2017 Archaeology dates

Archaeology will begin again in Castleton from Monday May 8th 2017, when Colin returns with his First Year Archaeology students from Sheffield University. We expect that work will continue for four weeks.

If you would like to know more, or want to volunteer on the dig, please contact Angela (amstafford@hotmail.co.uk).

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2016 Castleton Christmas Tree Festival

The theme for the CHS Christmas Tree this year was ‘Angels’ and depicted images of angels from paintings and stained glass from the 14th century to the early 20th century.  The earliest angel on the tree can be found in St Edmund’s in Castleton and other medieval angels from Norfolk, Renaissance angels from Italy and Pre-Raphaelite angels from England completed the display.


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“Dark Matter and the History of the Universe”: Neil Spooner

Our most recent lecture given by Neil Spooner on “Dark Matter and the History of the Universe” was a fascinating trip into the archaeology of the universe. He explained how using a range of sophisticated techniques theories of the composition of the universe are being tested out. What seems certain is that nothing is certain – but Neil who is a Professor of Particle Physics at The University of Sheffield told us about WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Magnetic Particles) which may be an important component of Dark Matter and derive from the direction of the constellation of Cygnus. A rather different talk for the society but as historical as it can get (nearly 14 billion years ago, as far back as 300,000 years after the Big Bang…..)

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AGM 2016: 19 January 2017

The Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 19th January 2017 at 7pm, followed by a pea and pie (and dessert & coffee) supper, at Castleton Village Hall. The cost for the meal will be just £12. News and highlights of 2016 will be presented and we are looking forward to seeing members and guests, for a sociable evening amongst friends. To reserve your place call Maura or email secretary@castletonhistorical.co.uk

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Members’ Night at Treak Cliff Cavern

Our 2016 Members’ Night was spent at the invitation of Vicky Turner & Kay Harrison at Treak Cliff Cavern.  The evening began with an informative and entertaining tour of the Cavern …

and continued with an opportunity for a get together over a glass of wine and nibbles.

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It was something of a bittersweet occasion as we reflected on the contribution that our Chairman Peter Harrison had made not only to the Society but to the village in so many ways.  Peter died suddenly in Austria a short while ago. He will be sadly missed by all his friends in the Society and remembered with much affection.
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Castleton Dig Diary 2016

Weeks 3 and 4:  New Hall trench, other trenches & test pits

Angela Darlington

New Hall trench

The Methodist Chapel was built on the lands where a Tudor house named New Hall once stood. It was built c.1500 by the Savage family, and demolished in the late 1800s, a few years before the building of the Chapel. The aim of the archaeology this year was to locate part of the building as a reference point for future work and everyone was very pleased that the south-facing wall of a wing of the house was positively identified.

Other trenches and test pits

Several other small trenches were dug including some at the west end of the village, to further explore evidence for the pre-Norman, early medieval settlement.  Together with documentary evidence that referred to human burials in this area, the archaeology continues to yield promising results.


Thanks to all those who have helped throughout the dig, including the volunteers without whose hard work little would be accomplished, and the landowners and tenants who have generously granted access.


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Castleton Dig Diary 2016

Weeks 3 and 4                   Angela Darlington

Spital Field continued………..

The Spital field, where burials probably linked to the medieval hospital have been found in previous years, was the focus of this year’s dig. The aim this year was to find evidence of buildings associated with the hospital. Week 3 began with more bailing out of the water that had accumulated in the trench during heavy rainfall over the weekend. Then, in the north-west corner of the trench (closest to the main road) what appeared to be a tumbled limestone wall was excavated – not very wide, and with a number of sherds possibly all from the same 16th – 17th century vessel in amongst the stones.  This was too insubstantial for a medieval building wall, but happily, as enthusiasm for this feature reduced, two other areas of stone in the south and east of the trench started to become much more interesting. By the middle of week 4, these had been resolved into two sections of the limestone foundations of a very substantial wall, and the current thinking is that these could be part of a medieval chapel, located close to the burial area.

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