Boxford

in the Royal County of Berkshire

Parish News

Roman Boxford Dig 2017

The last of our three Heritage Lottery funded digs will take place this summer, starting on Saturday 12th August in the parish of Boxford about half a mile from the village centre; it will be in a field off the Winterbourne Road. We will be working for 2 weeks and volunteers may come and go as convenient for them. However, it is useful for us to know which days volunteers are coming. So please let me know which days you plan to come. Please note Mondays of both weeks will be REST DAYS!

We start with a daily briefing by a professional archaeologist Matt Nichol from Cotswold Archaeology at around 9am; have breaks mid morning and afternoon, stop for lunch and finish around 5pm. Volunteers are covered by insurance – not that we have ever had to claim. There are portable loos on site and a large marquee to provide cover.

We will be excavating a known Roman villa site and another Roman building, which we found by doing a geophysical survey a couple of years ago. It could be another villa or a large agricultural building but since it has not been disturbed we hope to have some decent finds. An excavator does most of the heavy digging and then volunteers move in afterwards.

We also process and document finds and we use volunteers for this too – so there are different opportunities for volunteers. All tools are provided, and professionals will be on site at all times to provide guidance and help. If you would like to volunteer – the only things that you need to provide are gardening gloves to protect your hands, sensible footwear, old      clothing depending on rain or sun,         suncream, a hat/waterproofs, your         lunch and plenty to drink. If you have a garden kneeler you might like to bring that to protect your knees!

We have a good mix of volunteers and hope that some of our 6th formers and Uni students will return again – they seem to have enjoyed their past experiences and for those applying to universities, joining in this kind of project does look good on a Uni application, even if they don’t plan on studying archaeology.

For “old hands” please come with buckets, trowels, hand shovels and wheelbarrows if you have them. We will be putting up the marquee on Monday 7th August – if anyone is available to help with this, will you please give me a call or email, so we can finalise the time.

We especially hope locals will make the most of this last great opportunity to discover more about the place in which they live – particularly as they may not only discover Roman remains in their own gardens but understand and appreciate what they find!

 

Many thanks and look forward to meeting you.

Joy Appleton

Boxford History Project                 01488608422       joy@appleton.uk.net

Start Date for Roman Boxford Big Dig 2017

Confirmed start date at last! Saturday 12th August at 9am at the Mudhole site on the Winterbourne Road from Boxford for our last Heritage Lottery Funded dig into Roman sites in Boxford.

The site will be found about half a mile out of the village of Boxford – from Boxford Church  take the Winterbourne Road and drive past Boxford Farm and through small area of woodland (Boxford Common) – our site is the first field on the left before a house with stables (Mudhall Cottage). Car sharing will be helpful as there is limited space in the field and it’s not safe to park in the road.

For newcomers, you don’t need equipment but please come with old clothes, sturdy footwear, wet gear, sun hat and sun cream to cover all eventualities,  plenty of water, your lunch and snacks, some gardening gloves and garden kneeler if you have one. Loos and shelter will be on site. You will be covered by insurance – although we have never had to make a claim! Training is also provided by professional archaeologists. If you are a student, taking this kind of opportunity looks really good on your CV or Uni application. We usually start with a coffee and briefing session about 9am, have morning and afternoon breaks, a lunch stop and finish around 5pm.

For old hands – if you have any bits of equipment, buckets and wheelbarrows etc, they would be very helpful – please make sure they are clearly marked with your name. Thanks.

Entry to this site is free – you just need enthusiasm! There are all sorts of jobs – not just digging – the topsoil will have been taken off by a JCB but finds processing which means washing and sorting finds, and recording and photographing is available. So something for everyone. If you have any queries, please email: joy@appleton.uk.net

Look forward to seeing you.

Joy Appleton

Welcome to new Parish Clerk

We are very pleased to be able to confirm that we have appointed Kirsty Clinton as Parish Clerk for Boxford. Kirsty has previously had extensive experience in development project management in the telecoms industry, organisational skills which we are sure will prove useful in helping with the administration of the village.

We hope all of you will welcome Kirsty, and although she does not live in Boxford you will give her a warm greeting if you meet her in the village. Kirsty will be starting her role on 6 March 2016, taking over from Joy Appleton who has been operating as an interregnum after Kim had to step down last year for personal reasons. If you do need to contact her she can be reached through the village email address below. Any issues can also be reported through Parish Councillors, whose numbers are available on the web site, and the Parish Notice Boards.

Yours Sincerely,

Mark Hayes-Newington Chairman

For and on behalf of Boxford Parish Council

Roman Boxford Lecture Series – Heritage Lottery Funded

Following the informative and entertaining talk with which Neil Holbrook kick-started the BHP Roman lecture series in January, Sam Moorhead – coin specialist from the British Museum will be giving a lecture entitled “Roman coins from Boxford, Berkshire and Britannia!”

Date: Wednesday 15th June 2016 at 7.30pm.
Venue: Boxford Village Hall, Lambourn Valley Road, Boxford, Berks. RG20 8DD.
It would be helpful to have an idea of numbers, so please email to confirm you are coming: joy@appleton.uk.net

Many thanks and look forward to seeing you.

 

 

 

Roman Boxford – Lecture Series

We look forward to seeing you on the Boxford Big Dig 2016 in August and at any or all of the Roman Boxford Lecture Series 2016 – so please put these dates in the new diary that you found in your Christmas stocking! We have been lucky enough to secure some really great speakers for this coming year … … … .. and you won’t want to miss them when you read all about them – please see below! All lectures will be in Boxford Village Hall, Lambourn Valley Road RG20 8DD at 7.30pm.

We anticipate a high demand for places, so if you plan to come please RSVP your name to: parishcouncil@boxford.org.uk to secure a seat. Thank you.

