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:  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 ( 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 Have fun exploring our shared past!

GMAF18 – Another New Event Added

27788577_1548548738593929_8645371415121872128_oWe have a fourteenth event to add to our Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival 2018.  The Prestwich & Whitefield Heritage Society and the South Trafford Archaeological Group are continuing their excavation of the foundations of a 19th century country house of Outwood Lodge in Philips Park, Bury. The two groups have been exploring the site since January and have revealed extensive brick foundations.

Come along and join in the fun. The site is behind The Barn centre in Philips Park. For more details on Prestwich & Whitefield Heritage Society see their website:

Book online here:


GM Festival 2018 – New Event Added

DSCF1143Our thirteenth event for this year’s Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival has just been added to the website. This is a finds workshop that the Tameside Archaeological Society (TAS) will be holding at Portland Basin Museum in Ashton-under-Lyne. Join members of TAS on Sunday 24th June, 10am-3pm and touch the past of Tameside.

Click here to book:


GM Festival 2018 – New Events Added

GMFest18_Flyer1.pub21 June marks the start of the 2018 Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival. Today we are releasing another three festival events in Manchester, Stockport, and Trafford. The Festival runs from 21 June to 24 June (main 2018 booking page link is at the top of this page). All events are free and are organised by the archaeology societies and heritage groups exploring Greater Manchester’s past. The new events are listed below with links to the Eventbrite booking webpages. Scroll down and choose a link for booking.

Trafford: Warburton Graveyard Survey (Thursday 21 June)

Manchester: Bellhouse Walk (Friday 22 June)

Stockport: Scholes Park Archaeology Drop-in (Saturday 23 June)



GM Festival Events 2018

GMFest18_Flyer1.pubThe 2018 Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival is almost here! Today we are releasing the first batch of eight events across seven boroughs of the Manchester city region for Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 June. As in 2017 all events are free. The events are listed below with links to the Eventbrite booking webpages. Scroll down and chose a link for booking.

GM Archaeology Fest 18: Launch Event & Telecommunications Lecture ‘The K8 – 50th Anniversary of Britain’s last red phonebox’

Centre for Applied Archaeology, Peel Building basement
Thursday 21st June, 4pm to 6pm, 50 free places

Launch event for the Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival 2018. Prof Nigel Linge of the University of Salford will kick-off the Festival with a talk on ‘The K8 – the 50th Anniversary of Britain’s last red phonebox’. A chance to mingle with fellow archaeology enthusiasts and hear about the exciting events available over the four days of the Festival. The will be books and displays on view.

Manchester’s Communications Archaeology Walk

Dr Michael Nevell & Prof Nigel Linge
Friday 22 June, 11am to 2pm, 20 free places

This three-hour tour of Manchester’s communications archaeology from the 18th to the 20th century starts at Victoria Station and finishes at Piccadilly Station. Along the way we shall explore Manchester’s early waterfronts along Water Street, Liverpool Road Railway Station opened in 1830, Castlefield Canal basin and the Bridgewater Canal (opened here in 1763), the Rochadale Canal, and the Princess Street warehouse district and Manchester telecommunications history (scattered long our near circular route, much of hidden in sight!). This is mostly along pavements so good footware is advised. There will be handouts.

Wigan: Brimlow Roman Road Dig

Wigan Archaeology Society
Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd June, 10am to 4pm

This year Wigan are inviting volunteers to help them have another look at the Roman road they discovered in 2004 (i.e. the road from Wigan to Walton-le-Dale). In 2016 WAS carried out a GPR Survey on this road, which is just north of Wigan, to test if this type of survey could detect the road where resistivity had consistently failed. The survey was a success showing clear indications of the road running south from or previous excavations. It also revealed other linear features which they thought they should investigate. Two days are available i.e. Friday and Saturday, with places for six volunteers per day.

Meet at Brimelow Farm. Parking on Gidlow Lane. WN6 8RT.

For further details about Wigan Archaeology Society see:

Bolton: Hall I’th’Wood History Day

Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society, 10am – 4pm (tours at 12pm and 2pm), 40 free places
Saturday 23rd June,

Join Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society for an exploration of the History of Hall I’th’Wood, Bolton. Get involved with geophysics as the group survey the lawns, take a guided tour through the hall’s history including access into the hidden attics, families can get involved in craft activities in the Great Hall from 12pm until 3pm.

Suitable for ages 5 to adult. Guided tours will take place at 12pm and 2pm with a maximum of 15 spaces on each (first come first serve), suitable footwear must be worn.

Bury: Walls and Boundaries in the Holcombe Valley

Holcombe Moor Heritage Group, 1pm to 4pm
Saturday 24th June

Holcombe Moor Heritage Group are holding a guided walk in the Holcombe Valley to show the variety of walls and boundaries in the local area. The walk is not suitable for wheelchair users. Participants should be comfortable walking up and down varied terrain (4.5 miles) for at least 3 hours. Please come prepared for hiking and for inclement weather.

Starting at 1300 hours on Saturday 23rd June 2018 from the car park on Lumb Carr Road (B6214), 0.6 miles up the hill after the Hare & Hounds pub (postcode BL0 9RY) in Holcombe Brook.

Tameside: Tameside Local History Forum History & Archaeology Day

Tameside Local History Forum and The Together Centre
Saturday 24th June

Exhibitions from Dukinfield Old Hall Chapel, Old Chapel Dukinfield, Newton Hall, Gorse Hall, Globe Lane Pals, The Moravian Settlement and Museum. Cheshire Family History Society, and The Forums ‘Extraordinary Women’ , plus many more local groups.

  • Tameside Archaeology Society will be giving a talk on their recent projects at approx. 11am.
  • Gay Oliver will be talking about Kate Bradbury Egyptologist of Riversvale Hall at approx. 1pm

Also joining us will be Landy Publishing’s Bob Dobson, a favourate for book collectors. Refreshments available. Everyone welcome.

Oldham: Castleshaw Roman Forts Tours

Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts, 11am to 4pm
Sunday 24th June

The Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts will be conducting two guided tours to the Roman Forts site. These will take place at 11am and 2pm on Sunday 24th June. Each tour will last about 2 hours. Meet at the public car park on Waterworks Road, adjacent to the Castleshaw Centre near Delph. Stout footwear required and there is a fairly step ascent to the Roman Forts site. The tour will explain the earthwork remains of the forts and the history of excavation that allows us to understand the Agricolan fort of  AD 79 and its replacement by a much small fortlet in around AD 105. There will be an opportunity to see archaeologists from the Friends undertaking exploratory excavations outside the fort’s eastern defences, as well as geophysical survey.

Further details about the Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts can be found here:

Trafford: Roman Pottery Workshop

South Trafford Archaeological Group, 1pm to 4pm
Sunday 24th June

A chance to get ‘Hands On’ and find out more about some real Roman pottery from the Roman fort and vicus at Northwich in Cheshire, excavated by STAG from 1987 to 1990. There will be a presentation based on the excavation of a site in Weaver Street, Northwich, Cheshire followed by handling and looking at Roman finds from the site. You will get an opportunity to identify and learn how to archaeologically conserve this type of Roman pottery.

For more details about the South Trafford Archaeological Group see: