The Society makes grants both to individuals and to organisations in support of cultural and scientific activities which increase innovation, outreach and diversity in Leeds and its immediate area. It also supports local museums and galleries and publications relating to the city.

About the Society

The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, founded in 1819, is a charity that promotes interest in science, literature and the arts – in the city of Leeds and beyond. We have meetings, lectures, entertainments, publications and visits.

The John Roles Memorial Lecture: Mining, milling & machinery

Recent archaeological explorations in Leeds – with Dan Waterfall, CFA Archaeology

In memory of John Roles (1957-2020), head of Leeds Museums & Galleries 2004-2020, the Phil & Lit presents an event focusing on elements of the history of the city.

Archaeologist Dan Waterfall will explain why digging takes place, how the site work comes about and how archaeologists make sense of what they find.

He will illustrate his work with an overview of three excavations carried out by CFA Archaeology at industrial sites in Leeds:

  • Remains of coal mine infrastructure at Nursery Pit, excavated at the site of the Logic Leeds distribution centre on the eastern fringes of the city
  • The Sovereign Street excavations 2022 looking at the remains of several mills and their goits
  • 2023 excavations on the site of the Midland Junction Foundry at Water Lane

Dan will conclude with a summary of what happens once the digging stops, where the information is stored and how it can be retrieved.

Illustrated: part of the excavation in Sovereign Street – showing inspection pits of the tram depot, the 20th century structure built over remains of mills on the site.

Below: the archaeological team at work on the site, summer 2022.

Dan Waterfall has worked at CFA Archaeology since 2018, carrying out archaeological investigations ranging from small watching briefs at residential properties to long running excavations on major infrastructure projects.

Dan studied archaeology at the University of Nottingham, and since graduating in 1996 has worked as a commercial archaeologist in the Midlands, London, the South West, and from 2014 has been based in Yorkshire.

As a result of the varied nature of commercial archaeological fieldwork, Dan has gained a broad range of experience in the techniques of archaeological investigation covering diverse time periods from the Palaeolithic up to the modern Industrial period.

Dan Waterfall

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