Boxford

in the Royal County of Berkshire

Boxford Big Dig 2015 (page 1 of 5)

Roman Pottery Workshop in Boxford’s Heritage Centre

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Roman_Pottery_Workshop_4Lorraine Mepham was as good as expected! The largest proportion of pottery from the Wyfield dig was 2nd and 3rd century but there was a significant amount of Late Iron Age pottery too and a small amount amount of later 3rd/4th century which would suggest a continuous use of the site. It was good to be able to handle so much clean pottery with an explanation and especially interesting to find out where it had all been made.

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Pottery Workshop 28th January 10.00-13.00

Only four places left! Places allocated on a first come first serves basis.  If you would like to book a place please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks. joy@appleton.uk.net

Places going fast!

Only 6 out of the 12 possible places for Lorraine Mepham’s Pottery Workshop on January 28th are left – so if you  are interested please email asap. joy@appleton.uk.net  Places will be reserved on a first come first served basis. Lorraine has confirmed the start time 10am to 1pm.

Roman and Iron Age Pottery Workshop

Pottery expert Lorraine Mepham from Wessex Archaeology is returning to Boxford on the morning of January 28th and bringing with her the pottery finds from the Wyfield dig this summer. She has been examining the pottery finds for us and will be explaining just what we have found! Places are limited to 12 and the charge is £15 per head if we have 12 participants – so if you are interested please sign up asap. It will be held at Boxford’s Heritage Centre on the Leckhampstead Road. You can park in the church lay by. Please email joy@appleton.uk.net

Julian Richards’ Visit to Boxford

Julian will be coming to Boxford on Wednesday 9th November to deliver a talk entitled “A Career in Ruins.” He will also be bringing books for sale – so if you have enjoyed his TV appearances, bring your wallet as there may be some books that tickle your fancy! We look forward to seeing you. (If you haven’t yet booked your place, please let me know asap. joy@appleton.uk.net) Thank you.

Big Dig Open Day

Below some of the nearly 100 people who turned out to the  see the results of this year’s Big Dig in Boxford yesterday. Members of BARG (Berkshire Archaeology Research Group), volunteers and Cotswold Archaeology were on hand to explain the site which contained not only Roman but Iron Age finds. It was good to see some of the younger volunteers sufficiently confident in explaining what they had been doing over the last two weeks.  There were a number of aerial photos on display kindly provided by Richard using his drone. A few of the finds were on display – when they have all been recorded, they will be on display in Boxford Heritage Centre. Pottery, bones, shells and metalwork will all be sent to experts for identification; as well as large amount of soil samples taken for environmental analysis. Our thanks go to Cotswold Archaeology, BARG and all our volunteers without whom , none of this would have been possible. Especial thanks goes to Dave who ferried equipment around and Pru who washed innumerable finds almost single handed! Now we are looking forward to our last HLF funded project next year in August – another Roman villa – maybe two or perhaps the second building will be a barn or full scale brewery! Please contact Joy Appleton at: joy@appleton.uk.net if you are interested in joining us. It might be hard work at times but we do have a lot of laughs!! We hope to hold a feedback session later in the year. Please subscribe to get updates.20160904_145626

Boxford Roman Grain Drier

Uncovering the walls to the grain drier which is about 3 meters x 3 meters. This can have been  for malting barley – the first stage of brewing beer – so perhaps West Berkshire’s first micro-brewery!

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Marvelling at the increasing size of the stoke hole – hard work for James and Jim – the hot air from this fire was channelled under the building and emerged at the opposite end of the building and was deflected back into the main body of the building using  recycled roof tiles or tegulae, all to heat the grains.

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Obviously serious intent by the Romans to produce a brew judging by the size of the stoke hole, the sturdy building and enclosures!

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Photos courtesy of Emily

Boxford Big Dig – Friday

No time for photos today! Everyone on site was working hard to get things finished before rainfall arrived late afternoon. We also had the pleasure of a visit from Peter Warry, an expert on cbm. His knowledge is so extensive and he was able to tell us that the maker of most of the tegulae, supplied the same for Roman buildings in the Wantage area…………. all this from the signature on the tile! He also approved the recycling of Roman tile found on our site – so somewhere not too far away is another Roman building which has been stripped!

The weather forecast is not too promising for Saturday but Richard Miller is hoping to take more aerial photos with his drone camera in the morning. We are also expecting Professor Mike Fulford on Saturday afternoon, from Reading University to see what he makes of our “weird” building. On Sunday we are hoping for a large crowd at our “Open Day” between 2-4pm.  And then the site is covered up once more on Monday.

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Autumnal feel at the start of the day…………………..

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But Isobel is soon down to it – or is it in it?

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And everyone is cracking on………………….

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But by lunchtime, all the hard graft takes its toll!

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Photos courtesy of Lindsey

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After the digging…………………………………….. comes the measuring and recording for posterity!

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Here’s how you do it…………………….according to Jack!

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