our instagram site @lunesdale.

Monday 1st October – Day 5

Yet another day of shifting stones and scraping soil. The site seems to be getting more complicated and more confusing with structures within and abutting structures and different stages of construction, all covered by an endless tumble of stones. We have filled all the builders bags with stone and are now building piles and eventually it all has to go back in the holes!

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.