Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival 2018

GMFest18_Flyer221 June marks the start of the second Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival. Running for four days between the 21 and 24 June, there are events spread across the Manchester city region from Wigan to Ashton-under-Lyne, Castleshaw to Warburton. The festival is sponsored by the Centre for Applied Archaeology, in the School of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Salford, and the Greater Manchester Archaeology Federation. It’s designed to give a taste of the excitement of discovering the past, through a variety of digs, surveys, talks and walks. All of the societies involved are CBA North west members. 

GMAF18 is launched at Salford University on Thursday 21 June at 4pm with a key lecture by Prof Nigel Linge on the archaeology of the telephone box. There will also be some exciting news about the region’s archaeology.

As in 2017 all events are free. The events are listed below with links to the Eventbrite booking webpages. Scroll down and chose a link for booking:

#GMAF18 Thursday 21 June

  • Launch Event & Telecommunications Lecture ‘The K8 – 50th Anniversary of Britain’s last red phonebox’. Centre for Applied Archaeology, Peel Building basement.  4pm to 6pm

  • Trafford: Warburton Graveyard Survey, South Trafford Archaeological Group, 10am to 2pm

#GMAF18 Friday 22 June

  • Manchester’s Communications Archaeology Walk. Dr Michael Nevell & Prof Nigel Linge, 11am to 2pm

  • Manchester: Bellhouse Walk, Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Society, 11am to 1pm

  • Wigan: Brimlow Roman Road Dig, Wigan Archaeology Society, Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd June, 10am to 4pm

#GMAF18 Saturday 23 June

  • Bolton: Hall i’th’Wood History Day, Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society, 10am – 4pm (tours at 12pm and 2pm)

  • Bury: Walls and Boundaries in the Holcombe Valley, Holcombe Moor Heritage Group, 1pm to 4pm

  • Stockport: Scholes Park Archaeology Drop-in, South Manchester Archaeology Research Team, 10am to 3pm

  • Tameside: Tameside Local History Forum History & Archaeology Day, Tameside Local History Forum and The Together Centre, 11am to 4pm

#GMAF18 Sunday 24 June

  • Oldham: Castleshaw Roman Forts Tours, Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts, 11am to 4pm

  • Tameside: Tameside Finds Workshop, Tameside Archaeological Society, Portland Basin Museum, 10am to 3pm

  • Trafford: Roman Pottery Workshop, South Trafford Archaeological Group, 1pm to 4pm






CBA North West Spring Conference & Tours

Roman coinhoard from Knutsford

Our Spring conference on Saturday 28th April 2018 is being held as part of the North West Regional Research Framework Update project. The following day (29th April) we are running four tours of key archaeological sites in the region: Castlefield in Manchester; Helmshore Mills; Lunt Meadows; and Norton Priory. The conference is free and can be booked on line here:

Individual tours on Sunday 28th April, for which there is a small charge, can be booked here:

NWRRF Strategy Workshop 16/02/2018

We are pleased to announced that booking is now open for the latest workshop for the North West Regional Research Framework for the Historic Environment Update Project. Email Kirsty Whittall on to reserve a free place. This is a Strategy Workshop to be held on 16th February 2018 at Preston Masonic Hall. The workshop aims to review research questions and strategies for the updated framework objectives.

The Agenda for the Strategy Workshop is as follows:

10:00am Arrival and Welcome

10.30am Introduction to the Morning Session which will focus on:

General, Prehistory, Romano-British, and Early Medieval questions and strategies

11:00am Individual Free Comment Exercise

11:30am Group Analysis

12:30pm General Discussion

13:00 – 13:45 Lunch

14:00pm Introduction to the Afternoon Session which will focus on:

Late Medieval, Post Medieval, Industrial and integration of Built Heritage questions and strategies

14:30pm Individual Free Comment Exercise

15:00pm Group Analysis

16:00pm General Discussion, summing up/next steps

16:30pm Finish


NWRRF ALL Resource Assessment Updates Now Available

ChesterAmphitheatreVol1_2017All of the updated resource assessments for the NWRRF Historic Environment Update project have now been drafted. These are available to download as pdfs from the Period Updates pages of this blog site.

The three new additions are the Prehistoric and Roman updated resource assessments, and for the first time a resource assessment giving an overview of the historic built environment and buildings of the region.

All the documents are available to download and we are inviting comments on their contents (omissions, additions, new items for the bibliography) by the 15th January 2018.

These comments will form the basis of the final version of these period resource assessment chapters and will be available at the second NWRRF Conference on Saturday 28th April 2018, being held at the University of Salford in conjunction with CBA North West. Booking details for this free event will be sent out in January 2018.

Before then there are two further NWRRF public events for which booking will be open in January:

Research Strategy Workshop – venue Preston, Friday 16th February

Community Research Workshop – venue Penrith, Saturday 17th March


NWRRF New Post-Medieval & Industrial Period Summaries Available

The next batch of period updates for the NWRRF are now available for download and comment. These are for the Post-Medieval Period and the Industrial and 20th Century Period. They have been posted under the Period section of the current blog site and can also be found below. Both are initial drafts and we welcome comments and suggested additions for inclusion before the end of February 2018. Please email any comments to Kirsty Whitall at the Centre for Applied Archaeology (

Updated Assessment_Post-Medieval


NWRRF New Medieval Period Summaries Available

The first two period updates for the NWRRF are now available for download and comment. These are for the Early Medieval Period and the Later Medieval Period. Both are initial drafts and we welcome comments and suggested additions for inclusion. These period chapters can be downloaded here:



NWRRF Seminars – Booking Now Open

NWRRF Vol 2 2007Stage 2 of the North West Regional Research Framework Historic Environment update project is now looming. This is the section of the project where we will be revising the research agenda and strategy from the original project as published in 2007.

We have a series of period and thematic period seminars planned across the autumn and winter of 2017 to 2018. Each free seminar will look at the existing period research agenda and revise the individual objectives in the light of research and fieldwork since 2006. As part of this work the new draft period resource chapters will be available at the appropriate period seminar and will be posted on this blog site for comment.

The first set of period seminars have now been organised. These will be on the Early Medieval and Later Medieval periods and will take place at the Quaker Meeting Rooms in Penrith, Cumbria, on Tuesday 12th September 2017 at The Quaker Meeting House in Penrith –  Friends Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Penrith, CA11 7TR. We will be looking to start for the day at 9.30am. The morning session will be the Earlier Medieval until 12.00 and then the afternoon session will be the Later Medieval 13.00-15.30. We will provide tea, coffee, juice and water but unfortunately, lunch cannot be provided.

Booking is now open. Please email Penny Dargan-Makin to secure your place:

Places are limited so it will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, for those who can not make the seminars we shall be disseminating the 2007 Research objectives for comment, via email and via this website in the autumn. Once the new research agenda has been drafted will also be circulating that document for comment as well, early in 2018. So there will be many opportunities to take part in the revision of the research framework over the next few months.