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What is 'We Dig Community!'?

Thursday 9 March, 2017, by Rebecca Cadbury Simmons

The Young Archaeologists Club, through collaboration with YDNPA’s Community Heritage Officer, are undertaking a test pitting project within Bainbridge.
This means that we are opening about 30 test pits throughout the village. The test pits are 1m2 in size and are excavated to a depth of no more than 1.2m. Each test pit will usually be excavated within two days.
This project is being generously supported by the Yorkshire Dales Sustainable Development Fund.

Why Bainbridge?

Digging in Bainbridge is an exciting opportunity for archaeologists due to the rich and varied history that the village has to offer. The fort on the eastern edge of the village shows us that Romans lived in the area, this project lets us explore what life was like outside of the fort.
Bainbridge was also an important area during the medieval period, being the administrative centre of the Forest of Wensleydale. People travelling through the forest would be drawn to the village by the traditional evening horn blowing, and seek shelter.

Why test pitting?

Test pitting is a simple method so that everyone can get involved! This method can be easily learned and teaches real archaeological skills.
This method of archaeological investigation is also relatively low impact. The turf is removed in small squares so that it can be easily replaced once the pit has been excavated. The test pits will be dug in 10cm spits (layers) until either:

  • We hit bedrock
  • We hit 1.2m
  • We hit a ‘natural’ layer (undisturbed by humans)
  • We hit a large archaeological feature

Who can get involved?

Absolutely everyone can get involved! We are always looking for people to come along and help out with the digging, sieving and finds washing. People of any age are welcome to come along and join in, but anyone under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult at all times.

How do I get involved?

You can get involved by emailing our Community Heritage Officer, Rebecca Cadbury-Simmons on or by giving her a call on 01969 652353


Picture of Rebecca Cadbury Simmons

Rebecca Cadbury Simmons

Rebecca is the Community Heritage Officer for the YDNPA.


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