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How to become a Friend

Two committee members of the Upper Eden History Society decided to form a special interest group to fund professional archaeological research on the Nine Standards. It will be loosely affiliated to the UEHS, but its focus is on the prehistory of a single site. The above name therefore seems appropriate, and applications for funding are being prepared and submitted.
However, such grants only ever meet a proportion of the costs; and funding bodies want to see evidence of local commitment and enthusiasm for the proposal. We therefore need to raise funds and support locally to pay for archaeologists, for advanced but non-intrusive techniques of investigation, and for laboratory analyses that we ourselves cannot provide. Also, let's face it, archaeologists have the 'street cred' and the contacts to secure permits for such work.
The two Committee Members have written (Stephen Walker) and published (Dawn Robertson) the only in-depth research ever done on the Nine Standards. The book details all maps, archive documents and charters that mention them by name, the earliest being the Gant perambulations of Swaledale in the 12th and early 13th centuries. So we know they have been up there on the skyline for at least 800 years. Before that material was published, many authorities dismissed them as late Medieval (post 1700) at best. That is now known to be wrong. But how old are they, who built them, and why? And another thing: Nine Standards Rigg itself has an apparent enclosure around the summit, and the cairns lie diagonally across it; so are we looking at cairns erected in a livestock pen, an Iron Age hill-fort, a Bronze Age burial complex or a Neolithic settlement or some kind? We think it is time to find out.
If you agree, and would like to help, please make a donation. The money is not for us (we work for free on this), and audited accounts will be available for all to see. The money is for the archaeologists, their skills and costs. So if your interest is serious and you want to be kept informed you can become a Friend for £50; you will get the latest news and project reports by email or by post. Your donation will be listed on the website, and you can join in the research.

The photograph above was taken by Dr Stephen Walker, ©

For first report of work completed in the summer see: August 2012

For the second report of work completed in the autumn see: December 2012

For the final report of work completed see: December 2014

We already have quite a few friends who are helping with the project but more needed - please see the page above for more information about becoming a friend or helping with the project.

To see copies of the original documents mentioned on the History page, see the documents page.

To read an exploration of the linguistic background of Nine Standards, see the what's in a name page.

There are quite a few old maps which mention Nine Standards and these can be found on the mapspage.

Nine Standards is a wonderfully photogenic place from any angle and we have added photographs to many of the pages of this website.


    Copyright © Friends of Nine Standards, 2011