Opportunity to Excavate at Alconbury (Cambs)

SAWTRY HISTORY SOCIETY (SHS)

HILL TOP EXCAVATION, 30 NOV – 3 DEC 18 AND 7 – 10 DEC 18

Venue.

Hill Top, off Vinegar Hill, Alconbury Weston. Access will be via the gate as indicated on the map below:

20181128 SHS - Excavation - Attachment 1

Google Earth image of Hill Top and surrounding area relative to the village of Alconbury Weston, the area known as Alconbury Hill and the A1(M), with site entrance marked, and the service station at Junction 13 of the A14 opposite Alconbury Weald.

Participation.

  • SHS. The excavation will be open free to all members of SHS (as at 29 Nov 18).
  • JigSaw Affiliates. Participation is free to members of JigSaw affiliated groups/societies who have provided confirmation they are participating under their group/society insurance, otherwise they will be required to participate as SHS temporary members (see sub-para 2.c below).
  • SHS Temporary Members. Non-members of SHS or JigSaw affiliated groups/societies as at 29 Nov 18 are also welcome, but for insurance purposes, will be required to take out SHS temporary membership at a daily fee of £1.

 

Application.

Those wishing to participate are to complete the SHS Participation Application Form. Further details are contained in the application form.

 

Programme.

The daily routine will loosely follow the timings below:

Day & Date     Times             Activity

Friday              1230-1245       Arrival

30 Nov 18        1245-1300       Site Safety Induction

1300-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

 

Saturday         0800-0830       Arrival

1 Dec 18          0830-0845       Site Safety Induction (for new arrivals)

0845-1015       Site Activity

1015-1045       Tea-Break

1045-1215       Site Activity

1215-1315       Lunch

1315-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

Sunday            0800-0830       Arrival

2 Dec 18          0830-0845       Site Safety Induction (for new arrivals)

0845-1015       Site Activity

1015-1045       Tea-Break

1045-1215       Site Activity

1215-1315       Lunch

1315-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

Monday           0800-0830       Arrival

3 Dec 18          0830-0845       Site Safety Induction (for new arrivals)

0845-1015       Site Activity/Recording

1015-1045       Tea-Break

1045-1215       Site Activity/Recording

1215-1315       Lunch

1315-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

Friday              0800-0830       Arrival

7 Dec 18          0830-0845       Site Safety Induction (for new arrivals)

0845-1015       Site Activity

1015-1045       Tea-Break

1045-1215       Site Activity

1215-1315       Lunch

1315-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

Saturday         0800-0830       Arrival

8 Dec 18          0830-0845       Site Safety Induction (for new arrivals)

0845-1015       Site Activity

1015-1045       Tea-Break

1045-1215       Site Activity

1215-1315       Lunch

1315-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

Sunday            0800-0830       Arrival

9 Dec 18          0830-0845       Site Safety Induction (for new arrivals)

0845-1015       Site Activity

1015-1045       Tea-Break

1045-1215       Site Activity

1215-1315       Lunch

1315-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

Monday           0800-0830       Arrival

10 Dec 18        0830-0845       Site Safety Induction (for new arrivals)

0845-1015       Site Activity/Recording

1015-1045       Tea-Break

1045-1215       Site Activity/Recording

1215-1315       Lunch

1315-1530       Site Activity

1530-1600       Clear Loose & Pack-Up

 

Open Day.

The site will be open to visitors throughout the duration of the excavation.

 

Welfare.

  • There are no on-site toilet facilities. The nearest public facilities are at the service station by Junction 13 on the A14 and Alconbury Weald.
  • Participants should bring their own food and drinks, or be prepared to purchase from nearby commercial outlets (Alconbury or Huntingdon). Participants, should also bring additional water or other drinks as excavation and other archaeological field work is physically demanding that, despite the time of year, requires regular re-hydration.
  • Participants should wear sturdy and comfortable outdoor clothing and footwear (walking boots, steel capped boots, Doctor Martens boots, wellington boots, etc). Layered clothing allows for personal comfort to be maintained as weather conditions change.  Waterproof jacket (with hood) and trousers should also be brought as excavation will continue during showers and light rain.
  • Participants may wish to bring other items for personal comfort, such as; small camping chair to sit on during breaks and lunch, kneeler or knee pads, gloves, hat, scarf.
  • Participants are responsible for bringing any medication they will need and for having an up-to-date tetanus inoculation (refer to your doctor or surgery nurse if in any doubt).

