Charity Heritage Trail Walk

Had a great walk in Credenhill this weekend as a Roman Legionary, raising money for the British Heart Foundation.  Thank you to all of those who attended and help raise £45, bringing the grand total to £980.


Archaeologist Chris Atkinson describing Iron Age life in front of the hillfort site at Credenhill (The woodland in the background)

The walk followed the route of the Heritage Trail established as a result of the Roman Credenhill: A Community Investigation, a project led by Hereford Sixth Form College and funded by the Young Roots Programme.  Walkers were guided around the site of the excavated Roman farmstead, along the course of the Roman road and through the medieval landscape of the parish.

If you are interested in following this walk for yourself, you can pick up a copy of the free project booklet and map from Credenhill Sports and Social Club or alternatively download a copy from this website.


Heritage Trail Display Boards

Display Board 2
I am happy to announce that the Roman Credenhill: A Community Investigation display boards have been erected in Credenhill Roman Park Playing Fields and on the wall of Credenhill Sports and Social Club.  Thank you Paul Rogers Maintenance Manager at Hereford Sixth Form College for your work.
The display boards serve to promote the history as well as a heritage trail around the parish of Credenhill.  To accompany the boards a booklet has been produced and is available from Credenhill Sports and Social Club.  Alternatively you can download your copy from the project webpage at:
On the 8th July I will be putting the heritage trail to the test as part of a charity walk in order to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.  To find out more or to join the walk visit:


Getting ready for the Celebration


A sneaky peak at a few of the pages from the new booklet

Ahead of the 12th February Celebration Event, the booklet to go to print this weekend is almost ready.  It has been great to bring all of the information concerning the excavation together in order to create a history of occupation and land use during the 1st to 4th centuries AD.


LiDAR depicting the earthworks of medieval Stretton Sugwas

In addition to Iron Age and Roman Credenhill, I’ve also been taking a look at what happened after during the Medieval period.  One great discovery was the use of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to identify the preserved medieval landscape of Stretton Sugwas.  Individual field boundaries, trackways, ridge and furrow and house platforms are all preserved with a modern field managed as pasture.

Look forward to meeting you all on Sunday 2th February at 1pm



What did it look like?


An artist impression of what the high status structure may have looked like during the 3rd century AD. Courtesy of Robin Gray, Pennine Prospects

As the display board comes together and the booklet develops, we’re happy to share an artists impression of what the excavated high status courtyard farm may have looked like during the 3rd century AD.

The reconstruction is based on evidence uncovered during the excavation such as plastered/white-washed walls, stone roof tiles, wall columns.  The shape of the site is based on a geophysical survey undertaken by University of Sheffield Landscape Archaeology Masters student Graham Lantz in 2014, including the discovery of a possible structure in one corner of the enclosure.


Annotated geophysical survey results highlighting the enclosure ditch and structural foundations.



It really has been a while since our last post for which we’re sorry!  Just a quick update to say that since the end of the excavation all of the pottery, coins, charcoal samples, bones and archaeobotanical samples have been away with the specialists for detailed analysis.


Annotated aerial photo of the excavation highlighting the location of some of the main features excavated. Copyright Community Heritage and Archaeology

Whilst this has been going on the site archaeologist have been compiling the excavation report.  This has included the digitising of the site paper records, including the plans, and development of a site narrative.


Roman red enamelled disc-brooch after a good clean. Copyright Community Heritage and Archaeology Consultancy

The students of Hereford Sixth Forms College have also been hard at work, pulling upon various aspects of the investigation to develop their coursework.

We are now not far off the completion of the excavation report.  All of the specialist analysis is now complete and their results are being fed into the site report.

We are also stepping up a gear to design the display board for Credenhill Social Club along with the booklet.

It is hoped the final celebration event will be held the last weekend of January 2017, however we will confirm this soon.



Digitised Section Plan of the Trench depicting the wall foundations, floor surfaces and location of each layer of soil/deposit encountered during the excavation



Goodbye to AS & A-Level Archaeology!


The team of AS and A-level Archaeology students of Hereford Sixth Form College investigating a Romano-British complex this summer

Did you know that the exam board AQA are scrapping AS & A-Level Archaeology, along with a number of other courses stating that:

“… number one priority is making sure every student gets the result they deserve“. But it says that for archaeology – along with classical civilisation and history of art – “the complex and specialist nature of the exams creates too many risks on that front“.

“… Our decisions have nothing to do with the importance of these subjects, and it won’t stop students going on to do a degree in them as we’re not aware of any universities that require an A-level in these subjects“.


AS & A-level students busy investigating the site of a Romano-British high status farm/industrial complex

For those with a passion for archaeology and drive to follow a career in archaeology, the AS and A-level course is a fantastic starting point, setting the scene for University and commercial employment. I personally would most likely never have become an archaeologist had it not been for the GCSE and A-level Archaeology course on offer by Hereford Sixth Form College back in 1999.  This decision is particularly sad considering Hereford Sixth Form Colleges successful application to the Heritage Lottery Funds Young Roots Programme, which provided their students with the opportunity to lead an excavation as part of a community project.

The Director of the Council for British Archaeology, Dr Mike Heyworth, has been talking to the AQA, teachers and politicians about the decision. He says:

“This is disastrous news for archaeology. Another vital route into the study of the subject is being removed, just at a time when we were looking to expand our support for the revised A-Level and its link with apprenticeships to provide an alternative route into an archaeological career. We need more archaeologists! It is highly regrettable that this decision has been taken behind closed doors with no consultation with the archaeology sector – even the team working on the reform of the A-Level were unaware of the decision until it was announced. We need to talk to the AQA to look at options for protecting A-level archaeology, and we encourage everyone with an interest in archaeology to make their views known to the AQA and to the Government Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP.”

Please sign the following petition to help save As and A-level Archaeology

The Goddess Fortuna?


Photographing the intaglio using a high powered microscope. Copyright Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy

The post-excavation phase is under way and with that analysis of the high status artefacts has begun, including the small red carnelian intaglio discovered in the rubble of the building.

With thanks to the staff of Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy based at the University of Sheffield we have a clearer idea of the details contained on the carved thanks to photographing the item under a microscope.


Detail of the intaglio depicting a figure interpreted as the Goddess Fortuna. Copyright Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy

The stone would have been originally mounted in a ring and could have served as seal for documents. Although the engraving itself is of a poorer quality, the detail is such that it appears to represent the Roman Goddess Fortuna.  She was the goddess of fortune or luck and is depicted holding in her right hand a cornucopia, from which all good things flowed such as prosperity.  In her left hand she is holding a ship’s rudder, indicating her control over an individual’s life and fate.


Detail of the head and possible cornucopia or horn of plenty. Copyright Sheffiled Archaeobotanical Consultancy

This is just one interpretation however, do you have one?