October 24 2014 Latest news:
West Suffolk chief reporter
Friday, June 13, 2014
A community archaeology group has unearthed some interesting clues to the ancient history of an area on the outskirts of Sudbury.
Stour Valley Community Archaeology (SVA) has just held its first excavation over two weekends at Goldingham Hall in Bulmer, on the Suffolk/Essex border.
The dig was made possible thanks to a grant of £2,500 from Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Environmental Fund via the Essex Community Foundation.
The group was also able to use equipment donated by Marilyn Matthews, the widow of amateur archaeologist Mick Matthews, who took part in many excavations in the Stour Valley and particularly enjoyed metal-detecting.
The inaugural day’s digging was dedicated to Mr Matthews’ memory, and his wife attended and saw the tools being put to good use.
The six days of excavating were supervised by a team of archaeologists from Access Cambridge Archaeology under the leadership of Dr Carenza Lewis, who is best known for her appearances on Channel 4’s Time Team and Michael Wood’s Story of England.
The site at Goldingham Hall was chosen because geophysical surveys carried out last year revealed many interesting features that were previously unknown.
SVCA committee member Nick Moore said the dig concentrated on three features, which after many hours of backbreaking digging and sieving eventually revealed a large complex containing a food preparation area with six bread ovens and a series of ditches filled with burnt pottery and bones.
Post-excavation analysis will reveal specific dates, but preliminary thoughts date the site to late Anglo-Saxon or Norman times.
Mr Moore added: “Many finds were discovered, including an in situ medieval arrowhead, and most incredibly, a ‘flint face’ found at the bottom of the post hole of the structure. We are wondering if this could have been a good-luck charm placed in the foundations of the building.
“We would like to reiterate our thanks to Marilyn for donating the equipment, which has been put to great use and is very much appreciated.” Stour Valley Community Archaeology was formed in late 2013 as a legacy of the Heritage Lottery-funded Managing A Masterpiece project.
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