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Series of free archaeological events continues

A group of people excavate a small pit on an archaeological dig

Published: Thursday, 26th July 2018

A second set of free archaeological events are about to begin, as part of our Heritage Lottery Fund-supported ‘Hidden Heritage of the Gaywood River’ project.

Members of the public have another opportunity to be involved in a real archaeological dig, from start to finish. They are invited to excavate to find artefacts, wash, sort and identify the artefacts at a day school, and then attend a fascinating lecture about the discoveries made. The first excavation, day school and lecture took place in May, and were a great success.

Four heritage skills roadshows for invited primary school classes at Gaywood Library were also part of the programme. The children examined and handled Prehistoric, Roman and medieval artefacts from the Gaywood valley, to learn about how Gaywood developed from its earliest times.

Mini Time Team Excavations – 4 and 5 August, 10am to 4pm
Over this weekend participants will excavate 1m2 pits in Kettlewell Lane in King’s Lynn, exploring the location of the ancient water-mill, including the medieval East Gate, the town’s wall/fortifications, and a possible way-side chapel; a stop-off point for pilgrims on the way to Walsingham. Working in small teams with volunteers and archaeologists, participants will learn to sample and excavate methodically. Guidance on recording, drawing, photographing and describing strata, soils, and the artefacts found will be given. All equipment will be provided.

Booking is not required, just meet for registration and an introduction at a gazebo at the gate of Kettlewell Lane Gardens.

These excavations are perfect for anyone with an interest in history, who’d like to try being an archaeologist for a weekend on their very own dig. Children accompanied by adults are welcome.

Artefact Collection and Learning Day school – 11 August, 11am to 3pm, Gaywood Library
The day school will look at the results of the Mini Time Team Excavations. Participants will examine the pottery shards, stone, and all other artefacts found, and sort, wash, weigh and identify them, so each excavated layer can be dated and better understood. Artefacts of different date, material, technology and origin, will be discussed and identified. This event is open to anyone who is interested in archaeology and artefacts, not just those who took part in the excavations.

Booking is not required.

Public Lecture – 15 September, 6pm to 8pm, Gaywood Library
“Landscape Archaeology and the River Gaywood”

In this fascinating free lecture, knowledgeable experts and researchers will explore documents and artefacts that give clues to the origins of Gaywood. Enjoyable bite-size summaries of years of historical study will also examine the medieval origins of Lynn. Some preliminary results from the Mini Time Team excavations will be presented for the first time.
Booking is not required.

These events have been organised by the borough council, in partnership with West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeological Society and Norfolk County Council Library Service.

Project background

Hidden Heritage of the Gaywood River is a £210,000 project to enhance a former landfill site at Lynnsport, made possible by a National Lottery grant of nearly £94,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The aim of the project is to create a new disabled-access footpath through the site, and to turn the site into wooded parkland with a wildflower meadow. Planting will increase the biodiversity of the area. The Norfolk Rivers Trust are also planning work to the river to include the installation of a pond-dipping platform. Interpretation panels and benches will also be installed.

While £94,000 is being provided by the HLF, thanks to money raised by National Lottery Players, the remaining project costs will be met by funding from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Norfolk Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.

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