On October 23rd, members of the Association met with the archaeologist Steve Parry to discuss their research and to seek his advice on how to progress. Steve now works for the Museum of London Archaeology but was previously with the county’s archaeology unit and so knows a great deal about the local scene.
The projects that we outlined for him were the exploration of Roman settlements, the manor house site next to the church, and the possible shrunken village area off London End. The intriguing prospect of there being, somewhere under the church floor, a hidden vault that houses the remains of the Pickering family was also discussed.
Steve was very encouraging in his evaluation of what we had achieved but pointed out that there was little funding available to progress the work, most funding these days being directed to sites threatened by development. He suggested that we apply for funds ourselves from organisations such as the Heritage Lottery in order to hire equipment and to access training in its use.
Short of digging up a site, there are three main ways of examining what lies under the surface: magnetometry, resistivity and ground penetrating radar. He thought that we could consider any of the techniques and identified organisations that could help us. He also expounded the benefits of field walking and drone surveys as means of collecting further evidence.
His observations gave us a useful agenda for what we do next and will be discussed at the next full meeting of the Association.