Help dig for history in Land of Iron

Volunteers are needed for an archaeological dig on the moors.
Volunteers are needed for an archaeological dig on the moors.

People can play their part in helping unearth and preserve the historical remains associated with one of the most important industrial periods in the history of the North York Moors by joining a community archaeological excavation.

The North York Moors National Park is seeking volunteers to join experts in the excavation of three trenches at Goathland Incline, a spot that played a key role during the frantic period of ironstone mining in the 1800s and the evolution of the railways.

The excavation, which is part of the This Exploited Land of Iron project supported by Heritage Lottery Funding, is also one of the key sites within this year’s Festival of Archaeology, coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology.

The archaeological excavation will take place from July 25 to 29 and August 1 to 5 and will include daily site tours at 11.30am and 1.30pm apart from the initial two days of excavation.

While the old Whitby to Pickering railway line is now the popular Rail Trail walking route, the excavation will focus on the buildings and structures that were crucial in the transportation of ironstone en-route to the ironworks across the North East.

Surveys have shown the potential to reveal features at the top of the Incline including the remains of the station master’s house to the north of the Rail Trail, and structures associated with the steam engine to the south along with a possible turntable or water pond.

Visit to find out more or contact to register yout interest.

Tom Mutton, programme manager for This Exploited Land of Iron hailed the excavation as an exciting project.