 

Archaeological Equipment.

All excavation, recording and finds processing equipment will be provided by SHS.  However, please feel free to bring your own equipment.

Insurance.

SHS insurance includes Public Liability and small personal accident cover.  JIGSAW affiliates participating under their group/society insurance are to provide confirmation of the Public Liability and small personal accident cover provided.  Those taking part who may wish to consider their own personal accident insurance should seek advice from an insurance company beforehand to ensure the correct type and level of insurance is purchased.

Excavation Strategy.

This is the first season of archaeological excavations on Hill Top, the aim of which is to test theories developed from analysis of recent geophysical and field walking surveys:

Evaluation Trench. A 15m x 2m evaluation trench will be opened on a north/south long axis in the site grid squares highlighted on Attachment 2.  The purpose of this evaluation is to:

  • Investigate the strong high resistance mass anomaly in site grid square D3.
  • Investigate the low resistance are to the immediate north of the high resistance anomaly.
  • Investigate the magnetometry anomaly indicative of a ditch that bounds the north edge of the high resistance mass.
  •  Determine any relationships between the anomalies through dating evidence, any truncations and assemblages.

 

Location.

20181128 SHS - Excavation - Attachment 2

Google Earth image showing Hill Top with site grid overlay and site grid squares +3-B into +3-A identified.

Northstowe Community Excavations

For a total of five weeks at the end of June and into July 2018, a community archaeological excavation was undertaken, with volunteers given the opportunity to work alongside professional field archaeologists from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) with their ongoing work on the Phase 2 archaeology, ahead of the new town construction of Northstowe.

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Volunteer site hut and looking NW across part of Phase 2

Just under 60 people signed up to take part in the dig, from 18 year old university students to retired individuals and it was the flexibility of the dig that appealed to a lot of the volunteers, as they were able to attend as many days as they wanted. Some of the volunteers are already living in Northstowe that was part of the Phase 1 excavations, as well as the surrounding villages and people coming from further afield. The timescale of the dig unfortunately coincided with one of hottest heatwaves since the summer of 1976, but everyone persevered (just with perhaps more water and shade breaks!)

The aims of the community excavations were to investigate an unexplored area of large open area site that was ahead of the of the commercial excavations currently being undertaken by CAU site staff and to give the volunteers the chance to learn all aspects of a commercial excavation, including excavation and recording techniques. Matt Wood and Heather Turner of the CAU led the community side of the excavation, but the volunteers were very much included into the site staff team with one volunteer commenting:  “Thank you for the friendly welcome. It was very relaxed and informative. The relaxed atmosphere rubbed off onto the other volunteers – all friendly and happy to share what they had found. There was a good team spirit. And great that I was able to come, even though I was only available for one day.”

The archaeology consisted of a Late Iron Age (from the 1st century BC) and Roman (mid 1st to mid 5th century AD) farmstead that appears to be connected to a much larger Late Iron Age and Roman settlement, which has been under excavation since October 2016. The core of this excavation focused on the farmstead, with volunteers excavating various features including boundary ditches, pits, trackway systems and internal ditches, many of which yielded an extensive array of artefacts, all of a domestic nature, although no structural evidence has yet been found in this area.

The majority of the finds recovered would have had a personal use to the people who lived here; both plain and decorated pottery fragments were found, with animal bone, a multitude of metal work, including coins with also bone hair pins. There was evidence for small scale butchery having taken place on site, but again this would have likely been for personal use.

The results so far suggest that the settlement was continuously occupied from the Late Iron Age, through to the Late Roman period. These original Iron Age people remained on this site, but became ‘Romanised’ and could have been some of the original Romano-British occupants of the area.

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The current plan of the archaeology at the focus of the community dig

The excavations are of course on-going (but the end of this phase is in sight!) so the full interpretation of the site and the finds are yet to come. The other half of the settlement (the blank area in the bottom of the plan above), is yet to be excavated but will hopefully come up for study next spring – watch this space!

