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Another Bank Holiday weekend, and another Pathways to the Past celebration with CASPN. And so it was that we set out from London at an ungodly hour for the drive to West Penwith. A few hours later, and we hit the infamous roadworks on the A30, the traffic giving every indication that the road into Cornwall was actually full and that no more visitors could be accommodated. But thankfully, after an hour or so’s delay, we were on the move again, and arrived at our destination just outside Penzance.

Sadly, we were too late for the first walk of the day, and so had some time to get unpacked and gather some provisions for the next few days before heading out for the afternoon walk, entitled ‘Round and about Little Lookout Tor’. The meeting point at Bosiliack was already quite busy when I arrived, with a good crowd already gathered. After renewing my FOCAS membership and getting reacquainted with old friends, around 45 people set off up the track to Greenburrow engine house, led by our guide for the day, David Giddings.

The industrial archaeology and traces of the connection between Greenburrow and the wider ‘Ding Dong’ mining area were discussed briefly, then we were off once again. The next stop was a kerbed cairn near to the Boskednan Nine Maidens stone circle, the first stop on a suggested processional route towards Carn Galver.

How many enthusiasts fit on a cairn? All of them!

How many enthusiasts fit on a cairn? All of them!

We continued on to the stone circle, where a quantity of material on the ground caused some confusion. Consensus was reached that it was probably dog hair, from someone grooming their pet – there was a lot of hair there. A brief explanatory note from David about the circle, it’s setting and known history then we moved on, having the much truncated outlier menhir and denuded barrows and cairns pointed out – more evidence of an important track/processional way? – before reaching the larger cairn which has been much cleared by the CASPN team. It now looks quite open, and the quartz stone which I’d previously visited last year takes pride of place.

We could now see Little Galver, our next destination and David set off across the moor, leaving the main path which we’d been following until now behind us. A parish boundary stone was pointed out as we passed a field boundary, with ‘Z’ for Zennor on one side and ‘G’ for Gulval on the other.

We then spent some time at Little Galver as there were two major points of interest here. A ‘propped stone’, which many geologists agree must have been man-made, with a small stone wedged underneath two very much larger stones, and a lookout point created by two stones leaning to make a triangle, through which the highest point of nearby Carn Galver could be seen by an observer kneeling down. Many people took turns to look through the gap and discussed the possible uses and meanings of such a feature. I’ll have to return here at some future point for a proper look around.

Propped Stone-800px
Lookout Point-800px

It was then time to descend off the moor, into the Bosporthennis valley, criss-crossed with many post medieval and Victorian field boundaries. As we descended, David pointed out that many of the boulders around us were actually the remains of a Bronze Age field system which had survived the reclamation of the moors evidenced before us. Here also was a ‘proto-courtyard house’, an early example of a possible roundhouse with a courtyard tacked on.

Again, locations of cairns, barrows, roundhouses and courtyard dwellings were pointed out, in one case the cairn having been intersected by a field boundary and outbuilding, but still visible for all that!

Our next target was the enigmatic ‘Beehive Hut’, a strange structure with corbeling and a small adjacent room, all built into a later field boundary. Was this the beginning construction of a fogou, or something else? Comparison was made with the side chamber at Carn Euny being of similar construction.

The clock was against us at this point, and it was time to make our way back to the meeting point, passing by another courtyard house (with a ruined later medieval outbuilding in it’s centre) before ascending onto the moor once more to retrace our steps, where a different approach view of the Nine Maidens was seen, the three large (recently re-erected) stones standing out, highlighted against the horizon.

All in all, a very enjoyable (if tiring after my long drive) afternoon, which opened my eyes further as to just how much heritage is all around us in this area. David is a knowledgable and entertaining guide and I’d recommend attending one of his walks if you get the chance!

It seems to come around so quickly, but next month will see the 10th annual Pathways to the Past event, a weekend of walks & talks amongst the ancient sites of West Penwith in Cornwall, organised by CASPN. And by pure chance(!), I’ve managed to book my next holiday to the area to coincide with the event once again.

CASPNlogo

This is what the weekend will involve:

Saturday May 28th

Vounder Gogglas: an ancient traders’ track
A guided walk with Cheryl Straffon & Lana Jarvis following part of a long-distance trading route from Sancreed Beacon to Caer Bran and Chapel Euny wells.
Round and about the Little Lookout Tor
An unusual guided walk with archaeologist David Giddings to visit the Nine Maidens circle and cairns, Little Galva view point and propped stone, and Bosporthennis beehive hut.
The power of place: reconstructing Cornwall’s prehistoric environment
An illustrated talk by Paul Bonnington based on findings from environmental archaeology about the placing of sites in the landscape.

