As with all the other hubs the Sheffield group has undertaken a 5 week programme of fieldwork. They visited Heeley City Farm where they helped to build up the roundhouse and try their hand at pottery and weaving.

Due to appalling weather their field walking at Hicklton had to be cancelled but Alan Hall at Doncaster Museum stepped in at the last minute to make a very enjoyable visit to the museum and suggestion of places for the group to visit in Doncaster once the rain stopped!

At Brodsworth Hall the group really enjoyed looking round the gardens and discovering the history of the people who loved at the Hall. The interest in boats of the owner Charles Thellusson and the love of animals and racing horses. Learners also heard how Charles Dickens had based his novel Bleak House around the long running legal case surrounding the will of Peter Thellusson and the rest of the family.

The group also welcome Fiona Parr, the new WEA regional Director who was keen to find out about the Archaeology project and the activities undertaken.

Staveley Hall

On the 24th July the learners went to Staveley Hall, near Chesterfield. In contrast with previous weeks this was the hottest day of the year so far! Under the guidance of Mike McCoy and his team learners were able to

Excavating carefully around the base of a 300 year old wine bottle

excavate a section of road next to a 18th century Midden.  Learners were thrilled to discover 300 year old wine bottles, oyster shells, cockle shells, pieces of pottery and brick.  They all worked really carefully and also enjoyed sieving along side the other archaeologists on site

A finds tray showing shell, bone and pottery

who were working on the main midden.


Everyone at the end of their day of digging.












8 May – The Sheffield Hub held a launch event at Burton Street Foundation, where the first Sheffield group is working with tutor Sally Rodgers.  Around 30 people, including the learners’ families and friends, archaeologists, volunteers and WEA staff as well as staff from Burton Street, had the chance to meet the group and find out what archaeology they had been doing.

A learner showing her work to her supporter

‘It is very exciting to be working with this extraordinary group of people,’ said Sally.  ‘We have already been looking at evidence of how the neighbourhood has changed over time and are looking forward to more activities in the local area and more widely across the area.’  The group will be teaming up with other groups in the project for a number of field visits, where they will be involved in field walking, excavation and reconstruction at local sites such as the Iron Age Roundhouse at Heeley City Farm and Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster.


3 responses to “Sheffield

  1. …I had so much fun meeting and spending the day with the learners at Manor Lodge in Sheffield. We had a lovely talk about the site and saw lots of amazing pictures of how it has changed over the years. All of the learners were really enthusiastic and we played an eye spy game while on a tour of the lodge. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and a few learners were enspired to get creative, taking pictures and even spending some time drawing various parts of the site. I really enjoyed myself and can’t wait to get more involved in the project and go on the field sessions!

  2. This afternoon’s session was about bones. The learners looked at bones from both a human and a sheep skeleton and did a really good job of figuring out which bones went where. We also compared bones from different animals, and talked about why they looked different. All of the learners were really enthusiastic about the activities and everyone seemed to have a great time!
    I had great fun today with the learners, and I’m looking forward to joining them on some of the field trips over the next few weeks!

  3. This week the group had a great day out at Staveley Hall in Derbyshire, were everybody had a chance to have a go at both excavating and sieving. Again the learners were very enthusiastic, and picked it up very quickly. Finds included pottery, animal bones and lots of oyster shells. The weather was fantastic, maybe even a little too hot! Another wonderful day with the group, looking forward to Conisbrough castle this week!

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