Could you help the Berkshire Archaeological Society at Ankerwycke Priory in July?
Ankerwycke Priory lies on the eastern bank of the River Thames opposite Runnymede on a site which is owned by the National Trust. The Priory was a Benedictine nunnery founded around AD 1160. Originally a wooden structure, this was replaced by buildings constructed of chalk blocks. The buildings were not extensive as there were never more than 10 nuns housed there. In the surrounding area there were two fishponds, watercourses and ditches, a building platform and a probable water feature. Excavations around the remains have exposed chalk walls and tile floors in situ and medieval and post medieval pottery. The Ankerwycke Yew stands to the north of the ruins and may be 2000 years old.
An opportunity to join in
In July, the Berkshire Archaeological Society is partnering the National Trust to carry out a geophysics survey of three fields around the Priory. Further to this, as part of the Festival of Archaeology, they are planning a Visitors Experience with a gazebo and explanation boards.
They would be delighted if members of Datchet Village Society would join them for any of these activities. All you need is an interest in local history; you don’t need any experience in archaeology. Even if you don’t want to take part, visitors are also welcome.
With the resistivity survey, there are three roles to perform: surveying using a resistivity meter, moving the ropes and tapes used for guiding the survey and managing the cable which links the meter to a set of probes. With the magnetometer survey, volunteers can actually survey using the meter and moving the ropes and tapes used to guide the survey. The Berkshire Archaeological Society will be pleased to train people on site so you feel comfortable doing these tasks. The visitor experience will have notice boards explaining the site and work that is being done. Volunteers involved in the experience will be answering visitors’ questions about the site and, again, help will be at hand to get you started.
WHERE You can visit the site by driving to the car park in Magna Carta Lane, Wraysbury and following the signs.
WHEN The Berkshire Archaeological Society will be on site between Saturday 13 July and Sunday 28 July, except Monday 15 and Monday 22 July.
The working day on site is likely to be:
10:00 meet in the Magna Carta car park with all the equipment to go on site, establish the Visitor Experience.
11:00 Visitor Experience opens, geophysics work starts.
15:00: Visitor Experience closes, geophysics work stops,
16:00 Visitor Experience taken off site, leave the site.
HOW TO BOOK If you can spare a few hours or a day or two, you will be very welcome. It is a big site to cover in the two weeks. Please let the Berkshire Archaeological Society know when you will be able to join them so that they can manage the volunteers appropriately. Email Andrew Hutt, Project Leader, Berkshire Archaeological Society ankerwycke(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)berksarch.co.uk or Anne Harrison, BAS Secretary, secretary(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)berksarch.co.uk with details of the activities you would like to help with and the days you would like to go on site.