Archaeology isn’t just for grown-ups! This one-day DigCamp at Lindisfarne gives parents and children a very special opportunity to be part of the excavation team searching for one of Britain’s most iconic sites – the original Anglo-Saxon monastery once raided by the Vikings.
What’s special about a day digging at Lindisfarne?
In AD635, Oswald (King of Northumbria) founded a monastery on the tiny island of Lindisfarne. From humble beginnings, it quickly became the heart of this great Anglo-Saxon kingdom, and the wellspring of England’s Christianity.
This monastery is where the Lindisfarne Gospels were illustrated, where many of the treasures that adorned the altars of Europe’s churches were forged, where thousands of miracle-seeking pilgrims came to seek salvation and where the monks who populated the monasteries of England were trained. It was also where, in AD 793, the Vikings chose to launch their first major raid on the British Isles, heralding the start of the Viking Age.
The remains of this original monastery have never been found, apart from a few tantalizing clues, but we have some new evidence. This is your chance to be part of the excavation team that maybe, just maybe, finally finds it.
What will we be doing?
You really do get to be an archaeologist for the day! We’ll start by exploring the island, looking for clues about where King Oswald’s monastery might be. Then, we’ll show you how to identify different artefacts, and finally… we’ll show you how to dig!
Once you’re all trained up, you’ll get to jump into the trenches alongside our professional archaeologists and help them excavate Lindisfarne’s amazing secrets. You’ll also get to record anything you find on CyberDig – our whizzy new digital archaeology app built just for kids – so that everyone else can see what you’ve found too. In one single day, you’ll get to discover one of the most important sites in Anglo-Saxon history… and have a bucket-load of fun!
Who will we be digging with?
DigCampers will be working alongside our professional archaeologists (some of whom you may have seen on Time Team or presenting the BBC’s Ancient Voices), and Fergus – the world’s best archaeological dog!
What if it rains?
We understand that the British weather doesn’t always come up trumps, so if the heavens open we’ll get out of the muddy field and into the warm indoor archaeology laboratory to examine, question and record real archaeological objects.
Cost: £85 per parent-child team (ages 6-11), which includes tuition, coffee/tea, and all sessions. You can bring additional family members for an extra £10 each. If it’s a birthday present, drop us an email on email@example.com and we’ll send you a gift certificate once we’ve processed your booking.
Meeting Point: Lindisfarne is a tidal island and can only be reached by a causeway during safe crossing times. Northumberland.gov.uk lists safe crossing times on Saturday 22nd July as before 12:20 and after 18:45, but please ensure you double check the tide timetable yourself. We’ll send along further details about finding us once you book.
Lunch: Please come prepared with your own packed lunch. You won’t be able to get off the island during the day.
Snacks: We will have regular tea and comfort breaks, and there will be fruit and biscuits for everyone. But if you want something else to snack on, please bring it with you.
The Schedule – Saturday 22nd July
10:00 Arrival, Health and Safety talk, Risk Assessment
10:30 Site tour
12:00 Lunch (please bring a packed lunch)
13:00 Digging begins
15:00 Tea break
16:00 End of day!
Travel & Accommodation
Please note, accommodation is not included with DigCamp. Accommodation on the island is very limited, so get in early if that’s where you prefer to stay. Otherwise, we will be sending out details about camping on the mainland to all participants closer to the time.
What else should I bring?
As well as a packed lunch, you will need to bring weather-appropriate clothing. Yes, it will be the middle of summer, but you should remember to bring waterproofs and a a change of clothes just in case. We recommend:
- Full set of waterproofs, plus sunhat and sunscreen
- Sturdy footwear, like wellies and/or boots, plus a change of footwear (please remember that even in full sun, sandals will not be appropriate)
- Backpack: to bring a change of clothes to site
- Warm hat and gloves
- Packed lunch
- Plastic carrier bag: to put any muddy gear in on the way home
- Anything else you might need for a one-day outdoor adventure!
Any questions? Send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 011 3990