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

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Research

With so little published archaeological survey and research work undertaken in SE Lancashire, the area offers many opportunities for researchers.

A detailed survey of SE Lancashire (Salford Hundred)  has yet to be undertaken as regards archaeology.

Some ideas for research

  • Urban archaeology – Rochdale, well documented yet little excavation has taken place into medieval Rochdale.
  • Survey of the Pennine foothills and the Moors, many cairns are still unrecorded.
  • Inventory of unpublished excavations.
  • Geophysical survey strategies and benchmarking (which techniques are best suited to local soils?)
  • Surveying rural sites mentioned in medieval documents.
  • Survey of moorland enclosures and assarts.
  • Boundaries in the landscape, from ditches and banks to early stone walls.
  • Pollen analysis, to reveal human impact on the landscape and vegetation over time.
  • Early iron working
  • Early coal mining.
  • Excavations to confirm the nature of particular sites.
  • Moated rectories of Salford Hundred, myth or reality?
  • Priorities for archaeological research.
  • Comprehensive update of archaeological sites on planning GIS (Graphical Information System).

Under construction…

Museums, Churches and Libraries with Archaeological Material from the Region

Museums and libraries containing material, although this is not always on display or catalogued.

Ashton – Tales of Tameside

Bacup – Bacup Natural History Society’s Museum

Bolton Museums

Bolton Church – see the museum corner with fragments of early sculptures

British Museum has material from the region.

Bury Museum

Littleborough Historical and Archaeological Society

Manchester Museum

Manchester University – medieval leather from Hanging Ditch in a display cabinet.

Middleton Church Fragments of sculpture and finds from Langley Hall (site)

Oldham Museum

Rochdale Touchstones

Saddleworth Museum – also has material from Rochdale

Salford Museums

Todmorden Library – has a cabinet of locally excavated prehistoric finds.

Whitworth Heritage Museum Open Saturday afternoon and Tuesday evening (see website for details.

Wigan – The History Shop

Under Construction…