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Bradford Kaims Project, Northumberland Wetlands Initiative

Location: Northumberland, United Kingdom

June 1, 2014 to July 26, 2014

Session dates: 
Concurrent with Bamburgh Research Project excavation season beginning on June 3rd 2013

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, July 19, 2014

Program Type

Field school


Bamburgh Research Project

Project Director:

Graeme Young FSA, Gerard Twomey MA, Paul Gething

Project Description

Bradford Kaimes Wetlands Project Field School runs between 2nd June to 26th July in 2014.Work starts Monday 2nd June 2014. Prices are £250.00 per week if paying by cash or cheque (advance payment necessary) or + 4% if you wish to pay via PayPal (available as a booking option on our website)  

For year round details of us please go to our blog: full details of our last season are on there if you go back through the articles.

Students book using the online booking form on the ‘Join Us’ section of our website or email the project directors:

Bradford Kaims Project, Northumberland Wetlands Initiative has been running since 2010 and is a project run as part of Bamburgh Research Project  Students will get to experience the archaeology of Bamburgh castle as well as a completely different kind of excavation at the Bradford Kaims wetlands.

We are examining the palaeo-environmental evidence dating back to the last ice age that is preserved in a series of peat bogs in the region of north Northumberland, UK near Bamburgh Castle. A season of fieldwork involving test-pitting, excavation, environmental sampling, coring and survey will be undertaken between June 2nd to July 26th 2013. This runs concurrently with our season of excavation at Bamburgh Castle (which is listed separately), so students can spend time in the wetlands and the castle, participating in both projects if they wish. The Bradford Kaims are located in North Northumberland, England, less than forty kilometres from the Scottish Border. It is surrounded by an extensive wetland that formed in the Late Glacial and was a large lake system throughout the Holocene. Many sites are known in this region, from Mesolithic and Neolithic scatters, to Bronze Age cairns and votive deposits, Iron Age hillforts and Medieval villages. This project seeks to survey the lake and undertake exploratory excavations of sites from different periods. Training in survey and excavation, as well as palaeoenvironmental sampling, will be provided on sites that offer extraordinarily good conditions for the preservation of archaeological remains. Also, there will be opportunities to learn about material culture such as lithic material and ceramics.

There are many sites in the vicinity that have never been excavated, and we aim to explore some of those this summer. We began excavating the prehistoric lake edge last summer and we have revealed an interesting flagstone feature associated with a great deal of charred material and Neolithic Flint Tools. A recent Archaeo-Magnetometry date has placed this feature at 4,500BC, which if correct, makes it a rather important and intriguing discovery. We will be stripping the area around this feature during the summer to see if we can uncover associated features or sites and we'll be prospecting for new sites in a much larger area as well as taking a new series of core samples.  This is a good year to get involved in this expanding project. For an example of similar sites see the excavation report of Starr Carr.

To book your place please use the online booking form at


We run the project as a Field School each summer between June and July, camping at a local campsite.

The project is open to ANYONE - as full training will be provided. 

You can also find us through the following links:

our website:


YouTube channel:

Twitter @ 

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval to Mesolithic

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 week

Minimum age: 
14 accompanied, 16 unaccompanied

Experience required: 
No experience necessary as full training will be provided

Room and Board Arrangements


Camping accommodation is included in the fees and is arranged with a local campsite with full facilities in the village of Belford just 5 miles from Bamburgh Castle. The campsite has a toilet block with showers, washbasins & WCs, self catering cottages, internet access, and secure storage. A service wash arrangement is available at an additional charge on-site, or you can use the public laundrette at the end of the campsite driveway.  For participants who do not wish to camp with us we will offer a modest discount on their fees, payable as a refund during their stay.

Please bring your own tent. Tent size is restricted to a 2-man tent per person. If you are going to share, you may bring a larger tent up to a 4-man size, but large family/compartment tents are not permitted. If you have a special need for a larger tent please contact us directly.

Storage space will be available, so if you have lots of baggage we should be able to store it for you. If you are coming from overseas we may be able to purchase a tent on your behalf or take delivery of one you order online.

We do not provide food but there are full cooking facilities available including a fitted kitchen in the staff accommodation which students may use, and a BBQ beside a covered veranda which is available daily for your use as well as additional BBQ facilities throughout the camping area. We will host a weekly BBQ event where all food is provided by us - this usually happens at the beginning of the week to help new students settle in. A daily prepared packed lunch is available from the campsite for a modest cost if you don't want to make your own, which you should order the previous day.

Village Amenities
There are numerous amenities within the village. Food outlets include take aways/restaurant/bar meals; there are three pubs, a golf club, community club, coffee shop, farm shop, and resource centre. The local shops include a post office, launderette, newsagents and small licensed supermarket, open 07.00 to 22.00 daily. There is a Doctor's surgery, dental surgery and chemist within the village. We will also have daily access to the local village club for events and socialising, and this has a games room, function hall and bar. They plan to host weekly events such as discos and karaoke for our benefit, and we will be able to have our weekly quiz and lectures there.

Campsite Details
We are camping at Bluebell Farm Camping and Caravan Park. This is where you need to get to when you arrive at the project. This campsite is situated in the historic village of Belford, easily accessible by car or bus from the main A1 trunk road between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Buses run regularly from the mainline train station at Berwick upon Tweed about 15 miles to the north. The campsite address is: Bluebell Farm, West Street, Belford, Northumberland, NE70 7QE Tel: 01668 213362

£250 UKP per week fees

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered Pending
By Experienced field archaeologists and researchers


Contact Information
Gerard Twomey
23 Kingsdale Avenue
United Kingdom
NE24 4EN
Recommended Bibliography: 

Sarah Groves, Philip Wood, Graeme Young, The Bowl Hole Early Medieval Cemetery at Bamburgh, Excavations 1998 to 1999, Archaeologia Aeliana, Fifth Series, Volume XXXVIII, 2009, Newcastle upon Tyne
Bennet, M. and K. L. R. Pedersen, A Neolithic Polished Flint Axehead from Near Louth, Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, 35:56:00, 2000,
Waddington, Clive & Kristian Pedersen (editors), Mesolithic Studies in the North Sea Basin and Beyond: Proceedings of a Conference Held at Newcastle in 2003., 2007, Oxford: Oxbow Books
Waddington, Clive, Geoff Bailey, Alex Bayliss, Ian Boomer, Nicky Milner, Kristian Pedersen, Robert Shiel and Tony Stevenson, A Mesolithic Settlement at Howick, Northumberland: A Preliminary Report, Archaeologia Aeliana (5th Series), 32: 3-12, 2003, Newcastle upon Tyne
Milner, N., O. Craig, G. Bailey, K. Pedersen & S.H. Andersen, Something Fishy in the Neolithic ? An Assessment of the Use of Stable Isotopes in the Reconstruction of Subsistence, Antiquity, 78: 299, 2004,