Prehistoric to Second World War: Archaeologists discover ancient burial mound and flint blade alongside bullets and mortars in East Lancashire

Exciting details have emerged on the possible prehistoric finds excavated on a hill near Sabden.

By Dominic Collis
Monday, 27th June 2022, 3:45 pm

As revealed in last week’s Burnley Express and Clitheroe Advertiser, archaeological excavations on Calf Hill, a site to the north of Sabden, have revealed evidence of occupation from prehistoric times through to the 20th Century.

Now we can reveal that those finds included the possible remains of a barrow or burial mound and a fragment of a flint blade.

In 2018, Catherine Rousseau started excavations on the visible earthworks with the support of local community archaeology groups. These excavations revealed a long–forgotten road, probably medieval in origin.

Excavating on Calf Hill near Sabden during a Discover Archaeology dig

With the use of LiDAR, drone surveys and geophysical surveys, it has been demonstrated that the site has many more archaeological features to be investigated than at first thought.

Catherine said: “A trench started in 2019 based on geophysical survey revealed the possible remains of a barrow or burial mound. These excavations were interrupted by Covid.

"Other circular features were also identified in the geophysical survey which are still to be investigated. A fragment of a flint blade was found in another part of the site.”

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Archaeological excavations discover prehistoric and medieval finds on Calf Hill ...

Other excavations have also revealed evidence of a much more recent, but no less fascinating, aspect of our local history.

Catherine added: “Excavations and survey have also found evidence of Home Guard activity. Bullets and a mortar fin were found by a metal detecting survey of the site, and a practice trench was discovered during excavations.”

The excavations are being continued in July and August by Discover Archaeology as part of the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology. It includes guided walks, talks, digs and activities.