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…..Conferences, Excavations, Talks, Training, Outings, …….Publications, Exhibitions and more

For those who would like to find out more about archaeology in our local area, there are many different types of events taking place all through the year provided by CBANW, museums, universities and other organisations.

For monthly talks and meetings in your area, please check the information for individual local groups on the Groups and Societies page.

If you would like your Event to be publicised here, please contact the Secretary:, providing the relevant information. For an excavation, please say whether experience is required if volunteers are accepted. Event information will also be shared with the national Council for British Archaeology for advertisement on their website and social media. If you do not wish your event to be advertised on the national website or social media platforms, please just let us know when you forward your event details.

For further information regarding a potential entry here, please contact the Secretary:

Events listed in date order:

Celebrating Archaeology in the North West

A huge Thank You to everyone who supported and contributed to our Festival of Archaeology Event celebrating archaeological and heritage sites in North West England.

If you have a few minutes, please give us some feedback. It can help secure future funding for the Festival of Archaeology.

The Lime Kilns in Marple, Stockport

The Lime Kilns in Marple, Manchester. Built by local mill owner Samuel Oldknow and operated from 1797 to 1801. The top of the kilns are at the same level as the canal above so limestone could be tipped directly into the top of the kilns and the burnt lime taken out at the bottom.  

Find out more:

Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal

An undeniably graceful arch spans the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. Worn brickwork reminds me of two centuries of use, yet it’s still there for us to tread and enjoy every day. Cheshire’s inland waterways – what a joy that’s been to research and appreciate.

Thanks to Julie E. Smalley (Local Historian) for the post.

Beeston Castle, Cheshire

Beeston Castle appears medieval, but the hill’s history covers thousands of years. Its repeated reuse is fascinating and important too!

Watch this film from Andrew Hill (@Hill_A_ ) ‘Landscape View and Archaeology on the Mid-Cheshire Ridge’  made as part of the Festival of Archaeology Student Takeover Day to discover more.

Beeston Roundhouse

Beeston Roundhouse – A fantastic experimental archaeology project, replicating one of the Bronze Age roundhouses found on site. Really brings history to life.

Thanks to Sally S, a member of Chester Archaeological Society for this post.

Eddisbury Hill Fort, Cheshire

A  Bronze and Iron age site. The view is between the ramparts looking toward the 2010 Habitats and Hillforts excavations. A bronze age cup stone was found nearby.

Thanks to Weaverham History Society for the post.

Iron Age / Romano British Settlement in the Tebay Gorge, Cumbria (within Yorkshire Dales National Park)

Further excavations in July 2021 by Lunesdale Archaeology Society members at High Carlingill in the Tebay Gorge, an Iron Age/Romano-British settlement (C-14 dated 1stC BC though to 3rdC AD). This follows previous excavations by LAS & Solstice Heritage (A National Lottery Community Funded project).

This excavation was in an area initially thought to be a stone dump from quarrying, but has turned into the foundations of a Roundhouse with a later rectangular building built over it (picture below). This includes a cobbled external yard and rampway with a lined stone drain below a revetted stone bank in a paved valley section. The finds being limited to burnt wood, charcoal, pot sherds and iron fragments (C-14 dates and analysis, funded by a Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Research Grant, are awaited). We are hoping that this will provide evidence of the later and earlier phases of the settlement.

Thanks to the Lunesdale Archaeological Society for this post.

Smithills Hall, Bolton

Smithills Hall is a Grade 1 Listed building run by Bolton Libraries and Museums Service. Dating to 1335 several families owned the hall. The first were the Radcliffes, the last, the Ainsworths wealthy textile bleachers who bought it in 1801.

The Ainsworths made lots of changes, adding the large Victorian wing. Some bits they didn’t change, like the stone ‘footprint’ of martyr George Marsh who was held & examined at the hall in 1554 before being executed.

Thanks to Ian T for this post.

Halton Old Hall, Runcorn

Halton Old Hall, Runcorn, rebuilt in 1693 after a previous house on the site was damaged in 1643 during the Civil War, is listed grade ll*.

Find out more information about Halton Old Hall here .

Thanks to Shirley M for the post.

