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Our latest project

Shard fencing in the Duddon Valley

Our valley has a landscape character that is dominated by farming. The long, narrow valley has a pattern of inbye land on the valley bottom surrounded by intakes on the fellsides. There are many examples here of early farm buildings and distinctive stone walls, including shard fences. The use of upright slabs of slate to create boundaries are also referred to as flag fences. In association with the National Park Archaeological Services, we are going to identify and survey these unusual features.

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Our Last Project

A Survey of the Washfolds in the Duddon valley

Washfolds were used to clean the fleece of the flocks of sheep on the fells before they were clipped and the wool sent to the market. They are scattered over both sides of the valley and altogether we have found forty five sites recorded in the Heritage Envoronment Records (HER) or in the  Duddon Valley Local History Group survey, Ring Cairns to Reservoirs (R2R) survey in 2009. Some are marked on the early editions of the large scale Ordnance Survey maps as washfolds, wash dubs or sheep washes. Map legends record Washfold Point on Devoke Water and Wash Dub Beck above Turner Hall camp site.

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The Duddon Dig

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Ring Cairns to Reservoirs (R2R)

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The Longhouse Surveys

The R2R project discovered a huge number of previously unrecorded archaeological sites. Many of these were high on the fellside in locations which are now unsuitable for agriculture. There was much speculation about the possible age and purpose of these structures, and it seemed probable that some were of medieval origin. In particular, the footprint of some structures indicated that they might have been longhouses.

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Talks Programme

We have tried to maintain and stimulate the enthusiasm of both recent and longstanding members and guests by the presentation of talks covering a range of local and topical subjects of historical interest. These have included archaeology; geology; industrial heritage; vernacular architecture; agriculture; local crafts, skills, lifestyles and interests; personalities, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, poets, philosophers, historians and ‘thinkers’; transport and infrastructure, and oral history.

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Walks Programme

In addition to an annual programme of talks, the Group has a programme of history and archaeology themed walks and visits.  These take place over the period October to April.

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Our Projects Gallery

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