Home / Excavation Projects

Excavation Projects

Bamburgh was the fortress palace of the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria, and has been in continual use for over 2000 years. Our work over the past 20 years has aimed to better understand the history of the site and its environs.

Below you will find information about our primary excavation projects over this period.

Bamburgh Castle: West Ward

The West Ward gives us a glimpse into the industrial heart of the Anglo Saxon fortress. The stratigraphy is complex and deep with multiple phases of buildings and industry of all kinds, from high status metalworking, to blacksmithing, and even making mortar for stone buildings. There are cobbled paths and metalled walkways leading to a possible smithy and grand timber halls that span the width of the trenches. This is archaeology to challenge and delight in equal measure.

Bamburgh Castle: Inner Ward

The Inner Ward of Bamburgh Castle lies at the heart of the Castle complex. Early mention by Bede notes the presence of a chapel and well. Excavation conducted by the Bamburgh Research Project, between 2004 and 2008, has demonstrated multi-phase activity on the site of the current chapel. Evidence includes early medieval stone-built structures and the butchery of animals in the Roman period.

Bradford Kaims Wetland Heritage Project

The BRP investigated a truly remarkable ancient wetland site, located just a few mile from Bamburgh, near the village of Lucker. Over seven years of excavation and survey we identified a rich suite of archaeology, mostly dating from the Mesolithic to the Iron Age. This has encompassed Mesolithic flint tool scatters, Neolithic working surfaces and erosion of soils, Bronze Age burnt mounds and timber platforms, and Iron Age settlements. 

The Bowl Hole: an Early Medieval Cemetery

The Bowl Hole is an early medieval cemetery site just 300m to the south of Bamburgh Castle. It is thought to be the burial ground for the royal court of the Northumbrian palace that lies beneath the present castle. The excavation of the site was undertaken by the Bamburgh Research Project (BRP) between 1998 and 2007. The results of the excavation are now featured in a local exhibition ‘Bamburgh Bones’.