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History lovers dig deep to find medieval pots in Hilton

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 30, 2013

  • 29/05/13 Community dig in Hilton - Main Street, Hilton Community archeological dig, Hilton....Samuel Long, Joseph,Coney

  • 29/05/13 Community dig in Hilton - Main Street, Hilton Community archeological dig, Hilton....Ray Long, Samuel Long, Joseph, Helena and Thomas Coney..

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MEDIEVAL pottery and coins which may be from the Roman era have been amongst the items found during a community archaeology project in Hilton.

Diggers looking through sites in the village have come across some interesting finds from as far back as the 12th century, and two which could have been lying in the ground since the Romans graced these isles.

The finds were picked up during the community dig, which saw 15 pits opened up for excavation around the centre of the village.

Sandy Fox, chairman for Dove Valley Community Archaeology, which was behind the project, said: “We’ve found a range of Medieval property from the 12th to the 16th century, so a good 300 years. There are not many, but enough to tell us that people have been here and going about their daily lives.”

The pits were sunk in gardens around the village centre, including Main Street, Dale End Road, Back Lane and Mill Lane, which have been shown to have a long history, according to old maps. Two pits were also sunk on the playing fields opposite the King’s Head pub.

The sites were chosen after a resident discovered pottery, bricks, tiles, nails and a cobbled surface in her garden. One item of pot discovered has been dated back to Saxo-Norman times.

Maps which have been consulted throughout the planning process for the five-day dig showed there has been a settlement around the centre of the village for many centuries – and these finds prove that is the case.

Ms Fox said she was extremely pleased with the way the event had gone, adding that the wet weather had not put a dampener on proceedings.

“I think the experience could be summed up as soggy. The first three days were brilliant, but then it started to rain,” she said. “We were worried that nobody would be interested, but people have come along. We’ve had some pits with three or four children digging away, so I think people have got into it.”

Digging was due to come to an end on Wednesday, but archaeologists agreed to stay on an extra few days to see if they could find anything else in the two ‘parish pits’ on the playing field There are also plans to look in two more areas of the village as time goes on..

Following the success of this dig, plans are already under way to spread the project elsewhere. “We’re calling this phase one,” Ms Fox said.

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