The Bamburgh Roundhouse

We are the Bamburgh Research Project, and we have been telling the unknown and forgotten stories of Bamburgh, Northumberland for over twenty years. We are an independent, non-profit archaeological project, comprising a team of trained archaeologists with a network of experts behind us. Every summer, we run a field school for university students and interested amateurs to come learn the processes of archaeology from excavation to environmental sampling to post-excavation cleaning and analysis. This summer, as you can imagine, had to go quite differently: we took a small team of our staff and colleagues and began to bottom-out our longest-open trench, Trench 3 in the west ward. If you’ve ever visited, this is probably the trench you stood by as we all gave you an earful about just why this site is so fascinating.

What we found was unexpected to say the least… (though truly we should know by now that surprises are the foundation of archaeology!)

We were quickly coming down onto what we had anticipated was bedrock, but a small arc of rubble appeared. The inner part of the arc seemed to be remnants of a floor surface with household waste, charcoal, and daub that had been used as wall cladding. As we stood back, suddenly the footprint of a roundhouse took shape. While roundhouses are commonly associated with the Bronze and especially Iron Age, they are still a tried-and-true design in use in Britain up until the departure of the Romans. The location of this surface, sandwiched between our well-documented medieval phases and the dolerite bedrock we are expecting underneath, suggests we are looking at a Romano-British or Post-Roman structure. This could be a big opportunity to add to the corpus of knowledge of northern sites in Late Antiquity and the Migration period.

And this is where you can help:

Because we couldn’t run our field school, we had to self-fund this last bit of excavation. We will be running the field school again when it is safe to do so, but right now we are operating mostly on goodwill (and biscuits). So we turn to our long-time supporters and new friends alike: can you spare any amount to help us finish excavating this new discovery and fund some initial post excavation, such as radiocarbon dates, as this will ensure our work telling these stories of Bamburgh can continue?

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...or take a look at our blog !
  • Alun Carr 
    • £50 
    • 3 mos
  • Andy Rounding 
    • £100 
    • 12 mos
  • Mary Dell Lucas 
    • £50 
    • 12 mos
  • Carolyn Bell 
    • £50 
    • 18 mos
  • Christine Clarke 
    • £5 
    • 18 mos
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Graeme Young 
Bamburgh, North East England, United Kingdom