Residents encouraged to take part in archaeological dig

30 April 2019

Residents taking part in an archaeological dig

Residents taking part in an archaeological dig

Local residents are being encouraged to get involved with an archaeological excavation later this year.

People living in South Terrace and Bath Gardens in Boston have been asked to register their interest in the project which aims to discover more about the city’s medieval history.

The event – which is being organised by Boston Hanse Group, a group of volunteers who aim to develop tourism, commercial and business opportunities within the area – was officially launched on Tuesday 23 April and will run until Friday 14 June.  During the excavation there will be two open weekends – one on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May and one on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June – where the uncovered artifacts will be on display at Boston Guildhall Museum.

Residents in the area – including Waterloo Housing customers – have all been offered the opportunity to investigate the history of where they live and do their own archaeological excavation in their gardens, with guidance and assistance from professional archaeologists.  Dates still available for residents to join in the big dig are 2, 9, 12, 25, 26, 27 and 31 May and 2, 6, 7 and 8 June.

Andrea Gray, Head of Communities and Neighbourhoods at Waterloo Housing said : “This is such a fabulous project and we are delighted to support it.  We are sure it will be a very successful and interesting initiative.”

750 years ago the post of Boston was second only to London in importance.  Boston traded with the Hanseatic merchants from the Germanic and Baltic states including present day Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.  It exported vast quantities of wool and it was the wealth from this trade that financed the building of the Stump and the Guildhall.

Lydia Hendry, Community Archaeologist at Heritage Lincolnshire, which is running the dig on behalf of the Boston Hanse Group said : “Digging a test pit – which is what we will be doing in the area – is a fantastic way to investigate the history of an area and have a go at archaeological excavation.  Bath Gardens was built on an area of medieval settlement, approximately 800 years ago, but its history goes back even further than that.  Since then it has been a central part of Boston, a town which has won and lost its fortunes by the river.  Archaeology can help us tell this story.  Usually you will find pieces of pottery and other material or, if you’re lucky, archaeological features like rubbish pits, building postholes or wall foundations.”

Mike Peberdy, Trustee at the Boston Hanse Group said : “This community excavation project will not only allow those taking part to learn more about the history of the local area, but also provide a sense of community cohesion.  Previous archaeological work in South Terrace identified 13th and 14th century flood deposits so it is exciting to think what we could uncover in the spring and early summer this year.  We would like to encourage as many local residents to get involved in this project.”

The project is being funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Waterloo Housing is part of Platform Housing Group which provides more than 45,000 homes from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.

For more information or to book a test pit slot, contact Lydia Hendry on 01529 461499 or email her at lydia.hendry@heritagelincolnshire.org.