Volunteers Needed

Here are the projects that are currently on the drawing board, in the pipeline or definitely going ahead that we need volunteer assistance to deliver.

Operation Jericho : 2-15 September 2018

CONFIRMED:  Recruiting now!


This is the big one!

We’ll be posting more about “Operation Jericho” over the next couple of weeks both here, on social media and through local and national press.

Those of you who know Epiacum will be aware that there is a historic dry-stone wall that cuts across the Roman fort that makes it impossible for visitors to walk across the whole fort and severely hinders the interpretation of the remains.

“Operation Jericho” is an ambitious plan to remove the entire 150m length of wall (that’s about 150 tonnes of stone) with volunteers over two weeks in September.

The entire operation relies on two things:

  • securing sufficient funding for plant hire, portaloos, food for volunteers and other costs.
  • enlisting enough volunteers, not only to dismantle the wall and remove the stone, but to support their fellow volunteers by providing water, food, first aid, transport, entertainment, training and other ancillary tasks.

If you can spare a few quid to help us to reach our target then that would be greatly appreciated. You can donate here

But the money is no good if we don’t have the people. 

We’re hoping to recruit enough volunteers to have 30 people a day on site for two weeks (3-14 Sept).  We’ll also need volunteers to help prepare camp on 2 Sept and decamp on 15 Sept.

We’ll be setting up a camp by Gilderdale Burn where volunteers who are staying with us for a number of days can camp.  Literally, this is a field by the stream, and will need all services (water, food, electricity etc) providing to it.  We’ll also be utilising the space at Wellhouse Bastle for cooking, meals and shelter.

Now obviously few people can volunteer to come and camp with us for an entire two weeks.  Maybe you can give us half a day, a couple of days or a week.  It will all contribute to us being able to pull this off!

There are a variety of volunteer roles that we need to fill.  You can volunteer for just one role or any combination.  We’ve narrowed them down to these:

  • Camp Setup : (Full day Sunday 2 September)  We’ll need people to help set up our Base Camp before the majority of the other volunteers arrive.  There’ll be tents and marquees to erect, portaloos to sort, generators to get running, dining and cooking areas to be set up and people to be collected from nearby stations.  A good sense of humour and the ability to work as part of a team are the main requirements for this role.
  • Camp Support : (Full days from 3-14 September)  It’s going to pretty hard work removing those tonnes of stone, and those volunteers need some support both during and after working hours.  We’ll need people to take water up to site, keep the loos clean, keep on top of the litter and help prepare and cook, as well as popping out to help with the shopping.  There’ll be loads of other little jobs too.
  • Wall Dismantling and Recording : (Full days from 3-14 September)  The role is the most physically demanding as it involves dismantling the wall and moving the stone by hand to where it is archaeologically safe for the dumper truck to collect it.  Working with our site on site archaeologist you’ll be trained to spot and record any archaeologically significant finds.
  • Public Relations and Media : (Full days from 2-15 September)  A project of this scope needs recording, publicising and promoting on a daily basis.  We’ll need to keep all our supporters updated on daily basis through our website, blog and social media.  The site will still be open to the public (at a safe distance from the work) and we’ll need folk to explain what we’re doing, why and to encourage them to support our work.  We also expect local and national media attention.
  • Decamp Volunteer : (Full day on Saturday 15 September)  Clearing up after the party.  Just like the set up day but in reverse.

There’ll be Epiacum Trustees on site everyday, trained archaeologists and other professionals so you’ll be well looked after.  We’ll provide all necessary training, instruction and PPE (with the exception of steel-toed footwear which will be mandatory for anyone wishing to work on the wall).

All the Trustees of Epiacum Heritage are volunteers themselves so we appreciate the time-commitment and skills our volunteers bring to a project such as this.  We are working hard behind the scenes to raise funds and acquire equipment so that we can make it an enjoyable experience for everyone taking part.  We’d like have enough funds and loans of kit to be able to provide on-site catering (so you can indulge in your fave junk food rather than cook), entertainment, take-aways brought to site, and anything else we can think of to enhance the experience.  Think of us trying to create a two-week archaeological folk festival with some hard-labour thrown in!

Of course, it’s also chance to be involved in a major historical event that will change the Epiacum landscape forever; a chance to learn new skills, make new friends and have a late summer experience to remember!


If you think you can help with any of the above roles, or other roles that we haven’t thought of yet, then please consider supporting us by doing one or all of the following:

  • Sign up as a potential volunteer in this section of the site (under “Sign Up”).  This will ensure that you’ll receive details of the roles as they are formalised and all the news relating to Operation Jericho.
  • Spread the word with your friends, family, social media contacts and help us to reach our JustGiving target
  • Keep an eye on our “On the Cadge” section in case you can lend us something we need, or can suggest something that might be useful that we can beg for!

Operation Jericho will be the biggest volunteer event (and indeed the biggest practical task) we’ve ever attempted.


Volunteers required : 40+ per day for two weeks


Wellhouse Bastle Tidy : August 2018


Wellhouse Bastle (also known, rather boringly, as Whitlow III) is one of the three extant bastle houses on the site and the most intact.  Having undergone restoration work several years ago, Epiacum volunteers fitted a new floor in 2017 to allow us to use it as a base for group visits to site.

The building will once again be required to be in good shape in September for Stewart’s Landscape Archaeology Masterclass.

As such we need a day to strim down nettles, clear weeds, sort out the toilet area and generally get the place tidier.

So any handy gardeners with strimmers, gloves, weedkiller and a toilet brush are welcome to make the place welcoming.

Volunteers required: 4-8

Condition Monitoring Training : August 2018


One of the fundamental aims of Epiacum Heritage is to protect and preserve the unique archaeological remains on the site.  To assist in this, we’re looking to introduce a system of Condition Monitoring, whereby threats or damage to the archaeological remains can be identified at an early stage and, where necessary, action taken.  This threats could take the form of natural erosion, damage from rabbits, or illegal metal detecting.

We’re looking for volunteers who can work in pairs or teams and be trained to survey the site for damage and potential threats to the archaeology.  Initially, the teams would be asked to provide a baseline assessment of the site, and then revisit twice a year (in the Autumn and Spring) to re-evaluate existing concerns and report on any new threats that may arise.

We’d like to do the first baseline assessments in October 2018, and so are looking for volunteers to undertake a days training in August 2018.

Volunteers required: 8

Ceilidh : Saturday 1st September 2018, Slaggyford, Alston

CONFIRMED:  Recruiting now!

To mark the end of our Heritage Lottery Funded POP project and as fundraiser, we’re hoping to organise an celebratory, foot stomping, knee-slapping Ceilidh somewhere near Alston.

If anyone is able to come along and help set up, pack up or record the event, that would be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers required: 2 (Free entry of course for volunteers)

Medieval Banquet : November 2018


A medieval banquet on a medieval feast day!  Sounds good?  Yeah, we thought so too!

A celebration and fund raising event in Hexham towards the start of  November.  Of course you are invited….

Volunteers who can help with entertainment on the night from fire-breathing, through juggling, to story telling will be more than welcome!  Assistance in setting up, decorating and packing up will also be greatly appreciated, as well as recording the night for posterity!

Volunteers required: Up to 3

Last updated: June 27th, 2018

Many individuals and organisations are involved with the management of Epiacum. We would particularly like to thank the following: Heritage Lottery Fund, North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, Historic England, and Natural England