This summer the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society (BWAS) wants to encourage you to go out and explore the archaeology of your local area. Just click on the map on the right to find out more about our self-guided trails. The good news is that all of the sites can be Seen for Free – no entrance fees!
You can also get some healthy exercise and get to know parts of Birmingham and Warwickshire you may not have visited before.
Most of the sites can be reached by public transport too.
Be prepared – what to expect
Don’t expect manicured lawns, tidy paths, toilets and tea rooms on site. Seeing it for Free as an archaeological explorer means being prepared to rough it a little!
Sturdy shoes or wellingtons are recommended for many of the sites.
Taking an Ordnance Survey map – either a paper one or one on your phone – will help you to find and follow public footpaths and help you to explore places nearby the sites suggested.
Some footpaths are easy to find and walk along. Others can be more challenging and may involve scrambling up or down quite steep slopes, climbing over stiles and encountering unfriendly plants such as nettles, brambles and thistles! On farmland it is important to keep to the official footpath and you may encounter sheep, cows and horses so if you are taking your dog with you keep it on a lead.
If the weather has recently been very wet or stormy some paths may be obstructed by water, mud or fallen branches.
Check the weather forecast in advance and follow any instruction on paths if access is restricted.
You may decide to take a picnic, a drink or snack with you. If you do, take your litter home.
All sites can be seen from the public domain but some parts may be on private land. Please respect the privacy of residents and businesses who may occupy property on or near to the sites.
Take care when crossing busy roads and country lanes and when walking on paths near ponds, canals, streams and rivers.
Very few of the sites will have any kind of interpretation panels although some do.
Many of these have been put up by the local council or a community group and not by the BWAS. Local museums and heritage centres may have more information about the sites and are worth seeking out.
Links are given to websites where you can access more information and lists of publication, including reports from the BWAS Transactions.
BWAS Transactions are not currently available online but you can find reference copies at the following locations: the Library of Birmingham; the Herbert Museum Reading Room in Coventry; Leamington Spa Local Studies Library and Warwick Local Studies Library. These are reference copies only. Check opening times before visiting as they can be limited.
Explore The Map
1 = Wappenbury Iron Age camp
2 = Gannow Green moated site
3 = Brinklow motte and bailey castle
4 = Handsworth Gun placements
5 = Sutton Park Roman Road
6= Mancetter Roman site
7= Yardley Village / Kents Moat
8= Moseley Bog Burnt mounds
9 = Hob Ditch IA / Roman earthwork
10= Beaudesert Motte & Bailey
11 = Wormleighton DMV
12 = Berkswell Norman Crypt
14 = Oakley Wood