Sunday May 29th

Mining in Cornwall
An illustrated talk by Adam Sharpe.
In the footsteps of giants
A guided walk with archaeologist Adrian Rodda around Chûn Downs.
The geomantic network in West Penwith

To round off the weekend, Palden Jenkins shares his ideas about why the prehistoric sites are located where they are.

Whilst I’m unlikely to be able to attend all the events personally, I’ll certainly try to get along to one or two of them, and will report back later.

Fuller details of each event, including timings, location and cost can be found on the CASPN Events page.

CASPNt-shirt

Once again, CASPN‘s  ‘Pathways to the Past’ event, a weekend of daytime walks & evening talks among the ancient sites of West Penwith is rapidly approaching. 2015 is the ninth year of this event, which has only gone from strength to strength. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several of the previous year’s walks, but sadly my holiday dates don’t coincide this year – poor planning on my part!

CASPNlogo

There is a good mix of items this year, so to help you plan your time, here’s the full line-up for the weekend of May 30th/31st 2015:

Saturday May 30th

10.00-12.30pm Catching the light of the sun and moon

A guided circular walk with Cheryl Straffon & Lana Jarvis to visit prehistoric sites that were aligned to the sun and moon, including the Mên-an-Tol, the Nine Maidens barrow & stone circle and Bosiliack barrow.

Meet at Mên-an-Tol layby beside Madron to Morvah road [SW418 344]

2.00-4.30pm Living at the Edge

A guided walk with archaeologist David Giddings to visit the lesser-known Nanjulian courtyard house settlement, perched at the edge of the land between St. Just and Sennen.

Meet at Nanjulian off the B3306 St.Just to Sennen road [SW360 294] TR19 7NU

8.00-10.00pm Hot Metal: the discoveries that changed the world

An illustrated talk by Paul Bonnington about the invention of metal making and the effect this had on the Bronze, Copper and Iron Age societies.

At the Count House at Botallack. TR19 7QQ

Sunday May 31st

11.00-12.30pm Sites on the Scillies

An illustrated talk by archaeologist Charlie Johns, exploring some of the unique and beautiful ancient sites on the Isles of Scilly and the prehistoric people who built them.

At the Count House at Botallack

2.00-4.30pm Stories in the Stones – the Merry Maidens and more

A guided walk with archaeologist Adrian Rodda to sites in the Lamorna area, including the Merry Maidens stone circle, associated standing stones and Tregiffian entrance grave.

Meet at Boleigh farm on the B3315 Penzance to Lamorna road. [SW436 349] TR19 6BN

8.00-9.00pm Community Archaeology

To round off the weekend, Richard Mikulski will chat about community archaeology projects. At the North Inn, Pendeen.

Each individual event is £5 but free to members of FOCAS (Friends of Cornwall’s Ancient Sites). You can join FOCAS (Friends of Cornwall’s Ancient Sites) at the beginning of the individual event, by telephoning 07927 671612, or by e-mailing: focus@cornishancientsites.com

Day 5 of the holiday and time for more heritage sites. I’d heard on the grapevine that discussions are under way concerning plans for a fairly major archaeological project in West Penwith. Chun Castle being the main focus of these plans, I decided to pay the site another visit. We parked on the north side of Chun Downs Nature Reserve and I made the ascent (a 150 feet climb over a third of a mile) in less than 10 minutes, despite my knees!

One thing that immediately strikes me about Chun Castle is that you don’t see it until you’re right on top of it. And the converse is true. Due to the shape and slope of the hill, it is unlikely that any attackers would be seen by lookouts on the ramparts until they were almost at the castle gates. So what was its function? The ditch and double banks with offset entrance suggest a fortification, and there is certainly enough granite in the walls to withstand an attack, but the location and siting seems all wrong to me. Discussion with Craig Wetherhill a few days later enlightened me: at their peak, the walls may have been at least 20′ high, affording good all-round visibility. The castle would have been intervisible with several other hillforts and rounds in the area: Caer Bran, Lesingy Round, Faughan Round, Castle an Dinas etc. Chun Castle itself may well have been used as a fortified ‘warehouse’ for the tin traders.

A few hundred yards away from the castle entrance, and barely inter-visible at ground level is the much older Neolithic site of Chun Quoit, a chambered tomb which we’ll be covering in more detail in future…

Chun Quoit

Returning to the car, we drove the short distance to the hamlet of Bosiliack, and I walked the old Tinner’s track up to Ding Dong mine. I have visited Men an Tol many times, but have frequently been foiled trying to get up to Boskednan Downs, by flooding. Starting from the old mine workings avoids the flooding in the valley below, and is an easy walk through the scrub.

The first site I reached was an old Kerbed ring cairn, which has been cleared (by CASPN?) since I was last here, and is therefore much easier to see.

