24th July 2017:

OA East are heritage partners with Cambourne Village College in a new Young Roots Heritage Lottery Funded project in Cambridgeshire

Cambourne Village College has received a grant of £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to learn about the archaeology of Cambourne and the surrounding area. Over the past year, OA East have developed the project with Year 7-9 students in the after-school Archaeology Club. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, students at the school will carry out their own archaeological excavation of a late Iron Age/Roman farmstead on the outskirts of the town in autumn 2017, which will be supervised by OA East. They will offer tours to local residents and pupils from the four feeder Primary Schools in Cambourne, and create a temporary museum exhibition of their findings at the school in spring 2018. The results of this excavation and previous archaeological investigations in Cambourne will be added to an online interactive map showing a timeline of archaeological discoveries in the area.

OA East have previously worked with other Village Colleges in Cambridgeshire to engage young people in archaeology through successful Young Roots Heritage Lottery Fund projects. Two of the most successful projects were ‘Linton In Layers’ in 2009 with Linton Village College and ‘The Monks Down Under’ with Abbey College, Ramsey in 2010. Young Roots is a HLF grant programme aimed at young people aged 11-25 and can offer archaeologists an opportunity to work with children of secondary school age, when more often archaeology is linked to primary schools.

Students in the Archaeology Club at Cambourne Village College will take responsibility for the project’s organisation and receive training in historical research methods and practical archaeological skills from OA East staff. The students will have the unique opportunity to make and share their own archaeological discoveries, as well as learning valuable communication and team working skills to use in their education and future careers.

Twenty years ago it was assumed that people did not live on the claylands west of Cambridge before Medieval times so archaeologists were surprised to find continuous settlement for about 1000 years from the Iron Age through to the Saxon period. Although a series of archaeological excavations have taken place in advance of the construction of the new town, this will be the first to involve volunteers from the local community.