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Ian Broom has given an interview to the Hereford Times giving the results of the Row Ditch excavation.
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Ian Broom has provided an update on the Row Ditch Excavations, this was as at the end of Thursday 7/9/2017:
The first part of the dig is coming to an end tomorrow, after a week of constantly changing ideas & interpretations.
More challenging & difficult to understand than anticipated, the feature is now stating to make a bit more sense.
Although the excavations are concluding & the trenches will be backfilled early next week, further work using augering will continue.
Tim has kindly offered to hold a brief open session at the site on Saturday morning (9/9) at 10am, for half an hour or so, to explain what has been found so far.
A mysterious earthwork running along Bartonsham Meadows is to be investigated thanks to a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant. A group of local enthusiasts formed the Bartonsham Row Ditch Community Archaeology Project with the support of Historic England and Hereford City Council & now, thanks to National Lottery players, the Project will oversee the first ever scientific investigation into the distinctive, but enigmatic, earthwork called the Row Ditch.
Formerly a high bank and deep ditch situated in Bartonsham Meadows, to the south-east of Hereford city centre, the remains of the earthwork, a scheduled ancient monument, can still be traced at the back of Park Street. Currently on Historic England's “At Risk Register”, due to neglect and farming activity, it is marked on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1888 as an “Intrenchment Constructed by the Scotch Army AD1645”, but other evidence suggests the Row Ditch has a much older history.
The Project's chair, Ian Broom said: “The grant will help us understand the purpose and origins of the feature. We will be working with the community and involving young people from St James' CofE Primary School and Hereford Sixth Form College, to develop a better understanding of the feature in the history of the environs of Hereford's medieval city. Bartonsham Meadows is an area popular with local residents and many have speculated on the origin of the Row Ditch. Is it a Civil War defence? A flood drain? A part of Offa's Dyke? A feature of a medieval field management system, or something else? We are very pleased to have been awarded this grant and our thanks go to those who made it possible by participating in the National Lottery.”
Herefordshire Archaeology, part of Herefordshire Council, has been appointed to provide management expertise and leadership in meeting the Project's objectives. Archaeologist Tim Hoverd said; “This is fantastic news! We are really looking forward to working with the local community to hopefully solve the mystery of Row Ditch. We hope that the excavations will be able to tell us exactly what this monument was used for and when it was being used.”
Local people will be given the opportunity to experience and participate in a professionally managed investigation within the community. Building on preliminary work already conducted, the project will include the digging of surface trenches, deeper augering and analysis of the results. At the end of the project, a report will be published and an interpretation board installed on site for the information of visitors and residents to raise awareness and appreciation of the area.
Vanessa Harbar, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so that The Bartonsham Row Ditch Community Archaeology Project can embark on a real journey of discovery. Heritage means such different things to different people, and HLF’s funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their area.”
Listren to Ian being interviewed by Nicola from BBCH&W
The grant application by the Bartonsham Row Ditch Community Archaeology Project was considered by the Heritage Lottery Fund last week & unfortunately was not passed. Many successful projects do not receive funding on their first application. The volume of applications on this occasion was particularly high & the HLF is keen to support the project. We are being encouraged to make some amendments & apply for reconsideration at an early date. Stay tuned!
We had a great turnout to our Historical Walk this morning. Thanks to all our speakers for revealing some 'Quite Interesting' but little known facts about our area. Full write ups to follow, but for now here are some photos of our itinerary. Feel free to add information and comments!
THE ROW DITCH is the remains of a bank & ditch running through Bartonsham Meadows, adjacent to the back gardens of houses on the south side of Park Street. Historic England have recognised the feature & because of its condition placed it on the “At Risk” register.
There are references to a “Rough Ditch” possibly dating back to the reign of Henry II in the mid 12th Century. In the 1880s the first Ordnance Survey map refers to it as “(Intrenchment) Constructed by the Scotch Army (A.D.1645)”. Later suggestions include an association with Offa's Dyke.
The aim of the project is to raise the awareness, public appreciation & understanding of the feature to ensure there is no further degradation of the feature & contribute towards its place in the wider history of the city. A geophysical survey of the feature was undertaken in March 2014 by Headland Archaeology.
The project has already received substantial support from Historic England & Hereford City Council, but it will only be possible to progress to fruition if a grant of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is made available. An application to HLF should be in place by the end of 2015.
Support has also been received from Herefordshire Council, The Woolhope Club, Mr J. Matthews @ Bartonsham Farm Dairies (tenant) & the Church of England Commissioners (land owners).
Following a competitive tendering exercise arranged by Historic England, Herefordshire Archaeology, a department of Herefordshire Council, has been appointed by the group as project manager under the supervision of Archaeological Projects Manager, Tim Hoverd.
Assuming the Heritage Lottery Funding application is successful, it it hoped to undertake physical investigation work, by means of trench digging & augering during the spring / summer of 2016. If anyone fancies getting their hands dirty, there will be opportunities for the local community to become involved in the investigation.
The Row Ditch Group is now working with the Bartonsham History Group and has its own website section. You can receive updates via this blog and/or by subscribing to the BHG e-Bulletin on the home page.
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