Access Cambridge Archaeology were invited to run a couple of fieldwalking events last week at Goldingham Hall, Bulmer, by landowner and renowned local historian, Ashley Cooper. On Thursday, forty students in Years 3-6 from Bulmer Primary School took part in their first hands-on archaeological experience. Ashley is a regular visitor to the school and had briefed the students about the geological and archaeological history of Bulmer from the Cretaceous period onwards. A summary written by Ashley Cooper is included in the Bulmer Village Design Statement, which can be read here.
On Friday, another forty members of the public continued the fieldwalking begun by the school students. Feedback from the day was very positive with high praise for the hospitality at Goldingham Hall. Many thanks to regular volunteers, Julie and Paul Rusiecki, for providing doughnuts for all of the fieldwalkers on ACA’s habitual ‘Doughnut Friday’! Thanks also to Peter Hart, Abi Pullen and David Gevaux for helping to set up the fieldwalking grid for the students on Thursday.
Goldingham is one of four manors referenced in the Domesday Book entry for Bulmer in 1086, and sherds of medieval pottery were found in close proximity to where Ashley suspected the manor was located. On the same field, there is a burnt flint feautre and the fieldwalkers found a significant amount of worked flint. Preliminary analysis of these finds suggests that prehistoric activity on the site dates from the late Neolithic to the early-middle Bronze Age, nearly 3,500 years ago.
If you would like to know more about identifying struck flints, an excellent guide on the identification of man made flint tools and types has been compiled by Brian Burningham on behalf of Leicestershire County Council, which can be read here.
The fieldwalking events at Bulmer were funded by the Heritage Lottery funded Managing a Masterpiece programme. ACA also collaborated with the Stour Valley Landscape Partnership on fieldwalking events for school students and the public at Bures and Brundon in 2011.