Spodden Valley is full of archaeology, from Mesolithic to Medieval and the modern day.

There’s a wealth of archaeology in Spodden Valley that has yet to be explored, with sites from the Mesolithic period over 8,000 years ago right through to military archaeology from the 20th century, such as anti-invasion pillboxes and munitions factories.

Spodden Valley is something of an archaeological dark horse. We really don’t know much about it prior to the industrial revolution, when Spodden and the surrounding area became an important place for the manufacturing of textiles, quarrying and coal mining.

All the evidence we’ve found, however, suggests that the area has been in use since at least the Mesolithic period, with a history spanning all the way through the medieval, industrial revolution and right up to the present day.

We’ll be out in the field this March for a week of survey, where we’ll be looking for evidence of the hunter-gatherers who made their flint tools here thousands of years ago. The area around Rochdale has some of the highest concentrations of hunter-gatherer camps in Europe, so we’re certain there’s more to find in Spodden Valley, but we need your help! You can sign up to help us look for them here.

Then, in May, we’ll be opening up our trenches and getting our hands dirty at Brown Wardle Farm. There are still visible ruins of buildings on the site, so we’ll be looking for evidence of what life was like in the early 18th century as well as any evidence of settlement prior to the farm.