Boskednan kerb cairn

The (restored) Nine Maidens stone circle is a short distance further on, and gives good views in all directions, with Carn Galver, Hannibal’s Carn and Little Galver dominating the views to the north and north-east. There is a Standing Stone marked nearby on the map, but I’d never previously identified it myself. This time, with the help of my trusty ViewRanger app, the GPS showed my exact location and I was surprised to find it’s just a short stump of a stone, directly on the main path!

Boskednan Outlier

I moved on to the last target of the day, another kerbed barrow a few hundred yards away. This has been extensively cleared by the CASPN stalwarts, and the central cist is plainly marked by a wonderful Quartz stone just to the west of the cist.

Boskednan Cairn Quartz

When I was last here, shortly after the stone was uncovered, it was difficult to make out the details of the barrow, but the further scrub clearance has now made the layout plain to see.

Whilst here, I met a couple of gentlemen who asked if I knew anything about the monuments. I imparted what little I knew, and pointed out that we were amidst a packed landscape of ancient features, with the remains of settlements at Chysauster, Bodrifty, Bosiliack, Bosullow and Chun surrounding us. They were continuing down the hill to the Four Parish stone, so I warned them of the possibility of boggy ground there, wished them well and retraced my steps back to the car to complete the day’s excursion.

The first day of a two week holiday, and (purely co-incidentally, honest guv!) the day of a guided walk organised by the Cornwall Archaeological Society.

We had been warned that if the weather was inclement there may be a last-minute cancellation, so it was with some trepidation that on a very cold, but importantly, dry day 7 souls plus our guide gathered in a small car park at Balwest, prepared for an attack on the heights of Tregonning Hill. A multi-period walk had been promised by our guide, Steve Hartgroves, covering Bronze Age barrows, an Iron Age hillfort and accompanying settlements, medieval field systems, right up to comparatively recent China Clay quarries and workings. All of this was delivered, and more!

Tregonning Hill stands some 6km West of Helston, and rises to the magnificent height of 194 metres, overlooking Mounts Bay to the SW. It is surmounted by Germoe War Memorial, and an OS trig point. The hill is a SSSI, and the major importance of the site is the occurrence of an extremely rare liverwort, Western Rustwort Marsupella profunda, which is found growing on bare outcrops of weathered granite within and around the old china clay workings. Tregonning Hill is the only known British location for Western Rustwort and internationally it is restricted to this site in Cornwall and a few locations in Portugal and Madeira. (source: Natural England)

Steve showed us several aerial photos and old maps of the area (which would be referenced throughout the day), pointing out the various barrows and features that we would be visiting, and then we were off! The main track from Balwest is metalled, and gave no difficulties other than the incline, and we soon came to a side track at which point we paused. An old (parish boundary?) wall was our first marker and an obvious kink in line of the wall, along with a couple of suspicious bumps, marked our first Bronze Age barrow. Continuing on, we soon found ourselves clambering down and up across a wide banked ditch – the fortifications of the Castle Pencaire hillfort at the summit. It’s difficult to actually make out the fortifications on the ground, as quarrying has impacted upon the defenses, much stone has been robbed out, (some of which was apparently used for the war memorial which stands within the fort) and what remains is hidden in the extensive undergrowth. We moved on up to the memorial, and sheltered from the biting wind in its lea. A short geology lesson ensued, Steve taking us back to the pre-Cambrian and explaining how the rocks below our feet were formed. Informative, but a little over my head, I’ll admit.

The views from the summit are extensive, but unfortunately there was a haze to the day, and the distance views were not as clear as they could have been, though the field patterns all around, and particularly to the north could be easily made out. Our prehistoric geology lesson over, we retraced our steps back across the ditch to the track. We continued south for a short distance before bearing off to the right, to an area with an information sign, ‘The Preaching Pit’. Our lunchtime stop, the ‘pit’ is the site of an old quarry, which provided a much needed break from the wind, and commemorates John Wesley’s visits to nearby Kennegy Downs and Breage in the mid-1700s. The pit was used extensively for Sunday School meetings on Whit Sundays, and is still apparently used at Pentecost for multi-denominational services.

After a picnic lunch, we moved further south to look at the main quarry, site of a plane crash in the war. A commemorative plate is apparently in place, quite near to the edge of the quarry, but we didn’t look too hard for it! The quarry was an early China Clay site, having first been discovered here in 1746 by William Cookworthy. There was some discussion around the quarry, but I was personally more interested in the prehistoric aspects of the walk. We continued to the south-east, toward a lookout house which dates to the Napoleonic era, until we reached an area marked ‘cromlech’ on the old map. This was actually a rather nice kerbed cairn dating from the Bronze Age, which I would guess is around 40 metres across. Many of the surrounding kerb stones are still visible, and there is an obvious mound in the centre. This was an undoubted highlght of the walk for me. Retracing our steps a short distance, we turned to the north, where alongside the track was yet another BA barrow. No real distinguishing features, but an obvious ‘bump’ in the landscape.

