Boxford History Project has received £62,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Revealing Boxford’s Ancient Heritage: a community archaeology project. This three-year project under professional archaeological guidance will investigate three closely linked Roman sites near to Boxford village in West Berkshire. Previous work at these sites suggested Roman occupation in an area where little is known about the extent of early settlement.
In the past, our community archaeology has successfully drawn together people from a wide age-range and all walks of life. This time our volunteers will receive specialist training, with lectures and fieldwork, giving them the skills to interpret their local heritage, and identify, record and protect these sites. Any finds will be displayed at the newly built Heritage Centre in Boxford.
Over the past three years, Boxford History Project (BHP) has been helped by the Berkshire Archaeology Research Group (BARG) and Cotswold Archaeology (CA) to undertake preliminary geophysical surveys of all three potential sites and identified varied building outlines, predominantly from the Roman period. Trial excavations took place on the largest of the sites two years ago with some exciting finds. Thanks to National Lottery players, this grant will enable BHP in a formal partnership with BARG and CA to investigate the function, extent, status, chronology and relationship between the three sites, which seem to represent a significant focus of high-status Roman occupation in the Lambourn Valley, with the Roman Road, Ermin Street nearby.
Commenting on the award, Joy Appleton said: “We are somewhat stunned but absolutely thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are confident that the project will enthuse locals and a wider audience to take part in the project and gain a greater understanding of what went on here in Boxford 2000 years ago.”
Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, Stuart McLeod, said: “We are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to support this fascinating project, which will give visitors and the local community a chance to explore and learn about the heritage under their feet”.