u3a - Burnham u3a Make Archaeological Discovery

Burnham u3a’s Archaeological Group discovered a medieval building.

The group, set up in 2018, is made up of enthusiastic amateurs. After seeing an interesting crop mark in a 2018 Google Earth image, they sought permission and started digging near to Southminster Hall.

They soon found three sides of a building, all with substantial walls built of septaria, on the eastern side of the lawn. A central area with an east/west wall cut into by a (working) 17th century drain, and two substantial parallel walls running north to south, up to 13 courses of stone deep at the western end of the site.

The group's finds have spanned from flint tempered prehistoric pottery – late Bronze/early Iron Age, to Saxon, to medieval and later. Roman brick and tile, also large amounts of animal bones, amounting to over half a pig.

Deputy group-convenor, Sue, says, “u3a is about ‘Learning, friendship and fun’, we’ve had fun and learnt a tremendous amount, making new friends along the way, we’ve also grown in confidence and look forward to tackling new projects – although nothing will ever compare with this!”

The group's excavation work will end in October and there will be a year long display of the excavation in Burnham Museum in 2022.

Burnham u3a's archeological dig was mentioned in several local media outlets, including The Maldon and Burnham Standard.