April update and new booklet


We have continued to excavate the stone platform and now understand its construction-large stones set round the edge, filled with stones and sand to level the area, then packing stones and finally the top layer.

The excavation has shown there is complex movement and chemistry of various compounds through the soil leading to ‘concrete’ hard thick layers below the top soil.

One of the large stones may have at one time stood upright, we need to investigate this and complete the excavation over the coming weeks so if you want to join us then please fill in the contact form.

A new booklet has been published as the last document of the finished Landscape Partnership Project run by the Nidderdale AONB.  This is available as a download https://ironagenidderdale.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/landscapearchaeology_booklet_web.pdf or to buy as hardcopy from us or Nidderdale Plus in Pateley Bridge at £6.50.



January update of stone platform dig


Hope you all had a good Christmas and  New year
We went back to our platform excavation for the first time this year and worked in 2 areas. Lovely sunny day and some lapwings came to have a look.
We continued to clean up the part of the trench going up field there is quite a mixture of hillwash  and stone with cavities underneath it. Nothing is yet resolving into a definitive structure.
We expanded the other uphill trench leg near the known platform  so that it overlapped the old trench of a couple of years ago and cleaned it up. You can see we now have the edge of the platform going up hill near the poles on the photo. It seems the edge has a smaller stone surface than the main one.
Next week we will enlarge the trench on this side so it goes upto the lump at the top of the photo to see what happens.
Still no dating or finds evidence I’m afraid.
We meet at 10am on Tuesdays . Let me know if you want to join us via the contacts page.

November update on Nidderdale excavation


Excavations on the stone platform area continue. The end of the platform bounded by large stones can be seen above. Excitingly the large stone just beyond it was very probably upright sometime in the past.

There are also 2 piles of small stones and a patch of charcoal  to investigate, as well as a significant amount of ‘hillwash’ to remove.

If you want to join us on our Tuesday digs then use the contact page. This excavation will be going on for sometime.

What we are doing in October

Today we went back to a farm near Dacre and started to open up a large area around where we found the stone platform.

The photo  shows the initial relatively narrow strip joining 2 old trenches to get a feel of the place.


We cleaned it down to the base of the turf layer and then started on a second strip further away from the tree.

The tree will have so heavily disturbed the ground it we don’t really want to go nearer, and of course do not want to damage the tree.

We feel that the hot summer has emphasised the back part (ie behind the tree)  of the potential circular feature , and therefore emphasises the need to undertake this dig.

We started the next the strip further out from the tree and uncovered some large stones .

We will NOT be there next Tuesday (2/10) as a number of us are helping out at a local primary school archaeology day but we will be there 9,16,23 October( likely to be there most of the winter )

We will continue to open up a bigger area  and cleaning it until we have a clear view/record of the under the turf layer before going down.

If you wish to join us please contact us via the contacts page.

Next few weeks programme

We will be completing a farm survey and undertaking some barn recording. Use the contact form if you would like to be involved.

Tues 22/5 continue to field survey a farm in Summerbridge

29/5 nothing

5/6 barn recording at the Summerbridge farm

12/6 and 19/6 barn recording some barns in Upper Nidderdale we found as art of our survey work for the Upper Nidderdale LPS our farm heritage project-

26/6 going on a tour of the key features  found in the Ripley area by the local group.

What we are doing in April

Don’t forget the exciting dig of Studfold Romano British settlement start on Easter Monday for 10 days. This is a follow up to the dig last year to hopefully answer most of the questions we raised then. Experience not necessary. If you would like to join in the excavation please fill in the contact form. Studfold is near Lofthouse.