Exciting fieldwalking results from Slawston

This autumn our young archaeologists have returned to Slawston in south-east Leicestershire for another season of fieldwalking.

We would like to say a big thank you to the Hallaton Fieldworkers and the Leicestershire Fieldworkers for sourcing a field for us to walk and helping us set up the grid and process the finds; also a big thank you to the farmer for allowing us to tromp across his crops.

This year our efforts have focused on a field close to Othorpe deserted medieval village at the northern end of the parish. Cropmarks visible on aerial photographs suggest that part of the village might lie beneath the field and we were very excited to see what we could find.

Little is known about the village of Othorpe. It is first recorded in the Domesday Book (AD 1086) and it is thought to have disappeared in the late 14th or 15th century. One of the aims of our fieldwalking is to see if we can pin down better dates for the village’s origin and abandonment.

Fieldwalking was carried out on a horrible wet day at the end of October. Braving the cold, the wind, the rain and the mud, our club members successfully walked most of the field in a couple of hours before conditions became too horrendous to continue! In a following, warmer (but equally wet and muddy!) session at the University of Leicester they washed everything that was found and attempted to identify and plot their discoveries.

So far, results look very promising. A small sample of Iron Age and Roman pottery has been picked up, as well as some Saxo-Norman material (9th – 11th century). The bulk of the pottery, however, is medieval shelly ware typical of the 12th to 14th century. Virtually no later medieval or early post-medieval pottery has been found, suggesting that the village had indeed been abandoned by the 15th century.

Watch this space…

Over the winter our Assistant Branch Leader Mather will finish cataloguing the material and produce a report of the results which we will upload to our website and send to Leicestershire’s Historic Environment Record so that our discoveries are properly documented.

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Child Genius 2016

Hi everyone, YAC UK has been contacted by Channel 4 regarding the possibility to participate in a TV program called Child Genius.

In a nutshell, they are looking for  children aged 8-12 who are passionate about a particular subject, and who would be interested in going on TV. Children will be tested on literacy, numeracy, logic, general knowledge, etc.

They are having an Open Day in January – please see below for more information and contact details.

Child Genius 2016 poster

Child Genius returns for a fourth series and is looking for children aged 8-12 (and their families) to take part. It would be great if you could circulate the below information and attached flyer via your club newsletter or social media account(s) Also, if you are attending or holding any events that you think may be relevant to the programme, it would be great if you could let us know!

Wall to Wall Media, the production company behind award-winning programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC One) Long Lost Family (ITV) and three previous series of Child Genius (Channel 4), is currently writing to UK Schools and After School Clubs, as the documentary and competition series Child Genius is back for a fourth time, and we are once again looking for children and their families to take part.

The series will feature some of Britain’s brightest and most fascinating 8 -12 year olds, as they enter a competition devised in association with British Mensa. This will consist of four rounds to be filmed in February 2016 (with a grand final at the end of April 2016).

Child Genius will capture the children and the families in the build-up to each round of the competition as the children prepare to take on their highly intelligent peers. As well as telling the story of the competition, the series will aim to explore the lives of the children featured, their families, their hobbies and how they handle day-to-day life as and with a gifted child. We will spend time filming with children and families at home in the weeks prior to the competition, in between rounds at the competition venue and in the lead up to the grand final. Each episode will feature a number of the children who took part in the competition and will chart their progress as they strive to make it all the way to the final.

Child Genius offers parents the chance to bring their children together with like-minded peers. 2015 finalist Jasamrit’s dad said: “It was a special moment for the whole family as it not only made Jasamrit a more focused and resourceful 10 year old, he has made some great new friends!” Jack’s mum Clare said: “It was amazing to see Jack thrive, to relish the competition and the chance to show his talents, and to see him have fun with other kids he had lots in common with. We were all so well looked after by the crew, and the parents supported each other too. I’d do it all again…” Finalist Sasha’s mum said: It was lovely to see the children making friends and having fun between the rounds. We had such fun being a part of it and has left us with some lovely memories of when Sasha was 12. Winner Thomas stated: “Child Genius is fun, exciting and was, frankly, the best opportunity I’ve had in my life so far. I got to meet like-minded people and there was a sense of camaraderie with the other competitors. My advice is simple. Do it!!!”

