All posts by stourarch

Gestingthorpe Dig Update

We had two digging days in June;  the first was rather wet, the other a sublime summer day. Read on to find out what happened…

David and Peter exposed flints in our new trench ‘H24’. The latter is approximately 10 meters from G26. Are the cobbles a continuation of those unearthed in G26—or are they are different feature? Hopefully we’ll find out soon!  

D and p
David and Peter in H24

Steve and Stephen have been investigating the black sooty area in G26, finding pottery, burnt clay and degraded bone. They’ve dug a slot, which may indicate the profile of the ditch below.


Christine, Diana, Jan, Jane, Mary, Pam and Sarah have been working in Trench C, possibly exposing a dark ‘ditch like’ feature that may cross our original trench.


Jane and Diana investigating the ditch like feature
The next two events at Hill Farm, are the ‘Pottery and Finds Processing’ afternoon on Thursday, July 4th, from 3 to 7.00 p.m.

On Monday July 8th, there is another ‘Dig Day’, 9.30 to 4.00, this will probably be the last before the harvest.

For more information about our activities and membership information email

Work continues at Gestingthorpe – read on to find out more!

Working at Gestingthorpe is progressing well this year. During the cooler months a team of members have been identifying and processing pottery.

David Orrell and John Pegg tackle some pottery identification

We’ve also recently returned to excavate our site on Old Barn Field. Do take a look at our photos to see what’s been going on. 

Diggin 2
Peter, Jane, David and Peter continuing to explore the eastern end of Trench G26
Christine, Pam Louise and Mary continue work in Trench C
black area
Another area of black material excavated by Alan Border, at the Western end of G26


diggin 3
Nigel, David and Steve researching the ‘sooty black area’ of G26
diggin 4
Mary and Pam about to remove two very nice bases of pots which they found
base of Pam's pot
The pot base.

Our next events are a Pottery ID afternoon on Thursday, June 6th from 3pm – 7pm. There will also be digging at Goldingham on June 8th and 15th.  Do  contact us on if you  would like to join us. You need to be a member to take part in our activities, £10 for one person, £15 for couples or families.

Graffiti survey 25th May 2019 Chilton Church

A small group  of SVCA members undertook a survey of Chilton Church near Sudbury today. The building is managed by the Churches Conservation Trust and is a peaceful ocean of tranquility behind an industrial estate.

Chilton Church 
George Crane 


Most of the graffiti was on the tombs of members of the Crane family and  post medieval (MUFC for example) they are part of the story of the building and so worth recording and enjoying.

Was a Manchester United fan here?
Was a Manchester United fan here?


Our next survey will be on Saturday 29th June at 10am in the Church of All Saints Sudbury, All members are welcome to join us and there is no need for prior experience. Do get in touch with us at for more information.

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
IMG_0697 (1)
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