An exciting major programme of research is being undertaken by OA North looking at late Mesolithic to Bronze Age activity next to Poulton-le-Fylde near Blackpool as part of improvements to the A585. This scheme by Highways England and Kier Highways provides an important opportunity to investigate the knotty question of the transition from hunting and gathering to farming in the area around 6000 years ago.

This part of the Lancashire coastal plain is characterised by lowland wetlands (‘mosses’). Studies that we undertook (as the Lancaster University Archaeological Unit) for English Heritage in the 1990s demonstrated the area’s rich archaeological and palaeoecological potential, but this resource has remained largely untapped and is poorly understood. Since June 2020, we have been examining the confluence of two river valleys. The larger of these, the Lytham-Skippool Valley, would have been tidal and, at times of higher sea level, a marine environment, forming a fertile ecotone attractive to late Mesolithic hunter gatherers and early Neolithic farmers.

We invited researchers, students and enthusiasts to join us and our panel of distinguished experts* to explore and discuss the prehistory of the Fylde Peninsula, and contribute their ideas and questions to our future research.

*Chairman: Chris Gosden. Panellists: Chantal Conneller, Vicki Cummings, Antony Dickson, Denise Druce, Helen Evans, Nicky Milner, Rick Peterson, Alison Sheridan and Alasdair Whittle

Below is part one of the research seminar, which includes an introduction to the project, a site tour, an overview of the finds and initial thoughts from our panel.

 Below is part two of the research seminar, a recording of a live Q&A session held on Saturday 27th February 2021.

If you have any feedback about the research seminar, please complete our online feedback form here: