Mini Exhibition, online preview

We have prepared for you a mini exhibition to let you know about the wider context of the excavations currently taking place.  You can see a mini version of it here and it will be available to anyone visiting the dig over the coming week or so.  We hope to move the exhibition to other venues post dig and would really appreciate your feedback so we can improve it as we discover more.

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Archaeological Excavation Vicarage Field; Scheduled Ancient Monument Site Castle Hill

Twelve days of archaeological excavation on Lancaster’s Castle Hill will seek to uncover more about the city’s Roman past.

This new excavation will partly re-open earlier trenches dug in the late 1920s and early 1970s, but also investigate undisturbed ground to test emerging theories relating to Lancaster’s Late Roman Shore Fort. The Shore Fort was one of a succession of Roman Forts, dating from the first to fourth centuries, which occupied Lancaster’s Castle Hill.

Only limited excavations have taken place and very little is known about the nature of the Roman and later remains. Vicarage Fields to the west of Vicarage Lane displays a well-preserved but confusing set of earthworks. Some are very likely to …be Roman; others appear to be later.

The dig will partly re-excavate the 1929 and 1971 trenches to aid understanding of earlier research, and then extend these to the west and north.

Jason Wood, Excavation Director and Heritage Consultant to the Beyond the Castle project said: “The dig represents an important opportunity to test our theories relating to the location of Lancaster’s Late Roman Shore Fort. Hopefully it will enable us to consolidate our understanding of the site and what this might tell us about the nature and character of Lancaster in Roman times.”

The dig is led by the Beyond the Castle project, which has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is led by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council.

The trenches will be hand-excavated by a combination of volunteers and experienced archaeologists under the direction of a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. The public will be encouraged to visit and watch the excavation, engage with archaeologists and the team of volunteers, and assist with finds processing.

A new emerging narrative for Roman Lancaster reinterprets accepted opinion and will invite challenge and further questions. Join the debate and have your say at a pop-up exhibition displayed on the site during the excavation.

We will set up at 8.30 ready for a 9am start and will conclude the day at 5 pm with a review for all volunteers (the public will be invited to listen in); weather and stamina permitting some of the excavation work might continue into the early evening.

How you can get involved:

Dig with us:
Many hands make light work. Please get in touch if you want to help out on the excavation (previous experience not required, 18+)
Come and visit:
Watch the excavation, view our pop up exhibition and talk to our volunteers

To get involved please contact Lucia Marquart (Site Supervisor and named organiser):, 07887 831154
For information please contact the Excavation Director, Jason Wood 07763 475442.

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