Finally heading downhill, discussion turned to the landscape of fields below, and an obvious progression from Iron Age enclosed fields, to medieval strip farming, and finally the much larger fields of today was presented to us. We passed an (inaccessible) Iron Age settlement area, or ’round’ near the base of the hill, but attention then switched to the ground to our right, which was the site of an old brickworks, with one of the kilns still in place, but the rest left as faint traces on aerial photographs.

As we moved across the north base of the hill, a field boundary was examined – a double bank and ditch identifying it as a partial boundary of another Iron Age Round. All too soon, the path started to incline again, and we knew the end of the walk was not too far away now. I’ll admit to struggling on the final climb back up to the summit, and our small band split into two groups – one lagging to discuss the mine workings between Tregonning and Godolphin Hills, and the rest of us eager to finally get to the top once more for a final look at the views before returning to the cars to make our way home.

TregonningMap

So what were my impressions of my first CAS walk? I was impressed with the extent of knowledge shown and imparted by Steve the group leader – from the Pre-Cambrian to Napoleonic times, he covered it all with good humour. The other participants were not slow in coming forward if they had something to add to the discussions, and there were questions aplenty at all stages of the walk. If others are like this, I’ll make sure to coincide my holiday dates again in future!

recent article in the Oxford Mail about a new Heritage Trail based upon archaeological finds during development of a new housing estate caught our eye. With so much ‘developer-led rescue archaeology’ being undertaken, often with the ‘preservation by record’ caveat attached, it seems to us that such Heritage Trails could be a good idea going forward for many new housing estates across the country. Not only would such trails be educational, sparking the imagination of the people living in those communities, and connecting tehm to the area’s history, but they would be a constant nagging reminder of what has been lost forever (Oswestry, anyone?)

And of course, involvement with sites doesn’t just have to be about information boards. Although written from an Ireland perspective, the Bored of Boards‘ document available for free download from the Heritage Council of Ireland gives many alternative ways of providing interpretation for heritage sites, particularly in an urban environment. One of the alternatives listed in that document we’ve discussed here on the Heritage Journal in the past: the use of QR codes, such as that provided by the iBeaken system.

Many town centres and villages of course already have Heritage Trails set up. One town relatively local to me that has a trail (actually 7 of them!) is Wheathampstead, in Hertfordshire. There is a town centre trail, marked by mini-plaques on historical buildings, with a map and interpretation board outside the church, and a further six trails through the surrounding countryside detailed on their web site, ranging in length from 4-8 miles and covering the Iron Age, through Roman and Saxon times, to relatively recent historical sites. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area!

Wheathampstead Heritage Trail

Wheathampstead Heritage Trail

Further north, the University of York, in partnership with the grand sounding ‘Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP)’ has created a fine Roman Trail as well as other trails in the area (a Viking one is under development) but it would be wonderful from our point of view to see a similar trail somewhere that didn’t rely purely upon historical/preserved buildings but concentrated solely on sites from prehistory, i.e. discovered purely via excavated archaeology rather than above ground remains, which would otherwise be lost forever, and preserved only in a Heritage Environment Record somewhere.

If you know of any such trails, please let us know so that we can highlight them here and spread the word.

Even more events, compiled by Sue Brooke

CORNWALL:

Cornwall Archaeological Society

Regular walks and talks of interest:

The Society was formed in 1961 – it grew out of the West Cornwall Field Club, itself founded in 1935 by a group of enthusiasts who were studying the archaeology of West Cornwall.

WALKS – Every month there is an archaeological walk somewhere in Cornwall led by members or an invited expert.

ACTIVITIES – The Society gives opportunities for those interested in practical archaeology to participate in fieldwork and learn archaeological techniques. Members often take part in excavations run by the Cornwall County Council’s Historic Environment Service (HES).

JULY WALK – Sunday 14th July 2013. 11.00 to 16.00 Cliff castles and ancient sites on the North Coast with Steve Hebdige.

Meeting in Porthcothan Car Park (SW8580 7291). Please note there is a car parking charge. The advice is that you should bring a packed lunch and, due to the weather, suitable outdoor clothing. The plan is to leave Porthcothan heading towards Park Head, back to Porthcothan for lunch and then onto Wine Cove, Treyarnon before heading back to the car park. There is a short steep descent and climb out of Porth Meor in the first part of the walk as well as a climb out of Porthcothan after lunch. This coastal walk will take in barrows, cliff castles at Park Head and Wine Cove and stunning views set in a landscape used since prehistory as illustrated by crop marks from aerial photographs.

http://www.cornisharchaeology.org.uk/

Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network

‘A charitable partnership formed to look after the ancient sites and monuments of Cornwall. Currently working closely with local communities and official organisations to protect and promote our ancient heritage landscape through research, education and outreach activities’

Volunteers are always very welcome at the monthly clear-ups. These events are a really good opportunity to get a bit more hands-on whilst helping to clear an ancient site in the landscape. This not only allows for physical preservation of the site itself but helps it to be kept safe for others to enjoy in the future. Please note that suitable footwear and clothing is needed although tools or any necessary equipment will be provided.

