Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Anglo-Saxon Grave Workshop for Schools

One of the activities we do with school children is the Anglo-Saxon skeleton, usually as part of 'Invaders & Settlers' aspect of the national curriculum. Our archaeologists base the workshop on the discovery of an Anglo-Saxon burial, and what this can tell us about Saxon life. We have a replica skeleton along with grave goods, based on local examples, which children can handle. 

Uncovering a skeleton leads to all sorts of question for archaeologists, and the information the items give can lead to a very different picture of The Dark Ages, so it is great way for children to think about the process of discovering and analysing the evidence of the past. Questions include:

  • Is it a male or female? Which bones do archaeologists look at for signs of whether skeleton is of a male of female? What can the goods and skeleton tell us? (we have example artefacts from the other gender too so we cover both!)
  • What has survived and was has rotted away, such as wood and food?
  • What do the grave goods indicate about how the person lived, and about their religious beliefs? Where do the goods come from, how far have they travelled?
  • What can we tell about their thoughts about the afterlife?
  • Are there similarities with today?

Male grave goods
The objects we have are based in many cases from examples discovered by our archaeologists at sites in Worcestershire, so provides a local link to the subject. We'll also include details of some of the other excavations in the county which have yielded clues to life in that period, including clothes and buildings.

Saucer brooch found near Evesham

If you are interested in coming to The Hive for one of these sessions, or in us coming out to your school, please email explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk or phone 01905 766352.

Anglo Saxon cremation urn

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Love Archaeology - a free family event at The Hive

Families will be able to see some of the animal bones we have discovered and find out more of the story behind them

On Thursday, 19th February families can visit The Hive to find out what archaeologists do. Rob Hedge, our Community Archaeologist, and former digger on Time Team, will have a range of objects we've discovered over the years. You can also find out about what we discovered when we dug on the site of The Hive before it was built, including part of Roman Worcester. On the day families can: 

  • Handle real Roman pottery, and see if you can correctly identify them from our guides
  • Examine remains from rubbish pits under a microscope to see what the remains tell us about what people ate and how they lived
  • See animal bones we've discovered & find out what this tells us
  • Design a medieval tile, similar to examples we've found in Worcester

The event is free, and you can drop in anytime between 10am and 3pm in the children's library in The Hive. The event is part of the Love Worcester festival and you can find out more about events at other venues through www.visitworcestershire.org

Rob will be there on the day to guide families through to work of an archaeologist

Friday, 13 February 2015

Our popular Ancestry workshops are returning to The Hive!

Our popular Ancestry.co.uk workshops are running again and will be starting in late February. If you want to know more about the website and the sources it contains, and want to really get the most out of your research on the site, our workshops are a great place to start. Some people who come along have never used Ancestry and want some guidance before beginning, not knowing where to start, whilst others are familiar with the site but are a bit confused by what they are finding, or want to make sure they're getting everything they can from it. Each workshop begins in a meeting room here at The Hive looking at the background to the different sources and the principles of searching, before moving on to computers so you can have a go at searching the different sources and trying out what you have learnt.

Starting Ancestry – The Census     Tue 24th Feb 10am-12pm

Beginners guide to the website focusing on the census records, one of the most important sources for family historians.

Further Ancestry- Beyond the Census     Tue 3rd March 10am-12pm

Find out what else can be found on the website, such as birth/marriage/death record, criminal records and military information.

What's new on Ancestry.co.uk      Tue 10th March 10am-12pm

Ideal if you already use the website but want to keep up to date with sources that have been added over the past couple of years.

All workshops cost £6 and can be booked via explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk or by phoning 01905 766352.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Love Worcester Heritage Festival: Dandy Row

If you were following our blog posts in November you will remember our series about Dandy Row which we featured as part of the Explore Your Archive campaign. We began to research the history of this small terrace of houses after finding a photo in the archives which dated back to about 1900 and subsequently discovered characters such as Jeremiah Pitt, Albert Dufty, Nathaniel Wale and Mrs Tandy.

The photograph which sparked interest in Dandy Row. With thanks to Mr Gwillam for use of this image.

We thought that Dandy Row and some of its inhabitants were so interesting we wanted to revisit them and share some of the information that we had gathered. With this in mind we have planned an event for children and families on Saturday 14th February 10-3 as part of the Love Worcester Heritage Festival.

Children will have the chance to handle objects similar to those that residents might have used and find out how they lived as well as draw some of the people who lived in Dandy Row. We will also have a story about Mrs Tandy the Washer Woman, written especially for this event.

The event will take place in the Children's Library at the Hive and is part of the Love Worcester Heritage Festival. More details about the Festival and other events taking place can be found at http://tinyurl.com/lcgdc93

You can find all our Dandy Row blog posts on Storify: 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Your Place Matters: Community Planning for the future of rural buildings and their setting

You can find out more about how to get involved in developing a toolkit to empower communities to better understand and assess historic rural buildings and their settings by checking our new leaflet (please click on image for full-sized version):

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Love (& Death) in the Archives

Love is in the archives, and you can find out more on Tuesday 17th February at our workshop about parish records, which will be held at The Hive. Within the many parish records held here at Worcestershire Archives are the parish registers, including marriage registers, and the baptisms which then resulted from many of these partnerships. The third part of the registers are the burials, the final part of 'hatched, matched and dispatched'.

The registers are heavily used by family and local historians, as they detail thousands and thousands of Worcestershire people, crucial for tracing your family tree, particularly before civil registration began in 1837. In amongst these names are little stories and unusual occurrences, such as wife sales, earthquakes, plague, and disputes over unidentified bodies.

Paul Hudson, Learning and Outreach Manager, will be guiding you through our parish records workshop.

Registers though are just part of the story, as the parish was a useful administrative body for all sorts of jobs. Poor Law, charities and apprenticeships also fell under the remit of the parish, and these records are less well known and underused - but they can still tell a tale of the local people and village.

This workshop is a repeat of a popular event we have held before; the previous workshop was fully booked so you will need to book your places soon if you want the chance to come along this time. Lasting 2.5 hours, you will get the opportunity to see some of Worcestershire's original documents from the past 500 years as well as find out how to search for the records your research requires.

The workshop coincides with Love Worcester, a week-long festival of heritage in Worcester. For more details about other events see www.visitworcestershire.org or #loveworcester on twitter.

The workshop costs £8. To book a place please email us on explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk or phone 01905 766352.