The wreck of the Portuguese Brigantine Imperatriz on the River Lune, Lancaster

The ship was on its way from Mazagan (now called El Jadida) in Morocco, to Lancaster carrying Indian corn when it was wrecked. Imperatriz sailed 24th May 1866 from Falmouth to Lancaster on the last leg of its journey. 

The wrecking happened on Saturday June 2nd, 1866. The accident occurred whilst the Imperatriz was being towed up the River Lune by a steam tug and ran aground on the riverbed a few hundred yards from New Quay. Salvageable items of the wreck were auctioned by W.M. Stewardson at New Quay, Lancaster on Monday 25th June 1866 raising a total of £166.00.

The Lancaster and District Heritage group intend to fully survey the wreck following a full risk assessment and written scheme of investigation although we are also at the mercy of the ever-changing silt beds with the River Lune being tidal. We are hopeful of also doing a full photogrammetry survey on the wreck.

For further information please contact our secretary Andy Brown on or visit our Facebook page –

Lancaster Racecourse and Grandstand 

The first horse races were held in Lancaster, on Lancaster Marsh from 1732 with the course closing in 1857.  The building of a new grandstand was instigated in 1848 and the  residue of the course is still visible on this Lidar map . The Racecourse was not a perfect circle!  But its eastern side approximates to one. It is possible that originally there was a start/finish straight, just east of the Hospital, with a grandstand that would have given spectators a view of the compete course. 

Find out more:

Below is a screen shot of that location and one with the Racecourse outlined.  The second screenshot is an image of Lancaster, as in itself it’s interesting and informative, for instance showing clearly the layout of the now defunct railway lines around the Castle Station. 

Thanks to John D, a member of Lancaster Archaeology and Historical Society for this post.

St Mary’s, Cheadle

A church has stood at the heart of Cheadle Village, Stockport since at least the 13th century. The current building was built in the early 16th century with the chancel added in the mid 16th Century. The late 19th century saw significant restoration. 

On the exterior are a range of grotesque carvings of heads while the tower has unusual orans sculptures (praying figures with raised hands) that may have come from an earlier building. Inside there are chapel screens with some late medieval elements and two 15th century effigies and one from the 17th century. 

SMART (South Manchester Archaeology Research Team), have conducted a graffiti survey here and found a range of dates and initials dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

Hopwood Millers House

Hopwood Millers House, a longterm project of Bury Archaeological Group. Tudor site dug over the years with important finds.

Thanks to Bury Archaeological Group for this post.

The Toolerstone, Cheshire

The Toolerstone, Hunts Lane, Cuddington, Cheshire marked the boundary between Vale Royal Abbey & Delemere Forest along the Saxon Peytefynsty road. It is at least mid 14th Century.

Thanks to Weaverham History Society for this post.

Tatton Old Hall

The medieval Old Hall at Tatton Park, Cheshire dates to pre 1598 and the Cruck Barn with thatched roof dates from the 15th-16th century. The grounds still have remains of the old village at Tatton. 

Thanks to Dr Alison Burns for this post.

Coke Ovens on the Lancaster Canal

There are several sets of Coke Ovens on the northern part of the Lancaster Canal. The process for making coke from coal is similar to that of making charcoal from wood. The starting material is burned with as little air as possible so that various by-products fuel the fire but the carbon itself does not burn. An enclosed ‘beehive’ kiln is used and the process takes several days to fill, burn and empty. A set is usually used so that there is always something happening.  

Typically there is a wharf to unload the coal, a retail coal and coke yard and a keepers cottage. On the Lancaster Canal the economy was to bring coal north from Wigan with a return load of limestone. They were superseded by town gas works, although coke has valuable burning properties.  

The Friends of the Carnforth Coke Ovens keep an interest in all the sites. 

Contact Brian

Carnforth Coke Ovens         GR SD 494695

Visible from a public footpath.  Clearance and stabilisation preparatory for some major work.  

Holme coke Ovens                GR  SD 528786

In a private garden .  Visible from the towing path.  Information board.  

Lancaster Coke Ovens          GR  SD 488636      

Visible from the Towing Path.  

Owley Wood, Weaverham

In the beauty of Owley Wood, Weaverham, Cheshire lie the remains of the Rifle Volunteers 1860 range. Many .577 Enfield bullets have been found in nearby bullet stream. 

Thanks to the Weaverham History Society for this post.

