Unfortunately the Boxford Roman project was unsuccessful at the Current Archaeology Awards ceremony held at the Senate House in London on Friday, where it had been nominated for Research Project of the Year. Two members from each of the project partners attended – Joy Appleton and Tina Lyle from Boxford History Project, Lindsey Bedford and Janet Firth from BARG (Berkshire Archaeology Project) and Matt Nichol and Duncan Coe from Cotswold Archaeology. The winner was Blick Mead, a prehistoric site in the Stonehenge landscape, a much bigger project which clearly had a high profile. We did not get to hear how many public votes each project collected. All that said and although we did not win, we are immensely proud of being nominated in the first place! Most of all, we would like to thank everyone who supported and voted for the project.
DCIM101MEDIADJI_0052.JPG Photo courtesy of Richard Miller
We are very fortunate that one of the leading UK iconographers, Anthony Beeson, will be giving a talk at Boxford Village Hall on Saturday 3rd March at 7pm entitled The Triumph of Bellerophon. The Boxford Mosaic, a unique survival from Roman Britain. Places will be limited on a first come first served basis because we anticipate a full house. So please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org This mosaic was discovered last summer by locals supported by local archaeological groups, overseen by professionals and has been described by experts as the most important discovery of a Roman mosaic in Britain in the last 50 years.
For those of you who might be interested in the background of our speaker, who after his visit to the site last year conducted an incredibly thorough research looking at mosaics throughout the Roman world.
Anthony Beeson was born in 1948 into a well established Brighton family. Having worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art Library, he moved to Bristol in 1972 to become Fine Art Librarian, and over the following thirty-seven years developed the Bristol Art Library into one of the finest British public collections of art books. He is a noted classical iconographer who has written extensively in academic journals, lectured on Romano-British art and appeared on the television programme Time Team.
TWO DATES FOR THE DIARY
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
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.
- 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: email@example.com Many thanks.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Gill’s task …………………….to meticulously draw the foundations and debris of our little Roman mystery building using a grid before we can excavate. She hopes to finish tomorrow!
Today’s thunderstorms mean no digging for a while as everyone is cleared off the field until the storms have passed but it’s quite a dramatic sight.
Photos courtesy of Lindsey.
Boxford’s New Parish Room and Heritage Centre
This little building situated to the rear of the churchyard is now well and truly open.
There is an ongoing project to display and catalogue the many Boxford artifacts, photos, maps, books, files……………………kindly donated by many in the village and further afield over several years; as well as Roman finds from the excavation in 2013 and 2015.
For those new to the village, this building replaces the Victorian Parish Room located on Glebe land which collapsed in 2009 in a snow storm and followed the wishes of the parish in the 2008 Parish Plan to turn the building into a Heritage Centre. The building has largely been funded by the Payne-Gallwey Trust in memory of Sir Phillip Payne Gallwey, a previous churchwarden of St. Andrew’s Church and his mother Mrs. Janet Payne Gallwey, an active member of all village organisations. There have however, been significant and generous donations from other members of the community and the support of the Greenham Common Trust, West Berkshire Council and Boxford Parish Council.
It is manned by volunteers fortnightly on a Wednesday afternoon and also by appointment for those involved in local history or family research. It will also be available for schools who have also expressed an interest in using the contents for history projects. There will be no charge for admission to Boxford residents past or present. We look forward to welcoming you.
Boxford History Project team (BHP)
Boxford’s new defibrillator is now functioning in the church porch at St.Andrew’s. In the event of an emergency, the 999 operator will advise the location and code to access the defibrillator. Thirty two people have signed up for Resuscitation Training which will take place at the Village Hall on September 12th and 19th. More money for the defibrillator, installation, maintenance and first aid training has been received and the total now stands at £2845! Well done Boxford!
The sponsored runners, Colin Hays, Nadege Fleming and Andrew Leader who took part in the Gibbet Challenge Run on 28th June to fund raise for the new defibrillator