Preparing for an public event at Chew Magna

Chew Magna poster download (doc)

Being a museum archaeologist, often means not doing archaeology but today…. I am!

We’re working with Richard Sermon, the Bath & North East Somerset Council’s senior archaeological officer to prepare for our event for the Festival of British Archaeology.

Each summer we leave the hot busy city and descend on a community to run an event highlighting the archaeology and history of the area.  This year we’re heading out to Chew Magna, a lovely rural village with Medieval origins, in Bath & North East Somerset.  Even the venue we’ll be in (the Old School Room) has an amazing Medieval hammer-beam roof.

So we’re getting out objects from the collection that have been excavated from the village to show and explain to visitors on the day.  Even small bits of pottery have a story to tell and we always share the secrets of how to date them (if it’s green-glazed it’s a fair bet its Medieval).

Archaeology is not just about digging and so a lot of our information and activities this year will be looking at what we call standing buildings (if they weren’t standing surely they’d be called ruins wouldn’t they?).  To save themselves money house-owners often rebuilt and modernised just the fronts of their houses, but behind the posh Georgian or swanky Victorian exterior there’s often a much earlier house lurking.

And by looking at old maps you can see the growth of a village even if its not documented. Chew Magna’s in the Domesday Book so that’s another bit of information we are using.

The event is on Saturday 14th July so there’s still time, to print the handout, write information for the displays, pack the objects, photocopy the trail…

Hope to see you there!

Susan Fox

Collections Manager, Roman Baths Museum, Bath