This listing expired on May 19, 2014. Please contact for any updated information.
Castleton Hospital Project

Location: Castleton, , United Kingdom

June 23, 2014 to July 19, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



University of Sheffield

Project Director:

Colin Merrony; Angela Stafford

Project Description

The Project: The Castleton Hospital Project began in 2008 as a joint project between the University of Sheffield and the Castleton Historical Society.  The main objective of  the project is to understand the site of the Medieval leper hospital on the east side of the medieval village of Castleton, in the Hope Valley of the Peak District.  The hospital was founded before 1153 by the wife of William Peveril (founder of the nearby Peveril Castle), and is recorded in historical documents as being south of the road into Castleton.  A series of earthworks on the site demarcates a late medieval farm building, which was excavated in the early years of the project.  

The 2014 season: In the 2013 season, several medieval burials were found.  In 2014, we will be further exploring this area within the hospital site in order to understand the character and extent of the burials and the later structures built over the burial ground. There will be several professional archaeologists, including professional osteologists, on site for student supervision, though all digging will be done by students and volunteers.

The 2013 season also led to the discovery of as yet unrecorded Saxon burials, and another aim in 2014 will be to understand the extent of this burial ground, and excavate several of the burials.  

In 2014, we will also be continuing to survey various locations around the medieval village, using geophysics, landscape, and earthwork surveys.

Field school: Skills to be aquired on the course include excavation techniques, including experience with funerary archaeology, survey techniques using a total station, geophysical survey techniques, including resistivity and magnetometry, basic finds processing, with the option of geoarchaeological techniques.  

The course will be completed with University of Sheffield students, who will be fulfilling their own university excavation requirements at the same time.  While credits are not available, we will gladly provide a certificate of participation to give to your institution.  

Field trips: There are many sites of archaeological and natural interest around Castleton, including Mam Tor Hill Fort, and several caverns, which you will be welcome to explore at the weekends.  Each weekend, we will also be providing field trips to various local historical and archaeological landmarks.  These include: Peveril Castle, Haddon Hall, Hardwick Halls, Bolsover Castle, Brough Roman Fort, Chatsworth estate, and Arbor Low Henge monument.  Trips to other local sites of interest may also be arranged on rain days.

£150 per week covers the cost of field training,transportation to and from the site, weekend and rainy day field trips, and entrance to most of the field trip locations.  Please note that this does not include accommodation, which will be dependent on the type of accommodation chosen. 

This price also includes transportation to and from your chosen accommodation from the Sheffield or other local train station.

You can find more information about previous seasons on the following websites:


Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval

Osteology, funerary, geophysical survey, landscape survey

Project size: 
25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 week

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

This project does not offer set facilities.   Instead, there is a range of accommodation options, each of which we will help arrange, and will help book for you, and add on to your final total cost. 
The Castleton Hospital Project is set in a popular Peak District tourist area, where there are possibilities for camping, camping barns, bed and breakfasts, and shared cottages.   Please keep in mind that these options are in a rural area, however local shops and pubs are available. If you choose to stay in Castleton or Hope, it is necessary to book well in advance, so please apply before the 15th of April.  For an idea of bed and breakfast accommodation, go to   
There is also the option of staying in accommodation within the nearby city of Sheffield.  Sheffield has a range of shops and pubs, as well as several museums, and a train station link to anywhere in the UK.  Transportation will be provided to the Castleton site (a 40 minute drive) each morning, and you will have the option of halls of residence, or hotel/hostel sites.  
Each of these options includes an orientation on your first night, and transportation to local shops if needed.
These options range in price from £14-£60 per night.  Please apply well in advance in order to guarantee your desired accommodation.  
Please contact us, and we will help you find accommodation in either Castleton or Sheffield.

£150 per week, plus chosen accommodation

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
University of Sheffield
Number of credits offered A certificate of participation can be provided


Contact Information
Colin Merrony
Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street
South Yorkshire
S1 4ET
44 0114 222 2929