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 aim to better understand and tell the landscape story of Redesdale, investigating its cultural heritage with local people through excavation, historical research and interpretation of the findings. The project will focus on at least five key sites:
- Down on the Farm: Rattenraw– Three thousand years on a Redesdale Farm- looking at the remains of settlements and farming that date back to the Iron Age. Investigations so far have included Level 3 archaeological surveys of an Iron Age/Romano-British enclosed settlement and a possible farmstead settlement. An excavation was carried out at the Iron Age/Romano-British enclosed settlement site in July-August 2019; a report for this will be published shortly.
- Down on the Farm: Chattlehope – looking at the remains of settlements and farming that may date back to prehistoric times. So far we have carried out a Level 1 Archaeological Landscape survey of the farm, with plans to carry out further investigations.
- Otterburn Training Area: Bellshiel – working with our partners at the Ministry of Defence to investigate the rich archaeology of this prehistoric landscape. An archaeological excavation was carried out in August 2019 in partnership with Operation Nightingale, an initiative for wounded and sick veterans and service personnel. A report will be published soon and further investigations are being planned.
- Fawdon Hill – Investigating possible links to the Battle of Otterburn and prehistoric features. An archaeological investigation was carried out in September 2019 and a report will be published shortly.
- All Roads lead to Rome: Investigating High Rochester –complimenting the restoration of the Roman Fort, this will focus on archaeological remains west of the fort. Plans for investigations will be developed in 2020.
As part of our Redesdale Lidar Landscapes project, volunteers are undertaking analysis of the valley using remote sensing data, known as LIDAR, to reveal archaeology in the landscape.
Water to Tyneside: Building Catcleugh Reservoir – This project involves the creation of a community radio play focusing on the story of the construction of the reservoir and what life was like for the construction workers and their families
There is also a programme of volunteer training workshops in historical research and archaeological techniques, including interpreting LIDAR data, research of historical documents and archaeological fieldwork.
We are interested to hear your stories about Redesdale. Please contribute your own memories, photos and images or artefacts using the interactive map. Or join one of our Sharing Redesdale’s Stories workshops.