Excavations at Causewayside Farm were focussed on re-locating and providing a landscape context for the Moseley Heights Early Bronze Age ring cairn; previously excavated by Walter Bennett in 1950 (Bennett 1951). Moseley Heights is part of an area of upland to the east of Burnley with a long history of historic and prehistoric occupation. The ring cairn was partially excavated in 1950 in advance of extensive open-cast coal mining which it was feared would totally destroy the site. Mr Ken Tyson, the current landowner, has known the area for a long time and was able to identify the location of both the former ring cairn and the edge of the open-cast pit. Our project, through a combination of gridded test-pitting and open area excavation, looked at the surviving state of the monument and what evidence there was for prehistoric activity in the surrounding landscape. Although the ring-cairn was not completely quarried away, it was so close to the pit edge that the structures had been almost completely destroyed. The site did produce a good collection of worked stone artefacts, including diagnostically Early Bronze Age finds such as a barbed and tanged arrowhead, which will complement Bennett’s finds now stored in Towneley Hall Museum. Surprisingly, the surrounding landscape appears to have been almost completely devoid of prehistoric activity; with only two flint flakes recovered from the gridded test-pit survey.
Fieldwork at the site has now finished but further analysis on our finds and the Towneley Hall collections should allow us to link the results of the two projects together. Work on the stone tools, pottery and human remains from the site is now underway and should complement recent radiocarbon dating by David Barrowclough (2008, 121-4).
Barrowclough, D. 2008. Prehistoric Lancashire. Stroud: History Press.
Bennett, W. 1951. Report on Excavations near Burnley. Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society 62: 202-208.