The Story of the Site

What was previously known about the area?

Until recently it was thought that the Marple and District area had been largely untouched by our prehistoric ancestors and unaffected by the Roman occupation of Britain. There had been hints of Archaeology in Antiquity, but the fascinating discoveries at Mellor have now completely rewritten the local history books.

How did Ann and John get involved?

During the drought of 1995 local historian Ann Hearle and her husband John noticed unusual marks both in lawn of their own garden at the Old Vicarage and in the adjacent field of Knowle Farm owned by Peter Hodgson. Most of the grass had been bleached brown by the sun apart from a line of lush green grass which could be seen arcing across the field. They thought that the line might be following that of a medieval ditch. Fortunately Ann had the foresight to take photographs

How did they find out more?

In the autumn of 1997 they were visted by Peter Arrowsmith, author of the book Stockport, a History who examined the photographs and took a walk around the hill top. He started to think there may have been a very early occupation of the site. Peter contacted a colleague from the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit, Graham Eyre-Morgan and set in motion a train of events which would lead to the creation of the Mellor Archaeological Trust and the discovery of 10,000 years of History.

Who would have believed that completely hidden under a flat suburban lawn could lie the deep defensive ditch of an Iron Age Settlement? Not to mention Prehistoric Roundhouses and a Medieval Aisled Hall!

What does the Archaeology tell us?

Click to enlarge illustration of position of Mellor
The present villagers of Mellor are just the latest of many generations of inhabitants who have used the site continuously through the: Mesolithic , Neolithic , Bronze Age , Iron Age , Romano British , Anglo Norse , Norman , Medieval and Post Medieval Periods to the Present.

The different sections of our website can be used to follow the progress of the Excavation Team Year by Year from 1998 , find out what was happening on the Hilltop from the Ice age to the Present day, or look at the individual Finds and Features which have been uncovered at Mellor.

Locate Mellor on the OS Map Image and read about the Physical Setting of the site from the University of Manchester Archaeological Report.