Timperley Old Hall, Greater, Manchester

The moat dates from the 13thcentury when Timperley Old Hall was built. Timperley Old Hall was the local manorial centre. The site was excavated by the South Trafford Archaeological Group twice, from 1989 to 1996 and from 2009 to 2011. NHLF monies allowed the moated platform to be restored and a new bridge for public access to be installed in 2012.

Hall I’th’Wood

Hall I’th’Wood is a medieval half timber framed hall on the outskirts of Bolton. It dates from at least 1570, the earliest found from dendro dating timber in the great hall, but could have origins as early as 1483! 

Today it is best known as the home of inventor Samuel Crompton, who lived there when he invented the ‘Spinning Mule’ in 1776. The machine kickstarted the industrial revolution with industrialising cotton spinning

Recent surveys exploring the medieval origins have uncovered superstitious graffiti, known as apotropaic marks, made on the walls & windows by previous inhabitants to ward off evil. The hall is now part of Bolton Libraries and Museum Service.

Thanks to Ian T for this post.

Brooklands Cemetery 

Our local cemeteries hold a fascinating history. Brooklands Cemetery at Marsland Road, Sale, Trafford has the grave of James Prescott Joule and that of Richard Marsden Pankhurst, the husband of Emmeline Pankhurst.  The north west part of the cemetery is high Victorian with many impressive monuments.  Opened in 1862 it is only 150m from Brooklands Metro Station and is adjacent to the Bridgewater Canal where you can Join the Bridgewater Way to cycle or walk.

Thanks to Carolanne K for this post.

Holt Roman Legionary Tile and Pottery Works

In Holt near Wrexham on the banks of the River Dee marking the border between Wales and England, a Roman legionary tile and pottery works was discovered in the late 19thC and excavated by Arthur Acton from 1907-15. Initially, the site was thought to be a series of tile and pottery workshops for the 20th Legion but subsequent discovery of a bank of eight kilns, a separate double flue kiln, workshops, drying shed, bath house and a small villa revealed the true national importance of the site. It is now a scheduled monument and has lain undisturbed for almost 100 years. 

In 2018, the Holt Local History Society sponsored a geophysical survey by Archaeological Survey West showing that the Tile and Pottery works remains substantially in place (see attached figure) along with some intriguing anomalies that are still to be excavated.

The most significant finds from the excavations were sold by Acton to the National Museum in Cardiff where sadly most have languished in the archives ever since. Now for the first time since 1925, these finds will form the centrepiece of an important new Exhibition at the Wrexham Museum entitled “Hidden Holt”. It will be open until January 2022.

Thanks to Holt Local History Society for this post.

Bury Castle 

Bury Castle excavated by Bury Archaeological Group in 1973 and 1977. A fourteenth century fortified manor house.  See more information here .

Thanks to Bury Archaeological Group for this post.

Wigan Pier – Canal Basin Project

This iconic site has recently had a multimillion pound revamp which includes a food hall, wedding venue, gin-distillery, micro-brewery and waterside town houses. The origins of the canal basin are shrouded in mystery as many believe it was created in the 1740s as part of the Douglas Navigation. The Wigan Archaeology Society and the Wigan Local History and Heritage Society are combining their efforts with a project to see if they can understand its early development. The Navigation, which operated from 1741 to 1780, played an inaugural role in the Industrial Revolution. It allowed for the growth and industrialization of Wigan (and surrounding townships) changing it from a market town with nationally recognized artisans, to a coal mining and cotton spinning urban centre.

Thanks to Wigan Archaeological Society for the post.

Noon Hill

The Bronze Age burial mound on the slopes of Noon Hill, between Bolton and Chorley, was first excavated by Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society in 1958, and again in 1963. Several human cremations, urns & flint tools, now stored at Bolton Library and Museum Services.

The site was carefully avoided during the moorland fires of 2018, but sadly its counterpart on Winter Hill didn’t survive. You can still visit the site, a short walk up the hill from Belmont Road and Pigeon Tower. 

Thanks to Ian T for this post.

Halton House, Runcorn

Celebrating local places for 2021 #FestivalofArchaeology. Halton House, Halton, Runcorn. Built in 1779, this building is grade ll listed. #ArchaeologyNorthWest .

More info here . 

Thanks to Shirley M for the post.

