Cambridge University to excavate Daws Heath past

Echo: Members of the Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive Group Members of the Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive Group

EXPERTS from a top university will be digging up part of Daws Heath in a bid to uncover its medieval heritage.

Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge will excavate between 10 and 15 pits in the “triangle area” around Daws Heath Road and Western Road on June 5 and 6.

This area could be extended to include Rectory Road in Hadleigh.

Families are also being invited to put forward their gardens as potential excavation sites to find out what historical artefacts could be hidden beneath the soil.

Dr Carenza Lewis, director of Access Cambridge Archaeology, said: “It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle, the more sites we have the more we can put together.

“Archaeology is not just about the big sites like Stone Hedge, it is about evidence of human lives and it is everywhere around us. Places like Daws Heath are not often thought of as archaeological sites, but we would like to hear from anyone in the built up area to help us find out what is in their garden.”

Historical findings uncovered from the digs will be sent back to the university for analysis with the information then passed to the Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive.

Terry Barclay, the local co-ordinator working on behalf of the archive group, said: “As far as we know this opportunity has never happened before in Castle Point. It will be good to find out more about the history behind Daws Heath.

“I think local people will really get a lot from this and hopefully it will encourage them to contact us about their own experiences. We’re also hoping Carenza will be able to come and hold a talk with residents about the university’s findings.”

Comments (5)

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8:25am Fri 1 Mar 13

GrumpyofLeigh says...

"Stone Hedge" - love it!
"Stone Hedge" - love it! GrumpyofLeigh

10:32am Fri 1 Mar 13

Letmetryagain says...

Mmmm, I'm not a big fan of Ms Lewis
Mmmm, I'm not a big fan of Ms Lewis Letmetryagain

11:33am Fri 1 Mar 13

HadleighBoy says...

I think i might have an old Roman Fort in my garden will you come and dig it up. Then wil you make sure you put down some new turf for me . Ta
I think i might have an old Roman Fort in my garden will you come and dig it up. Then wil you make sure you put down some new turf for me . Ta HadleighBoy

1:55pm Fri 1 Mar 13

andyh says...

Hmm, "Time Team" take three days and typically dig 4-6 trenches; Cambridge U are going to dig 10-15 in two. They obviously don't expect to find much. If I understand the situation correctly, Dawes Heath was quite a lawless area on the toll road from Rayleigh (weir) to Hadleigh. (the very word "Heath" gives a lot away)
Hmm, "Time Team" take three days and typically dig 4-6 trenches; Cambridge U are going to dig 10-15 in two. They obviously don't expect to find much. If I understand the situation correctly, Dawes Heath was quite a lawless area on the toll road from Rayleigh (weir) to Hadleigh. (the very word "Heath" gives a lot away) andyh

5:57pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Diannah says...

From what I recall, there are supposed to be burials in the triangle at the top of St. Michaels road outside the church. I wonder if they will dig there. In later times, I think James Murrell was supposed to have told people to stay away from Daws Heath because of witches but actually was a smuggler himself. Not sure if that is right though.
From what I recall, there are supposed to be burials in the triangle at the top of St. Michaels road outside the church. I wonder if they will dig there. In later times, I think James Murrell was supposed to have told people to stay away from Daws Heath because of witches but actually was a smuggler himself. Not sure if that is right though. Diannah

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