Please see the Dig Diary for the latest updates from 2023
The new DIG DIARIES for 2023 will be landing soon! Please keep an eye out for their
Excavation in progress on Trench 13, showing a
substantial stone platform being exposed within the
military annexe close to the fort's east gate.
A 3D LiDAR Flyaround of the Fort area at Castleshaw. Click to pause or expand.
It is with great
regret that we announce the death of Ken Booth.
Ken was central to Archaeological life in Saddleworth for
many decades (See below)
A Wintery view over the Fortlet
RE-MOUNDING PROJECT COMPLETED AT CASTLESHAW ROMAN FORTLET!
Over recent years the grass mounds marking out the footprint of the Roman timber buildings have become illegible. These markings are important in helping the several thousand school children and members of the public who visit the site each year understand the layout of buildings within the fortlet. The building lines were first set out in 1989 then refreshed in 2009.
Over the years, weathering and vegetation overgrowth have denuded the mounds. So we are delighted to announce that United Utilities, the landowner, have provided a grant to re-mound the building wall lines. Their contractor, JVT, commenced work on Tuesday 16th August after Norman and Jayne Redhead from the Friends had marked out the building lines the day before. The Friends funded orange fencing and road pins to protect the mounds from sheep/dog damage until the grass seed can get established and stabilise the mounds. All the work was undertaken in accordance with Scheduled Monument Consent from the Secretary of State via the agency of Historic England.
JVT staff mounding up the building lines
A low oblique view across the barrack block and commander’s house in the eastern half of the fortlet. Photo courtesy of Phil Barrett
Aerial view of completed building lines, with key to explain their function. Photo courtesy of Joolze Dymond, one of our Friends’ volunteers, who kindly took drone photographs.
Steve Tamburello and Chris Wilde from the University of Salford Archaeology department have produced some new Drone images of Castleshaw with process Lidar image
Click here or the image below to see the Drone images
Feb. 2018, Looking from the fort towards Delph. The roman road visible as the whiter line in the middle distance Click the image for a larger view.
If you can't spot the roman road above, click
more on this section of the road.
Please keep an eye on these pages
for the coming events in 2023,
We are planning a number of digs over 2023, both at the
Forts and at the Waters Clough monsatic site. These digs
will be open to members of the friends so if you would like
to be involved and are not currently a member please consider
Benefits of joining also include reduced entry fee to
lectures and access
to the members area of the website containing the latest
documenst and reports.
Coming soon(ish): Lidar and Aerial
images of the Roman Road through Saddleworth. A Taster
with the section from
The Report for the 2014 Fort
Excavations is now available, Please see the Documents page for details
Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts were awarded a major grant from
the Heritage Lottery Fund to support its research into the area's Roman
history. We were given £70,100 to carry out a fresh excavation of
This has been concluded, please see the blogs to
The final report is Here.
See the July 2014 excavation diary at the Castleshaw Blog ... Plus
read all about the Castleshaw Roman Day Conference.... And the
Mytholme Mill investigation in Blog2 Press the 'Blog' buttons below
.. and dont forget to Follow the blog to get updates delivered to you.
Castleshaw through the ages ... press the
buttons below the map.
The above gives a quick flavour of the 2014
excavation, the full story is on the blog
with additional pictures and comments on Facebook
And have a look at the stunning aerial pictures from the gyrocopter !
By the 1980s Castleshaw Roman Fort was in need of some care and
While most of the underlying archaeology was still intact the surface
was badly pitted and spoiled by centuries of digging by various
antiquarians and archaeologists.
visit to Castleshaw in 1980 was a difficult experience. Visually it was
a mess and it was difficult to make out the lines of the walls. The
lunar landscape left by previous diggers had been colonised by moorland
vegetation and it was difficult to walk over it.
Something needed to be done to preserve and protect what
is a valuable archaeological site.
In 1984 a conservation exercise was undertaken on the fortlet. This
removed the spoil heaps, reinstated the bank and ditch and conserved
the interior of the fortlet.
The main outer fort wasn't touched and still requires
a similar programme of restoration and conservation.
Castleshaw Roman Fort Future
The major challenge we now face is how best to enhance
experience of the forts without jeopardising any of those factors which
make the place so special.
The aim of the Castleshaw Conservation Management Plan
is to improve
the interpretation of the site and the publics experience of the
This is there the Friends come in ..
With targeted excavations within the fort and the surrounding area we
aim to increase the knowledge about the fort and its environs, search
for missing Roman features such as the Bathhouse and reinstate damaged
areas of the outer fort.
We hope to include the Saddleworth community and schools in our
activities, including the onsite work and offsite research into the
existing archives and finds collections and bring a digitised library
to this website.
We are grateful for the support of the
In 2012 the Friends Saddleworth
Archaeological Trust (FoSAT) merged with the Friends of
Castleshaw Roman Forts.
The Archived website of FoSAT is available here and includes various newsletters which may be of interest.