Monthly Archives: November 2013


A visit to Clare, with a mention of Access Cambridge Archaeology and Stour Valley Community Archaeology. Thanks for the shout out!

Heritage at Great St Mary's

“Seen from any angle it floats on the skyline like a great ship, with a small tower for a fo’c’stle and two turrets for masts…The interior is ablaze with light.”

– Simon Jenkins ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’, p.743.

I popped into the Church of Sts Peter and Paul in the little village of Clare recently. Like the more visited Suffolk churches in Long Melford and Lavenham, Clare’s is filled with light from the clerestory.

Tobias, our assistant verger, has been researching how Great St Mary’s would have looked before the Reformation, so it was interesting to read about the destruction wrought in Clare by William Dowsing in 1643:

“We brake down 1000 Pictures superstitious; I brake down 200; 3 of God the Father, and 3 of Christ, and the Holy Lamb, and 3 of the Holy Ghost like a Dove with Wings; and the 12 Apostles were carved in Wood…

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The pig dig and the future


An article from today’s East Anglian Daily Times about the final dig for Managing A Masterpiece with Access Cambridge Archaeology. The dig was held in October 2013 at Goldingham Hall in Gestingthorpe near Bulmer. The hall’s owner, Ashley Cooper, is one of SVCA’s patrons, and we will hopefully be able to revisit the site in the future for further excavation.

Understanding the Masterpiece with ACA

And thus the beginnings of Stour Valley Community Archaeology….

Access Cambridge Archaeology

Last Saturday, Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) and Managing a Masterpiece hosted an evening event to celebrate our collaboration on archaeological activities in the Stour Valley over the past two and a half years, accounting for over 1500 volunteer days on the Heritage Lottery funded project. Nearly seventy people attended the celebration, including many of the volunteers who took part in the first ACA excavation run for Managing a Masterpiece at Mount Bures in August 2011, who returned to join our subsequent activities in the area.

A member of the East of England Heritage Lottery Fund committee, Phil Rothwell, was invited to start the evening with a speech, in which he recounted memories of taking part in an archaeological excavation in North Wales. This was followed by an overview of all of the archaeological activities run by ACA as part of Managing a Masterpiece by Dr Carenza Lewis, and an informal…

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Welcome to the first post of Stour Valley Community Archaeology’s blog. We are a newly-formed community archaeology group. You can follow us on Twitter at @stourarch , join our Facebook group, or email us directly at More details about SVCA will be updated here once they become available, including how to become a member.