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Mount Bures

Access Cambridge Archaeology, on behalf of the HLF-funded Managing a Masterpiece scheme, ran a two-week public programme of community archaeological excavation, test pitting and survey on and around Mount Bures Castle between the 8th and 19th of August 2011 (excluding the weekend).  

Three trial trenches were dug on and around the summit of Mount Bures Castle and archaeological survey and digging of eight test pits was undertaken in the vicinity of the monument as well as the land around the motte and church. 72 people registered and took part in the excavations, and more than 200 people visited the excavations, received a tour explaining about the site and the excavation and signed the visitor book.

Click here to view the project report.


98% of respondents rated their experience of the excavation as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, and 80% rated it ‘excellent’, while 98% would recommend the activity to others.

“It truly has been a unique experience. It has been fascinating to get an insight into how archaeologists look at the world and how their skills enable them to interpret what they see. The team leading this dig have been a joy to know and work with. I feel privileged to have been part of this experience and will carry happy memories for the rest of my life. Thank you all.” (JR)

“I had a fabulous time and I felt welcomed by all of the people on the dig. The archaeologists were willing to share their knowledge which meant that I felt much more welcome. Thank you.” (CG)

“I’ve always wanted to be part of a dig and I feel proud I’ve done my bit for the local community. Overall I’ve really enjoyed myself and would love to take part in further digs. Thanks for a great time.” (DB)

“It was great to meet such interesting people from diverse backgrounds and all age ranges… excellent teamwork after a couple of days of getting to know each other. Well organised in general. I was impressed with all the visitors allowed on site and experts sharing their knowledge.” (SW)

“My expectations were exceeded a million fold. It was an absolute privilege and pleasure to work on the Mount Bures dig for the full two weeks. The facilities, site leadership, information, administration, hospitality and work have all been wonderful so thank you very much for the experience. I can simply sum it up by saying I will be back to volunteer with Access Cambridge Archaeology and Managing a Masterpiece in the future. Thanks again.” (LB)