Jonathan Paul Shipley

PhD Project Title: 'Concealed Communities: The History and Archaeology of Upper Coquetdale and the College Valley during the Late Medieval and Post Medieval Periods.'

Subject Area: Archaeology

I completed my PhD thesis examining the archaeology and social history of the College Valley and Upper Coquetdale in the Northumberland National Park during the late and post medieval period in 2010. This work aims to examine the “marginal population” of the two study areas through the archaeological record and historical documents, and focuses on transhumance, upland farming, and droving. As part of this research I directed two seasons of field work (excavation and landscape survey) at sites within the College Valley (PDF 394.51 KB) during 2006 and 2007.

I have previously been involved with the Hadrian’s Wall Research Framework for which I wrote the section on Great Chesters Roman Fort (which was the basis of my Mlitt), and I was also a member of the Long Wall/Water Supply of Constantinople project in western Turkey, and the Krajina Project in Bosnia/Croatia. As part of my research interests in agriculture I have also undertaken fieldwork in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and Northern Spain.

I have worked as a freelance archaeologist for over 10 years and undertake both large and small scale commercial and research projects, have also conducted geophysical surveys of the majority of forts associated with Hadrian’s Wall, and am currently working for AECOM as a consultant. I am also involved in local history, military history, and the recovery of crashed wartime aircraft.

Research Interests

  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Transhumance
  • Droving
  • Post Medieval Agriculture
  • Historic Building Restoration
  • Roman Frontiers
  • Military History


  • Shipley, J. P. (2009) Great Chesters Roman Fort in Mason, D. & Symonds, M. (eds.) Hadrian’s Wall Research Framework, Durham County Council and English Heritage.
  • Gray, R., Corbett, J., Shipley, J. P., & Anderson, N. (2008) Air Crash Northumberland, Countryside Press.


  • BA (hons) 2003 – First
  • MLitt 2005 – Merit


  • Archaeological survey and recording
  • Roman settlement in the north
  • Roman and Iron Age interaction in Northumberland

Other Information


  • Member: The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Member: The British Agricultural History Society
  • Member: The Medieval Settlement Research Group

Papers Presented

  • ‘Concealed Communities: The Archaeology of Upper Coquetdale and the College Valley’ A paper for the Society of Antiquities of Newcastle upon Tyne (September 2009)
  • ‘Aviation archaeology and Aircraft Recovery’ A paper for the Upper Derwent History and Archaeology Society (December 2008).
  • ‘Fieldwork and Excavations in the College Valley’ A paper for the Sir James Knott Trust research day (December 2007)
  • ‘Concealed Communities: Mobility and Marginality in the Northumberland National Park’ A paper for the Medieval Settlement Research Group Spring Conference (April 2006)
  • Concealed Communities: Marginality in the Northumberland National Park. Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne, September 2009


2005 – 2008: Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Award


2003: Gladys Bettess Prize for best dissertation