CfAA logo Sept 11 BW smallWelcome to the blog pages of the Greater Manchester Archaeology Day and the Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival. In the 1980s and 1990s an annual archaeology day was held by the Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit. This was revived in 2011 as the Greater Manchester Archaeology Day (GMAD) and since then has become a key fixture in the archaeology calendar of the region and an important opportunity to meet and talk with academics, professionals and volunteers involved in uncovering the region’s rich past.
   In 2017 we expanded these engagement events with the first Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival (GMAF), in June, with the second following in June 2018. Both GMAD and GMAF are organized by the Centre for Applied Archaeology, in the School of Environment and Life Sciences at the University Salford, in conjunction with the Greater Manchester Archaeology Federation.
   The Greater Manchester Archaeology Day and the Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival aim to increase access, encourage the exploration, and celebrate the archaeology of Greater Manchester. Our blog pages provide a range of resources for those interested in getting involved in exploring Greater Manchester’s archaeology. We regularly add to our content so please click back to keep up to date.
 GMAF Logo Colour


Pastures New for Mike Nevell

Our Head of Centre Dr Mike Nevell is off to pastures new and will be leaving the University of Salford for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Mike has assured us that he will remain active in the GM Federation, CBA North West, and as STAG Chair – and who knows perhaps there will be more TV appearances. We wish him well and look forward to him wielding a trowel as a volunteer!

WythenshaweHall220716 (42)

Mike Nevell (centre), Adam Thompson and Lewis Stitt on site at Wythenshawe

His last day at Salford University is Friday 31st January, although he will retain a link with the university as an Honorary Research fellow. His university email address (hopefully) will also remain live. As a parting gift his latest book is an archaeology of Manchester in 20 digs – out this spring!


New Free e-books for GMAD 2019

GMPR_cover_vol17Saturday 30th November is Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2019. To celebrate this, and ten years of archaeology at the University of Salford, we have added to more free e-books to our Greater Manchester Past Revealed Series to download. These are:

Booth Hall and Boggart Hole Clough, GMPR 17 (2016)


Exchange Station, Greengate, Salford, GMPR 18 (2017)


Downloadable copies of our previous 16 volumes can by found on the Publications pages of this blog.

Enjoy the read!

Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2019


Its that time of year when we bring together all the latest archaeology news and discoveries from around the Manchester city region. Yes, its Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2019 on Saturday 30th November. Our Brian Grimsditch Memorial lecture thsi year will be given by Dr Mike Heyworth, Executive Director of the Coucnil for British Archaeology. There will also be talks from mesolithic camp sites ot 20th century railway stations. The full programme can be found below at the end of this post.

As usual the venue will be the Peel Hall at the University of a Salford, where you will find lots displays and books to browse, and plenty of archaeology friends to catch up with. There’ll be tea, coffee, juice and biscuits available. Parking is available on campus at the Irwell car park (£4 for the whole day – pay and display and online payment both available).

Booking is now open through our University online shop here (or google search – Salford online shop archaeology day 2019):



Morning session

9.30am Registration and coffee

9.55am Introduction to the day: Dr Mike Nevell, Head of the Centre for Applied Archaeology, University of Salford

10.00am Welcome: Speaker to be confirmed

10.10am The Brian Grimsditch Memorial Lecture:
‘Seventy-five years of archaeology for all: the mission of the Council for British Archaeology’ – Dr Mike Heyworth (Executive Director, Council for British Archaeology)

10.50am Beyond the Pale: a decade of historic building survey and research at Dunham Massey Jamie Lund (Archaeology & Cultural Heritage Adviser, National Trust)

11.20am Comfort Break

11.30am Everything is Connected: the regeneration of a former railway station and the creation of an urban park at Manchester Mayfield
Tony Lee and Ashley Brogan (Salford Archaeology)

12.00am Recent investigations at Castleshaw Roman Fort
Norman Redhead (Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service)

12.30pm Finds from Chapel Wharf, Salford – an urban pottery and glass assemblage
Samantha Rowe & Mandy Burns (Salford Archaeology)

1.00pm Lunch break

Afternoon Session

2.00pm Recent archaeological investigations at Worsley Delph and Green
John Roberts (Salford Archaeology) and Mike Nevell (Head of Centre)

2.30pm Conserving Cowherd’s Congregation at the Beefsteak Chapel: the archaeology of Salford’s Swedenborgian Citadel
Ian Miller (Salford Archaeology)

3.00pm Coffee and comfort break

3.30pm A new Mesolithic site at Windy Hill, Littleborough
Stephen Poole (University of Manchester)

4.00pm Excavating Crown Street: industrial developments on Manchester’s southern fringe
Oliver Cook (Salford Archaeology)

4.30pm Questions and closing remarks
Chaired by Dr Michael Nevell

4.45pm Finish


Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival 2019

GMAFfestival_logoToday marks day one of the third Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival. There are free events taking place across the Manchester city region over four days from Thursday to Sunday (20-23 June), with event run by local groups from the Greater Manchester Archaeology Federation supported by the Centre for applied Archaeology at the University Salford.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0042.JPGWe’ll be bringing up updates of some of the event. In the mean time bookings for GMAF19 can be still be made online for the following events:

