Expansion of dendrochronology. Establish a regional master sequence against which to compare samples.
Link these to Documentary research to establish patterns of land use and change. Look at population growth leading to encroachment on common land.
Link to documentary research where such resources exist. Link to growth of nucleated settlements. Test hypothesis of chronology and village development by excavation. Medieval sites need to be understood in the context of their location within the township and in relation to the manorial facilities.
Archaeological investigation of developments on the edge of smaller and rural settlements and DMVs. Link to documentary research where such resources exist. Is there a discernible difference in settlement/boundary patterns between royal forests/game areas and other landscapes?
Carry out wider landscape studies based upon individual estates, to investigate the impact of particular forms of landholding and lordship. Landscape-based surveys should be undertaken at various levels of historic land holdings and divisions such as the honour, manor and township, to test the underlying hypothesis of both county based HLCs and Roberts and Wrathmell’s (2002a) national analysis of settlement patterns. Link to documentary research where such resources exist. Use detailed aerial photo or LIDAR work on selected deer parks to determine the typology of subdivision and further documentary research to explore prevalence of deer leaps.
Cross border research initiative to understand cultural identity, medieval borders, particularly with Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Still very little cross-border collaboration in the north. Need to expand – does cross-border include the Isle of Man and Irish Sea?
Application of scientific methodologies particularly to burial studies. Also identification of land/resettlement in upland areas in early part of late medieval period, then abandoned post Black Death and resettled as population expanded again. Settlement desertion – excavation linked to scientific dating.
Review relevant grey literature and historic research, and target palaeoenvironmental work.
Ensure a full range of appropriate archaeological techniques are applied, such as palaeoenvironmental analysis, landscape survey, place name and documentary evidence. Continue to apply new techniques to old and new animal bone assemblages to establish the range of animals that were managed and their movement across the region and country (isotope analysis). Look at East Midlands research on land ownership changes post Norman Conquest eg. larger estates including the royal hunting forests
There have been a number of large scale and detailed surveys of Medieval and Tudor halls in recent years. These should be synthesised to help understanding of the transition to modern housing.
Undertake new surveys of town defences and revisit archives. Work in Chester is on-going and much has been done from the point of view of historians; need to ensure this work is linked with the archaeological studies to form an holistic approach. Include siege works.
Continue to use the planning system to target excavations in known Medieval town centres, as has happened in Salford and Manchester.
Review coverage and condition of UADs, including Carlisle and Lancaster, and accessibility and updating of urban archaeological database. Need to be made more accessible for front end users such as planners and able to update.
Buildings on stone footprints as shown on tithe and earlier maps should be investigated for earlier fabrics. Consider failed towns and their differences with successful ones.
Study the origin and decline of hermitages. Link to documentary research where such resources exist. In addition to monastic outer courts, ancillary buildings and precinct boundaries, should estates (eg. gardens, farms and granges) be included?
Apply modern approaches and techniques to building surveys and compare with previous studies to establish new data. Link to documentary research where such resources exist.
Target timber and stone buildings and other features such as holy wells. Devise strategy on identification of apotropaic markings. Look closer at graffiti in Medieval churches, Expand the Greater Manchester graffiti survey model. Links with LM16 and LM32
Adapt and develop successful models from within and outside the region to survey early churches in the North-West. Look for opportunities to engage the help of volunteers from local heritage groups and elsewhere. Train local volunteers to spread coverage of the survey and harness local knowledge and enthusiasm. Links to LM16 and LM27
Synthesis of the Castle Studies Group work at Lancaster castle and elsewhere in the region. Photogrammetic coverage of exterior of Lancaster Castle is incomplete and 3D modelling might give better ability to interpret. The Castle Studies Group work has re-ignited interest but gives a somewhat biased chronology which needs to be revised and tested.
Utilise a suite of modern techniques, dendrochronology, geoarchaeology, Lidar and GPR for fabric surveys. Link to documentary research where such resources exist. Include moated sites.
Undertake landscape and topographic surveys, environmental evidence, historic research, study defensive adaptation of vernacular buildings. Link to documentary research where such resources exist.
Determine if defences were for actual use, and if the presence of defences were related to a settlement’s status or a reflection on it prosperity.
PAS data. Link to documentary research where such resources exist.
Undertake a review of recent investigations, identification of sites/areas of research. Place name evidence, documentary evidence for iron and other metal sites. Excavate selective bloomeries, especially where evidence of water power usage, to discover their dates and technological development
Place name evidence, documentary evidence for non-ferrous metal sites.
Research place name evidence. Review our understanding of the location of ceramic production centres.
As precursors to the later industrial scale textile industry.
Documentary research and artefact and sample excavations needed. Maritime archaeology. Can we establish the existence of an “Irish Sea Zone”? Work with CITIZAN. Use PAS data to track trading networks through styles of object etc.
A resource is needed for chance discoveries. Work with Nautical Archaeology Society Engage local groups to survey vessels. Need co-ordinated dating programme to research undated vessels recorded by rapid coastal zone survey.
Reference collection required for Medieval ceramics. Encourage detectorists to pick up and record their pottery with PAS through targeted talks – many currently dismiss it. Mapping of production centres is needed, possibly on volunteer network model.
Contrast urban and rural, high and low status sites.