Volunteers were asked to complete feedback forms at the end of their time on site and 99% of the volunteers rated their experience as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. The most enjoyable aspects were recorded as working directly with CAU staff “Working with top class archaeologists and nice people”; “The 1 to 1 instructions with professional archaeologists and meeting other people who enjoy history/archaeology” and “Digging! Also learning from Matt and Heather who are very knowledgeable about this site and generally”. Other enjoyable aspects of the dig were recorded as finding the various artefacts as well as the independent work; “The allocation of features to dig that are individual, enabling a task to be completed through to the end, even when only the odd day on site can be managed”. Others stated they enjoyed “finding a brooch fragment, but also being part of the team”, “[I enjoyed] interpreting interesting ditches and features”, “Really everything, actual digging and learning a bit about the recording procedure” and “Being allowed to excavate alone/with people when needed and meeting like minded people”.

All the CAU staff involved in the dig would like to extend their gratitude to all the volunteers who took part in the excavations, whether it was for one day or twenty days. The contribution to the on-going archaeological investigations at Northstowe has been vital and we hope that all the volunteers both enjoyed their time on site, but also hope that they have gained more knowledge on archaeology as well.

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Bunwell Independent Learning Archaeology Field School (ILAFS)

 

Our first excavations in the parish of Bunwell in south Norfolk were undertaken over the 23rd-24th of May 2018 with the final day, the 25th, a non-digging day, the students travelled into Cambridge to visit and learn more about university. A total of 40 Year 9 and Year 10 students from Old Buckenham High School, Thetford Academy and the Hobart High School excavated 10 test pits in two separate areas, one around the church and primary school and the other at Great Green.

The test pit locations were found with the help from the Bunwell Heritage Group and its secretary David Neale in particular, who was also on site during the excavations for additional support with Peter Day.

Bunwell itself is a large parish that includes the hamlets of Bunwell Hill, Bunwell Street, Low Common, Great Green and Little Green, just over 7km east of Attleborough and 18.6km southwest of Norwich.  The long linear settlement along Bunwell Street is the largest of all these areas, set in flat open countryside, whereas the hamlets of Bunwell Hill and Low Common, set further to the south, are along the valley of the River Tas. The B1113 runs through the centre of the parish, connecting New Buckingham to Norwich, close to which sits the 15th century church of St Michael and All Angels’. The name Bunwell derives from Old English and was recorded as Bunewell in 1198 that likely means ‘spring or stream where reeds grow’. The settlement was not recorded in the Domesday Book although evidence for Anglo Saxon occupation has already been recorded from the parish. Previous test pit excavations by ACA have been undertaken in the neighbouring parish of Carleton Rode, the results of those excavations can be found here. www.access.arch.cam.ac.uk/reports/norfolk/carleton-rode

 

Day 1 and the students were full of energy to get started- but so they could focus that energy in the right direction we started with an introduction talk in the village hall by ACA’s archaeologist Cat Collins, explaining the details of the ILAFS programme, some history of the settlement and what is expected from the students on the three days they are out of school. After a quick break with time for Emily Ryley (on her last ever ILAFS) to brief all the supervisors, including a couple of 6th formers getting some great leadership experience but also three PhD students from Cambridge University. Then it was time for the students to collect their equipment and head out to site to dig.

The students got down to the task and had the turf off quickly; the students proved to be hard-workers, with all teams excavating at least 3 contexts (30cm) of soil before the end of the day. They learn how to use new tools and techniques (especially the mattock), how to plan and coordinate their work as a team, and thought imaginatively about their finds to understand what they could tell us about Bunwell’s past. Three of the test pits found burnt flint. These are stones that had been used by neolithic people as a way of heating their meals or water, by placing the stones in the fire to heat, then placing them in the water- a technique that boils water faster than a modern kettle! They can be recognised by the ‘crackled’ surface on the rocks. These were found in the upper layers of the test pit, showing there had been some turning over of the soil layers. There had indeed, with some of the test pits having to battle through layers of rubble and refuse from buildings- it’s all still evidence of human activity though! They were rewarded for their efforts, finding some great things. Highlights included a bone die! And even a small section of false human teeth!

On Day 2 of the excavations, we were joined by John Newman, pottery expert who helped identify the finds. There were less of them than last week, but there were still three test pits who found medieval pottery. It’s always exciting to be the one that finds something several hundred years old! The other reason there was less to find was that many of the test pits hit the natural geology by lunch time on day 2, and all excavated to natural by the end of the day- a first for ILAFS! This means we can be confident that were weren’t any older find lurking beneath where the students were digging that we might have missed, which is great. It also meant that those groups who had finished a little early, could help those still finishing off and we were able to get everyone away at a reasonable time.

