Archaeology and Geology of the Dearne

A community focused project to help develop people’s skills, knowledge and understanding of the archaeology and geology of the Dearne.

The DVLP brought in specialists to work with community groups at a number of key sites in order to develop activities specific to that local site.  Local volunteers were provided with training and support and were able to get involved in a range of activates such as archive research, geophysical surveys, 3D modelling and field walking. This not only developed local skills but also the understanding of the archaeology and geology of each of those areas.

The Project

This project was community led, involving a coordinated approach to surveying the historic environment of the Dearne Valley. This helped develop local people’s understanding of the heritage of the Dearne but also develop their skills and knowledge.

Sunny landscape

ArcHeritage, an archaeological / geology specialist was appointed to work with the local community in focusing on 10 key sites in more detail. For each site they identified a core community group to work with and use this as the basis for developing more community involvement.

Each site was looked at independently, working with the owners, guardians and local community. Activity at each site was different, reflecting the existing levels of information held about the site, the need for further information, the local priorities, the community and future opportunities.Together they developed a package of works for each site for which local volunteers were provided with specialist training and support.


The Heritage Audit, commissioned by the DVLP began with a baseline survey of the DVLP area, looking at every cultural heritage site within the defined boundary. This was achieved by collating existing archaeological and historic information.

Following this a gazetteer was produced of all the archaeological and built heritage features. From this, twenty key sites were identified with the potential for future cultural heritage opportunities and activities. Additional documentary and cartographic research was carried out in order to enhance the cultural heritage resource of each key site.

Rapid walkover surveys were conducted at each key site, noting their present condition, the extent and condition of any surviving above-ground remains, potential threats and the extent to which the sites are currently identified as cultural heritage assets. Recommendations have been made for potential future community engagement or for the enhancement, understanding and appreciation of the sites. This Audit has formed the basis for a lot of the activity for the DVLP but particularly the focus with this project on archaeology and geology.


For each project a report was produced along with a range of differing outcomes depending on the nature of the project. This included publications, exhibitions, website information, 3D models, events, performances or creative projects. All findings were deposited with the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service who are a key partner in the DVLP.