Saints & Secrets: the Lost History of Leiston Abbey

This listing expired on June 10, 2013. Please contact lisa@digventures.com for any updated information.

Leiston Abbey from the air

Location: Leiston Abbey, United Kingdom

Season Dates: July 2, 2013 - July 14, 2013
Application Deadline: June 10, 2013

Website: http://www.digventures.com

Program Type
Field school
Volunteer

Affiliation: DigVentures

Project Director: Brendon Wilkins MA MIAI MIFA

Project Description

 

DigVentures Ltd will be excavating the striking 14th century ruins of Leiston Abbey, one of the most completely preserved examples of a Premonstratensian monastery in the United Kingdom. And even better: our project will be the first-ever full programme of archaeological fieldwork on this amazing site.
 
Our work will be essential in identifying and understanding the archaeology at Leiston Abbey, how to build it into the foundations of a five-year Strategic Heritage Plan, and what this means for the future sustainability of the site.
 
We need to raise £18,000 to make this incredible project happen – and you can be a part of it, by supporting us through buying benefits. The more you contribute, the more involved you can become – from being one of the first to hear about our finds, to rolling up your sleeves and joining us on site.
 
What will we discover about the physical and social organisation of the abbey and its development, including its dissolution and adaptation as a farmstead?  What was the earlier phase of occupation pre-dating the abbey? What are all the mysterious humps and bumps surrounding the site?
 
It’s all up for debate, as we take to the fields in search of Leiston’s lost history. Please join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to investigate a nearly untouched site with a full programme of archaeological fieldwork!
 
Saints & Secrets
Leiston Abbey is owned by Pro Corda, a registered charity and school devoted to nurturing young musical talent through ensemble and performance training. Pro Corda has invited DigVentures to help them understand the heritage of the site, and integrate this fantastic resource with the artistic life of the school – meaning that our work will have a lasting legacy in the future of this fantastic place.
 
As soon as you support the project at any level, you will begin to receive news from the Site Hut, our online news hub containing exclusive daily project updates, interviews, films, and photos. If you can’t join us in the field, we’d love a crew of armchair archaeologists out there following our every move.
 
The field school at Leiston Abbey  (for those who purchase a benefit at £135 and above) will be really exciting this year. We’ve put a lot of thinking into making this the best experience possible, whether you are digging for a day, a week, two weeks, or the whole project. There will be dedicated staff providing orientation, training and instruction, as well as evening lectures, fun outings and plenty of time for questions. And some surprises, of course!
 
DigVentures Ltd will be excavating the striking 14th century ruins of Leiston Abbey, one of the most completely preserved examples of a Premonstratensian monastery in the United Kingdom. And even better: our project will be the first-ever full programme of archaeological fieldwork on this amazing site.
 
Our work will be essential in identifying and understanding the archaeology at Leiston Abbey, how to build it into the foundations of a five-year Strategic Heritage Plan, and what this means for the future sustainability of the site.
 
We need to raise £18,000 to make this incredible project happen – and you can be a part of it, by supporting us through buying benefits. The more you contribute, the more involved you can become – from being one of the first to hear about our finds, to rolling up your sleeves and joining us on site.
 
What will we discover about the physical and social organisation of the abbey and its development, including its dissolution and adaptation as a farmstead?  What was the earlier phase of occupation pre-dating the abbey? What are all the mysterious humps and bumps surrounding the site?
 
It’s all up for debate, as we take to the fields in search of Leiston’s lost history. Please join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to investigate a nearly untouched site with a full programme of archaeological fieldwork!
 
Places in the field school (from 2nd July – 13th July) are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
Click here for more information about the archaeological objectives and project design
 
…and here for more about the Leiston Abbey site
 
…and finally here, for FAQs, and more about the field school and what to expect on site!
 
What do I do?
 
Pick a benefit level and purchase! Tell your friends and everyone you know, and ask them to get involved too. You can also purchase benefits as a gift for someone else: don’t we all know someone who has a bit of a geeky fascination with archaeology? Send them our way!
 
The more people who get involved, the more work we can do. And this year isn’t the end – there’s more work at Leiston Abbey than we could possibly finish in one season! Planning for the 2014 season is already underway, and we’ll be running more weekends after the summer as we evaluate the results and plan an updated Project Design based on the findings.
 
What happens after I have bought a benefit?
 
First things first, you will receive an email from us acknowledging your purchase and welcoming you to the DigVentures team. Immediately after the funding window closes, we will ship all physical merchandise such as pins and tee-shirts to our digital Venturers – those of you who will be joining us on site will receive your items when you arrive.
 
If you have purchased a benefit to join us on the dig, we will contact you right away to arrange a date, as places are limited and dates will be available on a first-come, first served basis.
 
Did we mention the party?
 
The End of Site party, of course! Every good site has a great party to celebrate the end of a successful season, and we’re no exception. Everyone who funds us will be invited to the DigVentures End of Site Party, where you will see a presentation on the season’s initial results, catch up on project news, mingle with the archaeologists, and get to meet other Venturers. And there’s bound to be some dancing too…
 
*Please note, the End of Site party is scheduled for Saturday 13th July at Leiston Abbey from 7:00pm – 11:00pm. Some camping sites or other accommodation may be available, and there are plenty of B&Bs in the area. Stay tuned for more details!
 
How do I get in touch with the DigVentures team?
 
We’re here for you! All emails sent to info@digventures.com will be read and replied to by one of the team. We’re also on Twitter (@TheDigVenturers), Facebook and Skype (digventures). Our office number is 0208 333 5770, but we’re often out on site, so email is best.
 
A little bit of fine print…
 
This dig is appropriate for people of all skill levels. Beginners welcome!
 
Training will be provided in excavation, recording, finds processing, buildings recording, geophysics and more. Evening lecture series included.
Facilities include camping with on site showers and catering.
We can accommodate all ranges of physical mobility.
Must be 17 or older. We will accept 15 -16 year olds if accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times who is also a registered participant of the dig

 

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval, with unknown earlier phase

Project Size: 50+ participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: one day

Minimum Age: 17

Experience Required: Field school caters to all levels from beginner to experienced.

Room and Board Arrangements

Included in the registration cost. We will be camping on site, and using existing amenities inlcuding toilets, showers and laundry facilities. Meals are catered in the school's kitchen.There is a bar in the 1th centurey barn that will be open to diggers in the evenings on a cash basis.

Cost: Variable, see website for details

Academic Credit
Number of credits offered: none

Contact Information
Lisa Westcott Wilkins
Unit C the Royal Oak, 1 Lee Church Street
London, SE13 5SG
United Kingdom
lisa@digventures.com
Phone: 44 208 333 5770

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