TVeyeRoads To The Past | Thornton le Street, North Yorkshire 2018
ICE & FIRE | Eston Hills Rescue Archaeology Project, Teesside 2017–18
Black Cat Quarry, Bedfordshire | Northern Extension 2016–17
The Lost Village of Lodge | Nidderdale, North Yorkshire BIG DIG 2016
Street House Farm | Loftus, Redcar & Cleveland 2013–17
Charting Chipeling | The Archaeology of the Kiplin Estate, North Yorkshire 2014
TimeVista Research Projects »

TVeyeROADS TO THE PAST | The Archaeology of Thornton le Street (Ongoing)
Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project | Lithics Specialist & TrainerRoads to the Past is a Heritage Lottery-funded project currently under-way as a partnership between Solstice Heritage and the Thornton le Street Heritage Group. It is focused on the landscape around the village of Thornton le Street, near Thirsk in North Yorkshire, a fascinating area associated with several shrunken medieval villages and the route of a Roman Road.

The project is built around providing training to volunteers in all kinds of activities from  archival research through field-walking, test-pitting, survey and excavation. For more information, visit the project website »

TimeVista Services

  • Lithics and prehistory community training workshops (three) to make the group self-sufficient in basic level identification and recording, pre-PXA
  • Post-excavation finds analysis (PXA)
  • Specialist reports for formal monograph publication, archives and exhibitions

TVeyeICE & FIRE | Eston Hills Rescue Archaeology Project (Ongoing)
Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project | Co-Director
Excavation, fieldwork training and finds processing in association with Teesside Archaeological Society, Durham University, AOC Archaeology Group, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Teesside University and Tees Archaeology

est17_ice-and-fire_webThe Eston Hills dominate today’s industrial landscape of the Tees estuary and the rugged coastline of north-east England. The community moors and woodlands are a wildlife haven that also bear testament to human endeavour since the end of the last Ice Age – 12,000 years ago.

ICE AND FIRE is a community project which aims to explore, record and celebrate the evidence for over ten thousand years of human life, death, ingenuity and persistence.bronzeage

The hills belong to the community of Teesside as a tranquil haven away from the bustle of modern life. Tragically, they are also plagued by acts of vandalism, illegal off roaders – and arson.  The wetlands, which preserve evidence for past environments, are being irreparably damaged and the moorland is scarred by vehicle tracks.

Image: Eston Nab is it might have appeared in the late Bronze Age. © Tees Archaeology.

Watch the 2017 fieldwork video | 15:20 Youtube »
Download the free 2017-18 Interim Report »

Project Aims

  • Establish the nature of prehistoric activity and state of preservation with test pits
  • Sample wetland areas with an auger to investigate past environments
  • Conduct seasonal field-walking to assess the broader extent of prehistoric activity
  • Provide archaeological training to volunteers from diverse backgrounds
  • Encourage community awareness and pride in the value of and risks to our shared place

This is a rare opportunity to explore the early prehistory of Teesside, including:

  • The first people to recolonize the landscape after the last Ice Age
  • Transitions within the Mesolithic period and into the Neolithic with the onset of farming, monument building and pottery
  • Recovery of dating evidence and recording features where they survive
  • Testing geophysical prospecting methods against sub-surface archaeology

TimeVista Services

  • Website and e-communications
  • On-site and post-excavation training for volunteers and student trainees
  • Lithics analysis and archive reports
  • Publication and community dissemination

TVeyeBlack Cat Quarry, Bedfordshire | Northern Extension 2016–17
Commercial Archaeology
Project management of phase 11 of 14 with strip-map-sample engagement in association with Archaeological Research Services Ltd.bcn16_spence_2016-12-23_1

Archaeological oversight of aggregates extraction at Black Cat Quarry, near St Neots in Bedfordshire, commenced in 2014. Phased stripping of top- and sub-soils has revealed evidence dating back to the late Neolithic, perhaps earlier and early Bronze Age on a gravel terrace to the north of the River Great Ouse. Land division boundaries are evident, with discoveries including a Romano-British farmstead – rebuilt after a flooding event – and part of a third-century inhumation cemetery containing 15 individuals, along with evidence for Anglo-Saxon activity.bcn16_2017-01-24

Phase 11, adjacent to the A1 at Black Cat roundabout between Sandy and St Neots, is on the site of a recent car-racing circuit still visible on Google Earth images. The latest finds include sherds of plain and decorated Anglo-Saxon pottery, animal bones and, from other features, prehistoric knapped flint tools and pottery dating to the beginning of farming in the Neolithic period.

Left: Anglo-Saxon (Anglian) hand-made, decorated pottery dating to the 6th–early 7th century AD and often associated with funerary practices (December 2016).
Right: Neolithic flint knife, around 5000 years old, recorded during machine stripping along with Grooved Ware pottery, a pit and posthole (January 2017).
© Spencer Carter.

TimeVista Services

  • bcn16_update02cvrProject management as archaeological project officer
  • Watching brief and plant instruction during topsoil-basal deposit removal to identify and map potential archaeological assets
  • Coordination and management of periodic fieldwork engagement (excavation and specialist resources)
  • Maintenance of hard-copy and digital site archives
  • Community engagements and dissemination
  • Post-excavation coordination across artefact, ecofact, bio & palaeo-environmental, dating and conservation specialisms
  • Archive preparation, deposition and publication

TVeyeThe Lost Village of Lodge | Nidderdale BIG DIG 2016
Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project
Excavation, fieldwork training and finds processing for Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership


Lodge is a former medieval grange farm for the Cistercian Byland Abbey that was sold into private ownership following the dissolution of the monasteries in the mid-16th century. The settlement is recorded on Saxton’s map of 1577 as ‘Lodge howses’, and appears on Ordnance Survey maps from the mid-18th century onwards. It was continually occupied up to abandonment in the 1920s. It has not been modified since abandonment and is a typical upland settlement from the 17th century made up of five building complexes based on the traditional Yorkshire longhouse of domestic accommodation at one end and livestock at the other. Currently buildings are visible as footprints with several courses of stonework still standing.

