Past events, walks, field visits

January 23rd 2022 Members' and Friends' Day

Members met at the village hall in Chewton Mendip for their annual event which features projects being undertaken by members as a part of CAMP activities or independent of them. This year was the first time we have met in person since the start of Covid and there was a good turnout with the customary buffet lunch. The first speaker was Andrew Buchanan, assisted by Pete Missingham, who introduced us to the excavations taking place on a Roman farmstead site near Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset. Some of our members regularly dig there. We were also able to view some of the finds from the site. 

Our next guest speaker was David Savage, who runs an excavation at Siston, South Gloucestershire, in which several of our members will be involved in this spring and summer. The site has intriguing resistivity anomalies, as yet unexplained, and it is hoped that excavation will throw light on the nature of the archaeology there. Zillah Savage hosted a finds table from limited excavations in 2021. 

Lastly we invited Andy Mayes, who leads the Burledge Hillfort Community Project, to talk about progress on assessing the potential of landscape analysis at this under-rated Iron Age site. We hope to work with him in the future, in particular in regards the old Chewton Poorhouse which once stood on the site.

Above: Members and friends gather outside Chewton Village Hall after event

Burledge Hillfort Visit August 4th 2021

Now we can get out and about freely this was a good time to go discovering a little known about Hillfort almost on our doorstep. Professional archaeologist Andy Mayes is running a Community Project researching not only the Hillfort, but its immediate environs and led us round the site. We were struck by the amazing views and one of the topics of discussion was the intervisibility with other hillforts, such as Dolebury Warren and even as far away as Worlebury Camp. We were particularly interested in the Chewton Poor House that abutted the outside rampart on the east side. This was news to at least some of us that it even existed!

Below left : Andy Mayes explaining what the roundhouses might have looked like within the ramparts

Below right: Kay and Gareth considering the intervisibility of Dolebury Warren and Worlebury Camp hillforts

Saying goodbye to Sarah

Chewton Excavations May 2021

We've been digging again! Just six at a time in line with Covid regulations. Find out more on Chewton Mendip Excavations page. 

We're sorry to be saying goodbye to Sarah Porteus who has been with us since 2012 and contributed hugely to the group activities. Thanks for all you have done Sarah - enjoy the wine!

Tor Hole Minery Walks April 2021

Everyone was so keen to get out and about again after the partial lifting of Covid 19 lockdown, we organised four separate walks through the Tor Hole medieval minery at Chewton Mendip. Armed with old maps and concentrating on different features each time, we were able  build up quite a picture of the archaeology of the site. The weather was kind to us on each occasion which helped us negotiate the difficult terrain. 

Below:  members standing astride the ancient boundary of the Common Wastes of Mendip and the enclosed manorial land of the Chewton Estate where it forms a funnel as it comes off the hill. 

September 2020

We've managed to do a small excavation. See the Chewton Excavations page for more details. 

Also, we've been firing pots again. Take a look at Experimental Pottery Project page.

July 2020

Visit to Fussell's Ironworks, Mells, Somerset

This is a little-known industrial archaeology site, quite close to home for CAMP. There are quite extensive remains of the works which made edge tools such as scythes in the 19th and earlier 20th Centuries. The Upper and Lower works now lie in ruins along the banks of Mells Stream. 

Mells has an interesting more recent history, with connections with the Asquith and Horner families and with Siegfried Sassoon's tombstone in the churchyard. 

Part of the Upper Ironworks

Part of the Upper Ironworks

The Lower Ironworks ruins

                                   Siegfried Sassoon's grave, Mells churchyard

June 2020

Circular Walk Chewton and Greendown, Litton. 

Six of us spent a very pleasant afternoon led by Pip, looking at archaeological features in the landscape. The topics were medieval sheep management, 18thC field names, lead mining activities, plus manorial boundaries; a richly historical landscape. 

Below: Taking a breather on the top of Hare's Down where the views are quite magnificent.