JULY CLEAN-UP – Tuesday July 16th 2013 – 12.00 (midday).

The next clean-up will be held at St. Rumon’s Church (SW7039 1643). Please meet at the lane to the farm, off the A3083. See website for more details. http://www.cornishancientsites.com/lan.htm

Cowbridge

LONDON:

Museum of London:

Saturday and Sunday 20th & 21st July – Festival of Archaeology – The Secret Museum.

Exclusive behind the scenes tours of stores and archives at the Museum of London and the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre.

Sat 20 Jul, 11am – 4pm – Bishops Square, London E1 6EG

Skeletons in the closet – find out in Spitalfields, where you can have the chance to see inside the remains of a medieval charnel house, hidden underneath the pavement near the market. Experts from English Heritage will reveal the history of this fascinating site.

Please note families are welcome to this event!

Sat 20 & Sun 21 Jul, 10.15-11.45am, 12.15-1.45pm, 2.15-3.45pm & 4.15-5.45pm – Museum of London

Secret stores tour: metal store & conservation labs

Get into heavy metal as our curators throw open the doors to the metal store to reveal 4000 years of history captured in tin, bronze and iron. Then come up to the lab to learn about how these and other historic London objects are cared for by our conservators. Age 16+

Book in advance £10 (£70 for a group booking of 8 people). To book tickets call the Museum of London Box Office on 020 7001 9844.

Sat 20 & Sun 21 Jul, 10.30am – 12pm, 12.30-2pm, 2.30-4pm, 4.30-5pm – Secret stores tour: human remains – Museum of London

We know where the bodies are – and so will you as our Osteology curators take you on a tour of our human remains store before revealing what we can learn from ancient bodies in the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology. Age 16+

Book in advance £10 (£70 for a group booking of 8 people). To book tickets call the Museum of London Box Office on 020 7001 9844.

Please note there are also a range of activities on offer specifically for children. For more information please follow: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/Whats-on/Family-events/FOA.htm

KENT:

13 & 14 July: Festival of Archaeology 10.30 am. Maidstone Museum

More detailed information coming soon – please check out

http://www.museum.maidstone.gov.uk/events/20137/437/

Saturday 13th to Sunday 14th July 2013- Maidstone Museum. All Day Events

Maidstone Museum, in collaboration with the Kent Archaeological Society and Regia-Anglorum (the country’s leading group of early medieval living history enthusiasts) will host an exciting two day outdoor event designed to illustrate the richness of the county’s Saxon history.

From Saturday 13th to Sunday 14th July 2013, they will re-create a Saxon village in the Museum’s beautiful public gardens. The displays of Saxon art, craft, cooking, music and weapons will be complemented in the Museum by displays, lectures, object handling sessions, demonstrations of conservation techniques and a host of activities for families and children. All will draw upon the Museum’s fantastic Anglo-Saxon collections, recognised as being amongst the country’s fines

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE/DERBYSHIRE:

MBArchaeology specialises in Community Archaeology, Education & Research. Based in Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire and offering educational talks, walks, workshops and courses on a whole variety of archaeological topics.

Derbyshire – full-day field visits that run throughout the summer to sites of historical and archaeological interest.

July 13-28 – Festival of British Archaeology – more info coming soon

http://www.mbarchaeology.co.uk/upcoming-events/

stonehenge Heel Stone

WILTSHIRE HERITAGE MUSEUM:

Wiltshire Heritage Museum runs a large number of events, exhibitions and activities both for the general public and members of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society.

10:00 am Saturday, 6th July 2013 running until 1st September 2013

EXHIBITION: Inspirations from the Bronze Age: an exhibition by six outstanding contemporary designers and makers

http://www.wiltshireheritage.org.uk/events/

PETERBOROUGH:

Flag Fen Archaeology Park. The Droveway, Northey Road, Peterborough, PE6 7QJ

Flag Fen is open daily from 10am-5pm (last entry at 4pm) from April to October and is a marvellous opportunity to see the work undertaken.

http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/museums-and-heritage/flag-fen/discovery/

caerwent

 WALES:

National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP – FREE ENTRY

Origins: In Search of Early Wales. A static exhibition in The Archaeology Gallery – This traces life in Wales from the earliest humans 230,000 years ago. Who were our ancestors, and how different were they from us? What has changed and what has caused these changes? A stunning and thought provoking exhibition where you get the chance to see things close up.

