GREAT PARK WOOD EXCAVATION – 2024 DIG DATES

Excavating at Great Park Wood

A Romano-British bloomery smelting site at Udimore in East Sussex, dated to the 2nd century AD, is currently under investigation.

Confirmed dig dates for 2024 are Saturday 15 June and Saturday 29 June, starting at 10.00am.

The above dates are weather dependent. The base of our main trench is about 1.8 m below ground level because we have had to remove over a metre of hill wash before we encounter the layers associated with iron-making. The trench acts as a sump whenever it rains and is slow to drain naturally. We have to resort to a pump to remove water and then leave the trench for a few days to dry before archaeology is possible. In addition the exceptional rainfall over the past six months has raised the local water table so that the dryer trenches have water oozing into them. Sun and a gentle breeze are much needed.

For further details contact Bob Turgoose or 01424 882657

EXPERIMENTAL FURNACE SMELTING – Volunteers needed!

Smelting at Pippingford

The group carries out experiments in a bloomery furnace similar to those that were operated in the Weald from pre-Roman times until the end of the Middle Ages.

The smelting programme has finished for the year and will resume in 2024, when further details will be posted here.

The number of regular smelting team members has diminished and new members are sought. Smelts usually take place once a month from the Spring to the Autumn. If you would like to become part of the regular team please contact Tim Smith by e-mail secretary@wealdeniron.org.uk or Tel: 01403 710148.

The site is in Pippingford Park TQ 4382 3074 (off the A22: heading from Wych Cross, 1.5 miles S, entrance on left at beginning of layby; or approx. 3 miles N of Nutley – entrance on right at N end of layby – map can be supplied on request).