Training the Bay's new History Detectives

Documentary Research and Desk-based Assessment training

The Cultural Heritage projects being delivered as part of Headlands to Headspace are wide-ranging and are designed to record, celebrate and conserve the unique heritage of the Bay. The aim is to undertake work so that the heritage of the Bay is in better condition, better identified and recorded. We want to make sure this is achieved by providing quality volunteer training programmes, developing and enhancing skills in the local community. 

Producing Desk-based Assessments

We want to ensure our key sites are fully understood and recorded, placing them into their archaeological and historical context. 

The first stage in this process is to undertake an archaeological desk-based assessment (DBA), which brings together historical maps, documents, historic environment records and aerial photographs. This DBA will not only provide a comprehensive overview about what we already know about the sites but also place them in a wider landscape context.

Heritage sites we are focusing on

The sites/landscapes we are compiling desk-based assessments for are:

  • The landscape containing Hampsfell Hospice and Kirkkead Tower, near Grange-over-Sands;
  • Birkrigg Common Bronze Age landscape;
  • The military heritage of Walney Island;
  • Jenny Brown's Point - chimney and related structure at Silverdale
  • Warton Crag iron Age hillfort
  • World War II air training facilities at Cockerham Sands;
  • The maritime heritage of the Bay (sites/themes to be determined but may include wharfs, fishing, industry).

What are our documentary research volunteers doing?

Our volunteers are helping us gather together nformation to produce a DBA for each of the key sites, whilst gaining new skills on how to approach and undertake documentary and desk-based research.

We are working with Wardell Armstrong Archaeology who are overseeing and supporting the research of these sites and collection of the data. They are also helping to bring the research together as a DBA report.

Some volunteers may be interested in gathering together and providing an overview of the old maps, whilst others may be fascinated in exploring place-names or scanning dusty documents in the archives. A list of the tasks we need to be completed in shown in the following table. You may be interested in one specific aspect of research or you may want to take on writing part of the report? Where you want to gain new skills and contribute to the project is up to you!

There are lots of tasks to do; some involve going to the local library or archives, some involve internet searches, some require contacting local people to see what they know. 

What next?

Once our volunteers have produced the DBAs for these sites, we will publish them here so that they can be accessed by everyone.

If you would like to get involved in this project please see here for more information or contact us.

Return to History and Heritage Projects page.

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