  • 21 June: Mellor Archaeological Trust: Guided tours of the Mellor Mill site
  • 22 June: Tameside Archaeological Society – Finds workshop
  • 22 June: Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts tour
  • 23 June: Worsley Bridgewater Canal Port tour, University Salford

Follow the link here:





Get Ready for the Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival 2019

GMAFfestival_logoThe third Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival will take place in June 2019 from the 20th to the 23rd. As before, there will be a variety of free events hosted by Greater Manchester Archaeology Federation members across the city region, from talks and walks to conferences and excavations.

We will be posting the details of the first events soon. If you want to suggest an event please get in touch by emailing Penny Dargin-Makin at p.r.d.dargan-makin@salford.ac.uk

Greater Manchester’s Past Revealed – volumes 7 to 16 added

With the success of Greater Manchester Archaeology 2018 now behind us (with over 160 people attending and the unveiling of Greater Manchester’s first identified piece of rock art), we can announce that next year’s GMAD19 will be on Saturday 30th November 2019.

In the meantime as an early Christmas present we are releasing another 10 Greater Manchester’s Past Revealed booklets (volumes 7 to 16) for free download. These include three hall sites (Newton, Radcliffe, Timperley), three industrial urban landscapes (Angel Meadow, Clayton, and Greengate), the historic village of Cheadle, the elite landscape of Dunham Massey, Ashbury’s engineering works in Openshaw, and the Gin Pit colliery near Tyldesley. You can find these on the ‘Publications’ page of this blog site. Enjoy!

Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2018

Booking for this year’s Greater Manchester Archaeology Day, on Saturday 24th November in the Peel Hall at the University Salford, is now open. There’ll be talks on Roman roads, castles, medieval furnaces and granges, New Bailey Prison, Angel Meadow, and more, plus society stalls and exhibitions.

Come along and talk to professionals and volunteers about Greater Manchester’s shared heritage and how you can help uncover the past. The online link is here:


GMAD poster 2018

GMAF Newletters added to our blog site

newsletter1.pubAs part of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Greater Manchester Archaeology Federation we are making freely available to download all the GMAF newsletters. This encompasses 15 issues spanning 2009 to 2017. These can be found on a dedicated page of this blog site (see above). We shall also be adding future issues of the newsletter as they become available.

A browse through the pages of the GMAF newsletter captures many of the exciting finds and important projects undertaken by community groups across Greater Manchester over the last decade – from uncovering Mesolithic campsites and Roman tombstones to exploring moated halls and textile mills. These pages also record the changing environment within which archaeology is undertaken, from the ever changing planning guidance to the fall and rise of archaeology departments and units.

A constant has been the enthusiasm of local individuals for exploring and promoting the past. We have lost some significant individuals in the last ten years (Ben Edwards, John Hearle, Fed Broadhurst and Brian Grimsditch), but their legacy of enthusiasm and determination to open the past to everyone lives on in the work of our local societies and groups. We are sure that the next ten years will be full of equally important discoveries enabled by equally enthusiastic individuals.

GMAF 2019 – Save the dates now!


The medieval bloomery discovered at Holcombe Moor

Our second Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival in June 2018 proved a great success with over 250 people taking part in events across the city region.


Highlights included more work on locating the Roman road in Wigan (Wigan Archaeology Society), the excavation of a medieval bloomery at Holcombe (Holcombe Moor Heritage Group) and the location of some of the lost sites of the K8 telephone box in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. Many thanks to all our local archaeology and heritage societies who put on events. We appreciate all the hard work needed. There will be a chance to catch up with some of the discoveries talked about and show-cased during the festival at this year’s Greater Manchester Archaeology Day, which is on Saturday 24th November 2018, in the Peel Hall at the University of Salford.

We are already thinking about next year’s festival. This will again run for four days in the summer, from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd June 2019. All suggestions for events (from digs to workshops and talks) gratefully accepted. Please the save the dates!

GMAF 18 is here!

GMAF Logo ColourThe 2018 Greater Manchester Archaeology festival is finally here! There are lots of free events to get involved with across the city region, from digs and surveys to talks and walks. We also have a significant archaeology finding to reveal so stay tuned. Book online here: https://diggreatermanchester.wordpress.com/bookings/  If you haven’t booked don’t worry, as for many events you can drop in on the day.

You may have noticed the wonderful logo at the top of this post which has been designed, for free, especially for us by the wonderful people at Interact IT (www.interact-it.com). We are very grateful and we hope to see all our local archaeology and heritage societies using this over the next four days. You can follow us on Facebook and twitter (#GMAF18). We’d love to see your photos of the events so why not upload them to @archaeologyuos on twitter or email them to m.d.nevell@salford.ac.uk. Have fun exploring our shared past!