10th February 2016 – Neil Holbrook -“The Villa in Roman Britain: Design, Evolution and Use.”

Neil gained a first class degree in archaeology from Newcastle University in 1984 before starting work in professional archaeology. He went straight from University to direct excavations on Hadrian’s Wall for English Heritage and spent a number of happy years developing a specialism in Roman archaeology whilst working in the North East. He moved on to Exeter Museum where he worked on Roman finds before being appointed Archaeological Manager at Cotswold Archaeology in 1991. In addition to his managerial duties Neil maintains his interest in Roman archaeology and continues to publish widely. He will be known to a wider audience through the popular Time Team TV programme.

He sits on a number of Committees, including the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (formally SCAUM); the Archaeology Committee of the Roman Society and the Publications Committee of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at Reading University.

15th June 2016 – Sam Moorhead – Coin specialist at the British Museum – lecture title to be announced.

Sam Moorhead taught Classics and Archaeology for many years before joining the British Museum in 1997 as Staff Lecturer for Archaeology. He was on the team that made the award-winning Virtually the Ice Age website for Creswell Crags, and he produced a CD-Rom with Channel 4, Roman Journeys. Having worked in interpretation for galleries and exhibitions, such as Persia and Michelangelo for three years, he joined the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory in July 2006.

He has written about ancient and early mediaeval coins since publishing the Ackland Art Museum collection at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1984). Since the early 1980s, he has published Roman coin finds from Wiltshire. This was to be the basis for his M.Phil thesis for the Insititute of Archaeology, University College London, in 2001. He worked on the excavations at Tel Jezreel (1992-6) where, in addition to working on the coins and the Roman to Umayyad periods, he assisted in the ceramic research which initiated the major reappraisal of Iron Age chronology in the Levant. He also worked with the University of East Anglia at San Vincenzo in the Molise and has published the coins from the villa site (1997).

Presently, he works as a numismatist on the UEA/Butrint Foundation excavations at Butrint in Albania where he is responsible for the ancient coins. Thousands of coins have been found on different parts of the site and he is currrently working on the nummus economy of the fourth to seventh centuries AD.

Sam is the Finds Adviser for Iron Age and Roman coins overseeing the recording and researching of Iron Age and Roman coins on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database: www.finds.org.uk

9th November 2016 – Julian Richards – lecture title to be announced.

Julian is a Wessex based archaeologist and broadcaster with a passion for Stonehenge.

From 1975 to 1980 Julian worked for the Berkshire Archaeological Unit, helping to build the County Sites and Monuments Record, excavating and carrying out a survey of the Berkshire Downs. This was where he had his first encounter with human burials, something that sowed the seeds for his Ancestors TV series nearly 25 years later.

In 1980 he was moved to Salisbury to work for the newly created Wessex Archaeology, spending the next decade running the ‘Stonehenge Environs Project’, a detailed study of Stonehenge and its surrounding landscape. This project contributed in a small way to several programmes about Stonehenge. In 1994 he left to work for English Heritage on their Monuments Protection Programme (the MPP). This took him back to his solitary fieldwork roots, inspecting and preparing reports on the protection of important archaeological sites in Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

However, shortly after starting work on the MPP he was asked to contribute to another TV programme, this one about how Stonehenge was built. This programme was centred around an ambitious experiment involving a full scale concrete replica of the tallest of the Stonehenge trilithons and led to a new idea for television that eventually became ‘Meet the Ancestors’.The first series of MTA was commissioned in the autumn of 1996 and he worked in broadcasting and writing until 2004 This involved seven series of ‘Meet the Ancestors’ (1998 – 2004), a five part series ‘Blood of the Vikings’ in 2000 and over 60 programmes in the series ‘Mapping the Town’ on Radio 4 (1999-2004). Since 2004 he has continued writing and broadcasting including the 2011 “Meet the Ancestors revisited”

Opening of Boxford Parish Room & Heritage Centre

Boxford's New Paris Room and Heritage Centre

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 Public Access Defibrillator

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

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

 

 

Boxford Open Gardens

The popular biennial event took place on the last weekend in June. Visitors enjoyed 6 gardens open to the public in aid of St.Andrew’s Church. Gardens ranged from the great and glorious to ones to smaller gems and one undergoing extensive renovation and with a newly sown wild flower meadow – but all of the gardens are well loved and owned by enthusiasts – so something for everyone to see and enjoy. Refreshments including sandwiches over lunchtime were served in the riverside gardens of The Mill. The Open Gardens raised £1600 for St.Andrew’s Church and grateful thanks were expressed by churchwarden Andrew Lyle, for the hard work and support given by the community.

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boxford-open-gardens

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Visitors enjoying one of the beautiful gardens open to the public in 2012

Parish Room Museum

new-Parish-Room

The building is now complete. Nearly £5000 has been raised by a generous donation through Greenham Common Trust findmeagrant for the fit out of display and storage cabinets, now safely delivered.

There was an official opening in the autumn of 2015 and all the artefacts and documents have been successfully installed. If anyone has any contacts who could help in displaying or archiving, would they please contact Joy Appleton 01488 608422.

There is a vast amount of local information on Boxford to collate, archive and display which is fascinating to see and we hope that everyone in the parish will make use of this valuable collection. One of the most important recent additions, are the finds from the Roman villa discovered in 2013. This museum will be the only one to hold these finds.

The Heritage Centre is now home to Boxford’s barrel organ as far as we know the only working barrel organ in Berkshire. We also have a fascinating 18th century clock without a face! Volunteers man the Heritage Centre every fortnight on a Wednesday afternoon but if you would like to come some other time please email: joy@appleton.uk.net

© 2017 Boxford

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