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Burnham-on-Crouch u3a’s Archaeological Discovery: An Update

A group of people kneeling around and digging a rectangular hole in the ground

In 2021, we shared the story of Burnham-on-Crouch u3a Archaeological Group’s big discovery. In this article, group leader Sue gives an update on the project.

Burnham-on-Crouch u3a Archaeological Group presented ‘Mystery of the Big House, or What Lies Beneath’ to the Burnham u3a on Friday 7 January.

Terry told the story of our two year excavation of a high status stone chamber block, built for the Bishops of London who owned the site from Domesday and probably before.

The building was completely unknown and of such importance that we were able to get grants from the Turncole Wind Farm of over £11,000 which enabled our group (all amateurs) to receive training, equipment and help from Archaeology South East. Terry showed slides of our group working in our trenches which were over a metre deep, our finds which spanned from stone age, bronze age to medieval and Georgian, and our very successful Heritage Open Days where we had 533 visitors over a weekend.

The site is now backfilled but we have received funding for a display cabinet at our local museum, a booklet we intend to produce, and we’ll be giving more talks to local u3a groups.

In the longer term Archaeology South East are using all our data and photos and site drawings to compile a post excavation report for us and later we’ve been asked by the County Council to submit to a prestigious Archaeology Journal and the site will be included in the Historic Environment Records, available to all.

We’re currently working at Creeksea Place excavating a 16thC south range, having been asked by the Heritage Specialist from Maldon District council, and we’re on the hunt for new projects.

We have 22 members in our group and all are being trained to excavate and record in a professional manner, we’ve been given the unofficial name of ‘Walls R Us’!

A man dressed up as a monk smiling at camera A group of people dressed up giving a presentation

Photos: the group giving a presentation to Burnham-on-Crouch u3a.