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In the Abbey Gardens, 12th - 20th July 2008

Come and meet us in the Abbey Gardens, from 10am to 3pm each day, and watch us as we uncover part of the medieval abbey’s remains, which still lie under the surface.

We will be looking at the monastic infirmary and infirmary chapel (dedicated 1188), which once stood near where the Ancestor statue is now. We last dug in this area in 2003, when a workman installing picnic benches reported hitting large lumps of stone. We investigated the matter, and soon uncovered remains of the infirmary's foundations, helping to improve our understanding of its layout.

Uncovering the infirmary in February 2003

Further work has suggested that the chapel, which is just to the south of the infirmary, could have had a triple-apsed eastern end. We will be looking for evidence of this in the ground, and also seeking to understand how the chapel and infirmary were linked to each other.

Part of a WAHS survey of the abbey complex. We will be working in the green area - note the incomplete building outlines here, reflecting limited current knowledge.

We’ve timed this week-long dig to be part of National Archaeology Week, which is a unique chance for everyone to discover and explore the archaeological heritage of the country. The aim of this annual event is to encourage everyone, and especially young people and their families to go to sites of archaeological/historical interest, visit museums, and to see archaeology in action.

Please don't be shy - we hope you will ask us questions at the dig - and no question will be too silly, we were all beginners once. Who knows - maybe you'll be answering such questions one day.

There might not have been many people about,
but it was a bitterly cold February morning!

Only six other places in Essex are hosting events as part of National Archaeology Week, and WAHS is proud to be waving the flag in this corner of the county.

Some Links:

National Archaeology Week

The Abbey Gardens

For More Information please Contact WAHS





Copyright Waltham Abbey Historical Society, 2007.