Cumbria Crack

Secrets of ancient Duddon Valley settlement to be revealed

Looking down on Longhouse Close

The secrets of an ancient settlement in the Duddon Valley are about to be revealed.

On Tuesday 6 November at 7pm at the Victory Hall Broughton-in-Furness, the Duddon Valley Local History Group will present the final results of their three year excavation of Longhouses at Seathwaite. This is the culmination of a a ten year programme hoping to identify how our Norse ancestors lived.

The excavation, which has largely been helped by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was under the direction of leading archaeologist Jamie Quatermaine from Oxford Archaeology North. He will explain how the dig progressed and what he describes as ‘an extremely significant find’. Expectations were high of establishing Viking connections to the excavated sites especially as the Longhouse Close site bears a striking resemblance to the known Viking settlement on the Shetland Island of Unst.

During the early part of the dig 16th Century pottery shards of Silverdale ware were uncovered, raising hopes of finding older material lower down. Eventually three floors, beautifully constructed of cobbles and stone slabs, were revealed. The 2018 excavation concentrated on a semi-circle of stones at one end of the structure. This was thought to have been part of a Bronze Age ring cairn, but transpired to be a rounded end to the adjoining walls. Carbon dating of charcoal found on the site has yielded a date of around 1300BC, way before 10th Century Norse invasion. Small metal objects were found this year and have been subjected to x-ray analysis. It is expected that the results will be announced at the presentation.

The presentation is open to all, is free and includes free buffet and refreshments.

Further information may be obtained from Ken Day, Chairman, Duddon Valey Local History Group 01229 716113 email [email protected] or Stephe Cove 01229 773965 or the History Group web site

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