Gestingthorpe October update

Although we’re approaching the winter months and a pause in work on our Romano British site several SVCA members gathered last Saturday, 13th October, to enjoy work on a warm and sunny day. Here’s a few photos from then and the digging days in August to keep you up to date.

Working on our flint covered ditch in August’
Continuing the work in September
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Excavating another deposit of pottery, bone and burnt material on 13th October
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We’re wondering what this area of dark soil is

David Gevaux publishes stories about World War I in Long Melford.

SVCA Treasurer David Gevaux has recently published ‘ Long Melford and the Great War—the stories of a thousand lives’ with an introduction by Ashley Cooper.


David presented Ashely with a copy at the Gestingthorpe dig on Saturday 13th October. Ashley said, ‘It really is an incredible achievement; it is over 400 pages in length, is  superbly printed,  has a hard back cover, contains photographs and an extraordinary amount of information about all those who served from Long Melford—together with an insight of the village in World War One.’

Well done David from all of us in SVCA!

Exciting discoveries at Clare Castle


The trustees of Clare Castle Country Park and Suffolk Archaeology are running a HLF funded dig in the castle’s outer bailey during September 2018. Four trenches have been opened up to investigate anomalies revealed by geophysical surveys.

Probable walls made of stone and peg tiles, a large cobbled surface and lumps of daub with wattle impressions have been found in Trench 1. Late medieval jug handles have been found in Trench 2. Meanwhile in Trench 4 there is evidence of an oven and pieces of late Saxon Thetford Ware .

Do keep an eye on the blog for updates and if you’d like to visit there will be an open day on Sunday 23rd September from 12 noon until 4pm. 

A very happy and successful Romano British weekend.

16th to 17th June 2018 was a very productive weekend on our Romano British site. Steady progress was made on two of the Romano British features in Old Barn Field.

Peter Hart earned the title ‘a new star in the firmament’ by making a very useful plan of area G26.

In trench A the area aligned east to west was deepened to reveal an interesting black linear feature close to a rich deposit of pottery. Work continued on the north to south trench revealing evidence of a ditch which produced more pottery.


Trench A on Sunday

The complexity of trench A, with it’s numerous different colours of soil was unravelled on Sunday afternoon when clay and brick expert Peter Minter visited and explained the Ice Age geological processes that created it.


Peter Minter visits the site on Sunday 16th June




Meanwhile in area G26 the SVCA dish of happiness was served up on Saturday when half a Roman bowl was found on a bed of burnt clay and other pottery  in an area of black soil.

The Roman bowl on it’s bed of burnt clay and other pottery 

Animal teeth were found in a nearby black deposit, intriguingly hinting at further ritual use of the ditch.

On Saturday evening a digger extended G26 to the east. The newly revealed area was dug on Sunday. This required some heavy mattocking of hard clay, but our efforts were rewarded when the dark, ditch area was revealed to be less curved than previously thought. Finding Roman pottery cheered up the flagging diggers and ex dancer Diana celebrated by elegantly performing a celebratory jig!






SVCA members help out at the Foxearth ILAF


Jane Crone and Alan Border with two year 9 students from Ramsey School.


SVCA members helped out at the Cambridge University Independent Learning Archaeology Field School, which was held at Foxearth in Essex this week. Over two days students from Ramsey School in Halstead and Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury had the opportunity to investigate test pits in seven locations within the village. On the third day of their course they had the opportunity to visit Cambridge University Archaeology Department.

Jane Crone, SVCA committee member reported. ‘It was great working alongside the students, introducing them to archaeology through fieldwork. Hopefully this event will inspire some of them to join local groups or even consider studying archaeology at university.’

For more information about ILAFs take a look at Access Cambridge Archaeology website