News: The Cocken Hall Project


The Cocken Hall Project is being run by No-man’s-Land: the International Group for Great War Archaeology (NML) in partnership with Durham University Library’s Archives and Special Collections (ASC), the Durham County Record Office (DCRO) and the Northumbria Gardens Trust (NGT). The initial project was in two phases; the first was an excavation of the site of the camp used during the Great War by battalions of the Durham Light Infantry at the now demolished Cocken Hall, between Durham and Chester-le-Street. Excavation took place between Sunday 21st June 2015 and Saturday 27th June 2015. The second phase comprised research using collections throughout the north east but principally at ASC and the DCRO and went on until June 2016. The project was funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and benefited from sponsorship in kind from a number of local firms. The project website is at


The success of this phase has led to plans for further work. Survey and geophysics work is being scheduled for spring 2017 and subject to successful funding applications another excavation on the Cocken Hall site is tentatively planned for August 2017. This may lead to an excavation on a ruined farm house on the Western Front known to have been occupied by 18 Durham Light Infantry in June 1918. We hope to be able to take some of the descendants of the Durham Pals into the front line a century after their ancestors were there.

Contact the Membership Secretary for Further details:

Alastair Fraser
Membership Secretary
No-man’s-Land: the International Group for Great War Archaeology
Assistant Librarian (Early Printed Books)
Archives and Special Collections

Durham University Library
Palace Green
Monday to Wednesday - working at Palace Green
Contactable on 0191-334-3020
Thursday to Friday - working at Ushaw College
Contactable on 0191-334-2963


Added Monday 9th January 2017