Local schools visit Druce Farm Roman Villa

Children excavating on the site at Druce Farm © EDAS 2015

Children excavating on the site at Druce Farm © EDAS 2015

During the summer of 2015, more than 166 primary school children plus 24 teaching staff visited Dorset’s new Roman villa at Druce Farm near Puddletown. The East Dorset Antiquarian Society (EDAS), led by Site Director Lilian Ladle, is into its fourth and final year exploring the site. Both EDAS and the landowners, Tom and Ann Ridout, believed this was the perfect opportunity to share the villa with the community and encourage our archaeologists of the future.

 

Discovering Roman Tiling © EDAS 2015

Discovering Roman Tiling © EDAS 2015

Sue Cullinane from EDAS devised a special programme for schools including an introductory talk, a guided tour of the excavations, a chance to examine some of the recent artefacts found, and an opportunity to undertake practical activities including “finds” washing and trowelling in newly-opened trenches. Sue worked closely with Emma Talbot, the Education Officer of Dorset County Museum, to organise the visits and she also designed display boards and the finds cabinet. During 2015, there were visits from Yeovil Park School, Weymouth Home Educators, Swanage St. Mary’s Primary, Piddle Valley Primary and the Yeovil Home Educators. In addition members of the Dorset County Museum branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) attended a short field school.

Children washing finds on the site at Druce Farm © EDAS 2015

Children washing finds on the site at Druce Farm © EDAS 2015

All the young guests were very enthusiastic and enjoyed the experience. The teachers were delighted that EDAS has been able to offer this unique opportunity to pupils to visit a real archaeology site and experience practical archaeology.

EDAS would like to thank the volunteers: Sue Cullinane, Bryan Popple, Geoff Taylor, Barbara Milburn, Pam Norris and Anita Hicks who made the on-site activities both informative and enjoyable – as well as all the teachers who enthusiastically supported this opportunity. Special thanks to all the young people who made this such a rewarding experience for everyone.

Andrew Morgan
EDAS Chairman


There is a chance to visit Druce Farm Roman Villa Excavation on a special ‘Open Day‘ on Saturday 5th September from 10.30am – 3.30pm. Entry to the site is FREE, but a donation of £3.00 is suggested, to help towards the publication of this important site

For more details details please visit: www.dorset-archaeology.org.uk

N.B Please note that there is a one mile walk from the car park and there are no toilet facilities. The excavation is on a working farm, SORRY, NO DOGS ALLOWED

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Visit to Druce Farm Roman Villa

Druce Farm Roman Villa

Druce Farm Roman Villa

On the Friday 3rd July at  6.30 pm there will be a last chance to see final season of excavation at this amazingly well-preserved Roman villa, where three large ranges of buildings are set within a courtyard enclosure. High-class finds suggest wealthy owners living here from the 1st century AD and who continued to inhabit the site for several centuries after the Romans left Britain.

Driving instructions below. There is ample parking in the meadow however the site is a good 20 minute walk from the car park. Stout shoes are recommended and be aware that the site itself is very uneven due to the excavations.

Meet in the car parking meadow at 6.30 pm for the walk up to the site

We will ask for voluntary donations to the excavation to help fund full academic publication

This is a working farm and the land owner asks that visitors leave their dogs at home (Sorry!)


How to get there: –

  • From Dorchester
    Follow the A35 East towards Bere Regis/ Poole/Bournemouth for about 3.9 miles,
    Take the exit signposted A354/B3142 to Blandford/Milborne St Andrew/Piddlehinton,
    At the roundabout take the 1st exit on to the B3142,
  • From Poole
    Follow the A35 West towards Bere Regis/ Puddletown/Dorchester for 1.1 miles,
    Continue on through one roundabout on the A35 for about 9.3 miles,
    At next roundabout take 2nd exit and continue along the A35 for 6 miles,
    Take the exit signposted A354/B3142 to Blandford, Piddlehinton, Puddletown,
    At the roundabout take the 3rd exit on to the A354,

At the next roundabout take the 1st exit on to the B3142, After about 1 mile turn right just before a sharp left bend (there is a triangle of grass at junction, Note that there is also a lane which you have to cross before entering farms driveway) and Druce Farm is directly ahead.

Drive through the gateway (Druce Farmhouse is on your right), then pass some large Victorian cottages, pass the cart shed on your left, follow the farm track with a modern cottage on your right. The track forks – take the left hand track and you will see several cars in the field.

Drive carefully – Be aware that small children may be playing around the houses and that farm machinery may be about

Young Archaeologists Explore Roman Villa

Druce Farm Roman Villa Mosaic © EDAS 2014

Druce Farm Roman Villa Mosaic © EDAS 2014

This summer the East Dorset Antiquarian Society (EDAS) has enabled over 100 children to experience real archaeology. Led by Site Director Lilian Ladle, the society is into its third year exploring the Roman Villa at Druce Farm near Puddletown. With the support of the landowners, Tom and Ann Ridout, EDAS decided it was the perfect opportunity to encourage young people who are interested in archaeology and their heritage.

Members of the Dorset County Museum's Young Archaeologists’ Club clean finds discovered at Druce Farm © EDAS 2014

Members of the Dorset County Museum’s Young Archaeologists’ Club clean finds discovered at Druce Farm © EDAS 2014

Working with Nicola Berry, the Education Officer of Dorset County Museum, schools throughout Dorset were contacted about this opportunity. Several were able to visit, including: St Andrew’s Primary School Yetminster, The Swanage School, Poole High School, Thomas Hardye School, Bryanston School, The Gryphon School Sherborne and Poole Grammar School. In addition members of the Dorset County Museum branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) and a group from the seeUNT Home Education Group, based in Beaminster, were also able to visit the site.

Members of the Dorset County Museum's Young Archaeologists’ Club on site at Druce Farm © EDAS 2014

Members of the Dorset County Museum’s Young Archaeologists’ Club on site at Druce Farm © EDAS 2014

The visit comprised a guided tour of the site and a talk describing some of the most important artefacts found so far. This was followed by practical archaeology; finds washing, which is the first of the post-excavation processes, and trowelling when the pupils were able to work in newly opened trenches. One of the most memorable days was when 23 perfectly behaved children from St Andrew’s Primary School, Yetminster, descended with great energy and enthusiasm and they finished their visit by finding real Roman artefacts in a recently opened trench.

All the young guests were very enthusiastic and enjoyed the experience. The teachers were delighted that EDAS had been able to offer this unique opportunity to visit a real archaeology site. They were thrilled that their pupils were able to experience practical archaeology. Some of the older pupils have stated they want to return during the summer holidays.

EDAS would like to thank Nicola Berry who liaised with the schools, all the volunteers, especially Sue Cullinane, Bryan Popple, Geoff Taylor and Barbara Milburn who arranged the on-site activities, and not forgetting the teachers who enthusiastically supported this opportunity. Special thanks to all the young people who made this such a rewarding experience for everyone.

Andrew Morgan
EDAS Chairman


There is a chance to visit Druce Farm Roman Villa Excavation on a special ‘Open Day‘ on Saturday 27th September from 10.30am – 3.30pm. Entry to the site is FREE, but a donation of £3.00 is suggested, to help towards the publication of this important site

For more details details please visit: www.dorset-archaeology.org.uk

N.B Please note that there is a one mile walk from the car park and there are no toilet facilities. The excavation is on a working farm, SORRY, NO DOGS ALLOWED