Burgh Castle Fort: Life outside the walls

The last month has been all about this Heritage Lottery-funded project which is starting now and will continue over the summer months until the grand finale in September.
Through the project we aim to increase our knowledge and understanding of the vicus at Burgh Castle – both the settlement that grew up around the Roman Fort, and the current community.  We've commissioned a geophysical survey of targeted areas of the vicus within the scheduled monument, and we're organising a programme of test-pits in gardens and fields outside the scheduled area, which will provide information on the extent of the Roman settlement and possibly the Anglo-Saxon settlement that followed. We have had a very positive response from local people with twelve offers of locations for test pits already, and numerous offers of help to do the digging.
We’ll connect the historic settlement with the more recent history of the community through an oral history project which will capture memories and experiences of the fort site in the 20th century. Training days will help develop the skills for local people to participate in test-pitting, recording oral history, leading school visits and visitor guiding. Dates for our school trips, being offered as part of the project, are booking up fast!
Research results from all these activities will be shared through a permanent exhibition, a dedicated ‘Life outside the walls’ website, guided tours and school visits, which will continue beyond the life of the project, and a celebratory one day event on September 10th as part of Heritage Open Days.
We're holding a public meeting at Burgh Castle Village Hall on Thursday May 12th at 6.30pm where it will be possible to hear more about the project and meet the people who will be delivering the training.
If you would like to get involved please come to the meeting, or contact me so that I can add you to the mailing list:

News in brief

  • St Benet’s Abbey ACCESS ROAD CLOSURE Please note that essential repairs are planned for the access road from May 16th 2016 for two weeks and the road and car park will be closed for ALL users - sorry for the inconvenience caused. Access by boat will not be affected. 
  • St Benet’s Abbey FREE Guided Tours: Started Sunday 1st May and continue until the end of September each Wednesday at 2:00pm, and each Saturday and Sunday at 3:00pm. Please note no guided tours will take place during the road closure in May – see above. 
  • Thursday 12 May 6.30pm Burgh Castle Village Hall: Life outside the Walls project - Public meeting   
  • Thursday 19 May Caistor Roman Project trip to Lincoln £24. The trip will include guided walks around Roman Lincoln led by Dr Will Bowden, and medieval Lincoln by Dr Chris King. For further information please email aeiray@virginmedia.com
  • Saturday 9 July 2016 The History and Archaeology of St Benet’s Abbey One-Day Conference, Julian Study Centre, University of East Anglia. Speakers include Dr David Bescoby (Honorary Lecturer, School of Environmental Sciences UEA), on his geophysical survey of part of the site; and Dr Julian Luxford (Reader in the School of Art History, University of St Andrews) who recently published a new analysis of the Abbey gatehouse. Download the booking form here
  • ‘Forgotten’ a play by one of our members about the life and works of the poet George Crabbe. Performances in May – download dates here.