Southborough Valley Community Archaeology Project


Friday, 30 October 2015

Research visit to Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery

Jane loves a bit of pottery
When the trowels are scraped clean and the drawing boards are put away, you will often find the field archaeologist seeking out a local ale house to quench the thirst of a hard day’s work. What happens then when the winter months close in and there is no activity on site? 

Rob is trained on how to lift boxes! 
Desk based research is the bane of many archaeologists. This is a time to open up the files and folders, reacquaint oneself with the Harris matrix and try to put all the pieces back together. As the first season of excavation has officially come to an end, a team has been assembled to take on the task of understanding what we have uncovered in the Southborough Valley this summer.

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery holds in its collection an extensive amount of archaeological material which can be used for research.  SHAAS was fortunate to be given access to the material recovered from J. H. Money’s excavations of the Iron Age hill-fort at Castle Hill and the iron working site of Minepit Wood. The SHAAS researchers spent the day digging through the basement of the museum in order to better understand the archaeology of the surrounding area. 

Jenny prefers the paper trail.

Some like to delegate... 
Flint Photo Shoot. 
We were pleasantly surprised by the high standard of site records from the 1960s. J.H. Money definitely was a diligent archaeologist. Our desk based research will certainly benefit from accessing primary sources. 

A very enjoyable and productive day.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

19th St Mathew's Beavers, Cubs & Scouts

Southborough & High Brooms Amateur Archaeology Society (SHAAS) held their inaugural educational visit from the 19th St Mathew's Beavers, Cubs & Scouts at the end of September. Simon Bamblett and Robert Falvey have spent a number of weeks developing an Educational Outreach Programme for SHAAS. The first of these talks was held at St Mathew's High Brooms CE Primary School.

Community outreach visit

Simon and Robert presented a 15-20 minute presentation to each of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts troops in advance of their visit to the working archaeological site. SHAAS has now had a request from further Scout troops in the area on the back of this successful event.


The talk includes a handling collection which provides a special encounter with the past. At SHAAS we believe it is important to connect the local community with the archaeology of their area. Offering people the opportunity to hold the ancient artefacts, provides a thrill of coming in almost direct contact with the original creators and users of these objects.

Educational visit to archaeological excavation

SHAAS has constructed an outdoor classroom area in the woods adjacent to the excavation trenches. From here an entertaining and educational talk can be delivered about the Iron Age past of the Southborough Valley. The first Beavers, Cubs & Scout visit was a great success, and the children had a great deal of fun as they learned about Iron Age. The activities were designed to tailor to both the younger children, learning about archaeology for the first time, and those older children who seem to be experts already.


On the big day, some of the activities included reassembling Iron Age (type) pots, test trenches for learning to use trowels in the trenches and understanding how artefacts and features are recorded. It is part of a full programme of learning visits which are to be rolled out over the coming few months. These include:

  • Introduction to the general themes of archaeology
  • To examine post-excavation processes and artefact analysis
  • Desk Based Research: using historical maps in conducting archaeological surveys

If you would like to learn more about Educational Outreach Programme provided by SHAAS then please contact via the "Contact Us" section on our blog.