Children learn about history of Parson Drove as Wisbech building firm organises school archaeology day

Matt Drew and James Ellis, of Foster Property Maintenance, and Jemima Woolverton, of Oxford Archaeol

Matt Drew and James Ellis, of Foster Property Maintenance, and Jemima Woolverton, of Oxford Archaeology, with pupils. - Credit: Archant

Children discovered how their village has changed through the ages after some revealing archaeological finds on a site where 12 homes will be built.

Matt Drew and James Ellis, of Foster Property Maintenance, and Jo Mills speaking to pupils.

Matt Drew and James Ellis, of Foster Property Maintenance, and Jo Mills speaking to pupils. - Credit: Archant

Year 3-4 pupils at Alderman Payne Primary School, Parson Drove, enjoyed a visit by Jemima Woolverton, from Oxford Archaeology, about the artefacts and remains.

James Ellis leads a workshop with pupils about some of the items found at the site.

James Ellis leads a workshop with pupils about some of the items found at the site. - Credit: Archant

Twelve homes are being built on the site, in Main Road, by Wisbech company Foster Property Maintenance for Circle Roddons.

Pupils took a closer look at some medieval clothes in a session led by Jemima Woolverton.

Pupils took a closer look at some medieval clothes in a session led by Jemima Woolverton. - Credit: Archant

Pupils found out about two phases of occupation within the site. The earliest comprises a probable 12th or 13th century fen circle (corn or hay stack) within the centre of the excavation area, with a small gully around it for drainage.

They also discovered how a second phase, later in the 13th century and possibly continuing into the 14th century, revealed beam slots and post holes relating to a medieval timber-framed building.


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The site was abandoned around the 14th century and the area probably reverted to pastoral farming until fairly recent times.

Matt Drew, project manager at Foster Property Maintenance, who organised the talk alongside colleague James Ellis, said: “We are delighted the school took up our offer of the archaeological talk.

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“It is very fulfilling knowing that we can bring something new to the children to show how their village evolved.”

Youngsters also had the chance to try on some of the clothes that were worn by their ancestors, including some dyed blue with woad which was grown locally until the early 20th century.

Class teacher Jo Mills said: “It was wonderful for the children to have a visitor who has been involved in such exciting discovery work in their village.

“The lively and informative session gave the children a flavour of what it is like to find out about history through archaeological excavation.”

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