North Duffield Conservation and Local History Society

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Following discussions with Jon Kenny and our new partner, Paul Durdin, we have received approval from the Society to apply for further Lottery funding for a new Project.

The work we did insofar as excavations are concerned, in North Duffield, between 2011 and 2014 , literally broke new ground as no real attempt had previously been made to investigate archaeological features in the southern Vale of York. Since then, developer funded excavations have started to reveal the complex settlement patterns during the Iron Age that had mostly thought to be confined to the Yorkshire Wolds.

In order to maintain the considerable momentum we gained from out initial Project and to inform future investigations and putative housing developments, we have formulated plan to widen our horizons. Looking at an area bounded by the River Ouse to the West and Derwent to the east, which meet each other at Barmby-on-the Marsh, and with the City Of York roughly at the top but slightly off-centre, we have selected three areas for investigation. Each site is close to one of the rivers and crop marks indicate features exist from the Iron Age.

Verbal approval has been obtained from sites at North Duffield and Hemmingbrough and it is anticipated that approval will be forthcoming from a site at Wheldrake.

Starting with a Desk Top survey, followed by geophysics informing trial trenching, we will attempt to ground-truth the visible crop marks with a view to gaining further insight and dating evidence resulting from land-use and occupation of settlements during the Iron Age. We will continue to work with residents and schoolchildren to make them aware of and therefore feel more in touch with their heritage and we will extend our work with disability groups.

Finally, discussions with a film-maker , it is hoped, will result in a production telling the story of the Project from the outset for release upon Social Media such as Youtube.

A pre-application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has produced feedback which is positive and I attended a Workshop at the Yorkshire and Humber HQ of the HLF which should give us a good chance of a successful application for somewhere in the order £50,000. Competition for funds is more challenging since our last successful application so we must meet that challenge.

The full application was submitted at the end of May 2017 for a grand total of £79,400. Added to this is  contributions in the form of volunteer ‘hours’ to a total of £20,000.

The application has been accepted with all its attachments and a manager appointed. I have been informed that the application will come before the Board in early July and a decision can be anticipated towards the end of July.