The group is a small band of amateur archaeologists who engage in
practical fieldwork and historical research to discover and record
Rutland's ancient past. Most of the projects we undertake focus on
field-walking which involves systematically collecting and recording
surface finds from plough soil. The first task is to negotiate access with
the farm owner or manager. Fortunately, most farmers support the
group’s activities and allow us on to the land when they are not
working it. After gridding out the area into 20 metre squares, the team
members collect all material in each square which shows evidence of
human activity. Most of the finds are pottery sherds, worked flint and
iron smelting slag. Building materials and metal objects such as coins
and buckles are occasionally found.
We have regular group sessions where we identify, record and plot the
find locations on a map. A report is prepared, and a copy is lodged
with the Sites & Monuments Record for Leicestershire and Rutland. A
copy also given to the landowner. The material is usually held at
Rutland County Museum, where it is accessible for other researchers.
In the past
the Group has been involved in a
wide range of archaeological
activities. These include
fieldwalking on the Romano-British
site at Thistleton, field-walking at
Beaumont Chase which suggested
Palaeolithic activity, excavation at
Wymondham led by the University
of Nottingham and geophysical
surveys conducted by the
University Leicester at Thistleton.
More recently, members
participated in an excavation on a
prehistoric earthwork at Ridlington
run by University of Leicester
Archaeological Services (ULAS). Group members have also been involved in events run by the LMAFG at Jewry Wall Museum and Donington-le-Heath
Manor House and for the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) Festival of Archaeology. Since 2015, we have concentrated on field-walking in
Ridlington and Preston. We found some evidence of Roman activity, and substantial amounts of Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic worked flint on
the Ridlington ridge.
Individual members have also published their work. The most recent being the ‘Oakham Parish Field-walking Survey’ by Elaine Jones in 2007, for which
she was awarded the Miss Linford Award by the Leicestershire Museums Archaeological Fieldwork Group (LMAFG) for the best archaeological project in
the two counties.
New members are welcome, and membership is free to Society members. No experience is needed as training is provided. All you need is enthusiasm, a
love of being outdoors, a willingness to get muddy and some good thermals as most of the field-walking is done in the Autumn and Winter months.
See also Thistleton Secrets Revealed
A group identification and recording session: Andrew Mills, Elaine Jones, Jo Holroyd (hidden), Jane Greenhalgh and David Brown
Some members of the group in 2019: Jane Greenhalgh, Fatima Sharman, Estelle Slegers,
Pene Rowe, Jo Holroyd, Linda Dalby Andrew Mills, Elaine Jones, Marion Drake and David Brown
Marion Drake and Andrew Mills gridding out ready for fieldwalking
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