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Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group

posted 6 Sep 2012, 07:00 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 6 Sep 2012, 07:14 ]

Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group logo
The Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group is a group of people who have an interest in all aspects of archaeology.

In 2005, when the Department of Archaeology in the School of Continuing Education closed, a
t the University of Leeds, a number of students were eager to continue to use their acquired knowledge, so 12 members formed the Group under the guidance of Dr Roger Martlew, and there are now more than sixty members.


The group meets regularly, on the 1st Thursday of the month; the programme consists of talks between October and April, and walks or visits to places of archaeological and historical interest in the summer. There are also occasional walks and visits during the day or at weekend. Winter talks are held in Skipton and cover a wide range of related topics.


An investigation of the former mill and hamlet of Moorfoot at Whitfield Syke, Embsay has just been completed and members are currently involved with a project recording the Traditional Farm Buildings in the Kettlewell with Starbotton parish. In addition to our own programme, we work closely with the Yorkshire Dales Landscape Research Trust, mainly in Upper Wharfedale. Past surveys have included most of the land around Threshfield Quarry, and surveying and recording the existing buildings within the quarry, prior to re-development. We also surveyed a number of different sites, including the Druid’s Altar on Malham Moor, the earthworks at Long Ashes, Kilnsey Town Piece, Langcliffe Scar and High Close, Grassington.

Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group member working at an excavationMembers have assisted each summer for a number of years with the excavations at Chapel House Wood, in conjunction with the YDLRT. We were involved with the clearing and excavation of the Grotto in the Wilderness, for Skipton Civic Society, and have also taken part in various excavations in conjunction with Ingleborough Archaeology Group, including a corn drying kiln and a lime kiln in Kilnsey.

Photo: Excavating the village bread oven at Hartlington in the Wharfe valley

Other Activities

As a result of the Whitfield Syke Project, a sub-group was formed to investigate the documentary history of the village of Embsay, leading to projects recording the boundary stones on Embsay Moor and investigating the surrounding walls.

Members have also worked with other local organisations, including the Skipton Civic Society, the Kilnsey and Conistone Parish Council and helped with the recording and cataloguing at the Craven Museum, Skipton.

Membership of the group offers opportunities for involvement with documentary research, topographical and geophysical survey work, excavation, finds recording, post excavation analysis and report writing.

Further Details of our activities and our programme may be found on our website www.uwhg.org.uk

East Riding Archaeological Society

posted 26 Oct 2011, 13:49 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 6 Aug 2012, 02:59 ]

'ERAS volunteers excavating and recording a burial found during building work in the East Riding
The East Riding Archaeological Society (ERAS) was founded in the 1960s, and has been actively promoting the rich and varied archaeology of the East Riding ever since.

The Society has members of all ages and from all walks of life; from professional archaeologists to enthusiastic beginners. An informal field studies group meets in Beverley every month, giving members the opportunity to handle, identify, and record finds from the area. There is also a series of lecture meetings held monthly (between September and April), with speakers’ topics covering both local and national projects. The meetings are held at the University of Hull and are free for members. Full details of the current lecture programme are attached below and can also be found at our website – www.eras.org.uk Members also receive the Society’s major publication, East Riding Archaeologist, free of charge (R.R.P. £25), and regular newsletters.

ERAS also organises day trips and social events. Members can get involved in geophysical surveys and, sometimes, excavations. The Society is currently planning a project for 2011/2012 in conjunction with English Heritage and the LEADER project. This will give members the opportunity to carry out geophysical surveys and field walking of up to five ‘At Risk’ Scheduled Monument sites. Further details of the project will be available on our website as they become available.

Membership is only £15 for ordinary and £20 for family membership for the year. Student membership is just £5. You can download a membership form from our website. Alternatively, if you have any queries you can contact us via the website too.

