Big Dig 2016 – The lost village of Lodge

For two weeks in July 2016 a team of volunteers, led by Solstice Heritage, sought to unravel the story of the abandoned village of Lodge as part of a community archaeology excavation.

The team was led by Jim Brightman of Solstice Heritage who was assisted by freelance archaeologist Spencer Carter (TimeVista Archaeology). Some 40 volunteers, generally from the local community and including students from University of Bradford, took part in the excavations. Lodge is located approximately 2.5km from the Scar House reservoir car park along Carle Fell Road, a route used lots by walkers and cyclists – many of whom stopped by the site to find out what was going on. An open day was held in the middle of the excavations with around 50 visitors making the trip to visit the site.

Why Lodge?

The settlement has its roots as a medieval grange farm linked to Byland Abbey. It appears on 16th century maps and was continually occupied up until its abandonment in the early 20th century when Scar House reservoir was built to provide drinking water for Bradford. Untouched since, the settlement survives only as a ghostly outline of tumbled dry-stone walls marking the outline of the houses.

Lodge is one of the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership’s ‘Flagship Heritage Sites’, sites selected as representative of Upper Nidderdale’s heritage. At Lodge, the excavated building will be conserved for current and future generations to enjoy. Find out more about Lodge here.

The Big Dig at Lodge 2016 archaeological report has now been produced by Solstice Heritage and is available to download here.