What Lies Beneath - Archaeological geophysics training

Project details: in 2015/6 we trained volunteers to undertake geophysical surveys, to help us better understand some of Morecambe Bay’s archaeological sites.

What is geophysics?: This technique of archaeological research uses specialist equipment and allows us to explore beneath the ground, without having to dig any holes.

Sites covered: working with specialists from Archaeological Services - Durham University and University of Central Lancashire (who provided training and participation opportunities) we have surveyed four sites:

The following reports summarise the results of this work.

Gleaston Castle Report

Summary: At Gleaston Castle (report in prep) the team surveyed within the interior of the castle towers/curtain wall. Using both magnetometry and resistivity the surveys discovered the collapsed/buried continuation of the curtain wall which extended around the site as well as possible pits/post-holes and masonry which may represent former buildings within the now grassy area of the courtyard.

Jenny Brown's Point Report

Summary: The survey at Jenny Brown’s Point focused on the area around the chimney site and field to the north, primarily to explore if we could establish if there was any evidence of mining in this area. The area to the east of the chimney was also surveyed to see if a continuation of the remains of foundations which are being eroded from the saltmarsh could be found. This included using GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) to survey this area which did pick up continuation of walls. We are using this data together with other survey work we have been undertaking to plan small scale excavation at the site. 

Jenny Brown's Point Geophysical Survey Report 2017

Kirkhead Tower Report

Summary: Kirkhead Tower is located on a prominent headland and there is evidence of Prehistoric and later activity in the local area. The survey around the tower was designed to explore if there was any evidence of previous use of this landscape, in particular an earlier tower or even a church which has been proposed being established in the 7th century at Kirkhead. Whilst no structural remains were found in the area surveyed, a penannulaur feature, possibly a barrow or round-house, as well as evidence of former ploughing and the remains of a track.

Kirkhead Tower Geophysical Survey Report 2017

Cockerham Sands Report

Summary: The  survey at Cockerham Sands was to explore an area adjacent to a World War 2 Observation Tower and a short distance from Cockersands Abbey. Evidence of use of this landscape in the Cold War was identified in the form of a possible Royal Observation Corp nuclear monitoring bunker. The survey also found wall footings of a structure and possible ditches and pits of unknown date.  

Cockerham Sands Geophysical Survey Report 2017

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