After Schools Clubs and organisations have played a tremendous part the last three years in spreading the word to parents, and we are always delighted by the sheer volume of numbers that come forward. We are currently inviting applications from bright young children (with the consent of their parents/guardians) to take part in the series. We are looking to feature children between the ages of 8 and 12 years, born between 1st September 2003 and 31st August 2007 (up to year 7s).

Given the ages of the children we hope to involve in the series, we are keen to reassure you that we take our obligations as responsible programme-makers very seriously. We recognise our duty of care to all our contributors and the particular additional responsibilities involved in filming with young children in this environment. For this reason, no application from any child will be accepted without full and informed parental/guardian consent; at least one parent/guardian will accompany their children to all stages of the casting process, and in the event that the child is invited to appear in the series, to all filming. We will have a team of specialist advisers off-screen, including a child psychologist and education experts, whose role will be to provide support and guidance prior to and during the production of the series.

Parents are able to view information on both Wall to Wall Media and the series here and they can provide us with evidence of their consent to their child taking part in the application process. Applications are open until 15 January 2016.

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Ten must see Iron Age Hill Forts in Britain


British Camp, Malvern Hills, Hereforshire

Looking for something to do? Why not check out Heritage Daily’s ‘Ten must see Iron Age Hill Forts in Britain’.


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Discount entry to Bosworth Anniversary Re-enactment Weekend – 22-23 August

197_lmxzgit6r4[1]Hi everyone, we though you would like to hear about this fantastic special offer. This year marks the 530th Anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth and if you buy your tickets online before 31 July you can get a huge 20% off!!!

On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 August, the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre hosts its annual anniversary re-enactment weekend, an exciting family-friendly event which includes battle re-enactments, living history, music and lots more…

·         A full days fun bursting with medieval games, archery and a fancy dress competition

·         Falconry flying and static displays

·         Mini guided walks

·         Cannon Fire demonstration

·         Medieval music and dance

·         Living history camps

·         Expert talks

·         Jousting


·         Two spectacular battle re-enactments per day!

At the event Leicestershire YAC will have a stand to tell everyone all about the great things we get up to, so we would love you to pop by and say hello if you attend the event too!

For more information about this offer and event, please visit the centre’s website http://www.bosworthbattlefield.com


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LYAC visit the excavations in Bradgate Park

At the end of June, LYAC was given the fantastic opportunity to visit the University of Leicester’s new archaeological fieldschool in Bradgate Park. In its debut season, this is a major (5 year) student training and research excavation project focused on the upland landscape of Bradgate Park in Leicestershire.

The park is first documented in 1241 (as a deer park) and is known primarily as the location of one of the first unfortified brick-built aristocratic houses in England (c. 1520), which was later the birth place and childhood home of Lady Jane Grey: the ‘nine days queen’. However, recent excavations of a known late Upper Palaeolithic open site (c. 15,000 years old) situated atop the north spur of a gorge overlooking the River Lin has revealed an in situ stone tool assemblage consistent with Creswellian activity. This is one of only a few sites in the UK dated to this period and is thus of national and international significance.

This year, fieldwork has focused on a medieval moated site located to the west of Bradgate House (thought to be a park keeper’s lodge), a mysterious building in the courtyard of the House and one of the outbuildings to the south of the walled garden, possibly a stable block. To learn more about the project, check out their website or follow them on Facebook.

Richard Thomas, one of the co-directors of the project showed our young archaeologists around the site, explaining the key discoveries of the year and getting them to line up along the walls of the medieval and post-medieval buildings to show them how big the structures once were. Then we divided into four groups and rotated through a series of hands on archaeological activities, excavating in Trench 3 on the medieval moated site, site recording and planning, how to take readings with a dumpy level and finds processing. Check out the gallery of what we got up to below.

A big thanks to Richard and all the other project members who helped lead such a brilliant session, especially as they were also setting up for a very successful public open day.

We look forward to returning next year to learn all about Season 2.

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ArchaeoQuest 2015 a huge success!!!

Leicestershire Young Archaeologists “Dig Deep for YAC!” and raise £450.

