Celebrating Community Archaeology: 40 Years of the South Trafford Archaeology Group

aerial view of site

Timperley Old Hall – the site of STAG’s archaeology centre.

This year (2019) the South Trafford Archaeology Group (STAG) turns 40 – to be precise in October. Having been a member since 1984 and currently Chair I have close links to the Group. To celebrate this milestone STAG have a series of events planned over the next 12 months. These are designed to both look to the past (celebrating the Group’s members and their discoveries) and to look to the future (continuing to raise awareness about the archaeology of the Altrincham, Sale, and Timperley area and its environs).

During the last four decades the Group has made a significant contribution to the region’s past across more than 100 projects and half a dozen books. We have discovered a Middle Bronze Age burial site at Little Bollington; tracked the line of the Roman road through Dunham and Broadheath and uncovered the original road surface; helped to locate a Saxon belt buckle in Warburton and excavated a Saxon hearth on the outskirts of Altrincham. STAG has undertaken the most complete excavation of a medieval moated site in the region at Timperley Old Hall; recorded more than six timber-framed buildings in the Old Market Place at Altrincham; and recording warehouses, icehouses and air raid shelters.

TM301(1) well

Excavation of the late medieval well at Timperley Old Hall

Some of STAG’s younger members have gone on to do archaeology at university, and a few are now professional archaeologists or in the museum sector. Of course some of the Group’s founding members are, sadly, no longer with us, such as Prof Barri Jones (the first president), Paul Reynolds, and the first chair, Derek Pierce. Other founder members, though, continue to help STAG explore south Trafford’s rich archaeological past. As Chair I’d especially like to hear from any past and current members about their experiences of working with the Group.

The Group are determined to build on the legacy of the first 40 years. There remains much to record and explore in the region and STAG’s current projects include studying the buildings of the Altrincham Old Market Place, a graffiti survey of St Werburgh’s Church in Warburton and fieldwalking for Roman remains in High Legh.

WeaverHallRomanFinds (15).jpg

Roman pottery from Northwich – a site explored by STAG

As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations the Group are running, on Saturday 18th May, a one day conference on Roman pottery and finds, at Altrincham Town Hall. This will include talks on some of the latest discoveries from Roman sites at Chester, Manchester, Northwich and Wigan. There will also be opportunities throughout the day to hold the past in the palm of your hand – with STAG’s Roman pottery collection from Northwich available for inspection, as well as finds from other sites in the region. Online booking can be found here:



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