Leiston Abbey

Hundreds of crowdfunders helped us investigate the story of (two!) medieval abbeys in coastal Suffolk. Find out what we discovered.

102.9% Funded
£18,530 Pledged
£18,000 Goal

Have you always wanted to try archaeology, or just love learning about it? Have you already done a bit of digging, and can’t wait to get back into the trenches?

Would you like to be a part of internationally-important research at a Scheduled Ancient Monument that’s changing the way archaeology is done forever? Now is your chance!

The Leiston Abbey 2015 project is shaping up to be the biggest season yet at this fantastic site. Following on from the tremendous success of last year’s launch of Digital Dig Team, it’s time to take things one step further! This year, there’s even more opportunities to get involved – online or in the field! There is so much work still to be done – we need all the help we can get!

How much do we need to raise?

We need to raise £18,000 – we have so many questions to answer and last year, our post-excavation budget was blown by the discovery of some very special finds which needed a lot of TLC. We’ve got big questions to answer and several targets across the site – the more we raise, the more archaeology we can do!

How do I take part?

You can join the team and support us through buying benefits. The more you contribute, the bigger your reward and the more involved you can become – from being one of the first to hear about our finds, to rolling up your sleeves and joining us in the trenches.

What do I get?

Everyone who supports the project, at any reward level, will get daily digests, an exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ log-in to the Digital Dig Team system, and an invitation to join us at Leiston Abbey for the End of Site party! Want more? Pick a benefit level to suit you!

Tell me about the archaeology

DigVentures began work at Leiston Abbey in July 2013. Since then, we’ve had two amazing seasons with our crowdfunded participants, exceeding our fundraising and participation goals to become the first team ever to run a full programme of archaeological excavation on the site. We’ve got it all to play for as we take to the fields in search of Leiston’s lost history. Please join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to investigate a nearly untouched site with a full programme of archaeological fieldwork!

Read more here about Leiston Abbey, click the picture above to see the Digital Dig Team feature in this month’s Current Archaeology, or Learn more about our unique approach to discovering and making history.

Tell me about Digital Dig Team – and how it’s changing the way archaeology is done

Last year, we were thrilled to receive a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop Digital Dig Team – the only app that enables archaeologists to upload their data straight from the trenches and make it instantly available online. Entered straight from the trenches on iPads, tablets and smartphones, archaeological data is instantly accessible, from anywhere in the world, on an open-access project website. We make it possible for the public to participate in archaeological excavation alongside expert archaeologists in the trenches through using the Digital Dig Team online platform. We absolutely could not have done it without our worldwide community, both the passionate armchair archaeologists as well as over 200 Venturers from 13 countries who joined us on site for archaeological field skills training, as well as to take part in our fabulous Archaeological Photography and Medieval Pottery Masterclasses and DVIP lecture series.

Tell me how this is helping Leiston Abbey

As any of our Venturers can tell you, Leiston Abbey is a magical place. One of the most important aspects of working there is the fabulous surroundings; the ruins are not only beautiful, but are also one of the most important and best-preserved examples of a Premonstratensian Abbey in England. The site is managed by Pro Corda, a registered charity and school devoted to nurturing young musical talent through ensemble and performance training. Pro Corda has invited DigVentures to help them understand the heritage of the site and integrate this fantastic resource with the artistic life of the school, ensuring that our team’s work will have a lasting legacy in the future of this fantastic place. Most importantly, we welcomed many local residents and other people to Leiston Abbey who had never previously visited – with over 49% being new audience for the site. What a result! And that’s only the beginning – we’re working with Pro Corda to integrate the heritage offer into the rich musical life of the school, making the site even more accessible to as a resource for the local community.

What’s it like to join the fieldschool?

We’ve had one of the nicest campsites any of us had ever seen, fantastic food, perfect digging weather, and an End of Site Party that went on until the wee hours. Legendary fun! We’ll be working and living amongst the medieval ruins, and having our daily meals catered in the school’s lovely dining room. Amenities such as showers and toilets are available, and there is a fully stocked and staffed bar in the 14th century thatched barn. This is truly top-notch site life! The field school at Leiston Abbey (for those who purchase a benefit at £165 and above) will be very exciting this year. We’ve put a lot of thinking into making this the best experience possible, whether you are digging for a day, a weekend, a week or the whole project. We’ve expanded our team of experts, and there will be dedicated staff providing orientation, training and instruction, as well as evening lectures, fun outings and plenty of time for questions. And some surprises, of course! Places in the field school (from 13th July – 26th July) are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. We sold out quite quickly last year!

Coming Soon

Coming Soon.

Coming Soon.

Digital Dig Team

The Leiston Abbey dig was part of our Digital Dig Team initiative which crowdfunds and crowdsources new archaeology projects. Digital Dig Team creates greater public access to the rich archaeological heritage at sites like Leiston Abbey.

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