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29 June 2018

Watch archeologists at work at Wisbech Museum

By Julie Williams

Watch archeologists at work at Wisbech Museum

An excavation that is open to the public is happening over half-term week on land at the back of Wisbech and Fenland Museum where a rare Anglo-Saxon brooch was unearthed in 1847.

Families are invited free of charge to watch the painstaking work involved in sifting for historic finds in what museum staff say is very promising territory.

Children are particularly welcome and can take part in archeology-themed activities.

Assistant curator Robert Bell said: “We have on display the brooch that was found on the site when the museum's foundations were being laid. It's a lovely thing.

“Anything could turn up – I'm hoping for Medieval masonry from when the original Norman church tower collapsed in 1500, or even more exciting Anglo-Saxon finds.”

The public can access the dig through a door in the museum wall facing the parish church, just a few feet away.

Equidistant from the museum in Museum Square is Wisbech Castle, where a popular community dig eight years ago involving 80 local volunteers found evidence of the moat of a Norman castle destroyed by flood in the 13th century.

FenArch, the group of local amateur archeologists formed following that excavation, will be supporting professional archeologists APS on the Big Dig for five days from Tuesday, May 29, between 10.30am and 4pm.

The dig is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through Wisbech High Street Project as part of an activity plan aimed at encouraging participation, learning and involvement in local heritage by Wisbech people.

Project Heritage Officer Taleyna Fletcher said: “Originally we'd hoped to dig up the High Street, but this wasn't possible for safety reasons and therefore Wisbech and Fenland Museum kindly offered us their gardens!”

Find out more about the museum's upcoming events this summer on, a new website sponsored partly by Curator Emeritus at Museum of London John Clark, a former assistant curator at Wisbech in the 1960s, and partly by its creators, Wisbech-based Tin Fish Creative Communications.

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