I had heard so much about the exciting finds of the Archaeology Group and was thrilled when Terry Cook, the group leader, rang and invited me to visit them. They were meeting two days later. The group actually meets twice weekly for the dig on Saturdays and Wednesdays. On a Wednesday they have the benefit of Ellen, an expert in the archaeology field who is guiding them along making sure they record their findings and do things correctly – it was a Wednesday when I visited so it was nice to meet this knowledgeable, outgoing, hands-on, expert. Ellen is paid for her knowledge and for this the group has secured a grant, and is in the process of trying to secure another.
It was several years ago that it was suspected there may be something of interest on the dig site. Covid naturally caused delays but the dig is now well underway. All the group members present on the day were enthusiastic either digging, scraping, photographing, leafing through books for information or using a metal detector to find hidden objects. Now a substantial wall has been exposed with precise age unknown although dates of 12th, 13th or 14th centuries were being bandied around, stone age and iron age were also in the conversation (apologies Terry if I misremembered the dates –I’m not too good at history!). Some pottery fragments may well date it but that afternoon an expert on bricks was due to arrive. This is important because running through the wall at one point is a brick-built drain and once the expert dates the bricks, and knowing that the wall predates that, it will become easier to date the wall.
There was so much information being given to me that I hope I have remembered it correctly – I am sure I will be corrected if I haven’t!
When the group has completed their dig all the information is stored so that in the future if other archaeologists want to delve further, they will have precise facts and data.
If you want to join in helping with this important find do contact Terry (772882). Although the actual digging is important there are other jobs that need doing that do not require kneeling; this dig is set to continue for many more months and there is also another exciting local project to follow.
This is a wonderful achievement for our U3A but more so for the hard work of Terry and his team.