AMATEUR archaeologists have taken to Holcombe Moor in an attempt to dig deeper into the area’s medieval history.

Members of Holcombe Moor Heritage Group carried out archaeological excavations in Cinder Hill field in the Holcombe Valley at the weekend in a bid to find out more about a former medieval iron works thought to have been based there.

Several years ago, the group unearthed evidence that the iron works had taken place within the valley, and set about locating the source. 

Remains of a bloomery furnace were discovered last year, which is believed to date back to the late Saxon period. 

Excavations of the surrounding area then revealed the preserved remains of a medieval iron bloomery shaft furnace complete with tapping channel and tapping pit. 

After examining charcoal recovered from the area, the group now believe that iron may have been produced at the site for a longer period than first thought, possibly up until the Tudor period.

Further excavations were carried out at the weekend, and members of the public are being invited to get their hands dirty and help out with future digs.

Dig director Neil Coldrick said: “The dig went went really well. 

“We had a lot of diggers, but we can always use more. 

“This is potentially a major discovery that changes what we know about the area.”

No digging experience is needed and all training and equipment will be provided. 

Anyone interested should email

The heritage group was set up in 2005 as part of an initiative by the Ministry of Defence Army Training Camp at Holcombe.

They work closely with the training camp and the MoD’s archaeology adviser to investigate historical sites within Holcombe Valley and the surrounding area.