Basing House

Setting up for the Third Basing House Field Season

Today I’m working at Hampshire Cultural Trust with Dave Allen. I’m lucky because my visit times with the regular weekly volunteer day at the Archaeology Stores, managed by the Curator of Archaeology, David Allen.

To find out more about the work of David and the team, visit their excellent blog, which has a new post every Monday.

Hampshire Archaeology blog:

Nicole Beale

I’ve driven down to the University of Southampton to help pack the van full of equipment. This is because we’re off to run the Basing House excavation field season on Monday. Very excited! Its chucking in down with rain so we’ve been trying to get all of the kit packed up quickly so that we can dry off.  The dig is run by the University of Southampton, the University of York and Hampshire Cultural Trust.

You can read more about this year’s field season on our blog:

Dom, Chris and the Green Shed

Nicole Beale

Itchy trowel syndrome

Jude Jones and Dr Yvonne Marshall in the finds hut

Jude Jones and Dr Yvonne Marshall in the finds hut

I went along yesterday to our Basing House excavation (currently underway in partnership with students and staff from the University of Southampton).  Officially I had my Conservator hat on, but once the duties of handing over a dry box and some silica gel were performed, and having found the finds hut running like clockwork I confess to whipping the trowel out and jumping in the nearest pit 🙂

Claire Woodhead, Conservator

For  more detailed progress reports, follow the dig on

RocDam Basing Jam

It’s that time of year when our historic sites (those looked after by Hampshire County Council) shake off their Spring sleeping dust and shout out for Summer holiday participation.  This weekend sees a combination of an Archaeology Activity Day at Rockbourne Roman Villa, a Young Archaeologists Club Visit to Basing House, with the latter site also hosting a special ‘conservation workshop’ (restoring the brickwork is a more or less constant concern there) and a training excavation for students from the University of Southampton.  As the ‘person in the middle’, rather than muddle, I hope,  it’s my job to find good resource material and provide exciting opportunities.

Rockbourne is ‘RocDam’ at the moment as it’s linking with the archaeological work at Damerham – a neighbouring community project focused on long and round barrows.  These are obviously an archaeological world away from a Roman Villa, but there are some good points of comparison.  The project has already seen a school drama production, telling the story of the discovery of the sites and this weekend’s event will feature a new ‘excavation pit’ full of sherds, stones and bones and many other activities.  I’m currently sorting out some human bone for an osteology workshop and pepping up the site tour.

At Basing, the discovery of an in situ stone fireplace, hidden for centuries in the ruins, will be a good focus for the conservation day talks, and the dig – re-examining a few trenches not backfilled in the 1960s, will speak for itself.  The Young Archaeologists should be able to have a dig and I’m busy looking in the Museum stores to find some of the material dug up 50 years ago, just in case they draw a  blank.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The digpit at Rockbourne - ready and waiting

The digpit at Rockbourne – ready and waiting


Archaeological training at Basing.