Last EDAS Lecture

At our evening lecture on Wed 11th May, Lilian Ladle, who is Chairman of the Wareham Group and also a member of EDAS, gave us a talk about ‘Bestwall: The Final Frontier’. After more than a decade of work on this site at Wareham, the dig has finally come to an end. It started as a casual watching brief, and quickly progressed under Lilian’s direction to becoming a very important national site. There have been many important finds, such as two large hoards of Roman coins, and it also has the largest known Roman kiln site in the country. The archaeology spans a time from the Mesolithic to beyond the civil war, and Lilian has received a number of awards in recognition of her considerable contribution to local and national archaeology.

EDAS members have been privileged to assist in the excavation, and Lilian has kept us all up to date with regular lectures to EDAS and other societies about the archaeology. However, all good things must come to an end (especially when there is the usual back-log of reports to finish!), and the designated site is fully explored and has been back-filled. Lilian can now take a well earned rest from the practical side of the work.

Sun 22nd May – Walk led by Alan Hawkins from Wimborne to Badbury Rings.

Eight members met Alan in Wimborne and set out on a delightful amble of 7 or 8 miles through paths and fields in our beautiful Dorset countryside. Ignoring an early shower we headed North over Walford Bridge towards our first landmark High Hall. The central block of this house is of 17th Century origin, somewhat altered in the second half of the 18th Century, with additions on the West and East. The Garden has a high wall on which is scratched the date 1762. This building was used as a set for a T.V. series called ‘Mulberry’ (BBC1992-1993,13 episodes) starring Geraldine McEwan. Does anybody remember it? Approaching Badbury from the East our next point of interest was a preserved Ancient Oak Woodland comprising 115 pollarded Oaks which were established in about 1294.

We reached Badbury Rings at about lunchtime, setting out for the return leg of the journey, pausing at Lodge Farm. In local legend this building has been known as King John’s and John of Gaunt’s Hunting Lodge. Making our way through and around the Kingston Lacy House grounds and then to Pamphill we followed the River Stour to Wimborne. Before returning to our transport home we visited the new Jubilee Garden near the Town Hall.

Oh, and I nearly forgot, when we stopped at Badbury for lunch we bumped into the usual Llama pack. An everyday sight in Dorset.

Many thanks to Alan for a very interesting and enjoyable walk

Len Norris

19 June - Purbeck Clay Industry Walk with Mike Fryatt

Five members accompanied Mike on one of the hottest days of the year so far for a seven mile walk north of Corfe Castle. Almost as soon as we commenced the walk we saw our first industrial archaeology of the day. Perched over the top of the Swanage Steam Railway line was a narrow gauge tramway line and two of the original trucks. Nearby we saw where the ball clay was left for six months to mature before it was transported to a quay in Poole harbour. There were several interpretation boards along the first part of the walk adding to the information provided by Mike.

We then went to Scotland! Well, Scotland Farm to be precise where in a restored thatched barn we saw agricultural and other carts which were in the process of being restored. We then journeyed on until we came to the historic Sharford Bridge, a two arch packhorse bridge over the small Corfe River where we had lunch.

In the afternoon we walked along part of the Hartford Way, which follows one of the old ball clay railway lines, until we arrived at the Blue Pool where we took afternoon tea before returning to Corfe passing several pools formed by the digging of the ball clay.

Many thanks to Mike for an interesting walk and also to Barry Perratt for identifying the many wild flowers we saw during the course of the walk.

;Peter Walker


Sat. 2nd July - Hambledon Hill Walk

The Priest’s House Museum is organising a guided walk around Hambledon Hill (Iron Age Hillfort) on Saturday 2nd July at 10.30am. The cost will be £3. If anyone is interested please would they contact the Curator, Emma Ayling, for further details.

Sat 16th July - EDAS Barbecue

Its time once again for our annual EDAS barbecue, which, following tradition, is kindly hosted by Martin and Karen Green at Down Farm, and organised by expert chefs Haydn and Wendie Everall. Salad, rolls, soft drinks, desserts, live music, and an opportunity to visit Martin’s excellent archaeological museum are included in the price of £3.50; all proceeds go to EDAS funds. Bring your own meat for cooking and other drinks.

Down Farm is located just off the big Sixpenny Handley roundabout at map reference ST 999148. You will find an application form in with this Newsletter. Please send it off to Haydn and Wendie as soon as possible so that they have a good idea of the numbers.

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 TEDDY BEAR PICNIC WALK, Rockbourne and Whitsbury on 21st Aug 2005

The walk starts at Rockbourne outside the Rose and Thistle public house at 10.30 am [ST114184].  I would advise walkers to park 200 metres down the road besides the village hall as parking is limited at the public house [ST114182].  This works out to be around 8 miles. The walk includes stunning views, Iron age Castle Ditches, some history around the famous Stables, a Miz Maz and a contrast of manicured landscapes [bit like toy town] versus the natural beauty of the chalk downland.  Lots of local history and hopefully something to interest everyone.

If people wish to do a shorter walk [approx. 6 miles] then they can join us at Whitsbury by the footpath [ST124196].  I anticipate we will be at this point between 11am and 11.15am.  Walkers can park at the Cartwheel public house [ST 127192].  The planned route will bring them back to this point.  If people wish to enjoy the shorter walk please could they let me know beforehand - tel: 01725 552 370, mob 07900 897 281 or email  It is best to contact me prior to 9.30 am as there is NO mobile reception in either village. 

I have decided to make my walk a bit of fun  - so please bring teddy bear (essential) and a packed lunch to take part in the TEDDY BEAR PICNIC in the woods.  It would be useful to bring some cash for some light refreshment in the Cartwheel and the Rose and Thistle afterwards (they are open for beverages and food all day). 

Rockbourne also has a ROMAN VILLA and this is an optional excursion at the end of the day.  It costs just under £3 for admission and has the most amazing Mosaic floors on display.  This is another 2 miles if walking or a short drive as there is plenty of parking there. 

....when you go down to the woods today, you sure to get a surprise.....!!

Sonia Ellingham

Sun 25th Sep - Walk with Steve Smith around Bere Regis and Turners Puddle
A 5 mile easy walk over the remnants of Egdon Heath, taking in the tiny hamlet of Turners Puddle and chance to explore the intersting village of Bere Regis.  Meet at the central car park in Bere Regis (SY 847948) at 10:30am.  Bring a packed lunch. 

For any queries please contact Steve on 07798 832958.



David and I have now had the opportunity to review members' interest in the excavation at Tarrant Monkton. We find that we are somewhat overscribed for the task in hand. It therefore follows that some people will not be required on all the days that they have indicated. We will attempt to ensure that every volunteer does have the opportunity to work on the site and that those who have indicated preferences are satisified.

It is intended to mail a 'teamsheet' to each volunteer during the next 10 days. Indeed you may well have received it, already. In any case, please let me know if:

1. You haven't received your 'teamsheet' by 22nd July or, if you have, that

2. You are happy with the dates allocated to you.

Subject to any amendments to the teamsheets, the next communication wll be detailed instructions regarding the excavation. This will be sent out to each individual much closer to the time for the dig.

As ever, if you have any queries, please contact me on 01929 400507 or

Phil Roberts


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.


Sat 2 July

Walk around Hambledon Hil with Emma Ayling. 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. Please see the application form included with this Newsletter.

Sun 24 Jul

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

Sun 21 Aug

Walk with Sonia Ellingham – Rockbourne & Whitsbury. See earlier for details

Wed 14 Sep

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

Sun 25 Sep

Walk with Steve Smith. See earlier for details.