Uncovering Roman Carlisle 2023 - Excavation time extended

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An archaeological dig, set to get underway in Carlisle on Monday 22 May, has been extended until Saturday 24 June.

Due to the generosity of local firm R H Irving Construction, who has donated their support and provided the machinery on site for free, the excavation has been expanded allowing even more volunteers to take part.

The site will be active and open to the public between Monday and Saturday. Tours of the site will be held at 11.30am and 3pm each day. 

Cumberland Council’s portfolio holder for Vibrant and Healthy Places, Cllr Anne Quilter, said:

“We have a great response to the volunteer sign up and hundreds of people will be taking part in the dig. There will also be school visits and the opportunity to pop along to the site and get a guided tour. I am really looking forward to seeing the dig get underway.”

Uncovering Roman Carlisle has received £56,700 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Wardell Armstrong LLP alongside Cumberland Council and Carlisle Cricket Club would like to get as many people to visit in this incredible project as possible.

The funding aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. The project will allow members of the public to take part in the community excavation or visit free of charge.

Frank Giecco, Technical Director at Wardell Armstrong, said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming the people of Carlisle to visit the site. The volunteers have been doing an excellent job of uncovering more of this internationally significant Roman Bathhouse ruin. Artefacts have already been discovered and have shed light on the history of the city. With the support of R H Irving we have been able to extend the excavation for another week and accommodate more volunteers as the interest has been so high. With daily tours at 11.30am and 3pm.”

Ian Wishart, Business Development Manager at R H Irving Construction added:

“R H Irving Construction is delighted to have been able to contribute our time and support with plant on site to enhance the archaeological explorations and excavations at Carlisle’s Roman Bathhouse. We’re a locally owned and based company with more than 50 years’ experience of successfully delivering a wide range of civil engineering and construction services across Cumbria and Southern Scotland. We care very much about our local area and community and are very pleased to hear our support has meant the excavation can be extended by another week, to accommodate more local volunteers, have a greater social impact, and explore more of this unique Roman Bathhouse.”

The bathhouse is the largest known building on Hadrian’s Wall, with hundreds of volunteers, over 1000 significant finds, and over 1200 days given by volunteers in past phases of the project since 2021. The project was recognised by the Council of British Archaeology and the Marsh Charitable Trust as the Community Archaeology Project of the year 2021, with a member of the Project team Kevin Mounsey nominated for Community Archaeologist of the Year.

Hundreds of volunteers have already signed up to take part in the dig. Limited spaces are available for additional volunteers. No prior experience in archaeology is needed, just enthusiasm in learning about Carlisle’s past. 

Click the link to book online at eventbrite.