Archaeology Fieldwalking at Hazelbury Bryan with YAC

On Saturday 2nd May 2015, the Dorchester Branch of the Young Archaeologists Club did a fieldwalk on farmland approximately 1km north east of Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset. Permission with the landowner was very kindly arranged for us by a local metal detectorist, Richard Higham.

Field Walking with Young Archaeologists Club

Field Walking with Young Archaeologists Club

Sue and Bryan, YAC volunteers, met the members at 10.15 in Hazelbury Bryan, and Richard led us through a maze of winding lanes to the field. When we arrived on site at 10.30am, we decided to scour the north east corner of the very large field. The detectorists were already working at the western end.

Young Archaeologists cleaning their finds in the Dorset County Museum

Young Archaeologists cleaning their finds in the Dorset County Museum

It was soon obvious that there were large amounts of pottery and other artefacts scattered around the field and Young Archaeologists and parents alike were soon eagerly hunting.
By the end of the morning, we had gathered lots of post-medieval pottery and a few surprises… We’re looking forward to displaying our finds in the Dorset County Museum.

Report by Sue Cullinane

For more information about joining The Dorchester Branch – Young Archaeologists’ Club visit

Our Ralph

Archaeology National Trust SW

As our blog nears a year in existence I thought it was about time I introduced Ralph our mascot and face on our Gravatar.

This little pottery head with green glaze was found at Corfe Castle during  the outer gatehouse  excavations in 1987. He has a distinctive type of hat and maybe locally made from the white clays found around Poole Harbour. He came  from with-in the demolition rubble from the civil war destruction of the castle in 1646, but is Medieval in date  He has a  pinched-out nose and applied and stabbed pads for the eyes, on his  head he  appears to wear a ‘coronet’ – a thin band circling the top of the head, decorated with impressed dots. Within the ‘coronet’, the hair is suggested by incised or combed lines. The head seems to have been made as a separate piece with a short, tapering ‘peg’ at the base for insertion into…

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Up Close and Personal: Contemporary Reflections on Ancient Wessex

Chris Miller © 2012

Chris Miller © 2012

Deep personal experience has prompted surprising responses by 24 contemporary artists to Dorset County Museum’s rich collection.  The exhibition – Encounters – which opened at the Museum in February, appeals to a wide audience, both young and old.  It contains an fascinating range of concepts in a variety of different, and in some cases highly unusual, media.

The members of Wessex Contemporary Arts have worked with the Museum’s support to present works that are both a response to the collections and a development of their own working practice. The archaeological holdings of the Museum have, not surprisingly, been the focus of the largest number of artists.

There are several workshops and ‘meet the artists’ events scheduled throughout the spring months to bring the Encounters concept alive and encourage a greater understanding of how contemporary arts can be part of everyone’s experience.

The artists, all from Wessex Contemporary Arts, will be there personally to talk about their work between 10.30am and 12.00pm on 4th and 11th April. Come along to meet them, hear about their work and find out what inspired them.  Some of the artists are also running workshops to encourage tactile engagement with processes and concepts that are at the heart of Contemporary art.  The next of these,  an experimental drawing encounter with artists Jindra Jehu and Louise Roll, takes place at the Museum on Saturday 30th March between 10.30am and 12.00pm.  This is excellent value at just £3.00 per person, it is suitable for all ages and there is no need to book.

On Saturday 27th April Bill Crumbleholme is holding a workshop for adults on Neolithic Grooved Ware Pottery, and on Saturday 11th May Susan Hughes is running a portrait drawing workshop – this activity is suitable for adults and children over 13.

Both activities cost £7.50 per person and advance booking is essential – contact the Museum Shop on 01305 756827 for further details and to book.

Encounters: Wessex Contemporary Artists meet Dorset County Museum runs until 7th June 2013 and entry to the exhibition is free.  For further information pick up an exhibition leaflet at the Museum shop or visit the website on