The results of the West Wickham Big Village Dig in 2013 generated interesting possibilities for renewed research of the origin and development of the village; for the first time identifying a possible Saxo-Norman settlement focus in the vicinity of the parish church at the south-western end of the modern settlement. This would appear to pre-date the settlements of Burton End and Streetly End which were, however, in existence by 1100-1200 AD, much earlier than previously thought, as pottery finds show.
In the summer of 2015, West Wickham and District Local History Club decided to continue research started during the Big Dig, with Dig 2 taking place over the weekend of 11-12 July, 2015 as part of the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of British Archaeology. This was followed by Dig 3 on the weekend of July 16-17, 2016, and Dig 4 on the weekend of July 15-16, 2017. A fifth weekend of excavation is currently planned for July 28-29, 2018.
The aim of these excavations is:
- To involve local people in excavating archaeological test pits to discover when and where medieval settlement took place.
- And to inspire and stimulate wider interest in the history of the village by giving people the opportunity to take part in a hands-on archaeological project.
Our results will also be considered in relation to the region’s Research Framework and Agenda. This has highlighted the origin and development of medieval rural settlements, particularly how they appear, grow, shift and disappear, as an important research topic. It is also hoped that information gained from our project can feed into broader regional and national studies of currently occupied rural settlements (CORS).
To find out more about our recent excavations click on a link below, or visit our blog page to read our latest news.