Pupils discover a passion for history at Southwater dig

18 July 2012

Pupils discover a passion for history

A trip to Harvest Meadows, Bovis Homes' new development in Southwater, has inspired a bunch of budding young archaeologists in the West Sussex village to take up the trowel.

As part of the preparatory work that goes on before new homes are built, Bovis Homes brought in Archaeology South East (ASE) to explore the Harvest Meadows land for historical artefacts.

And they were joined in their work by some local groups, including children from Castlewood Primary School, who went along to get some hands-on experience of the work of an archaeologist.

Year 5 Class Teacher Jo Friend said: "Our visit to the dig in Southwater has inspired several children to become archaeologists themselves. They were absolutely fascinated with the artefacts that had already been found and were very interested in hearing about what they were used for and how old they were.

"Visiting the site enabled them to see first hand what was happening in Southwater hundreds and even thousands of years ago and they were able to relate some of the activities to our lives today. For instance, throwing away rubbish was just as much an issue in Medieval times as it is now!

"The highlight for the children was probably their own finds - part of a pipe and pieces of pottery - and being allowed to dig in the spoil heap. They were very proud of their finds and brought them back to school where the children displayed them."

ASE have also been helped in their work over the past few weeks by the Southwater Local History and Horsham District Archaeology groups.

ASE Project Manager Neil Griffin said: "Without the Bovis Homes development offering this archaeological opportunity, the interesting Roman and Medieval finds we have made would most likely have lain undiscovered and maybe even lost forever through ploughing. We are still investigating many items to find out exactly what they are and what they were used for but they include a jug, a whet stone for sharpening blades, coins and pottery.

Simon Stevens, archaeologist with pupils at southwater dig "We have now concluded our on-site investigations, have handed the site back to Bovis Homes and will now begin the process of looking at all the objects and information retrieved from site in greater detail before publishing our results. Working with local communities is an important part of our role and we will be returning to Southwater to give talks to local groups in the coming months."

Bovis Homes Associate Land Director Doug Law added: "Archaeology work is carried out as a matter of course on our developments and provides a great opportunity to work with the local community and develop positive relationships.

"We're delighted to have funded this important work and now look forward to creating a new part of the Southwater community which will one day have a history all of its own."