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Grant supports local heritage group to continue archaeological excavation

In a field at Hunting Hall Farm in north Northumberland, Lowick Heritage Group are carefully uncovering two thousand years of history. With thanks to a grant from the EDF Energy Renewables Barmoor Windfarm Community Benefit Fund at the Community Foundation, the group have been able to continue their archaeological excavation of an Iron Age Enclosure into its fourth year. 

Following an exploratory dig in 2018, the site was deemed significant enough to undertake a series of archaeological digs to help explore a theory on the origins of Lowick. Led by archaeologist Dr Kristian Pederson of the University of Edinburgh and with the diligent support of a network of volunteers, the dig has slowly revealed a series of impressive finds dating back to the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Romano-Britain, including significant round house structures, a bloomery (a form of furnace) and a burial site. 

Pete Barrett, Senior Programme Advisor at the Community Foundation, recently visited the dig site: 

“It’s wonderful to step back in time and see how people lived in our region, thousands of years ago. The grant has not only enabled this to happen, but it has provided a collective activity for the wider community to access and enjoy. The dig has brought people together over a common interest and given them opportunities to develop their own archaeological skills”. 

The dig site has seen visits from members across the community, from schools to the Down Memory Lane Group, a group of elderly people who have grown up in Lowick. Volunteers from outside the region and even outside the country have regularly joined in, archaeology and arts students have used the dig as a chance to hone their skills, holiday makers have dropped by to get involved and the group have supported adults with additional needs. 

Paul Langdale, Chair of Lowick Heritage Group said: 

“With the generous support we have received from the Barmoor Fund at the Community Foundation, we have funded the start-up for the dig with the purchase of tools and equipment. It has also helped with more recent requirements such as specialised software and the submission of samples and radiocarbon dating by the University of Glasgow.” 

The latest dig is almost complete for 2023, but the group plan to revisit the site in 2024 to continue their work. In the meantime, they will take the opportunity to investigate, date and catalogue their finds.