‘Dunes of Barrow’, Foulney Island

‘Dunes of Barrow’, Walney Island and Foulney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment and Walkover Survey

Greenlane Archaeology carried out a desk-based assessment and walkover survey ahead of proposed habitat improvement works to areas of Walney Island and Foulney Island. Walney Island is known to have been extensively settled by at least the Neolithic period and into the Bronze Age and Romano-British activity is evidenced by stray coin-finds from the area, especially on Foulney Island. Place-name evidence indicates Norse settlement in the area, although there is limited physical evidence for this. Walney in particular was home to several granges of Furness Abbey in the medieval period and was extensively used for agriculture, evidence for which remains in the form of large areas of ridge and furrow. The post-medieval history of Walney is dominated by the spread of industries associated with the growth of Barrow-in-Furness and, in modern times, the military training and defensive sites associated with both the First and Second World Wars.

The north and south ends of Walney Island were rabbit warrens from at least the early 19th century. These areas have remained largely unspoiled. Foulney Island too is still undeveloped, although its shape has shifted due to coastal erosion and accretion and the coastline along the south end of Walney in particular has also shifted northwards over time.

The full report will be made available on the Archaeology Data Service website.