Iron-Age (Nidderdale) is a community archaeology group that was formed in December 2004 to investigate archaeological features in and around the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Nidderdale AONB) in North Yorkshire.

The founder members of the group were:

  • Gillian Hovell
  • Michael Thorman
  • and Jim Brophy

All had participated in the Dacre Pasture Project which came to an end earlier in 2004 and their original purpose was to continue investigating the evidence of historic iron smelting that had come to light during that project. This proved to be very rewarding with a wide range of new discoveries including mining, smelting and related activities at Dacre and elsewhere in and around Nidderdale. Inevitably, other features came to light and the group expanded its activities and membership Between 2004 and 2008 the group relied on the members’own resources but from 2008 funding was obtained from the Heritage Lottery Fund with a consequent expansion of fieldwork and community involvement.

Professional support and consultancy was provided by Kevin Cale of Community Archaeology Ltd. Specialised consultancy and technical services were provided by Bradford University, Liverpool University and Intertek (a commercial laboratory).

The group also benefited from involvement with the Council for British Archaeology, the Yorkshire Archaeology and History Society, the Historical Metallurgical Society and the Northern Mine Research Society.

Nothing could have been achieved without the widespread support and encouragement of Nidderdale’s farmers and landowners to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude. The AONB office in Pateley Bridge has been a great facilitator and we owe the staff there a vote of thanks; similarly with the Heritage Lottery Fund, whose financial and administrative support has enabled us to commission the scientific consultancy, analysis and testing which has been so important to the success of our projects.

For the Prehistoric project the group’s professional advisor is Jim Brightman of Solstice Heritage. The Our Farm Heritage project is part of the Nidderdale AONB’s Landscape Partnership Project.

The management committee of the group consists of:

  • Josh Southwell (Chairman)
  • Bob Barker (Secretary)
  • Roger Newman (Treasurer)
  • Geoff Foxall (Archivist)
  • Richard Langley (Education Co-ordinator)
  • Ann Thake
  • Ken Bratley
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