Last EDAS Lecture

At our evening lecture on 13th April we were given a talk by Nancy Grace of the National Trust. Some EDAS members had already been recently involved with Nancy by helping to wash and record finds from various excavations around Kingston Lacy (see the article in the last Newsletter). What probably struck Nancy was that there are many ‘unwritten’ skills and conventions concerned with recording that have been developed over the years, and which are now taken for granted by professional archaeologists. However, this information might not be readily available to many amateur archaeologists who deal more infrequently with finds, or those of a restricted nature. Nancy had obviously decided that this needed putting right, and gave us a very interesting and knowledgeable lecture about the processing and preservation of many different kinds of artefact.

It was very interesting to know why some finds need to be marked in the way they are (e.g. pottery sherds, so that if the pot is re-assembled all the labels don’t show), and why some materials must not be cleaned except by a specialist (iron or other corroded metal, as even slight washing can cause them to ‘burst’ open very quickly). All of this knowledge will be invaluable when we are dealing with finds on our own sites.

It was also, of course, a cunning plan by Nancy so that when EDAS members help with processing finds again they will already be much more experienced! Many of our EDAS lectures are about the excavation record of a particular site, and we do not often get the chance to increase our technical knowledge in such a direct way. We thank Nancy for a very interesting and useful lecture.

17 April - Walk to two Deserted Medieval Villages

Seven of us joined Phil Roberts on a cold and windy day for a six mile walk. We left Lower Ansty and proceeded across fields to the Dorsetshire Gap. We then saw cross dykes near the settlement on Bowden's Hill. This is an Iron Age or Romano-British settlement having traces of rectangular enclosures, hut sites and a trackway. Pottery, tiles, nails and building flints have been found, although it has never been excavated.

We then descended to Melcombe Horsey, where we saw evidence of the medieval village in the humps and bumps in a meadow. Nearby we passed Higher Melcombe House, a 16th century house, now owned by the Woodhouse (of brewery fame) family.

Our next stop was at Bingham's Melcombe, where after having lunch in the church porch, we took the opportunity to look around the church of St Andrew. Here we saw numerous Bingham family memorials and the south chapel dedicated to the Horsey family. Adjacent to the church we observed the deserted medieval village in the meadow and churchyard.

Many thanks to Phil for an interesting walk, which was only spoiled by rain after lunch.

Peter Walker

Avoiding Stress!
Please help to avoid stress to the Treasurer and the Membership Secretary by paying your membership fee (which was due on 1 April) by 31st May, if you have not already done so. We are grateful to all those members who completed banker's standing orders, which has saved us much work, and to those who paid by cheque so promptly.

We need your subscription fees to be able to cover our expenses. If you do not renew prompty then we shall not be able to continue sending you a newsletter.


Sun 22nd May Walk with Alan Hawkins from Wimborne to Badbury Rings and back

Walk of approximately 7 miles  via Badbury and Pamphill. Picnic lunch. Meet at front of Allendale Centre Wimborne at 10.30am. Parking charges apply but there are no Sunday restrictions for street parking.

Those who wish to join us for the afternoon only meet at Badbury for walk back to Wimborne. Meet at the centre of the Rings by 1pm at the latest. Make sure you have transport back to collect your car (Phone Alan Hawkins 01202 668178 for confirmation if weather doubtful, or to arrange transport )

Sun 19th June -  Purbeck Ball Clay Industry Walk with Mike Fryatt

A 7 mile walk exploring the remains of the former ball clay mining areas and railway tracks. Gentle slopes and many wild flowers.

Meet at the National Trust Corfe Castle Visitors Centre (ST 959824) at 10.30 am

Bring a packed lunch. Any queries to Mike on 01202 710908

Sun 24th July Saxon Wimborne with David Reeve

Meet in the Minster churchyard (by Cook Row) at 2pm.  A slow 3 hour walk around the town.


The dates for EDAS events are underlined. The monthly evening lectures start at 7.30pm.

Walks and field visits usually meet at 10.30 am at the published Grid Reference. Ring the leader if the weather is doubtful or if more details are required.


Wed 11 May

Lilian Ladle, an EDAS member and also leader of the Wareham Group gives a talk on ‘Bestwall: The final Frontier’

Sun 22 May

Walk with Alan Hawkins - To Badbury Rings from Wimborne. See earlier for more details.

Sun 19 Jun

Walk with Mike Fryatt. See earlier for more details.

Sat 16th Jul

EDAS Summer Barbecue, organised by Hadyn and Wendie Everall and hosted by Martin Green at Down Farm. - More details to follow.

Sun 24 Jul

Walk with David Reeve – Wimborne Town walk. See earlier for more details. Please note that this is an afternoon event.

Sun 21 Aug

Walk with Sonia Ellingham – Rockbourne & Whitsbury.

Wed 14 Sep

EDAS Lecture: "Blood of The Vikings", with Julian Richards