2020 Lecture Programme

All lectures begin at 7.30pm in Stockton Central Library unless stated otherwise.

Click here for directions to Stockton Library

Lectures are free for members (see here on how to join) or come along as a guest for only £4 at the door (if you then decide to join we’ll take the £4 as part payment).

28 January 2020 – The Auckland Project: Bishop Auckland and excavations at Auckland Castle.

Since the demise of the mining industry, Bishop Auckland has been affected by economic and social decline. The Auckland Project aims to drive regeneration in the local community, to make for a vibrant community. This vision is built around Auckland (Bishop’s) Castle, whose thousand-year history is being unearthed and interpreted; art; nature; and theatre.

John Castling is a part-time PhD student at the Archaeology department of Durham University, researching the Roman, post-Roman and Early Medieval period of County Durham. He is also Curator of Archaeology and Social History at the Auckland Project, co-ordinating archaeological work at Auckland Castle and Binchester Roman Fort.

25 February 2020 – A Grand Tour of Roman Scotland

Though Scotland was never successfully conquered by the Roman Empire, the lands north of Hadrian’s Wall include many sites bearing witness to Rome’s attempts to impose their will over the whole of the island known today as Great Britain. A Grand Tour of Roman Scotland will introduce some of the 350-plus sites found across the country, from the well-preserved fort at Ardoch, to the fabled battle site of Mons Graupius. From camps to forts, from Walls to harbours, this talk will look at different aspects of life in the land of the ‘barbarians’.

Andrew Tibbs is undertaking a PhD in Durham University Department of Archaeology, focussing on Roman military installations in Northern Britain.

31 March 2020 – Archaeology and the Environment Agency, on Teesside


The Environment Agency leads the response to floods. A breach of existing flood defences in 2013 caused significant damage to local industry and to homes in the village of Port Clarence. To mitigate against future flooding, the Environment Agency commissioned works to improve flood protection at Greatham South. The Environment Agency’s archaeologists screen projects such as this to check if historic or archaeological features will be affected; advise project managers on heritage issues; help ensure that heritage reports are fit for purpose; and – most importantly – help to ensure significant heritage assets are avoided where possible and a programme of enhancement is delivered.

Jennifer Morrison is a Senior Archaeologist with the Environment Agency. She will be joined for this talk by representatives of Northern Archaeological Associates, who carried out archaeological investigations in Greatham Creek in 2010-2012.

28 April 2020 – Archaeological landscapes and community archaeology



Altogether Archaeology is a community archaeology group exploring the heritage of the North Pennines and surrounding area. They routinely uses high-tech approaches, including LiDAR, as part of their very active fieldwork programme.This event will also introduce how to get involved in archaeological research through the Ryevitalise project

Tony Metcalfe is Chair of Altogether Archaeology. He will be joined for this talk by members of AA and Swaledale & Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group (SWAAG). 

26 May 2020 – Bronze Age metals and mobility in Northeast England


Ben Roberts completed his PhD on the Origins And Early Development Of Metallurgy In Western Europe in early 2007. Since then, he was Curator for European Bronze Age collections at the British Museum (until 2012), and later his career has included a role as co-investigator on a major AHRC funded project the Rise of Metallurgy in Eurasia.

Ben Roberts is Associate Professor in Durham University Department of Archaeology; co-Director of the HLF funded and crowdfunded ‘Barrowed Time’ project in Northwest England in collaboration with DigVentures and the Portable Antiquities Scheme; and is involved with numerous smaller projects in Britain ranging from a Beaker/Early Bronze Age barrow (Reffley Wood) to a Bronze Age shipwreck (Salcombe) to a Late Iron Age Hoard (Salisbury) 

30 June 2020 – County Durham: roundup of recent archaeological work

This talk will present some of the archaeological work undertaken in Co. Durham through the past year.

David Mason is Principal Archaeologist with Durham County Council. His interests include Roman military archaeology,  Roman engineering and architecture, the Flavian emperors, and early medieval archaeology in Wales and northern England 

June/ July 2020 – Summer break, no lectures

29 September 2020        Deceptively Spacious: Durham Castle and the walls survey

The talk covers the former extent of the Castle and describes a detailed survey carried out a few years ago, ending with some views of what remains hidden today.

Richard Annis is a Senior Archaeologist with Durham University; and has worked on a wide variety of archaeological projects throughout the Northeast of England, Cumbria, Humberside, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire during the past 30 years

27 October 2020             – TBA

24 November 2020         – Dr Stephen Sherlock will provide an update of his recent archaeological work