NWRRF Research Questions Added

Although archaeology, like most of Britain, remains in lockdown during April 2020, that does not mean that all is still and quiet. We continue to work on the North West Regional Research Framework (NWRRF) for the Historic Environment. Beta testing for the new wiki website is imminent and editing of the point-in-time monograph continues even if we can not launch it this spring (our May conference is cancelled and posting the volume is not appropriate at this time).

However, ahead of the wiki website going live we are making available the 400+ research questions for the project. The wiki will contain a fuller version with the research agenda included. The questions are arranged by period and can be found here:




Keeping up-to-date with NWRRF Project

Over the past few months we have continued to work on developing the North West Regional Research Framework update project for the Historic Environment. The project itself has been extended to include an interactive testing and training phase which will run into 2021 and there are three strands we would like to brief you on.

Firstly, the Wiki website which will be the primary interactive source of online information for the new research framework. This will be available for Beta Testing soon, hopefully in April 2020. Until then this website will be updated to include the latest versions of the Research Questions.

Secondly, we are completing a point-in-time monograph that will summarise the Historic Environment research undertaken in the North West of England between 2006 and 2019. The intention was to launch this at the Spring meeting of CBA North West. Although that meeting almost certainly can not now take place due to the COVD-19 crisis the publication will still progress, and we will post details later in the Spring. The original research framework monographs, published in 2006 and 2007, are be available to download from this website.

Thirdly, we have arranged a series of training seminars on how to use the new Wiki website. Unfortunately, again due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are not able to deliver these in person. Instead we are compiling an online training package for download and use. This will be ready in April in 2020.

Don’t forget that the original North West Regional Research Framework volumes from 2006 and 2007 are still current. They can be downloaded from here:


Keep clicking back for more updates.

Archaeology North West 2019 Conference

HoghtonTowerAug18 (5)Its that time of year again when we round up all the latest research and finds from across the North West. This year’s Archaeology North West conference, and our AGM, will have a Cheshire theme, with talks on aerial photography in the county, Murgatroyd’s brine Pump and a tour of the centre of historic Nantwich with its wonderful array of timber buildings. The Peter Lange Memorial Lecture will be given by Sarah Cattell, who will be talking about the recent community dig at Hoghton Tower in Lancashire. Liz Stewart of Liverpool Museums will discuss the survey and excavation of Liverpool’s last surviving courtyard housing.  The day will begin with our AGM (and we are always looking for committee volunteers).

The venue is Elim Church and Olive Grove Conference Centre in Nantwich (CW5 6LW) and online booking can be found here as well as on our events pages:


The Programme is as follows:

9.30: Registration, tea & coffee
10.00: CBA North West AGM
10.30: Peter Lange Memorial Lecture “Lancashire Summertime; Excavations at Rhyddings Park and Hoghton Tower” – Sarah Cattell, Salford Archaeology
11.10: “Excavating ‘Little Hell’” – Dr Liz Stewart, Liverpool Museums
11.40: “Recent archaeological work in Cheshire” – Kirsty Lloyd, Planning Archaeology Officer, Cheshire Archaeology Planning Advisory Service
12.10: “Murgatroyd’s Project” – Kerry Kirwan and Steve Broadfoot, Middlewich Town Council and Heritage Trust
13.00pm to 14.00pm Lunch
14.00: “Aerial Photographing and Mapping in Chester” – Joel Goodchild, Historic England
14.30: Tour of Nantwich – Dr Mike Nevell
15.50: Questions, tea & coffee
16.00: Close



NWIAC 39 Conference: Excavating the Steam Engine

Fairbottom Bobs c1890The 39th Industrial Archaeology North West conference will be on Friday 27th September at Bolton Museum and then in the afternoon at the Northern Mill Engine Society’s museum. The theme is excavating the steam engine. The programme and online booking link is below.


The conference is run by our CBA North West Industrial Archaeology Panel. The Panel was first formed in 1959 and then reformed in the late 1970s, so we are celebrating its 60th anniversary this autumn.




Spring Conference – Fire and Forge

MergedFileThere’s still time and places to book for our Spring conference on Saturday 11th May, ‘Fire and Forge. The creative and destructive archaeologies of fire’. Booking online can be done here:


The venue is Bolton Library and Museum and the line-up is as follows:


10am: Introduction

10. 10am: Mill Fires – Dr Mike Nevell (Centre for Applied Archaeology, University of Salford)

10.50am: Moorland Fires – Anna Babcock (Peak District National; Park Authority)

11.30am: Comfort Break

11.45am: Irontongue Fires up the Mesolithic Hunter – Kevin Wright (Tameside Archaeological Society)

12.15pm: Medieval Metal Magic – Neil Coldrick (Holcombe Moor Heritage Group)

1pm-2pm: Lunch

2pm: Fear and Flame – Carolanne King (North West Graffiti Survey)

2.30pm: Metalworking at Poulton – Dr Kevin Cootes (The Poulton Research Project)

3pm: comfort break

3.15pm: Fire in the Mesolithic and Neolithic – Dr Ellen McInnes (Norh West Graffiti Survey)

3.45pm: Mining in Dalbog, Aberdeenshire – Dr Birgitta Hoffmann (Roman Gask Project)

4.15pm: Questions

4.30pm: CLOSE


NWRRF Draft Research Questions

The update project for the NW Regional Research Framework for the Historic Environment is moving towards its conclusion. Thank you to all who have attended the workshops and provided feedback. The results from all of this are set out in the recast and updated research questions and supporting statements in the documents listed below. These are presented by period and in table format, with the addition of a General Strategy section reflecting common themes applicable across the periods. A set of key points are presented at the beginning of each period. Retained questions from the previous Research Framework are referenced in brackets. Built heritage questions have been incorporated into the relevant periods.

There is now an opportunity to comment on the questions before a final version is prepared in early November to go on to the Wiki Platform (being prepared by Historic England) at the end of the year. The resource assessment chapters will also be completed in November. A point in time publication of the updated Framework will be issued next year (probably in Spring 2019). Whilst we are not looking for major changes at this stage, any comments you have would be welcome.

Please respond to Kirsty at K.Whittall1@salford.ac.uk by Friday 2nd November.

List of draft research questions by period:

Gen Strat Agenda Update 011018

INDST Agenda Update 171018

Post-Med Agenda Update 290818

Late Med Research Agenda Update 120718

EMED final format 280618

Roman final format 220518

Prehist Agenda Update 171018