Thursday, 3 March 2022

Celebrating Roman West Cumbria Conference 22nd-24th April 2022

The conference includes Kurt Hunter-Mann speaking about archaeology in Ravenglass and Muncaster Castle!  As Zoom will be available, you can watch the conference in the comfort of your own home.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Lake District Archaeology Conference 2021

Romans in Ravenglass and Muncaster Castle has some representation at the conference ...


The conference will be held on-line on Saturday 13 November. Tickets are free but please book a place on the link below.


10.00 Introduction Tiffany Hunt MBE, Member and Chair of Historic Environment Sub Group, Lake District National Park Authority

10.05 Archaeology in the Lake District National Park 2019-21 Eleanor Kingston, Lake District National Park Authority

10.30 Questions and Discussion

10.35 Archaeology in the time of a pandemic – an update on recent work by the National Trust Jamie Lund, National Trust

11.05 Questions and Discussion 

11:15 Coffee/Tea Break

11.30 A new survey of the Carles stone circle, Castlerigg Al Oswald, University of York

11.50 Questions and Discussion

11.55 Recent fieldwork at Ravenglass and Muncaster Castle Kurt Hunter-Mann, Romans in Ravenglass

12.25 Questions and Discussion

12.30 An Aerial Perspective of the High Street David Knight, Historic England

12.50 Questions and Discussion

1.00 Lunch

1.45 ‘Weird and atypical, even degenerate’…or then again, maybe not? Early Neolithic enclosures in the North Al Oswald, University of York

2.30  Questions and Discussion

2.40  Coffee/Tea Break

3.00  The origins of Dacre: What should an early medieval monastery look like? Rachel Newman, Oxford Archaeology North

3:50  Questions and Discussion

4.00  Finish

If you would like to book tickets go to Archaeology Conference Booking Page

Friday, 24 September 2021

Day 4

The final digging day at Muncaster Castle, how time has flown! In Trench 1, several cobble surfaces and possible structural features suggest that there had been considerable activity for much of the medieval period. Finds include some unusual pottery and the key for a barrel padlock.

 Anita and the key to the barrel lock

Close up of the barrel lock key

In Trench 2, investigation of the oven concluded. The stone layer in Trench 3 proved to fill a cut, probably a field drain. It seems likely that the oven and drain represent management of the estate during the last two hundred years or so.


                                                                Brian investigates Trench 3

A summary of the excavtions will follow shortly

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Day 3

The Lake District weather is being kind so far, so we made progress while the going was good. In Trench 1, another cobble surface was found beneath the first layer, producing more medieval pottery

Jane found a sherd of green glazed, decorated medieval pottery


In Trench 2, the oven was cleaned up. Alan was able to confirm that this was the feature found previously, as he had a photograph of it!

Alan and the oven

In Trench 3, a layer of stones seems to be filling a ditch or drain. Is this connected to the oven in some way?

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Day 2 Tuesday 2021

A very busy day on site! In Trench 1, a cobble surface was revealed, cut by garden features of probable Victorian date. Sherds of medieval pottery suggest this surface could be associated with the 14th century castle. Perhaps archaeological deposits have survived close to the castle, safe from garden landscaping.
Trench 1 Cobble surface

Bridget found a sherd of unsual pot!

 Anita found some green glazed pottery, 13th-14th century in date

In Trench 2, it is increasingly clear that the old trench has been relocated and traces of the hearth are visible, but what is it? At Trench 2, it was planned to extend the trench in order to understand the oven better. However, this proved impossible due to the dense vegetation, so it was decided to open up an adjacent trench (Trench 3). This immediately produced a large whetstone.

Jane with the large whetstone

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Muncaster Castle Day 1, 2021

What a fine day at the castle!  We soon got to work and great progress was made. In Trench 1, garden features were found below the topsoil.


Digging in Trench 1, with the 14th century tower in the background

In Trench 2, traces of the old excavation trenches were found, so it seems we are in the right place.
There's an old trench in here somewhere!

Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day!

Sunday, 19 September 2021

The archaeologists are back for 2021!

So here we are at Muncaster Castle, ready for another week of archaeological investigation. The 'Romans in Ravenglass' team are not expecting to find any Romans here, but we do hope to look for evidence of the hall attached to the 14th century tower and perhaps evidence of activity pre-dating the tower.


The team at the location of what is to be Trench 1

Also, previous excavations found evidence for possible ovens some way from the castle, which are of unknown date. Hopefully these features will be better understood and dated after this week.

Peter Frost-Pennington and some the team at Trench 2

 Let's see what happens tomorrow!