The Prehistory Section
The Society organises a winter programme from September to March

Lower Gorple Reservoir

Midgley Moor

See gallery for more images, and extended captions

For some years now a small group of friends has been exploring the evidence for prehistoric activity in the South Pennines, roughly from the M62 up to the Stanbury-Colne road and from the main Pennine watershed in the west across to the urban fringe in the east. There is no particular prehistoric or archaeological significance in these boundaries, this is simply the present extent of our fieldwork.

Bibliography for this South Pennines Prehistory Section

The Ridge Rough Project report: An archaeological investigation of features on Ridge Rough, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire - November 2014 to August 2015: Excavation Report by D Shepherd, F Jolley, K Gibson of the South Pennine Archaeology Network. Download report (Dec 2015)

Variations on a Theme: An Account of some possible Kerbed Boulders in the South Pennines and Cumbria by David Shepherd. Download report (Dec 2015)

Update: September 2015

We have attended conferences and seminars in Bradford and Dublin. Our advisory involvement with the SOURCE Project continues regarding the safeguarding of archaeological remains on tree-planting sites.

Our excavations on Ridge Rough have concluded and consultations with West Yorkshire Archaeology Service regarding the finds are under way, as is the production of a final report. We hope this will be available as a free download from the HBLHS website - where the Prehistory Section seems to be temporarily invisible!

The surprising finds, passed to us, of a very early Bronze Age flat axe and a cushion stone (jeweller's anvil), both from Warley, have been assessed and are being written up for publication.
Flint artefacts continue to turn up on various reservoir shores, and are recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Taken altogether we have published a substantial number of papers regarding prehistory in this area and we will provide a complete bibliography for the HBLHS website when the new version is up and running.

Five talks have been delivered to local societies and there are another half dozen bookings. The fees will go toward radiocarbon dating the charcoal recovered from hearths in the rock shelter at Ridge Rough.


Orthostat walling at Rishworth recently surveyed
by the section (Brian Howcroft)

2014 Report from David Shepherd and Brian Howcroft

2013 Report from David Shepherd

Updates 2011-2012

Updates to 2007 - 2010

2008 update

2007 update

Spring 2016 newsletter

Download Newsletter

Family History

The group runs a popular programme of workshops and drop-in sessions at the Birchcliffe Centre

Churn Milk Joan

Upper Calderdale's suitability for the preservation of local cultural tradition is nowhere shown as strongly as in its wealth of folk tales about places, many of which are still being passed on by word of mouth.

Midgley Moor

For some years now a small group of friends has been exploring the evidence for prehistoric activity in the South Pennines.