Brodsworth Landscape Archaeologybrodsworth

The Brodsworth Project is a landscape archaeology project centred on Brodsworth near Doncaster. The project now covers not only the Brodsworth parish but also 7 other surrounding parishes (Hampole, Hooton Pagnell, Hickleton, Marr, Barnburgh, High Melton and Cadeby). This gives the project an unequalled opportunity to explore the development of the landscape of South Yorkshire from the later prehistoric period until the development of the formal landscapes of the country houses found within the study area.

In particular the Project is focussing on some significant periods of change in this landscape´s development. For example we are looking at the development and use of the Iron Age/Romano-British landscape. This is a landscape of dispersed farmsteads, even after the development of the Roman town of Danum (modern Doncaster). Why did the late prehistoric inhabitants of this area largely abandon the use of pottery and yet mark out their fields and trackways with large ditches and banks? Why does this area develop almost no villa estates in the Roman period? Why does this settlement pattern collapse at the end of the Roman period?

We are also exploring the origins of the medieval villages in this area. How and why the dispersed settlement pattern of the Roman period changes to one of nucleated villages by the 9th or 10th century is poorly understood in the North Midlands and southern Yorkshire and yet is fundamental to understanding the character of the landscape we see today. There are several deserted and shrunken medieval villages in the study area and we will continue with our investigations of some of these. Another focus of the project is the development of the formal, designed landscapes around the many country houses in the area (including Brodsworth, Hickleton, and Hooton Pagnell Halls). The transition from medieval village to post-medieval country house estate is not understood and here we have an excellent opportunity to explore the origins and impacts of this process.

This is a large project involving a wide range of techniques and bringing together a great diversity of participants. During the fieldschool you will have the opportunity to gain experience of techniques such as excavation, geophysical and topographic survey, fieldwalking and post-excavation processing. The project brings together people of all ages and backgrounds with students from the universities of Sheffield, Hull and elsewhere, local school children and local volunteers as well as participants from abroad.