Lowther Holiday Park, Lowther: Geophysical Survey

Extension to Lowther Holiday Park, Lowther, Cumbria: Archaeological Geophysical Survey

Phase Site Investigations Ltd was commissioned by Greenlane Archaeology Ltd to carry out a magnetic gradient survey at the site of a proposed extension to Lowther Holiday Park, Lowther, Cumbria. The survey was undertaken using a multi-sensor array cart system (MACS). The MACS comprised 8 Foerster 4.032 Ferex CON 650 gradiometers with a control unit and data logger. The MACS data was collected on profiles spaced 0.5 m apart with readings taken at between 0.1 and 0.15 m intervals.

The survey provided evidence for archaeological activity, in the form of two sub-circular anomalies, suggestive of prehistoric features such as barrows or roundhouses, and several linear/curvilinear responses indicative of infilled archaeological ditches. There are also a number of additional anomalies that could be related to archaeological features.

The majority of the responses associated with probable and possible archaeological features are fragmented, weak or discontinuous. This suggests that some features may have been truncated but the magnetic susceptibility of the soils could vary across the site and be relatively low in places; possibly to the extent that some features may only produce weak or intermittent responses or may not produce measureable magnetic responses. It is likely that the full extent of the archaeological activity across the site has not been determined by the magnetic survey.

The survey has also identified anomalies that relate to modern material (including a number of pipes, drains or cables), agricultural activity (including ridge and furrow) and geological/pedological variations.

There are a large number of weak responses that are of uncertain origin. Generally the weakness of the responses and their fragmented nature precludes a reliable interpretation. Some of them could be related to archaeological activity but others could be a product of natural variation, agricultural or other relatively modern activity.

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