Longhouse Project Banner

We have recently produced a roller banner for use in schools and at open days and other events, to give a little background about the project. We thought it would be a nice idea to upload the artwork here so everyone could have a look. Enjoy!



Schools outreach for the Duddon Dig Longhouses project

An important part of the Duddon Valley Longhouses project will be engaging with a wider audience, both young and old. A number of strategies are in place to deal with this, but to engage the younger members of the local community, an active schools programme has been initiated.


Surveying at the Tongue House Close B site

Six local primary schools will be involved in the project during the three years of excavation. Each year, two schools will be selected as key schools and they will have greater participation for that season. For 2016 it is the schools at Haverigg and Broughton in Furness. The high participation schools will receive visits from Oxford Archaeology North which will include a presentation about archaeology in general, and another specifically about the dig site and the medieval period. The children will also rotate through four practical activities in groups; looking and handling a selection of finds from prehistory to the modern-day, reconstruction, sieving for small finds and using a planning grid to draw an “excavation trench” in the classroom. The schools will also have a site visit, where they will be given a guided tour and explanation of the site. In addition they will get the opportunity to excavate and plan features on the site, and to look at finds for the medieval period.

The other schools, Black Combe, St James, Thwaites, and Captain Shaw’s, will have a similar day in school run by the group and a site visit that will give them information and a view of the site but with a lower level of involvement. They will get their chance to be key schools in the following years.

Welcome to the Duddon Dig blog!

Welcome to the Duddon Dig blog! This site has been created by Oxford Archaeology North to document the progress, and results, of the survey and excavation of three medieval long houses in the Duddon Valley, near Seathwaite Tarn by The Duddon Valley Local History Group, in conjunction with the Lake District National Park Authority, the National Trust and Oxford Archaeology North. For more details please visit our ‘About the Project’ page.


The first stage of the programme was a survey of the long houses and has now been completed. This entailed groups of volunteers recording the long houses using a theodolite, and the wider landscape was mapped by a process called photogrammetry using photographs taken from a drone. We also undertook a geophysical survey around each of the long houses, looking for significant buried remains.

Finally we undertook a palaeo- environmental survey of the peat bogs in the area looking at how the environment has changed over time. Specifically this looked at what types of vegetation, such as trees or grasses, have flourished at different times and how these reflect man’s manipulation of these upland pastures.


We are now preparing for the next phase of work, which will be an excavation of longhouse Tonguehouse A, which will take place between 16th June and 3rd July. For more information about the excavation programme contact Mr Stephe Cove – duddondig@gmail.com.