Archaeology of our Industrial Heritage

Ref: C3671215

The Queens Mill in Castleford is a perfect spot to introduce Industrial Archaeology. In our course we will look at the ways in which people have extracted resources from the land, manufactured things to use in everyday life, how people have created public utilities and how they transported goods and people around the landscape. We will use examples from the local historic landscape where ever we can to make this course relevant to our daily lives. As our Queens Mill courses have always been we will discuss all our topics and everyone is welcomed and their thoughts and opinions are valued.

Course aim

Castleford is famous for its growth as an industrial centre. How do archaeologists go about recording and understanding our industrial past.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate in group discussion an understanding of what Industrial Archaeology means.
  • Relate to the tutor the ways in which industrial activity began in pre historic times.
  • Recognise and relate the importance of extracting coal, sand and clay in the Castleford area for the growth of the town.
  • Go into the town of Castleford and record buildings associated with Public Utilities through taking pictures and finding them on old maps.
  • Demonstrate in group discussion an understanding of the changes in Transport that have influenced the historic landscape of Castleford.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • We will go into the town to record public utilities as part of the course. We will also visit the local history library to learn about resources there.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Access to a digital camera, one in a phone will be fine, would be helpful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course outline

Archaeology of our Industrial Heritage Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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