Trent and Peak Archaeology is very keen to show DVS what has been found during recent archaeological investigations at Southlea Farm. They are organising two visits on Thursday 11 October but places are limited to 15 people per visit. If you’d like to come along, please do book as soon as possible.
You may remember that, in the 1990s, a DVS group investigated cropmarks seen in aerial photos of Southlea with exceptional results. Finds ranged from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages to the Roman period; from 6000 years ago to when the Romans left Britain 1600 years ago. As the proposed route of the new River Thames Scheme from Datchet to Teddington will run through this prehistoric settlement site, preliminary surveys have been carried out to assess whether archaeological material is still to be found, and if excavation should take place. Trent and Peak Archaeology have been opening trial trenches, though covering them over again, and they have finds to show us.
The visit will not involve actual fieldwalking or finds-processing as the DVS has done before. Instead, it will be an update on how the professionals have been investigating the site and what they have found. Please be warned that the site may be very muddy and difficult underfoot.
When: Thursday, 11 October, 12 noon and 2pm. There are 15 places on each tour so bookings will be on a first come, first served basis. Please let us know if there’s a time you’d prefer.
Where: We will meet at the lay-by on Southlea Road near Southlea Farm, Southlea Road, Datchet SL3 9BZ. Parking will be available in the lay-by. Please see map and details below.
Cost: This event is free to DVS members. Please bring along your DVS membership card.
How to book: Places are limited so booking is essential. Please book as soon as possible by emailing Janet, janet(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)datchet.com (or use the ‘Get in Touch’ page on this website), or call Janet on 01273 204330, and tell us whether you have a preference for the 12pm or 2pm visit. We’ll then confirm your booking and the time of your visit, and will send further details.
Health and safety: Please wear sensible and sturdy footwear, with ankle support if possible, as the ground will be uneven, and prepare for all eventualities regarding the British weather! Please stay with the group and do not wander off the chosen route, due to machinery and deep trenches nearby. Please do not get too close to the trench edges, they can be liable to collapse.
For more information: click here to read full details about the DVS archaeology project on the Datchet History website. There is also a full-colour leaflet and a cabinet of some of the previous finds at Datchet library, or click here to view the leaflet online. To read more about the Environment Agency’s archaeological surveys, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/archaeology-surveys-june-2017-river-thames-scheme
Southlea Farm Site Tour: Where to meet
Laura Binns will meet everyone 10 minutes before their chosen time-slot at this lay-by. If you have any problems or if you are going to be a few minutes late to the meeting point, please send Laura a message or give her a ring so she knows to wait for you – 07767 238756
The group will then walk to the farm and through the farmyard to the main gate where we will be let in by the on-site staff. We will take a walk around some of the closer trenches before returning back to the site welfare facilities where there will be some finds on display. We will then walk back to the lay-by as a group. The tour will last no more than an hour.