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After two days of digging, the students had a good grasp on what it means to be an archaeologist and had also learnt a lot about working together, recording data and identifying objects. Day 3 is about translating these skills into world of Higher Education and showing how they are central to students now. Day 3 of the field school is designed to show them how students at university transform data into concrete knowledge. First then, the students had a lecture from Emma Brownlee, a PhD student at the university. This takes in all stages of writing a report starting with the background of how the settlement developed. Students will need to find out what we already know about the village and understand the influencing factors that might help reflectively explain the evidence we find. Presenting the data is next, and clarity is important here if the students work is to become part of our own archaeological records.  Transforming this data into an interpretation of the past is tricky for many as it requires imagination while also basing those interpretations on evidence. Taking their conclusions further, can we say how our evidence fits in with wider changes happening in the country at the time?

Lunchtime and the students got treated to a lovely lunch at St Catherine’s College and Downing college. The colleges can be very grand, especially when students are used to comparing the great hall to their school canteen, but we were given a very friendly welcome by the students who later took the students on a tour around the college so they could see the facilities and get a sense of what it was like ot live there. Seeing the bar, common room, library and other spaces allows them to really understand what it might be like ot live away from home one day.

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Brundall Independent Learning Archaeology Field School (ILAFS) 2018

Hooray Hooray it’s ILAFS time again! Yes, after a long long winter, Access Cambridge Archaeology is set to be running our field schools once again. This year we are starting off at Brundall where we have excavated for the past 3 years. Once again we owe massive thanks to Nigel Roberts for helping organise the participating pupils, and Jacky Heath and Ann-Marie Simpson of the Brundall Local History Group who organised the test pits. 12 students from Framingham Earl High School and 4 from Holt Youth Project gathered in St Laurence Church to hear what they would be doing for the next three days, and gain their instructions for how to be archaeologists!

 

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The ACA team, Alison Dickens, Cat Collins and Emily Ryley were keen and eager to start the pupils off on their excavations and make it a good start to the year. Cat Collins gave the introductory talk, and Emily Ryley instructed the supervisors on their duties, although all had helped before so knew what they were doing! We are always grateful to the volunteers who support us in our efforts to show young people what archaeology is, and give them practical skills and experience they can use in the future. Then it was time to get digging- 6 test pits were located in Blossom Hill, Springdale Crescent, Cucumber lane, Greenacre Close and Saint Laurence Avenue. The first context always takes a little more time as the students find their feet (or rather hands) as they use unfamiliar tools and need to organise themselves practically. But they soon got going and were finding their first archaeological artefacts. The landscape in Brundall seems to have been quite turned over as even on the first day the students were finding Neolithic burnt flints and even a lovely scraper core. Returning to the Brundall Memorial Hall which would be our base for the rest of the dig, the pupils left tired, but looking forward to the next day.

 

On day 2 Cat and Emily continued to motivate the test pits encouraging the participants to start thinking now about the wider questions they will answer through this excavation. Being reflective on the evidence as it is uncovered is an important archaeological skill, as it helps us to guide the excavation process and spot those patterns which might otherwise be missed. We were also joined by John Newman, a pottery expert who toured the test pits shedding new understanding on the evidence so far discovered. Pottery was rather thin on the ground to examine but all the test pits produced some 18th to 19th century pottery and Test Pit even had a medieval sherd. We have been excavating in Brundall for 4 years now so in our future write up of the settlement, we will be able to compare the test pit data from across the village and really pin down where the heart of it was and the rate of expansion.

 

The Eastern Daily Press Newspaper also visited the dig on Thursday morning and their write up of the student’s find and experiences can be found here. The rain set in soon after lunch on Thursday but as all the test pits had nit the natural geology by then, they were able to pack up early having completed the aim of their excavation. At least the snow held off until weekend!

Brining together all they had learnt from the practical excavation, the pupils from Framingham Earl High School came to Cambridge on the last day of the field school with several aims in mind. Firstly, to inspire the pupils to show them what they could achieve through higher education. Meeting students and staff, they could envision themselves there in the years to come. Second, they were there to be shown how to write up the important archaeological results they had found. The morning’s lecture, given by Emma Brownlee which outlines how use the data gathered to understand patterns of settlement development, as well as how to present this in a project. The written project is a lot of work for the pupils, but it is highly valuable as practice for marked coursework and university-style work. With the dropping of GCSE coursework students now have less experience of this.

