Time to get Tony Robinson style team together for community dig

Anyone who has ever watched Tony Robinson and his team knee deep in a muddy trench trying desperately to unearth a Roman artifact and wished they were there, trowel in hand, helping them should read on.

The local museum service is busy gearing up for the launch of a ground-breaking (in more ways than one) project which historians hope will help them discover more about Eastbourne’s ancestors. And among the events to look out is this year’s community dig, which will take place on land formerly known as Pococks on the Rodmill Estate, between Burton Road and Kings Drive.

The museum department at Eastbourne Borough Council wants to find out more about the site, which was believed to have once been a medieval manor house.

That building was later subdivided and given the name Pococks Cottages before being demolished in 1964 during the building of the Rodmill Estate.

However, map evidence and parch marks reveal that the foundations should be located on a green swathe of land between the housing and the excavation will try to identify the origins of the buildings and discover traces of the people who once lived there. One suspicion is that it could turn out to be the lost grand house of the Manor of Radmeld-Beverington.

The best chance of finding out more about the land and the people who lived here in years gone by is if the archaeologists can unearth rubbish pits at the rear of the building. These will provide a valuable insight into the social status and lifestyle of the former occupants.

The dig will take place between July 14 and August 12 and the good news for anyone who has ever fancied themselves as an Indiana Jones is that organisers of the excavation are on the look-out for local volunteers.

Councillor Neil Stanley said he hoped a many people as possible would take up the chance to roll their sleeves up and down and dirty. “We are thrilled to be putting out a call for volunteers for our second annual excavation following a successful inaugural community dig last year,” he told the Herald. “This year’s site should offer a real insight into the lives of those who once lived in Eastbourne.”

To take part should call Jo Seaman on 415396 or email localhistory@eastbourne.gov.uk. All ages are welcome.