Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Thanks to National Lottery players it has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Fund


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The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme was created to help reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales and its ambition runs deep. 

To discover more about the history of the area it’s funding a number of projects aimed at interpreting the areas rich archaeological heritage much of which has remained undiscovered, unrecorded and under threat. 

A major archaeological survey on Great Asby Scar near Orton has already been completed and work has started on a number of 'keyhole' excavations on nearby Little Asby Common. 

Read a full summary of the archaeology work and its findings>

Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural Heritage Officer with the Partnership Scheme said, 

“We knew there was great archaeological potential in the upland landscape of Great Asby Scar. Detailed surveys on neighbouring Little Asby common had already revealed that much of the area’s heritage had been overlooked and certainly unrecorded compared to the rest of the National Park. 

“Before our survey there were just 59 known sites on this area of upland but thanks to the efforts, largely down to our enthusiastic group of volunteers, we have now recorded 1,218 features.” 

Following the work at Great Asby, 15 ‘keyhole’ trenches have been excavated in the first of two seasons of work being carried out on nearby Little Asby Common, land owned by Friends of the Lake District. 

The keyhole trenches have already begun to build on the historical knowledge of the site. Archaeologists have gathered organic material including charcoal which will be carbon 14 dated to give a more precise understanding of the periods of occupation. A chert arrow-head was found on the penultimate day of excavations, and indications suggest it dates to the early Bronze Age (around 2300BC). 

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Thanks to National Lottery players it has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Fund.