The aims of the Club are to foster interest in and appreciation of the history of the local area. The Club organises lectures from October to April on the second Monday of the month at 7.30pm in West Wickham Village Hall.
2024 SPRING PROGRAMME
Monday 8 January
Saffron Walden Then & Now
Monday 12 February
‘A curse upon the land’? 19thc Enclosure in West Wickham
and changes to the landscape
Monday 11 March
Annual General Meeting
Monday 8 April
The History of the Cambridge Townscape 1500-2023
NEW MEMBERS AND VISITORS ALWAYS WELCOME
There are visits in the local area in the summer months. Please get in touch if you have a particular interest or are researching your family history in the area. The Club is always pleased to help.
Contact details: Janet Morris <email@example.com> Tel 01223 290863
RESEARCHING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY OR THE HISTORY OF YOUR HOUSE?
Can we help? We have copies of a number of sources including census returns, parish registers, maps and perhaps above all, local knowledge built up over a number of years. We also have a photographic collection from which copies can be made.
THE BIG VILLAGE DIG AND AFTER
In 2013 we received a Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories grant for a community archaeology project (the Big Village Dig) to find out more about the medieval settlement of the village and when and how it changed from a community of scattered farmsteads to become the village we see today. More than 100 people of all ages excavated 18 one metre square test pits in the search for dating evidence, mostly in the form of pottery, with supervision and help from archaeologists from Cambridge University Access to Archaeology led by Dr (now Professor) Carenza Lewis.
While results from the Big Village Dig did provide us with evidence of medieval settlement that mostly pre-dated documentary sources and gave us an idea of possible population decline in the 14th century (a time of plague, notably the Black Death) and subsequent recovery, we realised that more test pits were needed to provide a better sample. In 2015 (Dig2) volunteers excavated 5 test pits in fields to the south and west of St Mary’s church and in 2016 (Dig3) 5 more test pits were excavated in Streetly End. In 2017 we excavated more sites in Burton End, making 33 in total. Dig2, Dig3 and Dig 4 were supervised on a voluntary basis by professional archaeologist, Mathew Morris, and were supported by money raised locally and a small grant for tools from Cambridge Antiquarian Society. Preliminary results have led to a re-evaluation of early settlement in the area of the church and the dating for settlement in Streetly End.
We are currently having all our pottery finds dated professionally, watch this space for details.
Full details of all our excavations are now available on our new dedicated website https://westwickhambigdig.wordpress.com/
In the meantime, if you would like to find out more, are interested in volunteering or can offer us a site for a test pit please get in touch.