Scout Moor Archaeology

Introduction – Under Construction…

This post will briefly cover the historical background to the area, (including the Forest of Rossendale) to better understand the context of the many archaeological sites in and around Scout Moor.

Exciting Discoveries

There are some exciting newly discovered sites to reveal. As in the case of the adjacent Rooley Moor, the area has never had a thorough archaeological survey, perhaps that is an understatement.

See for Yourself (from the comfort of your browser)

Select one of the links below to see sites of Farmsteads Fecit Lane and Coal Road: (centered on SD 81852 17717).

To the North of these on Higher Hill (This site is not on any OS maps as far as I know).

The feature is best viewed with Microsoft Bing Maps birds eye view.

See the sites in Fecit Lane and Coal Rd. as they were in 1851 (surveyed 1844 to 1848) on and old OS map of Lancashire LXXX.

Wind farm road cuts ancient ditch called Man Road Ditch,  of unknown date or purpose.


Before the wind farm

Medieval and other documentation for this area

The extensive body of medieval documentation for the area has been largely ignored by archaeological surveys of the area. This has been covered here.

Missed Sites

Some of the sites archaeological surveys of the adjacent areas have missed include:

  • A ruined medieval manor house (Naden Head) complete with earthworks and early wall
  • Several prehistoric burial sites, including a prominent site on Hunger Hill (see the picture at the beginning of this blog.)
  • Prehistoric Fields on Rooley Moor
  • Several early farmsteads, such as Birchen Holts


There was a vaccary (medieval cattle ranch) somewhere in Cowpe, location not yet verified.

Scout Moor lies mostly in what was the NW of Spotland, a township in the parish of Rochdale, and in what was Bury Parish.

These are the historical areas (which were all in Lancashire), modern boundaries are very different; with the area now divided between Greater Manchester and Lancashire (Rossendale district).


Lancashire Forests and the Forest of Rossendale

Newbiggin – History of the Forrest of Rossendale

Medieval Forests – The Lancashire Antiquarian

Springhill website

Aerial Photographs

Google Maps

Lancashire’s Mario map site

Microsoft Bing maps

HER (Historic Environment Record)

Greater Manchester HER


Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (FISH) Thesauri

Under Construction…!


Preserving Local Archaeoogical Heritage

While many delight in finding sites (myself included) how are we going to preserve the threatened heritage of SE Lancashire?

Here are some observations and some ideas:

Survey and record the sites

Without a thorough survey the extend and importance of the heritage will not be known

Make the archaeology part of the environmental/plannin7academic record

From planning databases and GIS (Graphical Information System) to academic records; the heritage should be accessible to academics, planners, and most important of all, the general public. Schools should integrate the archaeological heritage into lessons wherever possible.

Local initiative and responsibility

Without guardians to look after the sites they will vanish, If the local community is not involved and motivated to preserve sites who else will help?

A valuable resource not a financial liability

The heritage enhances the appeal of areas, not just as interesting places in the landscape but also an inspiration and focus for activities and crafts. Commercial activities relating to archaeological sites are well understood,, from the sale of literature and postcards to reproductions, clothing and commercial events. So archaeology can inspire commercial activities and social and cultural events of benefit to the local community. Additionally sites can be of international interest to those researching their ancestry, one local example is Naden Head and the connection with Naden family history.

Whitworth Museum

The rich history and archaeology of an area can be an inspiration for new designs and reproductions. I am a great fan of Whitworth Museum, there is plenty to inspire creativity. while local quarries can surely provide material for commercial creativity. Touchstones in Rochdale has a shop and a cafe, could this be a way to fund the conservation and enjoyment of local heritage in the Spodden valley and beyond, or are fresh ideas needed?

I would be interested to hear your views.

I hope to update this post with more links and observations, stay tuned!

CBA-Heritage Protection

Heritage Landscapes Creativity