In April 2018, DigVentures headed to Workington to excavate Jane Pit for 10 days. The wind blew, the sun shone, the rain poured, and we had a fantastic time uncovering the track way, the horse gin and a miner’s cottage with our fabulous team of volunteers.
Jane Pit is an old mine dating to the mid 19th century. She opened in 1844 and closed just over 30 years later, in 1875. The mine shafts are long closed, but the engine house still stands proudly, looking just like a castle right in the centre of the town.
The Jane Pit project was a whole lot of firsts for DigVentures; it was the first time we’d dug industrial archaeology, and the first time we’d dug in the middle of a bustling town.
What we didn’t expect was that it would be the first time that the archaeology we were doing would inspire not one, not two but three local artists to create beautiful pieces of art for us as a memento of our first dig in the town. Receiving these works was incredibly moving, and deeply touched all of our staff.
These pieces will soon be proudly displayed in our HQ, but we wanted to share these with our entire community so everyone can enjoy them. From digital art to embroidery, Workington has truly spoiled us with creativity and imagination.
We’ll be back!
These two digital renderings were created by Simon Fielder. Simon has always been interested in history, and impressed us with his detailed record keeping in his log book of artefacts that he’s found while walking along the coast. We particularly love the contrast of the firey reds against Jane Pit reminding us of the iron smelting that would have been happening behind Jane Pit in the 20th century. You can find Simon on Twitter at @SimonFielderArt
Sarah Carter works locally as an art teacher, but has always wanted to try archaeology, she asked her mum to come along with her and they fast became our favourite mother-daughter duo! Sarah created these incredible two pieces below; she works in embroidery (right) and ink on paper (left). We love those fun splashes of colour. You can find more of her work on Twitter at @SarahC_Artist
We were presented with this beautiful water colour painting from Marty Strutt who took to archaeology like a duck takes to water. He caught the archaeology bug and immediately signed up for our online course, what a superstar! Marty’s twitter is @countrydudeuk
We also discovered that Workington has some budding artists as well, here are all the paintings and drawings done by primary children who visited the site!