Fantastic News!  We have finished collecting money raised by all our fantastic YAC’s who undertook the ArchaeoQuest challenge during our visit to Bradgate Park at the end of June and we are delighted to announce that we have smashed our target by raising just over £450!  This is a fantastic figure and we would like to send a huge thank you to all our YAC’s and supporters who have helped us to raise this amount.  The Just Giving page is still active if you know anyone else who would like to pledge money to further help “Dig Deep for YAC!”

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Help Save Snibston Discovery Museum!

Hi everyone, the fantastic Snibston Discovery Museum in Coalville is facing demolition after Leicestershire County Council approved plans to close the facility. The closure will be subject of Judicial Review, on 21/22nd July.

There is an online petition regarding the closure that you can read and sign beforehand at

Judicial Review story:

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Festival of Archaeology 2015

Festival Fun!

25Years_Logo[1]Hi folks, don’t forget that the25th annual Festival of Archaeology 2015 starts this weekend! It is one of the world’s biggest celebrations of archaeology and features over 1,000 events right across the UK!

There’s loads going on, from walks, talks and workshops to hands-on experimental archaeology and crafts. Take part in an excavation or join in a fieldwalk. Enjoy an historic feast or explore behind the scenes in a museum. The easiest way to discover events in your area is to visit the Festival website.

Check out this post of the YAC UK website for YAC’s top ten picks!

Leicestershire and Rutland have more events than any other area of Britain! So why not discover the rich heritage of our counties over the next fortnight with a fascinating range of events, talks and guided tours from some of the county’s archaeological and historical experts.

For full details of events, download the complete Festival Programme 2015 (pdf document).

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Something to do this weekend!


Hi everyone,

Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not visit the Peterborough Heritage Festival (20-21 June, 10am – 5pm).

The Peterborough Heritage Festival is a unique chance to experience 3,500 years of history in the UK’s only city centre multi-period living history festival. Held in the historic heart of Peterborough and the Cathedral precincts, this weekend includes: Roman drill, medieval music, medieval jousting, falconry displays, viking battles and much more.

For more information, visit: http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/event/peterborough-heritage-festival

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Dig Deep For YAC!

Help Leicestershire’s young archaeologists raise money for the ‘Dig Deep for YAC!’ campaign.

On Saturday 27 June, 2015 Leicestershire Young Archaeologists’ Club are undertaking a sponsored walk at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. As our members undertake the Bradgate ArchaeoQuest, they will enjoy a fun day out at the park which will see them walk the 7km circuit around this fantastic historical location. As part of the event the group will explore the park’s extensive history, undertaking fun archaeological challenges along the way to raise money for the ‘Dig Deep for YAC!’ campaign.


Bradgate Park

Why are we fundraising for the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC)?

 yac_logoYAC is the only nationwide organisation for young people interested in archaeology. Run as a network of more than 60 local clubs across the UK, every year it allows over 7,000 young people (aged 8-16) to get their hands mucky doing real archaeology. Our vision is for all young people to have opportunities to be inspired and excited by archaeology, and to empower them to help shape its future.

Raising funds is critical to our success but like many organisations and charities we are facing a challenging financial future. Until recently, YAC received statutory funding but sadly this is no longer the case. Inevitably, this has had a major impact on the organisation’s finances. To keep YAC running and to help support the 600 volunteers who give up their time to make the local YAC branches work, we are seeking to raise £45,000 nationally this year, and the Leicestershire YAC branch aims to do its bit to contribute.

We believe YAC offers a fantastic range of opportunities and every penny raised will help young people across the UK realise their potential through archaeology, so please ‘Dig Deep for YAC!’ and donate now.


Leicestershire Young Archaeologists’ Club recording monuments in Martinshaw Wood with thr Charnwood Roots Project

How can I donate?

There are a number of ways you can sponsor our members taking part in this challenge. The easiest way is to donate online through our JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/Leicestershire-YAC. Alternately, you can sponsor one of our members using this sponsorship form:

LYAC_Sponsorship_form_2015 (1)

If you would like to learn more about YAC UK please visit our website www.yac-uk.org. If you would like to learn more about the Leicestershire branch please explore the rest of this website or find us on twitter @LeicesterYAC.

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