Digging Halton Castle: Part 2

With just three days left of the community dig the outer bailey at Halton Castle is finally yielding some of the castle’s secrets. This is the first excavation within the castle since 1987 but there has been no previous investigation of the eastern half of the bailey. This was the main research reason we were…

Digging Halton Castle Part 1

The ruins of Halton Castle in Cheshire (SJ 537 820) stand on a prominent hill of red sandstone overlooking the estuary of the River Mersey to the north and west. July 2015 sees the first excavations at this medieval site since 1987. During the 1980s my old colleague and friend Robina McNeil led small-scale excavations…

The Democracy of Ruins

A holiday with the family can be very revealing, not just for family relationships (it’s always interesting watching the children squabbling over whose turn on the trampelene it is or whose fizzy drink that really was) but also being reminded of the child’s viewpoint of heritage. We recently visited three historic sites that demonstrated this…

Buckton Borderlands

On a recent trip to Edinburgh University I took the opportunity to pop into the National Museum of Scotland. The original 1860s building that houses much of the museum is a fantastic structure in its own right; behind the Romanesque brick and stone facade is a grand central exhibition hall formed by tall cast-iron frames…