2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the Centre for Applied Archaeology at the University of Salford. To celebrate this landmark I’ll be looking back at some of our key sites over the next 12 months. As an early treat I’m making freely available a pdf of our ‘Archaeology for All’ community volume which we published in 2015, here:
Since the Centre was established in September 2009 we have been based in four buildings (The Cube, Joule House, Adelphi House and The Peel Building), grown from three staff (myself, Adam Thompson and the late and still very much missed Brian Grimsditch) to twenty, published or overseen the publication of 27 booklets and booklets, authored and co-authored 30 articles, and undertaken over 405 projects.
Along the way we’ve provided commercial archaeology services (with a turnover last year of one million pounds), planning advice, undergraduate teaching and community archaeology support. We’ve run ten ‘Greater Manchester Archaeology Day’ events and established the city-region-wide ‘Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival’ (currently in its third year). Our community archaeology projects have reached over a thousand adult volunteers and more than 6,000 school children.
We have also been involved in excavating Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Medieval, Post-medieval and Industrial sites and recorded castles, timber-framed halls, barns, textile mills and workers’ housing. The Centre has dug up decapitated rural Roman burials at Ferry Lane Farm in the Trent Valley, discovered bodies in the bailey of Halton Castle in Cheshire, and recorded the graves and burial of factory workers in Stockport. We’ve used laser-scanners, photogrammetry, infrared photography and monitored the impact of climate change on archaeological sites. Members of the Centre have had the privilege and excitement of working at sites as varied as Caernarfon Castle, Manchester Town Hall, Radcliffe Tower, Wytheshawe Hall and World War One trenches in Blackpool and in towns as far apart as Carlisle and Coventry.
This is what we call applied archaeology, and we use it to inform our teaching and community work and to help with our wider research. And in the spirit of ‘archaeology for all’ I’ll be posting regular reviews of the highlights of our first ten years, and making available more free data. Stay tuned!