Visit the Origins – In Search of Early Wales webpages http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/whatson/?event_id=2854

Until 7th. July 2013 – Julian Stair: Quietus – The Vessel, Death and the Human Body.

An exhibition of beautiful funerary vessels – from cinerary jars to sarcophagi exploring the containment of the human body after death.

2nd July to 4th. August 2013 – The Mold Cape Spotlight Tour (In partnership with the British Museum)

Find out about this stunning ceremonial cape of gold and the Bronze Age people who made it.

 NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF WALES – ST. FAGAN’S, CARDIFF:

11th July 2013 – 14.00 – 15.00 (English) 15.00 – 16.00 (Welsh)

Behind the Scenes: What lies beneath?

Join Elen Phillips, Curator of Textiles, to uncover the hidden secrets of the textile collection. Find out what our ancestors wore beneath their clothing and how they kept evil spirits at bay!

Spaces are limited for this tour so please book early to avoid disappointment

FREE ENTRY – BUT PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A CAR PARKING FEE.

Compiled by Sue Brooke

 Finds

FESTIVAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY 2013 EVENTS:

Dig into the past at the 23rd Festival of Archaeology! Co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, the Festival offers over 1,000 events nationwide, organised by museums, heritage organisations, national and country parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists. A small selection of these events is listed below. To find out more (more events are listing daily) please check: http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/

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Church Meadow excavation open day Sat 13th Jul 2013   South East | Surrey

An open day, in conjunction with Ewell Village Fair, giving you the chance to see the current season’s excavation in Ewell’s Roman settlement http://www.epsomewellhistory.org.uk

Archaeology week at Tintagel Castle Sat 27th Jul 2013 – Sat 3rd Aug 2013   South West | Cornwall

It’s the Festival of Archaeology so join us for fun activities for the whole family. Get hands-on and discover more about the history of Tintagel through our experts and the fascinating artefacts uncovered here over the years. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/archaeology-week-tc-27-jul/

Dig with us! Mon 15th Jul 2013 – Fri 19th Jul 2013 North East | Tyne and Wear

Newcastle University archaeologists and English Heritage will be excavating the 19th century forge workers cottages at Derwentcote Steelworks near Ebchester. Local volunteers (including accompanied children) are welcome to come along and dig with us: just turn up on whichever day(s) you choose. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/derwentcote-steel-furnace/

Newbarns project archaeological excavation Sat 13th Jul 2013 – Sat 27th Jul 2013  Scotland | Dumfries and Galloway

Ancient burial site consisting of 3 Neolithic kerb cairns, adapted for later Bronze Age/Iron Age burials with settlement evidence from the Anglian and Medieval eras in the form of stonework. Contributions greatly received but no charge for entry or having a go. http://www.sat.org.uk

Dorchester on Thames archaeological excavation open day Sat 20th Jul 2013  West Midlands | Oxfordshire

Learn more about the site of the Roman small town at Dorchester on Thames. Bring artefacts you may have found in your own garden to be identified and see the objects we have excavated. Take a site tour with the Director and see what we have been digging.http://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/DOT1.html

The Anglo-Saxons in the North Sat 2nd Mar 2013 – Tue 31st Dec 2013   North East | County Durham

The Anglo-Saxons in the North A small display in the Streatlam Galleries from March to December 2013, will highlight the Anglo-Saxon collections at The Bowes Museum, in celebration of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the North East. http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/

Archaeology discovery day   Sun 28th Jul 2013  South West | Gloucestershire

Archaeological skills/hands-on activity. Join us for a day of discovery! Visitors will get the chance to learn more about the excavations in Dr Jenner’s Garden. There will be talks about the finds excavated from the garden and there will be some finds on display. Plus sandpit digs, finds cleaning and even finds identification. There will be tours of the site through the day and all visitors get to see the museum exhibits about Edward Jenner – passionate not only about medicine but also geology and fossils! http://www.jennermuseum.com

Medieval mysteries Thu 25th Jul 2013 Wales | Caerphilly

A day of hands-on art, craft and traditional skills, activities, tours, and talks

http://www.celticlearnersnetwork.org.uk/index.htm

WASHINGTON DC

Archaeology in the Community (AITC) will be running events with young people to coincide with Festival of Archaeology. Please check them out at    http://archaeologyincommunity.com/

More to come, later this week!

Thanks once again to Sue Brooke for compiling next month’s Diary Dates.

The following events will be taking place next month, why not add one or two to your diary and join in the fun?

CORNWALL

Cornwall Archaeological Society, Regular walks and talks of interest:

The Society was formed in 1961 – it grew out of the West Cornwall Field Club, itself founded in 1935 by a group of enthusiasts who were studying the archaeology of West Cornwall.

Walks – Every month there is an archaeological walk somewhere in Cornwall led by members or an invited expert.

