Leiston – Season 1 – Day 1

DAYONEBLGBreaking ground! 

It’s day one at the Leiston Abbey dig and we are doing groundbreaking work… 

See all the pictures here from Day One of Saints & Secrets on our Flickr page.

Read our blog post below and watch the video….



Another sunny morning on site and after some strong coffee we are ready to get to work. Kevin Turner arrived for us bright and early ready to drive our digger and open up some of our trenches. We are starting in Area One, on the North West field of the site. It is a large field full of rough ground and rabbit holes, and what looks like some very interesting earth works. We mapped out four separate trenches in this field with the geophysics crew at the weekend – so now all we have to open them up and remove the top soil, ready for when our Venturers arrive on Tuesday morning.

Kevin is an expert at using these machines to carefully dig archaeological trenches – which is more difficult than it sounds! Each layer has to be slowly scraped backwards at an even layer, bit by bit and the machine has to be precisely controlled. As well as that, Raskha, Brendon and Kerry have to watch vigilantly as each layer is uncovered to make sure nothing fragile or important is being dug through.

As the soil from each trench is uncovered, our chief Venturers Hugh and Ben get to work going over the spoil heap with the metal detector. First finds of the day include some exciting nails and a very small pony shoe! Find of the day though, has to be a 1950s pickle jar lid. This pickle in particular was made by a factory which burnt down, losing in the process the recipe for the pickle! So unfortunately, the pickle will never again be made exactly the same. Every artefact has a story to tell!

More of our Venturers have arrived – setting up their tents and looking forward to getting their hands dirty on trench! What will they find? More pickle jars? Or something a little more medieval? We can’t wait to find out!


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