31, Main St., Runcorn

Dated to the late 18th century, 31, Main St., Halton, Runcorn, listed grade ll, is the former coach house of Halton House. More info here .

Thanks to Shirley M for the post.

Brock Valley Archaeology

The River Brock valley, 10 miles north of Preston, is a favourite spot for picnics and walks along the wooded riverbank. At the far end of the nature trail are the ruins of a mill built in 1790, with around 20 workers’ cottages. The mill had several incarnations, including as a cafe and a dance hall, before it fell into ruins in the 1930s. The cottages were lived in up to 1951, when they were condemned.

Halfway between the picnic site care park and the mill is another ancient cottage that is under excavation by members of Wyre Archaeology, an amateur, community group based in the ancient Amounderness Hundred.

Totally buried under growth before excavation started in November 2019, its purpose and age remain to be discovered, but the two-roomed cottage has already revealed plastered walls and a cobbled floor and drain. Finds have hinted at its later use for picnics, probably after its collapse or demolition, with pieces of crockery, sandwich paste jars, a 19th century bottle, a knife, perhaps stolen in the 20s or 30s from a Blackpool cafe and a silver George III shilling (5p) dated to 1817.

Benja Fold, Bramall, Stockport

SMART (South Manchester Archaeology Research Team) are hoping to investigate what is thought to be the remains of a medieval barn in a field opposite a group of listed thatched cottages, with oak beams, known as Benja Fold, in Bramhall, Stockport.  

The barn is shown on the local tithe map but not in later maps. Since we could not proceed because of Covid, a small group of us have been investigating the history of the land and weavers’ cottages which belonged to the Pownall family and later the Brocklehursts who were big silk weavers in Cheshire. 

The pump in front of the cottages was the first public water supply in Bramhall.

Seneschal’s House, Runcorn 

The oldest standing building in Runcorn, Seneschal’s House built in 1598 by Judge John King. Formerly known as Halton Brow Farm House/John King’s New House, renamed in the mid-20th Century.

Thanks to Shirley M for the post.

Cockey Moor Bell Pits

Early 18th century coal mines surveyed and dug by Bury Archaeological Group in Ainsworth.

Thanks to Bury Archaeological Group for this post.

Lakehouse Field in Weaverham

Lakehouse Field in Weaverham is registered as a Village Green and is used for all sorts of community activities – fairs once or twice a year, the Rose Fete, fireworks displays, football and dog walking. It was originally part of Lakehouse Farm and incorporates a neighbouring field once called “Pavement End”.  

The availability of the Environment Agency LIDAR data on easy to use websites such a Lidar Finder now makes it easy to explore archaeological features in the landscape. Does this Lidar image of Lakehouse Field show traces of a Roman Road first postulated by Edward Kirk in 1885?  

Charles Bebbington, the church sexton, wrote that  “when the church was being restored in 1876, a Roman causeway was found cutting diagonally across the present chancel”. In 1929 a party of 46 members of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society from Manchester enjoyed a “delightful drive” by char-a-banc to Davenham and Weaverham Churches, here “the churchyard was visited to see the part of the Roman road recently brought to light by Mr. Bebbington. Tea was then taken in the schoolroom.”  

These traces on Lakehouse field line up perfectly with those drawn on a plan of the church by Bebbington.

Thank you to Weaverham History Society for this post.

The Albert Inn, King St, Lancaster (now named ‘The Alley’)

As part of the re-aligning of King St in Lancaster, an old public house was replaced with a state-of the-art model establishment (with an adjoining shop). This was designed by Frederick Hill, the Corporation Architect and Civil Engineer, who also designed buildings like the Bus Depot and Swimming Baths on Kingsway, along with most of the inter-war council estates and much of the 1930s corporation improvements in the town.

Thank you to Colin S for this post.

Maiden Castle near Bickerton

This is Maiden Castle near Bickerton, a multivallate Iron Age Hillfort. Excavated in the mid 20th Century by V J Varley when it was a military firing range! It is now being cherished as part of a SSSI . 

More info here:

Thanks to PM Clarke for the post

Prehistoric Footprints

Impressions of red deer and roe deer prehistoric footprints being recorded by volunteers at the Morecambe Bay Partnership. More information and photos at

Thank you to Dr Alison Burns for this post.

Thanks to STAG (South Trafford Archaeology Group) for our first post.

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