Back in 2014 local metal detectorist Paul Carr, along with Nigel Stapple and the landowner Peter Marshall were detecting in local woodland when they discovered a large mound. Giving off a substantial ferrous metal indication they decided to investigate. A small pit was dug and large amounts of slag and cinder (bloomery waste products) were found. Wealden Iron expert, Jeremy Hodgkinson (WIRG), was invited along and he suggested that a bloomery furnace may be nearby.
A few days later Paul was standing in an old tree bowl (where a tree once stood) and scraped away at the top soil revealing bright red burnt soil. This was partially revealed to be the well preserved remnants of an ancient bloomery furnace.
Realising the importance of such a find Nigel set about establishing a community archaeology group to carry out a full scale excavation of the site.
Enter stage right: Southborough & High Brooms Amateur Archaeology Society.
Directed by archaeologist Eric Hall, a team of volunteers has been burrowing away on site all summer. These pictures should give you an idea of the what we have been up to.
As you can see we are a serious about the archaeology. However, there is always time for a nice cup of tea and a bit of cake. As illustrated by the land owner Peter.