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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

All Research Projects

Canon Greenwell and the Development of Archaeology in the North of England

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.


This three-year project started in January 2004 and finished in December 2006; it was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, with additional support from the AREA project, and was directed by Dr. Pam Graves. The Project was established to explore the life and works of Canon William Greenwell—particularly his archaeological and collecting activities—and to produce a book on our findings. Dr. Anne O'Connor was appointed as a Research Fellow on the Greenwell Project, and undertook research including visiting archives around Britain in search of Greenwell's now-scattered letters. This correspondence added valuable colour and insight to the information in Greenwell's publications, and indicates the position he held amongst his learned contemporaries. Greenwell was humorous and outspoken: his letters discuss the Church, politics and museums, and the characters of friends and enemies, as well as the growth of his collection and his ideas about the ancient British past. It is particularly appropriate that this project has been based in Durham, as Greenwell was one of the first graduates of the University of Durham, and a minor canon at Durham Cathedral. A project conference was held in Durham in April 2005, and short articles have been published in the Bulletin of the History of Archaeology. Final publication is in progress.

Canon Greenwell Painting © Durham Cathedral


From the Department of Archaeology

Scottish Soldiers Project

Cooperating with the Palace Museum in China