Archaeology in the Lake District Conference

The CLHF was pleased to have a display at the Archaeology in the Lake District conference held at Rheged on 9 November and to welcome Federation members and potential members. The subjects of the eight illustrated conference talks ranged in date in particular from the Middle Ages to the present day. Members of the Lake District Archaeology Volunteer Network spoke about recent survey work which has revealed a large number of sites previously unrecorded on the Historic Environment Record. Lydia Loopesko of the Northern Archaeological Associates stressed the importance of historic landscape surveys and revealed how through increasingly sophisticated equipment and techniques, including Lidar and Satellite Imagery, surveys of the Derwentwater and Little Langdale areas had found 600 and 240 new sites respectively. Dr Rob Philpott reported that the scientific analysis of the slags and charcoal found on an iron industry site at Satterthwaite associated with the Abbey of Furness, which has been excavated on a community project, had revealed the very efficient extraction of iron from the ore on a site which could be dated to the late 13th – early 14th century. Celebrating its 40th year, Warren Allison spoke on the pioneering work undertaken by the Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society in mine exploration and conservation; the Society’s extensive archives have been deposited with the Armitt Museum and Library,Ambleside, with a number of them having been digitised and made available online. Trevor Avery, Director of the Lake District Holocaust Project, and Kevin Colls of the University of Staffordshire, spoke movingly on the community archaeology project involving the excavation of the site of the Culgarth Estate, originally built in 1941 for the Short Sunderland factory, which from August 1945 was to provide a home for Jewish children who had survived the Holocaust; nowadays, the site of the hostels occupied by the children forms the sports fields, etc. of The Lakes School.