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Your chance to handle finds from our Holwick Dig
We are organising two workshops in September at which we will be inviting people to help us clean and catalogue finds from our May 2018 excavation at the Well Head deserted medieval settlement in Holwick, Upper Teesdale. Instruction and supervision will be provided. Both workshops will take place at Mickleton Village Hall, Teesdale on the following dates:

Monday 3rd September, 10am to 3pm

Friday 21st September, 10am to 3pm

Non-members are welcome to join us for these workshops. There is no charge for attending but please bring a packed lunch. Places are limited so advanced booking is essential. You can book a place by emailing us at

We aim to make these workshops fun as well as instructive and they will provide plenty of opportunities to get 'hands-on' with the medieval archaeology of Teesdale!

Our Holwick project has been awarded funding from the Northern Heartlands Community Initiative Fund managed by County Durham Community Foundation for which we are extremely grateful.
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News Record: 41     Updated: 20-07-2018 16:21:40

Return to Cow Green
In August 2015, during the closing days of the North Pennines AONB Partnership Altogether Archaeology project, we excavated an interesting site on the banks of Cow Green Reservoir in Upper Teesdale. Earlier that year quantities of chert and flint had been found tumbling from beneath the peat layer in an area where the bank of the reservoir was eroding away. In response to this AA organised a rescue dig of the site in order to investigate what this lithic scatter might represent before more of the archaeology was lost. What we discovered was the site of a temporary camp occupied intermittently over a long period of time by hunter-gatherer people during the Middle Stone Age, or Mesolithic, period. The camp is located on an old spring line on a low terrace above the River Tees near what may have been an established route-way between the lowlands of Teesdale and North Yorkshire through the North Pennines into Cumbria. This is probably the earliest site excavated so far in the North Pennines and may date from around 6,000 BC, or even earlier. We are awaiting radiocarbon dating of samples taken during the 2015 dig to confirm this.

Although we recovered almost 2,000 pieces of worked chert and flint during the 2015 dig, we did not quite finish the job. Volunteers who took part will remember that the weather was at times challenging, even though it was allegedly summer, and there was a small area of the site that we were unable to completely excavate in the time available. Therefore, we are planning to return to Cow Green next month (August 2018) to complete the job.

The dig will take place over 4 days on Monday 6th, Tuesday 7th, Thursday 9th and Friday 10th August. We plan to open only one trench (approximately 6X4m) so this will be a small scale operation and, because of that, we need to restrict the number of volunteers on site to 10 people per day. If you would like to take part in this dig please register your availability and interest as soon as possible by emailing us at

At Altogether Archaeology we always finish what we start. This time we are hoping for better weather (famous last words)!
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News Record: 40     Updated: 20-07-2018 15:28:44

Another successful dig at Holwick
Our dig at the Well Head medieval settlement at Holwick, Upper Teesdale is over for this year. Sixteen days of fine spring weather and the sheer hard work of more than 40 volunteer diggers enabled us to achieve all of our key objectives. You can read a day by day account of the dig and see lots of photographs of the archaeology we uncovered in the blog on the Projects page of this website. Although the digging is finished there is still much more to do. Post-excavation cleaning and recording of pottery and other small finds will take place later in the year. As part of this we will be organising a couple of open finds processing workshops so if you are interested in handling the objects and helping us clean and catalogue them please watch out for further details which will be posted on the website soon.

The dig uncovered a number of interesting artefacts, some of which appear in the photographs below. The date of the circular hearth beneath the north-east corner of the longhouse in Trench 3 is not known at the moment but we hope that C14 testing of charcoal samples we took from it will give an answer in due course. The marks or graffiti found on a large stone associated with this building are intriguing. They may be medieval in date but we need to do more research.

We were delighted that more than 30 members of the public came along to have a look at the work in progress during our site tours and guided archaeology walks. Interest in the heritage of the North Pennines is clearly strong and we take great pleasure in sharing our passion for archaeology with visitors.

We will be producing a report on the 2018 Holwick excavations soon and also organising a further public meeting at which we will share our current findings on this fascinating site. We look forward to discussing these with you so please come along. The date will be announced in due course.

Finally our thanks are due to all the fantastic AA members who volunteered to participate in the dig. Not only did everyone work hard but they were great company and we had fun. We are also enormously grateful to Northern Heartlands Community Initiative Fund managed by County Durham Community Foundation for financial support.

Trench 3 3D model: Once clicked it will take some time to load depending on your connection.
Mouse controls: rotate = drag left click, pan = drag right click, zoom = mouse wheel.

Longhouse in Trench 3. Circular hearth in Trench 3.
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Graffiti on large stone, possibly medieval? We think this is a mortar, perhaps for grinding grains for food.
News Record: 39     Updated: 14-06-2018 09:55:31
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