ERAS volunteers excavating and recording a 
burial found during building work in the East Riding

Boston Spa Archaeology & Heritage Group

posted 5 Jun 2011, 05:44 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 18 Jul 2011, 07:18 by Forum CBAYorkshire ]

The Boston Spa Archaeology & Heritage Group was founded in 1999 after an an article in the parish newsletter suggested that local people might want to investigate the archaeology of their own area, rather than watching the experts on the television.
The group has developed an active programme of fieldwork. They have discovered a prehistoric flint-knapping site, successfully obtaining grant funds from the Local Heritage Initiative to carry out extensive research. They have also mapped and investigated medieval earthworks including ridge and furrow, a medieval ford and a sheepwash in the district.

They have a lively programme of events including experimental archaeology, visits and talks.

The group's latest project began in 2009 when they noticed how many gateposts were gradually disappearing with changing agricultural practices and redevelopment of houses. They want to find out more about this, raise awareness and record examples before they are lost. See more at http://www.bsparch.org.uk/gateposts/gatepost1.htm

The Group would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has an interest in or is researching old flax retting sites. They are excavating and recording Dam House in Boston Spa. Decriptions and photographs can be found at the end of the 'Heritage Trail' on their website: www.bsparch.org.uk

Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group

posted 7 Feb 2011, 08:03 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 7 Feb 2011, 08:06 by Forum CBAYorkshire ]

SWAAG is a group of enthusiasts in the northernmost Yorkshire dales who are contributing to the knowledge base of the history of our dales through archaeological and related activity. SWAAG, affiliated with the Swaledale Museum, began work in July 2009 under the guidance and supervision of Tim Laurie, the leading expert on prehistoric landscapes in the area who has many landscape surveys, excavations and publications to his credit.

Our work programme meets a wide range of interests: desk-top research on documents, Google Earth, aerial and site photographs; site surveying, mapping and drawing; linking geology to historic land use; recording ancient and relict vegetation and trees; field-walking and producing published reports. We are in the process of planning our first excavation project on one of our survey sites.

Our first survey focussed on a group of previously unrecorded Iron Age/Romano-British settlements in Swaledale. We have been surveying two other multi-period sites and over the winter will work on the spectacular site of Maiden Castle. We plan over time to study a wide range of sites from prehistoric through Romano-British to medieval and lead mining. We encourage sub-groups of members to take on their own projects depending on their interests.

Please explore our website for our archaeological report, Tim Laurie’s publications, photographs and records of wonderful trees and fungi, and general Historic Environment Records.

SWAAG welcomes new members. Our walks and meetings are open to all, so please come along to see if you would like to join us. Remember, if you are interested in research, surveying, mapping and drawing, excavation, finds analysis, botany, geology or just walking beautiful countryside year-round, please contact us on info@swaag.org

Young Archaeologists Clubs

posted 25 Apr 2010, 08:48 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 25 Apr 2010, 08:59 by Forum CBAYorkshire ]

The Young Archaeologists' Club began its long and happy life way back in 1972. In those days it was called Young Rescue and was set up by Kate Pretty and Mike Corbishley. Kate produced and edited the Young Rescue newsletter from her home and both Kate and Mike set up their own local branches of the Club so members got a chance to get their hands dirty with practical activities.

Club membership grew and grew until it got so big that Kate and Mike decided that it would be a good idea to hand Club over to a larger organisation. The York Archaeological Trust looked after if for a little while but it was eventually decided to pass it on to a charity called the Council for British Archaeology (CBA).

By the time the CBA took it over, the Club had changed its name to the Young Archaeologists' Club and had seven branches across the UK. The Club now has over 70 local branches across the United Kingdom, including seven in Yorkshire, and over 3,000 members.

You can find the addresses of the Yorkshire YAC branches on our YAC page 

The pictures show some of the activities of the Kirklees YAC branch.

Leeds Archaeological Fieldwork Society

posted 19 Mar 2010, 07:41 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 19 Mar 2010, 07:46 by Forum CBAYorkshire ]

Leeds Archaeological Fieldwork Society was set up in 2005 and is a small but growing friendly archaeology society actively engaged in undertaking fieldwork in north and east Leeds Activities to date have included fieldwalking, farm surveys, excavations, visits to historic sites, as well as historic research and community archaeology talks and finds handling workshops. LAFS are keen to recruit new members whether complete novices or experienced professionals! Membership costs just £10 and application forms are on the LAFS website.

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