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Home > Projects > Lost Redesdale

Lost Redesdale

Redesdale contains a rich diversity of historic remains from Neolithic farming communities and Roman military occupation through to 19th Century Industry and First World War practice trenches. 

Through this project we aimed to better understand and tell the landscape story of Redesdale, investigating its cultural heritage with local people through archaeological research and sharing the stories uncovered through creative interpretation. 

Projects included:

The Redesdale Lidar Landscapes project involved volunteers undertaking analysis of the valley using remote sensing data, known as Lidar, to reveal archaeology in the landscape.

Redesdale Landscapes Through Time – Following on from the Lidar Landscapes project, this online research project involved volunteers in looking in more depth at complex archaeological landscapes, exploring how areas and communities have developed over time.

Water to Tyneside: Building Catcleugh Reservoir – This project involved the creation of a community radio play telling the story of the construction of the reservoir and what life was like for the construction workers and their families. The play, which you can still listen to, called ‘Amid the Hills of Redesdale’ was performed by local people, launched in January 2022 and aired on local radio in June 2022.

Down on the Farm: Rattenraw– Three thousand years on a Redesdale Farm. This project involved carrying out archaeological fieldwork with volunteers and Young Archaeologists’ Clubs, including surveys and excavations, looking at the remains of settlements and farming systems that date back to at least Iron Age times. The digs unearthed some fascinating artefacts shedding light on the lives of those who lived there in the past.

Down on the Farm: Chattlehope – Carrying out archaeological fieldwork with volunteers, looking at the remains of settlements and farming that potentially dated back to prehistoric times.

Otterburn Training Area: Exercise Border Reiver/Exercise Lidar Truth– working with our partners at the Ministry of Defence and Breaking Ground Heritage to investigate the rich archaeology of this prehistoric landscape. This project involved archaeological excavations with local volunteers working together with participants from Operation Nightingale, an initiative for wounded and sick veterans and service personnel.

Investigating Fawdon Hill – A walkover survey and archaeological excavation was undertaken with local volunteers, examining prehistoric features and possible links to the Battle of Otterburn.

At the Place of the Roaring Stream: Investigating High Rochester – complimenting the conservation of the Roman Fort, this project focussed on archaeological remains west of the fort, with archaeological fieldwork undertaken by lots of volunteers in 2021 and 2022. As well as pottery and other artefacts this project unearthed a superb Roman limekiln.

Accompanying the project was an extensive programme of volunteer training workshops in historical research and archaeological techniques, including desk-based assessments, historic building survey, human osteo-archaeology and geophysical surveying.

As a result of the Lost Redesdale projects, enthused volunteers decided to carry on the work of archaeological investigations in Redesdale into the future by setting up a volunteer ‘Redesdale Archaeology Group’ (RAG). Links to the group to find out more about their work or to join them can be found on the Get Involved/Volunteering page.

Lost Redesdale Projects