SOME exciting archealogical finds were made on the first ever field walking workshop held to promote local heritage and distinctiveness in the Eden area.

Residents of Orton and Tebay discovered new evidence dating to the time of the first farmers and proving the area’s significance as a transport route for at least 4,000 years.

They unearthed stone tools made from flint from the Yorkshire Wolds and south of England and also a type of volcanic glass called pitchstone which originates from the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland.

The field walk was led by Annie Hamilton-Gibney, Tebay and Orton Local Distinctiveness Development Officer for Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT), who has been working with local communities on a variety of projects since April.

As part of the project, she has run a series of free workshops for local people in the area looking at a variety of archaeological techniques.

Mary Jenkin, Treasurer of the Orton & Tebay Local History Society, who took part in the field walking, said: “I found it very exciting to walk in a place where people lived thousands of years ago and I was thrilled to add my flint finds to the local archaeological record”.

“I am delighted these finds have added a new chapter to the transport heritage of this area,” said Ms Hamilton-Gibney. “Many have been aware of the Roman road running parallel to the existing M6 through the Lune Gorge; however, these finds prove the area’s use as a route way pre-dates the Romans by thousands of years”

Antony Dickson, a Lithic Specialist for Oxford Archaeology North, has offered to help the Orton and Tebay group identify and document their new finds. He is a prehistorian who specialises in the analysis and interpretation of stone tools.

“I am really looking forward to seeing material from that part of Cumbria,” he said. “These projects will enable us to understand potential settlement sites in relation to the exceptional Neolithic and early Bronze Age monumental record in the Eden Valley and eastern Cumbria”

Spurred on by the exciting new finds, the Tebay and Orton volunteers now plan to set up as an official archaeology group, in association with the local history group, to continue searching for and recording sites and finds.

The Tebay and Orton Local Distinctiveness project is led by ACT, in partnership with the Churches Trust for Cumbria and funded through the Fells and Dales Rural Development Programme for England.

For more information about the project contact Ms Hamilton-Gibney on 01768 869517 or email: