Reservoirs to Ring Cairns: Archaeology in the Duddon Valley

At our March meeting Ian Boyle told us about his involvement with the R2R project recording the archaeology of the Duddon Valley. The Duddon Valley Local History Group and the Lake District National Park Authority Archaeology Unit worked together on the Reservoirs to Ring Cairns (R2R) Project, a four year project recording human impact on the landscape. An area of 75 square kilometres was surveyed by 4 teams, each comprising 6 to 8 people, who went out 50 weeks each year for 4 years. They recorded many previously unrecorded, interesting features relating to agriculture, industry and human habitation. They identified several longhouse sites probably dating to the Viking era. Excavation of a ring cairn produced evidence showing humans have occupied the valley since about 2500BC. They added 1679 sites to the valley’s previously known 343 sites recorded on Cumbria’s Historic Environment Record. The lecture was enhanced by stunning pictures of the valley and the features.

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