Over 35 participants braved the chilly, windy conditions in Covehithe, Suffolk. Covehithe is located on the North Sea coast approximately 4 miles (6.4km) north of Southwold and suffers from the highest rate of erosion in the UK with nearly 5m disappearing into the sea every year. As such, the recovery and recording of its remaining archaeology is all the more necessary.
Dr Carenza Lewis of ACA gave a presentation on the benefits and methods of fieldwalking before the fieldwalkers headed out into the barely-above-freezing conditions. A field immediately to the west of Covehithe Church was gridded out at 20m intervals and teams of two were sent out to systematically collect finds from their allocated grids.
This field yielded a wide range of finds from Neolithic flint flakes, Roman pottery, one sherd of Anglo-Saxon pottery, all the way through medieval and post-medieval sherds. Even at this early stage the finds from this field have given us a better idea where the medieval settlement was located in and around the church prior to the Black Death. Once the finds are cleaned up and identified by experts, a report will be made available on this blog and the ACA website here.
The majority of participants were from the local area and chose to join in because they were interested in both archaeology and the local history of the site. The event was rated good or excellent by 100% of participants with 94% rating it as excellent. Participants commented that the fieldwalking was “interesting, educational, fun and healthy.” Many were keen to carry on fieldwalking in the future and even set up their own groups!
Thank you to all the volunteers who braved the cold and wintry elements and special thanks to Bill Jenman and Kate Osborne of Touching the Tide for organising the fieldwalking and providing copious amounts of cake, Wood Farm Barn for hosting us and pottery expert John Newman for his on-site expertise.