Last year members of Old Sleaford Heritage Group (OSHG) opened up a trench to locate the site of an old fountain known to be on the land prior to the 1980s redevelopment of the area, But when they dug deeper they uncovered what they now know to be an undisturbed Roman site.
“This part of Old Sleaford is rich in evidence of Iron Age, Roman and later occupation and this bit of land is one of the last areas available for excavation” said OSHG’s Dale Trimble (Chairman, OSHG). “Test pits were dug in May and revealed both Roman and Medieval finds.
“Now we have funding in place, thanks to the HLF, we hope to start excavating in late October and expect to be on site for about two weeks.”
The HLF grant will pay for professional archaeologists to work alongside the group’s in-house experts and will help with the procurement of essential tools and equipment for the volunteer members of the team. A rented unit at Navigation Yard will act as the dig’s HQ and workshop, and where finds will be stored and displayed.
“We intend to project manage the dig ourselves and aim to train our volunteers in all aspects of the process involved in an excavation. We are a community group who want, at every stage of the project, as much involvement as possible by our members and other like-minded groups,” added Dale Trimble. “We are relying on them to help at every stage of the process, from this early research and organising phase through to the dig itself and on to the post-activity writing and reporting on the project that will be added to documentation already in existence.”
Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Vanessa Harbar, The Head of HLF in the East Midlands said ““This is an exciting opportunity to uncover what lies buried in the grounds of Old Place and what these finds may be able to tell us about the history of the area. We particularly applaud efforts to involve as many people as possible in archaeological activities and encourage everyone with an interest to get involved.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. Old Place, Boston Road, Sleaford lies near to the site of a Medieval manor house owned by Sir John Hussey, and within the limits of the Roman Town and close to an Iron Age Mint.
2. A number of excavations from the 1960s onwards have recovered evidence from around 50BC and up to the Roman invasion in AD43 that shows Sleaford’s inhabitants were minting coinage and importing continental pottery. Archaeologists believe that at this time Sleaford was a sub-capital of the local Iron Age tribe Corieltauvi.
3. OSHG was founded in January 2014 and officially launched in April that year at the National Centre for Craft and Design (NCCD), an event that was attended by Channel 4's Time Team expert Francis Pryor.
4. The group meets at the NCCD at 7.00 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month and regularly holds talks on a variety of archaeological/heritage subjects.
5. For further information, images and interviews please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Details about the group can also be found at www.oldsleaford.org.uk , www.facebook.com/oldsleaford or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/oldsleaford
6. About the Heritage Lottery Fund: From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections too rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. Go to www.hlf.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at @heritagelottery