Talks – During winter months talks are given at centres in Truro and Liskeard by speakers, national and local (and including members) who are specialists in their field of interest.

Activities – The Society gives opportunities for those interested in practical archaeology to participate in fieldwork and learn archaeological techniques. Members often take part in excavations run by the Cornwall County Council’s Historic Environment Service (HES). See http://www.cornisharchaeology.org.uk/ for more details.

Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network

‘A charitable partnership formed to look after the ancient sites and monuments of Cornwall, currently working closely with local communities and official organisations to protect and promote our ancient heritage landscape through research, education and outreach activities’.

Volunteers are always very welcome at the monthly clear-ups. These events are a really good opportunity to get a bit more hands-on whilst helping to clear an ancient site in the landscape. This not only allows for physical preservation of the site itself but helps it to be kept safe for others to enjoy in the future. Please note that suitable footwear and clothing is needed although tools or any necessary equipment will be provided.

The next clean-up will be held on Sunday JUNE 9th BOSCAWEN-ÛN STONE CIRCLE o/s 4122 2736. Meet by A30 – starts at 14.00. See website for more details.

DEVON

Barnstaple – North Devon Archaeological Society was established in 1959, and for many years concentrated on providing lectures and visits for members. The society merged with North Devon Rescue, a campaigning organisation which had been instrumental in ensuring proper recording and excavation in the area. At the time of writing there were no events planned for June so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their website. http://www.ndas.org.uk/

 Westward mound

ESSEX

West Essex Archaeology Group, Woodford Green. WEAG’s aim is ‘to promote the advancement of knowledge and education by a study of archaeology, history and kindred subjects ‘.

10th June 2013 – London’s Food Plant Remains. Karen Stewart, Museum of London Archaeology
The lectures take place in the sixth form block of the Woodford County High School, High Road, Woodford Green IG8 9LA on Mondays at 7:45pm unless otherwise stated. Non members are welcome to attend – voluntary contribution appreciated. For further information, see the website at http://www.weag.org.uk/

12th March to 22nd June: Exhibition at Redbridge Museum: 1st Floor Exhibition Area, Redbridge Central Library, Clement Road, Ilford. 500 Years of Redbridge Gardens, Parks and Open Spaces, Tuesdays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free Admission.

Barking and District Historical Society: Harp House, 16 Helmore Road (off Goodey Road), Barking, IG11 9PH

Monday 3rd June: The Princess Alice Disaster, Keith Langridge, 7:30 p.m

KENT

Council for Kentish Archaeology

The Society was founded in 1857 and is now a registered charity with the following objects: To promote the study and publication of archaeology and history in all their branches, especially within the ancient county of Kent.

Much of the County has been lost to London since 1857 so the “ancient county” is treated as including the London Boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham, as well as Medway and the administrative county. The Society’s interests are not confined to fieldwork. Its objects cover archaeology and local history in the widest sense.

1st. June: Fieldwork, 10.30, Library
8th June: Council, 10.30, Guildhall Museum, Rochester
22th June: Churches visit to St Mary-in-the-Marsh and St Nicholas, New Romney
29 June: One-day conference ‘New Developments in Kentish Urban Studies’, Old Sessions House
http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/diary/

flagfen

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE/DERBYSHIRE

MBArchaeology specialises in Community Archaeology, Education & Research. Based in Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire and offering educational talks, walks, workshops and courses on a whole variety of archaeological topics.

Derbyshire – full-day field visits that run throughout the summer to sites of historical and archaeological interest.

June 9-22 – University of Nottingham,  Southwell Project

June 11th – Talk: Archaeology of the Peak District, South Normanton History Group, 1pm

June 13th – Talk: Archaeology of Creswell Crags, Southwell Rotary Club, 7pm

June 29 – Archaeology Walk: Iron Age Nottinghamshire (see Current Projects tab ‘Archaeology Walks’ for details)

See http://www.mbarchaeology.co.uk/upcoming-events/ for further details

Wiltshire

WILTSHIRE

Wiltshire Heritage Museum runs a large number of events, exhibitions and activities both for the general public and members of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society.

6:30 pm, Thursday, 27 June, 2013: A TALE OF TWO VILLAGES: An evening walk around Alton Barnes and Alton Priors, led by local historian David Carson. Find out fascinating facts about the two churches, what the villages used to look like, the civil war, and eye witness accounts of the machinery riots of 1830.

10:00am, Saturday, 06 July, 2013: EXHIBITION: Inspirations from the Bronze Age: an exhibition by six outstanding contemporary designers and makers

http://www.wiltshireheritage.org.uk/events/ for more details.

iron1

PETERBOROUGH

Flag Fen Archaeology Park. The Droveway, Northey Road, Peterborough, PE6 7QJ

Flag Fen is open daily from 10am-5pm (last entry at 4pm) from April to October and provides a marvelous opportunity to see the finds discovered there during excavations, as well as to see some of the reconstructions and experimental archaeology work undertaken there.

