Ewelme Hundred VCH project
2011 saw the commencement of a VCH project to study the Ewelme Hundred, which includes several parishes in the middle of SOAG’s territory. VCH maintains a website which reports project progress. Here we report SOAG’s involvement in the project.
The project kicked off in March with a fieldwalking exercise in Ewelme itself, in which several SOAGs participated. We found some Roman tile and lots of medieval and post-medieval tile, as well as a little pottery (almost all late post-medieval.) A map of the finds has been published on the project website.
The next major activity was the ‘Ewelme Archaeology week’ from July 19-23, which included the digging of 5 test pits, spread across the village. The programme of archaeology was designed to achieve two main objectives (quoted from the VCH project website). “Firstly, it will be used to investigate the distribution of pottery of different dates and types within the existing settlement. This should give an indication of the development of the village over time, potentially distinguishing areas of early settlement and later expansion. Secondly, it is intended as a way of increasing involvement in local history and archaeology by bringing together academic, professional and community groups. Volunteers will be given training in archaeological techniques, and the professionals will benefit from important local knowledge”.
Oxford Archaeology provided most of the technical leadership, and supervision in the pits. 38 people signed up for the dig of whom about half were SOAG members. SOAG also had a presence in the archaeology exhibition in the village hall. Above all everyone who took part in the dig had a really enjoyable week. Ewelme is one of the most historic villages in Oxfordshire, the weather was perfect, and we were privileged to be digging in some beautiful locations.
The photo (taken by SOAG Dave Oliver) shows the test pit in one of the gardens which overlooks the 15th century church and the (partly hidden) medieval almshouses. Most of the participants visible are SOAGs.
The results of the dig are now available on the VCH Ewelme project website
Plans for 2012
Project Director: Stephen Mileson (VCH)
SOAG Dig leader in 2012: Roelie Reed