Basing House, Hampshire – In the mid 1960s the Aldermaston Archaeological Society did several seasons of work on the fringes of Basing House. In particular they sectioned the Civil War defensive siege works and found significant layers of late Iron Age and Roman activity sealed beneath them.
The results of the excavations were rapidly published in the Hants Field Club Proceedings, but the ‘grid box system’ they employed was never properly backfilled. This left the trenches as an unsightly rash on the smoother contours of the siege works and Hampshire County Council obtained SMC to re-examine the site and restore the original profiles. This in turn has led to a partnership with the University of Southampton who, earlier in the year, used the site to teach their geophysics module.
Now that the digging season is upon us, a training excavation is re-opening and redefining the trenches of 50 years ago. It’s early days, but the students are already getting to grips with the layout of the original dig. Local society members are taking part too, and the dig has a strong community education aspect.
David Allen, Keeper of Archaeology at HCC Arts & Museums Service
For more detailed progress reports, follow the dig on http://basinghousecat.wordpress.com