Duke pays a visit to first community excavation

Duke and Duchess of Devonshire visiting the excavation site and meeting Eastbourne Museums Officer Jo Seaman and a volunteer.
Duke and Duchess of Devonshire visiting the excavation site and meeting Eastbourne Museums Officer Jo Seaman and a volunteer.
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EVIDENCE of Roman occupation, the medieval fields and a First World War Rifles regiment cap badge have been uncovered at Eastbourne’s first community excavation.

The Duke of Devonshire made a visit to the site, at Grange Gardens, where more than 60 volunteers have been digging to unearth history.

Led by Eastbourne Museum Service, the community excavation which finished on Sunday, July 31, was part of the national CBA Festival of British Archaeology being run in partnership with Eastbourne Natural History and Archaeology Society (ENHAS) and supported by the BBC’s learning project ‘Hands on History – Dig!’

During the dig, volunteers aged from five to 80 found shards of ancient pottery and evidence of how this part of Eastbourne has developed over the past 1,000 years including medieval fields, Victorian paths and evidence that has yet to be identified.

Councillor Neil Stanley said, “This is the first time we have done anything on this scale in Eastbourne and with the site not thought to have been excavated before, we really didn’t know what we would find.”

Museum officer Jo Seaman, who led the excavation, said, “It has been a wonderful experience for me to work with so many enthusiastic and hard working volunteers and to see so much support for the work that we are doing within the Museum Service.

“The amount of interest that we have had from visitors and local residents also shows how important our heritage is to the people of Eastbourne and I believe that projects like this and the many others we undertake will continue to help this interest to blossom.”