After all this hard work, it was time to see the lighter side of Cambridge and have lunch! Emmanuel college were our very kind hosts and served an excellent lunch. Students particularly enjoyed seeing the beautiful building, and two students even tested out the acoustics in the chapel and gave an impromptu recital! The sun shone warmly and the students thoroughly enjoyed their time there, making many Harry Pottery analogies to help understand the structure of the University and its colleges. Back to the archaeology department but this time to explore the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. We are always seeking to improve and expand our offerings and the museum activity has taken on a different focus than last year. This time the students are focusing on how objects in the Museum’s collection can illustrate different aspects of a settlement’s history. Looking carefully at different objects and drawing them they collected their ideas together onto a poster for others to look at.

To cement the pupil’s impressions of Higher Education and give them some concrete information on how to turn their experience over the past three days into a potential future, the last part of the day was devoted to a talk from the Schools Liaison Officer at Robinson College. Eleanor Humphrey spoke to the pupils about how they could take the skills they have learnt over the past three days, and apply them to any area. Particularly inspiring was seeing the pupils realise the broad range of options open to them and what choices they could meet now to help themselves in the future.

 

The students had to rush to catch the train back at the end of the day but they certainly enjoyed their time with us. They were enthusiastic and curious to a tee and a real credit Framingham Earl High School. It’s been an encouraging start to the year and we hope to have many more great stories to bring you about students getting involved with archaeology.

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Longstanton Community Test Pitting Weekend, 9th-10th September 2017

Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) as part of the University of Cambridge ran a weekend of archaeological test pitting in the village of Longstanton on the 9th and 10th September 2017 in conjunction with the Longstanton and District Heritage Society (LDHS). The test pitting tied in with more recent archaeological work at Northstowe on Phase 2, where the excavation is going to uncover more about the large Roman settlement that has been identified on the old Oakington Airfield. Further information about the site and open day that was held there on the 8th July can be read about here.

The excavations in Longstanton also followed on from a similar test pitting weekend back in October 2015 that coincided with the end of the Phase 1 archaeology at Northstowe that was focused on the golf course. The results from that weekend can be read about here.

Longstanton Both Years

The organisation was aided by Rodney Scarle of the LDHS and our base for the two days was at The Manor Longstanton, kindly hosted by Hilary Stroude. The weekend started with around 30 people arriving at The Manor for a quick briefing by Alison Dickens (ACA’s manager and Senior Project Manager at the CAU) and then it was out to site in the early autumn sunshine to start digging. A total of 11 test pits were excavated over the weekend, the majority in private gardens and sited along the length of the village between Thatchers Wood in the south, up the High Street, in Thornhill Place and Hattons Park to Striplands Farm and Hattons Farm in the far north. An additional pit was sited in the far east at Rampton Drift. Cat Collins (ACA) toured the test pit sites with Alison both days to offer advice and support where needed and were joined by Project Officer Matt Collins from the CAU on Sunday who is currently running the Northstowe Phase 2 excavations .

Despite some heavy rain Saturday afternoon that ended the day a little earlier than originally planned, the excavations went really well, with all the groups excavating to a decent depth and uncovering a range of finds, all of which adds to our understanding of the wider picture of previous settlement here and how it ties in with what has been discovered during the much larger excavations at Northstowe. The results from 2015 and once we have them for 2017 will be available on the ACA website here.

Of note however, a potential of three archaeological features were able to be identified within the confines of these small 1m2 test pits, all of which were found in the north of the village and close to the Phase 1 works, suggesting that the archaeology identified there does indeed extend west into the current village as they were recorded as being on the same alignment as the features identified in Phase 1.

Probable linear features of either Late Anglo Saxon (AD 850-1065) or high medieval (AD 1066-1399) date were partially excavated that may have been utilised as part of the settlement or perhaps as field boundaries. Analysis of the pottery will go some way in determining the probable date of the likely ditches, although further excavation in these areas would be the only way to fully determine the extent and use of these features.

Pottery of similar date was also found down the High Street and at Thornhill Place, although the latter showed the amount of disturbance that had likely occurred within the garden as in the same context was also found a tiny plastic mouse!

