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Archaeology Open Day at Soudley Camp

  • 27th October 2017

 

An archaeology open day is being held at Soudley Camp on Sunday 29th October 2017, 11am-3pm, including site tours, children’s activities and a display of finds that have been discovered. Archaeological investigations of the Camp are being carried out by a team of local volunteers and archaeologists from Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology over the last two weeks in October and the Open Day will provide an opportunity to find out what the team has discovered.

Soudley Camp is an enigmatic archaeological site on a promontory above the Soudley Brook, with a large bank and ditch defending its more accessible western side. No one knows quite what Soudley Camp was built for or how old it is – is it a Neolithic hilltop enclosure, defensive Iron Age settlement, or an early medieval castle? The site is officially recorded as an Iron Age ‘promontory fort’ or defended farmstead, but it doesn’t quite fit the typical form for these sites. Over two four day sessions, the team are hoping to find answers to some of these questions. In addition to three trenches and six small test pits, environmental samples will be taken across the ditch in the hope of establishing its depth.

Soudley Camp in the 1960s (image courtesy of Ruth Fletcher)

 

The Soudley Camp excavation is part of the Foresters’ Forest Programme, a Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership being led by the Forestry Commission. Another major aspect of the Foresters’ Forest Programme is to survey and investigate archaeological sites identified across the Forest of Dean by LiDAR survey. This is a form of aerial survey which has revealed over 1700 sites across the Forest, many of them previously unknown to archaeologists. There will be information available about this work presented at the Open Day and an opportunity to sign up to help surveying them over the next five years.

Access to Soudley Camp is off the road to Soudley School, on the right before the school buildings. Please feel free to drop in between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 29th October.

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