WALES

National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP

Static exhibition in The Archaeology Gallery – Origins: In Search of Early Wales. This traces life in Wales from the earliest humans 230,000 years ago. Who were our ancestors, and how different were they from us? What has changed and what has caused these changes?

Visit the Origins – In Search of Early Wales webpages for more details. FREE ENTRY.

Nation History Museum of Wales – St Fagans

Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th June: 2013 Summer food in the Iron Age. Find out what’s bubbling in the Iron Age cauldron.

Saturday – 22nd. June 2013. 2pm to 3pm:  Life in the Iron Age. Looking at everyday life in the Iron Age.

 FREE ENTRY – CAR PARKING FEE.

 Joust

 CARDIFF CASTLE

Saturday 22 – Sunday 23rd. June 2012:  JOUST! A fun event for all the family. For more information: www.cardiffcastle.com

If you have an upcoming event you’d like included in our listings, please Contact Us with details. We tend to publish events near the start of the month prior to the actual event, so please allow enough notice to be included!

For the past 5 years, the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network (CASPN) have held a Pathways to the Past weekend consisting of a series of walks and talks around and within the West Penwith area. This year is the 6th year for this event, and I was fortunate in my holiday timing to be able to attend one of the walks last Saturday afternoon, May 26th.

The walk was entitled ‘Sacred sites and Settlements’, and was led by local archaeologist David Giddings. We met (some 53 souls!) at Lanyon Farm for the start of the walk, and after financials and some H&S issues were dealt with, we set off along the road for a short distance before entering the fields to the south. We were fortunate in that the weather was fine (heatwave!) and the ground was dry, making progress much easier. Although, with 50-plus people there were inevitable delays waiting for stragglers at the various stopping points.

The first stop was at West Lanyon Quoit, not often visited as it’s on private property and not visible from the road. Once everyone had caught up, David gave an erudite summation of its known history, and pointed out that the capstone, which is leaning against the single remaining upright, would actually have been on the far side of the upright from where it now is. Looking at the site, this is contrary to what you would expect!

Close by to the quoit, in the corner of the field are the remains of a medieval long house, which may have been the original farmhouse owned by the Lanyon family. Again, a detailed explanation was given for what could be seen at the site, including details of how livestock kept in the lower (downhill) part of the house would have been used as an early form of central heating!

We then retraced our steps back to the road, and continued on to Lanyon Quoit, one of the most famous landmarks on the peninsula, being so close to the road and easily visible when passing. Despite almost everyone present being fully ‘au fait’ with the quoit and its known facts, David again entertained us all by going through them, and pointing out that the story of a man on horseback being able to pass under the quoit before its collapse in the early 1800s must have been a very short man on a shetland pony! The work done to truncate one of the taller uprights as part of the 1824 restoration can be quite plainly seen and felt, as the indentations from where the stone was cut down by drilling are still evident.

At this juncture, and possibly for comic effect (?) David temporarily ‘lost the path’ to our next target, Bosiliack Barrow, although the barrow could be plainly seen from Lanyon if you knew where to look. Once convened at the barrow, which was excavated 28 years ago (publication of the excavation is due ‘soon’) and is of the Scillonian type which are found only on Scilly and in Penwith, various discussions took place as to possible uses. Although a funerary urn had been found in the chamber, it is thought that it was not used for ‘burials’ as would be expected. An alignment with the solstice sunrise was noted for the chamber itself. The chamber is offset from the centre of the cairn but why this should be is not known.

The final stop of the day was at the Bosiliack Settlement, scene of a recent excavation. The settlement consisted of up to 17 or so Bronze Age round houses, the outlines of several of which are quite clear on the ground. There was extensive banter concerning lynchets, which I gather are a pet subject of David’s. Many of his audience were regulars and were aware of his passion for the subject. Indeed, after being left to browse around the extent of the village, several of us moved up the hill to see the lynchets for ourselves. Considering the length of time they have been in place, it’s amazing the evidence still exists so plainly.

It was interesting to consider what life must have been like in those days, and how the position of the settlement had an effect on the landscape which we see today. The water source of the stream at the bottom of the hill, the huts with their attached cultivation areas and the lynchets higher up, with what could be described as the bossman’s hut at the very top of the hill.

But all good things come to an end, and it was time to descend the hill back to Lanyon Farm, where several attendees managed to obtain a cream tea, before the Tea Rooms closed for the day.

All in all, a very enjoyable and educational walk. If you’re in the area next time, make sure to book yourself a place. The walk I attended cost £3 but was free for CASPN and FOCAS members,  for which membership was available on the day.

All photos © AlanS, taken on the day.

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