Dorstone Hill Excavations

Dorstone Hill Excavation Project, Season 9 (2019)

Programme of Dorstone Village Hall talks, July 2019 at 7.30pm

1 Wednesday 3rd July 7.30pm
Professor Julian Thomas
‘Dorstone Hill excavations reprised, and a look at the pottery’

2 Wednesday 10th July 7.30pm
Dr. Nick Overton
‘Feasting the ancestors: Mesolithic and Neolithic animal bones’

3 Wednesday 17th July 7.30pm
Professor Keith Ray
‘Henges and circles: the 3rd millennium BC in the Dorstone area’

4 Wednesday 24th July 7.30pm
Professor Julian Thomas
‘Dorstone Hill excavations in 2019: an interim overview’


This year is our eighth summer season at the site.
This year’s excavation begins on Monday 25th June (students from Manchester and Cardiff universities arriving on Sunday 24th) and will as usual run for four weeks.

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Dorstone Hill project lecture series 2018

Dorstone Village Hall  Starting 7.30pm, £1 on the door.

Wednesday 27th June
‘Dorstone Hill in Neolithic Britain: A landscape of national significance’
Professor Julian Thomas

Wednesday 4th July
‘How much do we really know about Arthur’s Stone?’
Dr. Keith Ray

Wednesday 11th July Cancelled due to Football
This talk has been postponed & will now be combined with the last talk on  Wednesday 18th July 
‘Dealing with the dead at Dorstone Hill’
(plus an update on the Rock Crystal analysis)
Dr. Nick Overton

Wednesday 18th July
‘Dealing with the dead at Dorstone Hill’
(plus an update on the Rock Crystal analysis)
Dr. Nick Overton
‘Dorstone Hill in 2018: an interim overview’
Professor Julian Thomas

2017 update

For full details of 2017 dig Go to

Halls of the Dead

June/July 2017
New excavations will be starting on Tuesday 27th June to the week-end of the 22nd/23rd July.

Talks for JULY
 Held in conjunction with the new excavations on Dorstone Hill.
Village Hall – 7.30p.m.
Admission £1 for everyone – to cover costs of Hall hire.

Wednesday, 28th June –‘Previous discoveries on Dorstone Hill & an introduction to Causewayed Enclosures’ – Professor Julian Thomas

Wednesday, 5th July –Hilltop Enclosures from the Cotswold Scarp to Radnorshire’ – Dr. Keith Ray

Wednesday, 12th July – Dr. Nick Overton (tbc)­­­­

Wednesday, 19th July – ‘Results of the latest excavations on Dorstone Hill – 2017’ – Professor Julian Thomas

June/July 2016

New excavations will be starting on Tuesday 28th June through to Open Day Sunday 24th July

There will be a series of four talks all in Dorstone Village Hall at 7.30pm

Admission £1 for everyone

Thursday 30th June          Professor Julian Thomas

Neolithic ‘Halls of the Dead’ at Dorstone Hill: The story so far – prospects for the 6th season of work, June-July 2016

Wednesday 6th July         Dr. Keith Ray

Neolithic Herefordshire: a Dorstone Hill perspective

Tuesday 12th July              Dr. Nick Overton

People and Animals in the British Mesolithic

Wednesday 20th July       Professor Julian Thomas

Six seasons of work, 2011-16: Dorstone Hill in British (and European) Neolithic studies

July 2015

The 2015 dig is now completed . It is now clear that there were indeed three mounds, very close together, which were developed at different periods and even in different ‘styles’.

This year’s  excavations re-exposed the 2014 dig, and continued  further out towards the road to expose the end.

Evidence of rows of post holes has emerged to the north side, showing where a ‘hall’ stood in relation to the final mound.  There is evidence that the south side was robbed of stone at some point.

We look forward to hearing more in the coming months as the finds are interpreted.Dig 2015 (7)Dig 2015 (8)

Dig 2015 (4)Dig 2015 (6)Dig 2015 (5)Dig 2015 (3)
  From Our Records

Dorstone History Society got off to a flying start in January 2014, when 53 people attended the first meeting and 32 immediately signed up as members.

2013 H of D SiteThe first talk was about the Dorstone Halls of the Dead Dig 2013, and was given by Tim Hoverd, Archaeological Projects Officer.

2013 H of D AxeheadAxe

His excellent talk gave a surprisingly detailed picture of the purpose and construction of the ‘Halls of the Dead’ and the society in which they were created. One surprising fact was just how far afield people travelled and traded thousands of years ago, as evidenced by the artefacts that have been discovered so far.

2013 H of D Rock Crystal2013 H of D Axe Fossil2013 H of D Flint

Some astonishing and rare artefacts were discovered including – Rock crystal, flint axe heads and arrowheads – many of them brought from long distances away. Sadly there are no bones surviving, due to the acidity of the soil. Click Here

Dorstone Hill Dig 2014 View Update2014 (10)

In July, the dig team from Manchester and Cardiff Universities returned for a month to explore a new area of the site. A long barrow had been flattened at the end of WWII to provide land for cultivation. Underneath there appears to be yet another Hall of the Dead, revealing huge post holes. This underlines the initial conclusions that this was a very important site, which continued to be developed over many centuries.

2014 (15)2014 (14)