Robert Henry Forster: The Archaeologist

Forster's interest in the past was already evident in the papers that made up The Amateur Antiquary. It was consolidated in his series of historical novels and by his academic papers, but found its greatest expression in his work on the Corstopitum excavations at Corbridge in Northumberland.

Robert, together with his brother T.E. Forster, acted as supervisors for Leonard Woolley in the first season of excavations at Corbridge in 1906, then from 1907 to 1914, he acted as co-director, together with the renowned Newcastle architect and archaeologist, Henry Knowles. Forster became treasurer of the British Archaeological Association in 1905 and a vice-president in 1911.

Forster was a competent photographer, a task with which he helped J.P. Gibson at Corbridge until the latter's death in 1912. Many of the surviving subsequent photographs may well be Forster's own.

In his obituary of Forster in the 1923 volume of the Journal of the British Archaeological Association, W.H. Knowles noted that he was highly thought of by the labourers who worked on the Corstopitum excavations.

 [ Forster at Corbridge in 1914 ]

Forster with the circular building (Site 59) at Corbridge in 1914

Academic Papers


with J.G.N. Clift

with T.E. Forster

with W.H. Knowles

with P. Newbold

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This page last updated 6th October 2003