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West Yorkshire Archaeology Service



Society success at national awards ceremony

British Archaeological Awards 2004

(L to R) Dr Gerry McDonnell (Bradford Uni.),Granville Clay (HDAS) Prof. Gerry McCormac (Queen's University of Belfast) Sandra Harling (Secretary HDAS),Edward Vickerman (President HDAS),Rob Vernon (Bradford Uni.)

The Myers Wood Project was short listed in two categories at the prestigious British Archaeological Awards ceremony held in Belfast on the 8th October 2004.

The Society and Bradford University were jointly awarded the Mick Aston Presentation Award for the best presentation of an archaeological project to the public.

They also received Highly Commended Certificates in the Institute of Field Archaeologists Award for commitment to professional standards and ethics in archaeology.

Representatives from the Society and University received their certificates and £1000 award from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University, Professor Gerry McCormac, in the presence of the President of BAA, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.


A Society booklet ‘The Iron Makers of Myers Wood’ edited by Clay, McDonnell, Spence and Vernon is available from the Secretary (address on ‘Contacts’ page) at £4.00 plus 50p post and packing. Cheques payable to HDAS.

The Myers Wood Project

The joint, two-year, project between the Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society and the University of Bradford, supported by a Local Heritage Initiative grant, produced evidence of a mediaeval industrial site of national, and even international importance.

The remains of a Cistercian monastic iron-making complex have lain undisturbed in woodland to the south of Huddersfield for over 700 years. The latest geophysical, excavation and dating techniques have been used to explore and interpret the site.


Three major excavations have revealed all stages of metal production on the site - charcoal preparation, ore roasting, several clay furnaces and associated slag mounds and, unusually, a smithing hearth where blooms of iron were refined. Dating evidence using archaeo-magnetic data from the furnace areas has been reinforced by the many pottery finds, and confirmed by the carbon dating of charcoal samples. The site was in use from about 1100 to the early 1300s, producing in excess of 1100 tons of iron from some 2200 tons of roasted ore.

Continuing exploration indicates that the site is much larger than first thought, with evidence emerging of extensive ore extraction and the use of waterpower for industrial processes. It is hoped to learn more of the way technology evolved on this unique site over a period of many hundreds of years. This could lead to a better understanding of the historical importance of this developing industry throughout Europe.

Extract from official report …

“...the most complete iron producing site that has ever been excavated in the north of England with the potential to yield further information on this little understood and poorly recorded mediaeval industry.”






































Part of the large joint team 'ready to go'.
Careful recording of finds.
HDAS © 2004