The excavations also showed that there has been a significant deposit of builder’s rubble at both Thatchers Wood and Rampton Drift with a distinct lack of earlier material at the latter, potentially due to its location beyond the original extent of the village, thought to be along Long Lane. At Thatchers Wood, it was found that about 0.3m of builder’s rubble had been dumped across the land, but this had actually sealed the earlier archaeology which was still visible in the clayey soils.

There was one test pit that was excavated close to the original manor site of Hattons Park (and named after the last Lords of the manor) and sited likely under Longstanton Primary School is today. Just to the west of this was excavated test pit five which uncovered a range of likely 18th or 19th century brick rubble and mortar suggesting that this may have been the site of or was close to some outbuildings associated with the manor or even remnants of the wall itself when it was taken down. As the majority of the deposit was made up of mortar remnants it is likely that the bricks would have been taken away and reused elsewhere. A nice find from this test pit was also the discovery of an Electro Plated Nickel Silver spoon, probably also of 19th century date.

At the end of the weekend, all the volunteers, garden owners and interested members of the public gathered back at the Manor for a brief summing up by Alison on what was found and tying it into the wider landscape, with a chance to see all the finds on display before they were bagged up and transported back to Cambridge for analysis by ACA.

Feedback from the weekend digging was extremely positive with 99% of the volunteers rating the dig as ‘excellent’, with some particular comments stating ‘It was fun and interesting and a great way to learn about the local area and meeting new people’ (HL), ‘It’s a great way to be outside, find out about the archaeology of the area and meet likeminded people. A great experience, well organised, more please!’ (PS), ‘I enjoyed getting family and friends involved to do something different. The support from Cat, Alison, Matt and Rodney was really helpful and we had a good time looking for finds and cleaning them’ (KH), ‘A good social activity which adds to the village history record’ (PH) and ‘Great fun, good to take part in something local and useful’ (JS).

ACA would like to thank again all those who took part in the excavations and to those whose gardens were dug up and to both Rodney Scarle and Hilary Stroude for their organisation beforehand as well as hosting the event at The Manor. The current phase of the Northstowe excavations may finish in the late spring next year, but there are many more phases to of this new town to investigate and hopefully we’ll be able to come back and dig in Longstanton again in the future. Watch this space!

David Parr House: a hidden gem

Although we are not running an ILAFS this week, you can’t keep us in the office when the weather is this nice! We have been digging a couple test excavations in the garden of an amazingly preserved and beautifully decorated 19th century house which has been fascinating to see.

Between 1886-1927, David Parr, artistic painter for the Cambridge based decorating firm F R Leach & Sons lived at 186 Gwydir Street, just off Mill Road in Cambridge. It is safe to say he often took his work home with him. Transforming his ordinary late Victorian terrace into a monument dedicated to the influences of the Arts and Crafts movements with influences from William Morris and others. After his death the house was lived in by his granddaughter Elsie Palmer and her family who did little to alter the fantastic decorations. Thus, this amazing body of work has been preserved and continues to be looked after by the David Parr House CIO charity. 

A recent grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled them to begin conserving and renovating the house, in order to make it in some way accessible to the public. As part of this the David Parr House CIO are looking to do some archaeological work in the garden of the house, before that area is also restored. With such amazing records and preservation of the house, this is a perfect opportunity to carry out archaeology of in a very tightly dated period of use and of a time not often studied; the 19th century.

Prior to a larger archaeological excavation involving the local community, Alison, Cat and Emily dug two 50 cm x 50m test pits in the garden to ascertain how deep the archaeology goes and therefore what scale of excavation would be possible. Finds from these evaluation trenches revealed a few bones, brick and china as well as some tile which looks very similar to that used in the house. A good promise that we will be able to get an archaeological insight into the everyday life of those in the house. This project will hopefully be a great chance to get many more people involved with the investigation and restoration of the house. We’ll spend some time now planning our next steps, and hope to bring you more news about this project in future months.

For more about the David Parr House, please see their website, Facebook or Twitter pages.

Talk on some of the results of the Peterborough Cathedral Excavations

Alison Dickens, manager of ACA and at the CAU and who led the dig will be giving a talk about the community excavation that took place at Peterborough Cathedral a couple of months ago. The talk will be held at the cathedral and hosted by the Friends of Peterborough Cathedral (more information on the talk can be found here) on Saturday 17th September. The talk is free (although donations to the cathedral will be of course welcome!) and will begin at 11.30am.

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