in the Royal County of Berkshire

Author: boxfordparish (page 2 of 10)

Behind the scenes

Work is still continuing behind the scenes processing the finds from this year’s Dig.  This includes the often overlooked but necessary job of cleaning the soil from ceramic and stone building material, so we can identify what it is.
Last Saturday, Janet and Lindsey were busy doing that with admirable concentration!  Other volunteers will be continuing this work during October.

The Young Archaeologists from Sunflowers at Grafton

Many hands make light work and all that – so we were pleased to have the primary aged children from Grafton’s Holiday Club to lend a hand – greatly assisted by Lindsey of course, at this summer’s Boxford dig. They came on a very auspicious day when the mosaic experts visited the site, so stuck close to Matt when taking a look for themselves.

Professor Mike Fulford Lecture

Bringing us the latest news of the work of the Rural Roman Britain Project, Professor Fulford as decided to retitle his talk:

The Countryside of Roman Britain: economy and society

Date: 22nd November at 7.30pm

Venue: Boxford Village Hall, Lambourn Road, Boxford RG20 8DD (signed from The Bell cross roads)

Absolutely everyone is welcome.


November Lectures at Boxford Village Hall


7.30pm 22nd November:   Professor Mike Fulford from Reading University

Lecture entitled: The Roman Rural Settlement Project – Settlement, regionality, economy, living and dying in the countryside of Roman Britain

Key Facts:

Professor Michael Fulford was promoted Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading in 1988, following previous appointments as Reader (1985) and Lecturer (1974). He has served as Dean of the former Faculty of Letters and Social Sciences (1994-1997) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning (1998-2004). His principal research interests are in Roman archaeology, particularly in the fields of rural settlement, urbanism, economy, material culture, technology and trade.

He directs:

  • The Silchester Roman Town Project, which is in its nineteenth year and is currently supported by several grants, including the Calleva Foundation and the Headley Trust, and other sources of funding.
  • The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain: The Leverhulme Trust is funding major projects; Evaluation of PPG 16, ‘grey’ literature and the rural settlement of Roman Britain, 2012-15, and ‘From Roman England to Roman Britain’, 2015-17, in collaboration with Professor Julian Richards and the Archaeology Data Service, University of York and Neil Holbrook, Chief Executive, Cotswolds Archaeology.
  • The Silchester Environs Iron Age Project, 2014-19, funded by The Calleva Foundation.
  • The Small Towns of Roman Britain Project, 2015-18, funded by P.R. Chadwick.
  • The AHRC recently funded a major research project, the Samian pottery industries of Roman Gaul (2008-12) in collaboration with the University of Leeds and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz, Germany.
  • The JISC recently funded VERA (Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology) in collaboration with the School of Systems Engineering at Reading, University College London and the York Archaeological Trust.

He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1994 and is currently Treasurer and Vice-President, having previously served as Chair of the Committee for Academy-Sponsored Schools and Institutes. He is Chair of the Roman Research Trust and Vice-President of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. He was Chair of RAE 2008 Main Panel H (Architecture and the Built Environment, Town & Country Planning, Geography and Environmental Studies, Archaeology). Mike has recently been appointed Commissioner of English Heritage and Chair of the English Heritage Advisory Committee.

Professor Michael Fulford was appointed CBE in the New Years honours 2011.

7.30pm 29th November: Dr. Steve Clark

Feedback Session on this year’s archaeological dig in Boxford

Everyone is most welcome – to help with logistics and if you plan to come, please email Joy:   Many thanks.

Andrew Lyle Remembered

The following was written by Matt Nichol yesterday.

This morning I heard the very sad news that one of volunteers who had helped on the 2013, 2015 and this year’s 2017 Boxford project has sadly passed away this morning.
Andrew Lyle was an incredibly hard working, funny and passionate local Boxford guy whose contribution to the Boxford dig over the years was immense. He was a great team member always upbeat, always keen to muck in with the heavy excavation and on quite a few occasions I was invited around to his house after a days digging for drinks and a meal with his wife Tina.
I remember the very first season in 2013 after the excavation was complete I was invited around to his house in evening so I could complete all site paperwork with another volunteer who went on to study a degree in archaeology because of that season (because of this then went on to become a military officer in the TA). Andrew on the hand was a great cook and entertainer. I will never forget that evening especially.
Andrew and I ever since 2013 had a running joke together that I would find him a mosaic but none of us could ever have foreseen this year’s findings. Andrew’s health was not good at all during this season of work. Although in great pain, unable to walk properly, on at least four occasions Andrew managed to make it on to site and contribute for a few hours each time. He was one of the first to reveal the beautiful colours of the mosaic. I am very proud to have given him such a fantastic opportunity working on an incredible mosaic. We certainly smiled and joked together about the mosaic discovery…
First photo is courtesy of Lindsey Bedford.
Best wishes
Matt Nichol
Project Officer

We made the Nationals!!

Just in case you hadn’t heard, the mosaic story has hit the national papers and ITV and BBC even Russia Today!! Matt was on the Meridian News this evening with a few seconds of video of  Alice explaining the mosaic at the Open Day – video courtesy of Richard. What a world!! The photos from the blog have been used by  the papers too. Hard copies of the Times, Telegraph and Mail are available but the rest as far as we know is online – John even found a Greek post!

More Photos of the Boxford Dig 2017

Photos on the blog are courtesy of Steve, Lindsey, Joy, Richard, Helen, Jill and Mike

The site

The smaller building


Important discovery of Roman Villa mosaic

During the excavations on a Roman villa site near Boxford over the last few weeks, an important mosaic floor was found. Experts have described this as the most important mosaic find in the last 50 years in Britain. Photos of the excavations and the mosaic can be found on the blog. Thanks go to all volunteers of whatever description and the HLF in helping locals to better understand their heritage.

Mike’s Photos of the Open Day & End of the Project

The long and the short of it

Happy BARGs

Why so glum?

That’s better!

The Law 1

A busy Open Day

The Law 2

R The Law 2

Viewing the Mosaic


Viewing the Mosaic

The end of a great day

How many archaeologists does it take…………


Lindsey contemplating a great week

The Mosaic revealed

Roman Boxford Open Day

Buffet lunch for volunteers – a small token of thanks for all their hard work ………..from the Boxford History Project

We estimate that 250 visitors came to the Open Day – the marquee was the visitor centre!

Even the police force turned up to show their interest and offer help

Matt explaining the site to locals

Richard getting the light just right for the last overhead photos of trench three open.

Matt and  Alice still recoding as the sun goes down after the Open Day

The trenches are  backfilled  now …… keep everything secure and preserved. Hopefully we will be back on this site to uncover more treasures. On a personal note, I have to say that it has been an absolute pleasure to work with this group – from novices to professionals. It must be something to do with being covered in mud a large proportion of the time! If you have any good photos of the Open Day, please email them to: Some have been forwarded to the Newbury Weekly but I don’t know if they will be included in this week’s paper. Many thanks. Joy

Photos courtesy of Joy, Lindsey and Richard

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