Norfolk Archaeological Trust blog

On learning to love heritage

I've long been interested in how we can encourage people of all ages to feel engaged with their local heritage - the vernacular architecture that surrounds us in Norfolk but is so often undervalued, the plain timber casement, flint wall, or cobbled floor surface which we hardly notice until one day they're gone. Over twenty years ago I carried out some research in schools on whether participating in activities which explored aspects of old buildings could influence the way children felt about their local heritage.

A life in archaeology

In May we held a small ceremony to celebrate the Directorship of Dr Peter Wade-Martins which included the unveiling of a new plaque on the bench at the top of Dunston Field at Caistor Roman Town. Below is the transcript of the speech given at the occasion by Peter Griffiths, Chairman of the Trust:

A new look at volunteering

My name is Katie and I am the new Volunteer Recruitment and Development Co-Ordinator for the Norfolk Archaeological Trust. I have been employed for the next 18 months to support the Trust in researching and writing a volunteer recruitment and development strategy as part of its ‘Onwards & Upwards: creating a sustainable future for the Norfolk Archaeological Trust’ project.

On swallows and swallowtails

When April arrives it really feels winter is behind us – there is blossom in the hedgerows, bird song has increased, and the sun, when it shines, is warm on our backs.

The quiet before…

January and February are often quieter months when I can plan for the coming year – contracting out maintenance measures such as fence repairs, tree work and hedge cutting, and issuing grazing licences for the coming season. This year has been no different, but we have also been preparing for three projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund which are about to take off in earnest.

Onwards & Upwards: creating a sustainable future for the Norfolk Archaeological Trust

The Trust has a long and illustrious history – almost one hundred years - of conserving monuments at risk in Norfolk. During this period it has adapted the way it operates several times, to respond to new situations thrown up by changes in national policy, legislation and funding.

On trying something new in 2018

Over the last few years the Trust has been developing stronger relationships with groups of local volunteers who love and care for our sites. Some of these groups function as separately constituted organisations, such as The Friends of St Benet’s Abbey and Caistor Roman Project (CRP). Others volunteer directly for the Trust, as at Burgh Castle Fort.

On the pattern of the year

Of all the sites the Trust looks after, I think the wildlife is most visible at St Benet’s Abbey.  

On Sleeping Beauty and approaches to decay

This month has seen the successful conclusion of the repairs to the precinct walls at Burnham Norton Friary. The project, funded through the Higher-level Stewardship agreement with Natural England, began back in 2015 with clearance of vegetation to provide access.

Of work and toil, of love and life, of crooks and pioneers...

Mary Kelly, queen of pageants, wrote in 1936 that ‘We must be an optimistic people, for, in spite of the notorious uncertainty of our climate, we continue to produce pageants and outdoor plays.’ (1) Over 70 years later this proved to still be true when the Imagined Land Village Pageant took place in Tasburgh last month.


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