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Bures Common

Three trial trenches were excavated on Bures Common, adjacent to the River Stour in Bures Hamlet in Essex, and seven small archaeological test pits were also excavated in private gardens and on the common through the villages of Bures Hamlet and Bures St Mary in Suffolk from the 25th to 29th June 2012.

The trench excavations were undertaken by 46 volunteers, and the test pits were dug by 17 Year 10 (14-15 year old) students and 5 accompanying staff from Great Cornard Upper School (now Thomas Gainsborough School). Over 280 people visited the excavations and signed the visitor book, and 4 classes of 30 students at Bures Primary School visited and took part in the trench excavations, with accompanying staff and family members.


100% of respondents rated their experience of the excavations as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, and 72% rated it as ‘excellent’, while 100% would recommend the activity to others.

“I have loved ever second… Without this kind of community dig I don’t think I would have had the confidence to start a degree level course. Thank you again.” (AP)

“A very enjoyable week with a great team of people, hard work at times but well worth it. Thanks for the opportunity to take part.” (DB)

“The team are superb and make everyone very welcome and we are very much made to feel part of the team. Well done the Access Archaeology team and Managing a Masterpiece.” (PC)

“The atmosphere on site was cheerful, co-operative and relaxed, but one was aware of course of the methodical approach to the project. All needs expertly catered for! Thanks to the team for sharing their knowledge and explaining things, and we were kept informed throughout with briefings.” (JM)