Malham Chapel Dig 2017

Malham village, Cove and lynchets

This coming summer, a further dig is to be led by Dr David Johnson with Ingleborough Archaeology Group. Over the Ingleborough Archaeology Group’s twenty-year life it has built up an enviable reputation as one of the most active and successful community archaeology groups in the North.  It is highly regarded for the quality of its excavation and surveying work, and during the last eight or so years has run a highly-regarded and ground-breaking project investigating and firmly dating a wide range of Early Medieval settlement sites.  The dig will address some of the remaining questions relating to St Helen’s Chapel site, Malham:

  • What is the ‘track’ that crosses the site and respects the two structures?
  • Can the identification and function of the second structure be determined?
  • What can be discovered about further anomalies in the chapel identified in the surveys?
  • Can the dating of the foundation of the chapel be further clarified?
  • Did the graveyard predate the chapel?
  • What can we discover about the graveyard, its date and use?
  • What is the function of the curvilinear ditch to the north west of the chapel precinct?

In 2017 two new surveys  of the site were completed. In January the Yorkshire Dales National Park used their new equipment to  carry out a photogrammetery survey  of  the site.  In April, Siddall Archaeological Services completed a GPR survey of the graveyard.

We are recruiting volunteers for this year’s dig,  which will take place during the first two weeks of July.  Volunteers need to be aged 18+ and  those  with some previous fieldwork experience are preferred. There will be no charge. Some training will be given.

There will be an Open Day for visitors on Thursday 13 July 3-7 pm.

For further information please contact:

Dr Victoria Spence:

p1050462 Using a drone to take a photogrammetry survey of the site

Stuart and Ann Wilkinson of Siddal Archaeological Services preparing to do a GPR survey of the site in April 2017
Stuart and Ann Wilkinson of Siddal Geophysical Services preparing to do a GPR survey  in April 2017.  Below doing a further resistivity survey of the whole site at the end of May.


THURSDAY 13 July, 3-7 pm


Excavations in 2015 and 2016 confirmed the location of an ancient chapel in Malham, dedicated to St Helen. The digs corroborated documentary evidence as to how the chapel was destroyed by the Edwardian chantry commissioners in 1549.

Dr. David Johnson is excavating the site this summer with Ingleborough Archaeology Group and other volunteers. The dig will include further investigation of the chapel, as well as other features on the site.

Supported by:  Mick Aston Archaeology Fund, Robert Kiln Charity, May Pickles Fund, Olicana Historical Society, North Craven Heritage Trust, Malhamdale Local History Group, Malham Show, Siddal Geophysical Services