The north Norfolk village of Paston hosted the Norfolk Dig & Sow event last Saturday. A community steeped in history, it is famous for the Paston Letters, a large collection of correspondence between the Paston family dating from the 15th century. Our base for the day was Paston Church, where several 17th century members of the Paston family are buried. The building is Grade 1 listed with medieval wall paintings but is currently in need of restoration, more about their appeal for donations can be found here.
The event was a series of test-pit excavations in gardens and fields across the village, dug by community volunteers, as part of the East of England’s Cultural Olympiad, called ‘On Landguard Point’.
The residents of Paston went to an enormous effort organising refreshments and activities for the day. Cakes and sandwiches were served in the church by members of the Paston Heritage Society in traditional medieval costume, alongside the showing of a DVD about the history of the local area and activity materials for children. A welcome energy boost for the diggers was a hog roast at a nearby farm.
At the end of the day, each test-pit team laid out their finds along the pews of the church and were invited to summarise what they had found to everyone else present, nearly 100 people!
The feedback following the event said that volunteers from elsewhere in Norfolk (and beyond!) were “made to feel really welcome” and that it had been a “good social day”. Another participant said that she enjoyed “the satisfaction of completing the task in the way we were instructed to and discovering a variety of unexpected items”. Many thanks to Paston Heritage Society for organising the day’s festivities and especially to Lucy Care for recruiting test-pit sites in the village.
There is only one more Dig & Sow event taking place in Potton, Bedfordshire next Saturday and registration is essential, for more details please see the On Landguard Point website here.