THE hidden gems of a Medieval settlement are set to be explored after a community group was granted nearly £4,000 to carry out an excavation.

The group Altogether Archaeology has been awarded £3,900 from the Northern Heartlands scheme to carry out a dig at the Well Head settlement in Holwick, Teesdale.

The site is one of several deserted medieval sites located along the southern edge of the Teesdale valley floor.

Last year, the group carried out a preliminary excavation which focused on two of the buildings and revealed a rich collection of small finds, indicating that the settlement was active for a considerable period of time

during the middle ages.

Group secretary, Mike Powell, said the site attracted a significant amount of interest, enough to warrant a return to Holwick this year to seek out additional evidence to help date the settlement.

And now that has been made possible thanks to the Northern Heartlands' Community Initiative Fund, managed by County Durham Community Foundation.

As well as helping to cover the costs of the excavation itself, the group will also be able to offer several exciting opportunities for local people and visitors to become involved.

The dig itself will take place from May 12 to 27.

A number of associated public events are also planned including a talk about the results of the 2017 dig in Middleton-in-Teesdale Village Hall, on April 16 as well as an open day on the excavation site, guided tours, archaeology walks and workshops.

workshops when we will be cleaning and recording finds.

Later in the year the group will also organise a final public talk to discuss the results

of this year’s excavation.

Mr Powell said: "The grant allows us to involve people and we had quite a lot of interest last year.

"It'll be great to get more people interested in the archaeological heritage of the area, which is what we are about."

The retired NHS manager added: "It's a really interesting site and last year we found masses of pottery right from the Roman times to the Medieval period of the 14th and 15th centuries so this indicates the settlement was clearly used for a long period of time."

The group has more than 100 members across the North Pennines area.

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