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Clavering, Essex

The Essex Dig and Sow event for the East of England’s Cultural Olympiad took place in Clavering in May 2012. Twenty-nine test-pits were dug by local residents and volunteers in the village and surrounding countryside in an Olympic race against time to dig down back in time.

Amongst the finds was an almost complete seventeenth century Harlow slipware cup was found just under the surface of a gravel driveway. Another test-pit found a trading token referring to a ‘Thomas’ of Manuden. Thanks to our finds expert, Carole Fletcher from Oxford Archaeology East, a large quantity of medieval pottery was identified from Middle Street, in the heart of the village.

A huge thank you to Jacky Cooper of the Clavering Landscape History Group for recruiting test-pit sites in the village and organising the provision of tea and bisucits at our base at the Christian Centre.

Click here to view the project record.


100% of respondents rated their experience of the excavations as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, with 77% rating it as 'excellent', while 100% would recommend the activity to others.

"It was a wonderful community project which tied in well with the Cultural Olympiad. It was fascinating to see the huge array of finds from various periods in time." (AW, Clavering resident)

"It was fabulous and an excellent way to spend time with friends doing something totally different." (JK, Clavering resident)

"(What I enjoyed was) the sense of everyone joining together in the village: it was a shared experience." (LR, Clavering resident)

"Thank you so much for letting us take part in the dig. I have now got the 'digging' bug and will try to do many more! Such lovely people, the team and the dig hosts. A day to remember. Thank you!" (MP-L, Suffolk resident)