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Brodsworth Community Archaeology Project

Location: High Melton, Doncaster, United Kingdom

August 4, 2014 to August 29, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



University of Sheffield; University of Hull

Project Director:

Mr. Colin Merrony; Dr. Helen Fenwick

Project Description

The Brodsworth Project is a landscape archaeology project centred on Brodsworth near Doncaster. The project now covers not only the Brodsworth parish but also 7 other surrounding parishes (Hampole, Hooton Pagnell, Hickleton, Marr, Barnburgh, High Melton and Cadeby). This gives the project an unequalled opportunity to explore the development of the landscape of South Yorkshire from the later prehistoric period until the development of the formal landscapes of the country houses found within the study area.

In particular the Project is focussing on some significant periods of change in this landscape´s development. For example we are looking at the development and use of the Iron Age/Romano-British landscape. This is a landscape of dispersed farmsteads, even after the development of the Roman town of Danum (modern Doncaster). Why did the late prehistoric inhabitants of this area largely abandon the use of pottery and yet mark out their fields and trackways with large ditches and banks? Why does this area develop almost no villa estates in the Roman period? Why does this settlement pattern collapse at the end of the Roman period?

We are also exploring the origins of the medieval villages in this area. How and why the dispersed settlement pattern of the Roman period changes to one of nucleated villages by the 9th or 10th century is poorly understood in the North Midlands and southern Yorkshire and yet is fundamental to understanding the character of the landscape we see today. There are several deserted and shrunken medieval villages in the study area and we will continue with our investigations of some of these. Another focus of the project is the development of the formal, designed landscapes around the many country houses in the area (including Brodsworth, Hickleton, and Hooton Pagnell Halls). The transition from medieval village to post-medieval country house estate is not understood and here we have an excellent opportunity to explore the origins and impacts of this process.

This is a large project involving a wide range of techniques and bringing together a great diversity of participants. During the fieldschool you will have the opportunity to gain experience of techniques such as excavation, geophysical and topographic survey, fieldwalking and post-excavation processing. The project brings together people of all ages and backgrounds with students from the universities of Sheffield, Hull and elsewhere, local school children and local volunteers as well as participants from abroad.

Fees for each week include:

  • Full time field instruction with professional archaeologists
  • Weekend field trips to local historical and archaeological sites
  • Camping facilities, including showers, toilets, running water
  • Three full meals per day
  • Transportation from Doncaster train station, or other nearby transportation hub (please contact field directors[see contact] for estimated time of arrival)
  • The accredited fieldschool fees also include 20 U.K. credits or 6 U.S. credits from the University of Hull (see website or email for further details about assessment)

This information about the project can be found at:

Further information about the accredited and unaccredited fieldschools (and application forms) can be found at:

Please note that the deadline for applying for the accredited fieldschool is the 31st March 2014 (please disregard the 1st February date on the website).

Period(s) of Occupation: Iron Age, Roman, Medieval

Landscape archaeology, excavation, survey techniques

Project size: 
25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 week

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

The project will be based at the University Centre Doncaster, where there will be fully working campsite.  There is plenty of space to set up any size tent; if you are travelling some distance and cannot bring a tent with you, there are some available from the project at no extra cost, but these are first come first serve.
The project will have access to the Centre's gymnasium facilities, which includes indoor toilets, showers, locker rooms, and washing machines.  There will also be a secure area that will be locked and monitored at all times.  
Cost for room and board includes three meals a day (self-serve breakfast and lunch, hot dinner).  There will be opportunities to visit local shops in the evenings, and there is a pub on campus that will be open most nights.  Vegetarian options available if required.
Indoor dormitory style rooms may be available upon request, and at some extra cost.

Unaccredited: £175 per week or Accredited £1000 for 4 week fieldschool

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
University of Hull
Number of credits offered 6 U.S. credits


Contact Information
Colin Merrony
University of Sheffield, Department of Archaeology, West Street, Northgate House
South Yorkshire
United Kingdom
S1 4ET
+44 01142222929