Sunday, 1 March 2020

Celebrating Roman West Cumbria: 30th Anniversary Conference

The recent excavations in Ravenglass and Muncaster Castle will be represented at the Celebrating Roman West Cumbria conference at Senhouse Museum.  Here are details:

Friday 24th - Saturday 25th April 

Celebrating Roman West Cumbria: 30th Anniversary Conference

Tickets available from the Museum: £30

Telephone 01900 816168
Venue: The Settlement, High Street, Maryport

2020 is the 30th anniversary of the Senhouse Roman Museum opening to the public. A number of events and exhibitions are planned throughout the year to celebrate the Museum's continuing success and looking forward to the future. The conference is part of that celebration.
The conference theme 'Celebrating Roman West Cumbria' brings together the research excavations from recent years covering the area from Ravenglass to Beckfoot. Speakers include:

Professor Dr. Sebastian Sommer: Maryport and the Wall - Keyholes towards the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site,

John Zant (Oxford Archaeology North): The Maryport settlement excavations,

Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott (Newcastle University and Historic England): The Maryport altars and temples project 2011-15,

Lindsay Allason-Jones (Newcastle University): New light on old Stones,

Chris Howard-Davis and Rachel Newman (Oxford Archaeology North): An evaluation excavation at Beckfoot,

Kurt Hunter-Mann: Romans in Ravenglass: Archaeological investigations at Ravenglass and Muncaster Castle,

Dr. Pete Wilson (Chair, Senhouse Museum Trust): Looking to the West? - Roman military deployment in West Cumbria,

Professor David Breeze (Patron, Senhouse Museum Trust)
The conference will include an opportunity to tour the site of the Roman fort at Maryport and the Senhouse Roman Museum.

For further information (timings, etc) go to:

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Ravenglass 2019 - the conclusion

 Digging Trench 4 on the cliff edge!

That was a good week! The weather was mostly kind to us - handy as we were digging in such an exposed position facing the Irish Sea. 

Another cobble surface!

 In 2017, test pits east of the Barrow to Carlisle railway unearthed Roman occupation continuing at least 250m north of the fort. This year, this activity was found to cover the entire area west of the railway line, increasing the area of the vicus by another 2 hectares. Cobble surfaces, drains and gulleys suggest domestic and industrial activity, similar to that found north and east of the fort in recent years. Further questions, such as the date of this activity, will require more extensive excavation.

              Tea break (left to right) Brian, Leo, Len, Alan, Stephe, Bryan, Zoe and Debbie

Thanks so much to the professional archaeologists who gave their time for free: Bryan, Debbie and Zoe. Also to the locals who helped: Brian, Leo, Len, Alan, Stephe, Nick and Craig.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Day three on the Boat House Field

The view when the diggers had a teabreak

By Day 3, four trenches have been opened up. Three show signs of Roman occupation, the fourth was dug in an ancient watercourse that flooded overnight! Cobble surfaces and burnt clay are typical of the industrial activity that has been found in the vicus in previous years.

 Cobbled surface

 Stone lined drain

Kurt will shortly be writing a blog summing up of what was found!

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

A new season - in the Boat House Field

 Opening up Trench 1, with the River Esk (right) and the platform of the Roman fort (right background).  volunteers Alan and Len (unfortunately with backs to camera) are in the foreground.

This year, after being up at Muncaster Castle, the team is back closer to the fort. With a team coming from York, there are also two diggers from Lancaster, as well as local volunteers.

The first trenches have been opened on the Boat House Field. Trench 1 was intended to find a ditch under the topsoil, but the topsoil was surprisingly thick, so we have decided to excavate both ends of the trench to find at what depth the Roman levels (if any) lie. Other, smaller test pits are being opened up to identify the extent of Romal deposits across the field.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

3D model of Ravenglass ...!

This was brought to my attention by Roman crime author Ruth Downie.  Have a play with Nick Mason's 3D model of part of the bathouse - there's no need to install any specialised software:

Roman Bath House, Ravenglass, Cumbria

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Romans in Ravenglass exhibition launched!

The Romans in Ravenglass exhibition was launched at the Ravenglass Railway Museum on Friday 17th February! Lots of people were invited, including the main sponsors, the LLW Repository. Unfortunately, the author of the panels, Kurt, was unable to attend but hopes to see the exhibition later in the year.

Meanwhile, Brian & Leo got a starring role on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Co Ltd Facebook page.  Here they are installing the exhibition panels:

Catch the exhibition from now until June 2019.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Hadrian's Wall Operations Manual by Simon Forty

This book not only covers the usual wall section, but also the rest of the area. Maryport gets a mention. And so does Ravenglass!  It's on page 164, under the section covering Civilians and the Wall, and concerns the excavation of the vicus undertaken in 2013-2014. The author has obviously read the publication (large file which may take several minutes to download) which was written by Kurt Hunter-Mann and produced by ArcHeritage.