In September 2022, the Lancaster office of Oxford Archaeology undertook the second season of community archaeological excavation, commissioned by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership, to undertake fieldwork on Little Asby Common. We put together a blog so you can follow our daily updates! 

Last year was spent doing a series of trial trenching across various features identified on the common by landscape survey, the surveys revealed that the common is packed with interesting archaeological features, but we had to settle on one site to go to full excavation this summer. The location chosen was a Longhouse structure that appeared to be built against a stone built enclosure that last season’s carbon dates revealed to have been constructed in the Bronze Age. Andy Phelps, assisted by Katie Sanderson, lead a team of local volunteers and community archaeologists in the investigation of this structure with the aim of figuring out its age and construction. 

We were visited on our open day by our own Adam Parsons (pictured right) dressed and carrying reproductions of materials that may have been used by those who once stayed in our longhouse, which really brought our excavation to life!

We would like to thank Hannah Kingsbury for organising this wonderful project and all our brilliant and skilled volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without you!


The project is providing a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved and help to reveal the rich heritage of this area. Managed by Oxford Archaeology's Lancaster office on the ground, 47 volunteers and our apprentice team at the Westmorland Dales Scheme got involved with all aspects of the work, including the excavation, recording techniques, landscape survey recognition, core sampling and drone surveys.”

Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural heritage officer, Westmorland Dales Scheme

  • First season 2021

    16 keyhole trenches were excavated, 14 of them presenting archaeological finds including remains of a coaxial boundary system, associated enclosures and possible roundhouses.

  • Second season 2022

    Excavation of Longhouse structure with find ranging from a a fragment of broken Neolithic Langdale Axe all the way to Post-Medieval ceramic and a lost horseshoe!

Meet the team

Project partners

Friends of the Lake District logo
Heritage Lottery Fund logo
Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Logo
Yorkshire Dales logo