Magna Excavations 2025

Book a Place

Please check out remaining spaces on the 2024 Magna Excavations. If you’d like to visit the current excavations you can find out more here.

2025 Excavations

Booking for the 2025 Magna Excavation season will open on 8th October 2024. 

The Vindolanda Trust believes that archaeology and history are for everyone and to give as many people the opportunity to participate on our excavations. This year we are limiting the number of excavation periods a person can attend to one per person. This applies across both Vindolanda Trust excavations, those taking places at Vindolanda fort and those taking place at Magna fort. 

Here you can find out more about the current Vindolanda excavations and how to book for Vindolanda 2025.

At Magna in 2023 we started a new Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) find out more about our research and where we’ll be excavating in The Magna Project: 2023-2027 Excavations.

There are different ways to excavate with us: 

Joining the team with an Excavate Only Place will give you 2 weeks on the excavations and includes an Excavation T-shirt. This would suit locals or those who wanted to find their own accommodation and can travel to site on a daily basis.

Available 7th July – 15th August 2025 only. An Excavate & Stay Place includes 2 weeks on the excavations and an Excavation T-shirt plus accommodation in our Vindolanda on-site facility the Hedley Centre which is self-catered. You will have access to the kitchen area for your meals or you can visit a local eatery. This is 7 miles from the Magna excavation site.

What is Involved in Excavating?

Find out more about what’s involved in volunteering on our excavations. What to bring, how fit you need to be and what a typical week is like for an excavator at the Vindolanda Trust.

What’s Involved in Excavating?

Cost of Excavation (2024 prices):

Excavate Only Place: £220

Excavate & Stay – Single Room: £1200

Excavate & Stay – Twin Room: £1800

Extra Nights: Single Room £60  Double/Twin: £100

A deposit for Hedley Centre bookings will take place on the day. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to final payments.

We ask that all our volunteer excavators become Friends of Vindolanda before they arrive to excavate. This means they will be able to visit our sites outside of the excavations and will be invited to our annual Friends Day which rounds up the year and the excavations.

2025 Dates:

Each period is two weeks long and you may book a maximum of one period on any Vindolanda Trust Excavations. 

Period 1: 14th April – 25th April 2025

Period 2: 18th April – 9th May 2025

Period 3: 12th May – 23rd May 2025

Period 4: 26th May – 6th June 2025

Period 5: 9th June – 20th June 2025

Period 6: 23rd June – 4th July 2025

Period 7: 7th July – 18th July 2025 (Hedley accommodation available)

Period 8: 21st July – 1st August 2025 (Hedley accommodation available)

Period 9: 4th August – 15th August 2025 (Hedley accommodation available)

Period 10: 18th August – 29th August 2025

Period 11: 1st September – 12th September 2025

Period 12: 15th September – 26th September 2025

Veteran Draw 2025

The Veteran Draw offers people who have excavated with us before, at either Vindolanda or Magna, a chance at priority booking for the excavations. If you dug with us in 2024 for the first time – congrats, you are now a veteran. Each year, at both of our excavations, we set aside a limited number of places per period. These are reserved so veteran volunteers get a chance to sign up to before the main launch of places.

The Veteran Draw is a ballot-like system: veterans’ names are randomly extracted, and those whose names are pulled out are contacted with a link for priority booking. This gives the veterans, an extra opportunity get a space on the digs. It also ensures the archaeological team can get the benefit of their experience, throughout the excavation season and no period is composed entirely by new excavators.

This year we are changing the way we do the Veteran Draw: if you would like to be considered for it, please sign up below. We have split the draw for Vindolanda and Magna: as a veteran of the Vindolanda Trust excavations, you can sign up to both or just one of the two. Remember you will only be allowed one period overall, at one site. For example: you will not be able to use your veteran space at Vindolanda and then book a regular spot at Magna. The Magna Draw will be called first and if you are successful in getting a place through that, your name will be withdrawn from the Vindolanda Draw. We hope this new system will make the ballot process easier and fairer, ensuring that only those who want to be considered are involved.

If, for whatever reason, you are not able to dig next year, or do not want to be in the draw, you do not need to do anything.

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