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Archaeologists discover Crowland history and town's links to St Guthlac

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Archaeologists are learning about the history of Crowland and its links to St Guthlac during a two week investigation.

A team of students from Newcastle and Sheffield Universities have been working on Anchor Church Field in Crowland for the last week and have uncovered some exciting finds - including a high status medieval building.

This area has long been associated with St Guthlac - a former solider who went to live in isolation in hermitage on the island of Crowland following a profound conversion in the late seventh century.

Archaeologists are working on a site in Crowland
Archaeologists are working on a site in Crowland

The excavation is being led by medieval specialists Dr Duncan Wright and Dr Hugh Willmott, who will be sharing what they have discovered during the two-week dig with members of the public during an open day on Saturday.

Dr Wright, who lectures at Newcastle University, said: “What we have found and the materials we have found are really exciting.

“We are hoping to find more evidence from the Guthlac period. A n early medieval hermitage from that period have never been excavated. We don’t know what they look like so if we could find material of that date it would be the first in Britain.”

Although some archaeology work was undertaken on the site in 2004, this is the first time the field has been excavated in any great detail.

From researching the site, thanks to the writings of William Stuekely, they know that a building was on the site in the 17th century.

Following a geophysics work to assess the archaeology, the team has opened up a 30x20m trench to learn more about the site.

So far they have uncovered a stone cone and ceramics which dates to the Guthlac period along the foundations of a high status 14th century building which was likely to have been linked to the Abbey.

Dr Wright said: “We have found some glazed roof tiles which are high status. The foundations are 1m thick so this was a substantial building which probably had at least a first floor.

“We are confident that it is a late medieval building.”

While the team have uncovered materials from the Roman period it is not thought to be a high status site, and they believe people were reusing these items.

Finds from the site will then be taken back to the universities for further investigative tests and reports will be published in the future.

Dr Wright said: “We can’t promise but hopefully we can come back after this two week assessment.”

The team will be sharing what it has uncovered during an open day on Saturday (August 14), between 10am and 3pm.

Tours will be conducted on the hour from 10am and last for 30 minutes.

Visitors are asked not to park on the verge. Instead, they should use the overflow car park of Crowland Caravans and Camping at PE6 0JB

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