Even on the moors, at 440 metres above sea level, many archaeological sites can be seen, several previously unrecorded.

I will list my recent discoveries in this blog. Most sites have been subsequently confirmed by other archaeologists and a geologist. Certainly much work needs to be done and detailed survey is urgently needed.

What’s new – June 2010

Detailed photographic survey of a site on Rooley Moor completed and magnetometer survey of another site (TBA) undertaken. Watch this blog for more details!

Video added! July

Sites missed

Great grass covered burial mound, near Rooley Moor, also missed amazingly.

The site below was missed in an earlier archaeological survey (oops!) and is man made and not a quarry or a mine, according to a British Geological Survey Geologist who kindly visited the site. Why not a quarry? not local stone! If the stones were quarried on the spot they would be “Haslingden Flags”. The number and orientation of the stones cannot be explained by glaciation. The difference in vegetation, visible in the photograph, may be why this area was chosen by whoever built this damaged, enigmatic site.

Archaeological site on Rooley Moor




Clear signs of working, note the two notches at the base of the stone.

This stone is clearly not from the immediate vicinity and so cannot be the result of quarrying at this location.

Here is another to the SW.

Stone SW of the main site

Bagden Hillocks Cairn

Still visible after thousands of years, the Bronze Age cairn (burial mound) at Bagden Hillocks. The area of the cairn is marked by the greener vegetation, the pile of stones in the centre is more recent.

Thanks to Bury Archaeology Group and Whitworth Historical Society regarding this cairn.


Another damaged mound nearby

Close to Bagden Hillocks cairn another damaged mound can be seen.


Watch this Rooley Moor archaeology video!

Under Construction!

(C) 2008-10 Stuart Mendelsohn

11 thoughts on “Recent Archaeological Discoveries in South East Lancashire

  1. I note Bagden Cairn in this article. We have a farm called UpperBagden (there are areas lower B and Bagden below us) on our land there or abouts is supposed to be a Mesolithic settlement site. I am wondering if Bagden is older than I first supposed as B is old Norse for Valey of the beeches, there is an ancient wood . Thoughts on the origin of the name Bagden if you can spare the time!

    1. Bagden is mentioned in 13th. Century Charters from the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey.

      The name, according to Ekwall, means “valley of the bees” in Old English.

      More information about the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey and Ekwall can be found on this blog.

    2. I will create a post about Bagden.
      1. All the whitworth archeology will be destroyed when coronation power put the 30 mtr wide road corridor up landgate to crooks moor for their windfarm.
        can anyone tell me how we can use this archeological information to stop this rape of our local and ancient history of whitworth
        Cllr david barnes
        Deputy mayor of whitworth.

        Urgent. planning comes up next mth.

  2. Hello. I live near Nelson and was wondering if you had made any discoveries there. If not, do you have any advice for finding things of interest?


  3. Hi Sam

    Follow the guidelines in my earlier posts:


    Start with the First series OS maps as your base map, they have lots of information that may not be in current maps!
    Identify the sites already recorded, explore them and see if they have aspects that have been missed or not fully surveyed.
    Use soil maps to identify lighter soils that would have been attractive for early farmers.
    Are there any other mineral deposits large rivers or lakes that would have been important in earlier times?
    Learn and use the free aerial photo sites from Google Earth and Microsoft Bing and Lancashire’s MARIO of course.
    Use the Victoria County History and local histories to read up on the early history of your area.
    Local libraries and museums will have additional information.
    English Heritage has some useful information on their website, there is also a guide by Pennine Prospects.
    Walking the sites you are interested in is vital, know your landscape!

    Please get back in touch when you have made your first discovery!

  4. Hi i have found a stone up on these moors with a carving of a cross on. It was covered with moss in a curious shape so i peeled it off. would u be intrested in meeting up as we did get some big readings with the metal detector thanx.

  5. Hello

    I am in the process of conducting desktop study and preliminary site visits to the the site in the above article as part of my A2 Archaeology coursework at Oldham Sixth Form College. i have visited the site twice and believe to have found the stones in question although they are very unclear due to scree and other stones.
    If any information could be provided about the Mendelsohn Stone Circles, I would be most grateful
    Thank you, Christopher

    1. I think the two most interesting sites are Man Road Ditch and Smallshaw (and the surrounding area). Hamer Hill has obviously been disturbed and some of the stones are not in their original position. The 1851 OS 1st series shows stones in a line nearby, these may have been mere stones, marking the boundary to the East of Hamer Hill. A similar stone to that at Hamer can be seen dumped in an old quarry next to Rooley Moor Road. The Rochdale Observer coined the term “Rochdale’s Stone Henge” it was not me. The site looked like a damaged prehistoric cairn circle site. The site is certainly not a natural distribution of stones, but it could be where stones have been dumped. The site is on common land, but there are coal shafts visible to the east. The boundary runs along an old fault line, the coal deposists west of the fault are at about 70 M below the surface, on the east side of the fault coal is close to the surface. This information was provided by the British Geological Survey’s Officer, who also noted that the stones (at Hamer Hill) did not look like a natural distribution.


  6. Ok, thank you Stuart.
    I am planning on going into the local library, Touchstones, in order to access more detailed information about the area and the suspected site. I will investigate the 1851 OS first series map of the area and hopefully identify it much more clearly.

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