Introductory video (1m 27) by Paul Harris »
Download the free report »

Subsequent to an archaeological survey in 2011, the BIG DIG 2016 offered an opportunity to explore one of the five ruined structures and the associated garden area. Up to 18 volunteers attended each day over the two weeks, plus two Bradford University undergraduates, two postgraduates and a sixth-form intern.

“I would like to thank Spencer Carter, who was a dependable, patient and supremely reliable lieutenant during the excavation work, and whose ability to communicate the essential joy of discovery to volunteers cannot be underestimated.” – Jim Brightman, MCIfA, Director at Solstice Heritage LLP

The excavation focused on one of the farmstead buildings and its garden area, the latter providing many finds from the 19th and early 20th centuries and a ceramic sequence back to the Medieval period – with two residual sherds likely reflecting the monastic foundation in the 12th–13th century. Two flint artefacts attest to Mesolithic activity, c. 8500–4000 BC, in the vicinity.nidderdale_aonb_rgb

“Our ‘Big Dig 2016’ was a great success, and Spencer played a key role in that. The excavations were directed by Solstice Heritage with Spencer supervising volunteers and students from a variety of backgrounds with differing levels of experience. He provided training in aspects of excavation and artefact processing throughout the excavation. In addition, he spent an afternoon with a group of secondary school-aged children, talking though the excavation process and getting them involved. They had a great time.” – Louise D. Brown, MPhil MCIfA FSA Scot | Historic Nidderdale Project Officer, Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership
Nidderdale AONB

LOD16_LB_01TimeVista Services

  • Team management
  • Health and safety oversight
  • On-site training and supervision of volunteers and student trainees
  • Childrens’ dig experience (9–12 year olds)
  • Finds processing and ‘show and tell’ event at the Crown Hotel, Middlesmoor

TVeyeStreet House Farm, Loftus | Redcar & Cleveland 2013–17
Teesside Archaeological Society Community Project
Excavation, fieldwork, and finds processing in association with Stephen J Sherlock as project director.

Image © Stephen J Sherlock.

Street House typifies the archaeological potential of Teesside and North-East Yorkshire as a whole. It demonstrates continuous human activity from the Mesolithic through the Neolithic, with Bronze Age funerary monuments and houses, Iron Age settlements, a Roman farmstead whose occupants were cannily trading in salt and Whitby Jet objects and which may have boasted a bath house, to the extraordinary Anglo-Saxon royal princess buried in a jewel-festooned bed in the seventh century AD (Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar) – an internationally important discovery. As yet, the associated settlement has not been discovered.

Late Mesolithic or Early Neolithic flint core. © Spencer Carter.

Northern Echo article, images and video »

We now have firmly radiocarbon-dated evidence for ‘Teesside’s oldest house’ at Street House, Loftus, with flint  tools and very early Grimston Ware pottery (joining a mortuary cairn discovered in the 1980s) dating back nearly six thousand years, c. 3700–3900 cal BC, and sitting under a metre of heavy clay. Further excavations will take place during 2017.

Early Neolithic Grimston Ware pottery. © Spencer Carter.

TimeVista Services

  • Health and safety oversight
  • Excavation and finds recording
  • Plan and section drawings
  • On-site training of volunteers as required
  • Analysis of prehistoric lithics (including 2010-11)
  • Specialist reports for formal 2018 monograph publication and archives
  • Popular reports and news items for regional and national press

TVeyeCharting Chipeling: The Archaeology of the Kiplin Estate | Kiplin Hall, North Yorkshire 2014
Heritage Lottery Funded Community Project
Excavation and fieldwork training

chartingchipelingKiplin Hall sits in a landscape rich in archaeological remains dating from the times of the early hunter-gatherers through to the monastic grange which predated the construction of the well-known Jacobean hall. The project involved local community volunteers, students and schoolchildren taking part in a wide variety of archaeological and historic building recording activities. Jim Brightman of Solstice Heritage was the Lead Archaeologist on the project working with Dr Emma Wells of the EJW Heritage Consultancy, laser scanning specialist Michael Lobb, and a team of field archaeologists including lithics specialist Spencer Carter.

The Charting Chipeling project included landscape and earthwork survey, historic building recording, test-pitting with local primary schools and a fantastic three weeks of excavation. The excavations uncovered a few fascinating windows of alteration in the Kiplin grounds ranging across the 17th to 19th centuries, with evidence of local brick-making, a 19th-century summer house and the early post-medieval estate boundary (re-used for training in WWII). Probably the most interesting story we have been part of is in the unraveling of a sequence of roads from the medieval period through to the present day, as the main road from Richmond to Northallerton was gradually migrated further away from the Hall during the 18th century, creating the Kiplin grounds as we see them today.

Kiplin_PubTimeVista Services

  • Team management
  • Health and safety oversight
  • On-site training and supervision of volunteers and student trainees
  • Analysis of prehistoric lithics
  • Specialist reports for formal publication and archives


Contact TimeVista to discuss your project or requirements.