Italian Ligurian 'caligraphico naturalistico' dish with bird motif, mid 17th century

Public Archaeology

It has long been recognised that the local community is important when undertaking archaeological projects but this has, for the most part, manifested itself in publications in obscure archaeological journals. Occasionally, investigations are reported in the national press or local television. However, due to PPS5, changes have been made in the way that archaeology is administered and executed in England mean that more positive efforts are now made to inform the local community of archaeological works going on behind hoardings. At many sites, including this, it is not practical for members of the public to actually come on to the site, but now many of our clients are providing a viewing window so you can observe the recording works as they happen.

Public Archaeology at Fulham Palace

PCA oversaw a public archaeology and Heritage Lottery Funded project (HLF) in July at Fulham Palace within the Walled Garden. The excavation was designed to ascertain the layout of the 18th Century and 19th Century walled garden in advance of its restoration. Archaeologists from PCA working together with volunteers showed school groups and members of the public the process of excavation and the archaeological remains found.


Stuart Watson, Senior Supervisor at PCA is showing the process of excavation Chris Jarrett, our medieval pottery specialist gives a talk on finds from Fulham Palace Demonstrating the use of a level Volunteers excavating Volunteers hand digging

Open House London - Borough Market & London Bridge

On 20th September 2012 Peter Moore, Project Manager with PCA gave a tour at the Open House London at both Borough Market and London Bridge. The event went well with a number of attendees asking a variety of questions on both the archaeology and rail improvement plans through the Thameslink Programme.

PCA would like to thank all our colleagues that helped made the event possible and our appreciation to Network Rail for supporting the event.

Open House London Open House London Open House London

Great Whip Street, Stoke Quay, Ipswich

Pre-Construct Archaeology and Oxford Archaeology (OA-PCA partnership) have been excavating at Great Whip Street, Stoke Quay, Ipswich. Hundreds of burials have been uncovered ranging from Saxon to medieval periods.

A successful open day was held on 25th August with members of the public given guided tours, talks, display boards and examples of finds from the site.

PCA would like to thank our clients Genesis Housing Association, ISG, and Ramboll.

Display boards and finde from the site Guided tours
Panel 1 Panel 2 Panel 3 Panel 4

Heart of Walker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The Heart of Walker project will merge Wharrier Street and St. Anthony's Primary Schools in the east end of Newcastle into a single new primary school. Extensive new sports facilities will take in land occupied by the Lightfoot Sports Centre. The scheme is being developed by Aura, Newcastle City Council’s private sector partner, and will be run by the Newcastle Diocesan Education Board (Church of England).

Part of the development site was occupied in the 19th century by St. Anthony’s Brickworks, and this necessitated an archaeological investigation which was undertaken by PCA. An associated outreach project aimed to involve the primary school children affected by the amalgamation of the two schools.

Classes of children were given a PowerPoint presentation, which explored the history and archaeology of the site. Maps and plans were shown to provide an insight into the past, present and future of Walker’s landscape. In addition, the brick making process in the Victorian era was explained.

Visits to PCA’s excavation of the remains of the brickworks were organised to allow the children to view and experience the archaeological remains firsthand. A site talk presented the remains to the children and illustrated the role of archaeology within the development process.

The children were also invited to enter a competition to design a poster to illustrate what they think the brickworks site looked like in the past, how it looks in the present day, or how they envisage it may look in the future. The winning posters will be used to decorate hoardings erected around the construction site as the new school development progresses.

PCA would like to thank the head teachers of St. Anthony’s Primary School and Wharrier Street Primary School, Julie Kadleck and Bernadette Doherty, respectively, and their teaching staff, along with Aura for facilitating the outreach project. The input of Sir Robert McAlpine, part of Aura, during both the archaeological fieldwork and the outreach project was particularly appreciated.

PCA staff carefully expose a brick surface from the 19th century brickworks. The school children view the excavation in progress. The school children see PCA staff uncovering the complex remains of the 19th century brickworks. Eddie Dolphin from Sir Robert McAlpine and Sophie Laidler from PCA give a presentation to the school children. One of the winning posters in the competition, this drawn by a member of Class 4 at St. Anthony’s.

Bermondsey Abbey blue plaque unveiled

Alistair Douglas unveils the blue plaque

Saturday 11th September 2010
Alistair Douglas Senior archaeologist at PCA gave a talk about the excavation conducted by PCA at Bermondsey Abbey and unveiled a blue plaque commemorating the abbey.
The remains of the south-western tower can still be seen below the floor of the Del'Aziz restuarant.

77-79 Kennington Park Road

The board below has been setup at 77 Kennington Park road and provides some background information on what we are doing and a brief history of the vicinity of the site.

M74 Completion Project - Public Archaeology Programme

PCA was involved through a joint venture with Headland Archaeology as HAPCA, with the M74 Completion Project in Glasgow.
The M74 Public Archaeology Programme was initially launched by the Dig Open Days. These allowed the public access to the sites as they were being excavated and provided an access point for the public to become further engaged in the project. The Open Days offered opportunities to look around the sites, talk to archaeologists and handle finds. On site interpretation was also offered by the Site Interpretation Panels.

10 open days were run in total; three open days at the Tenements, two at the Govan Iron Works, four at the Caledonian Pottery and one at the Tradeston sites. The first, at the Tenement site and the last, at the Caledonian Pottery where visitors could take home finds, proved particularly popular, with both sites attracting over 250 visitors.

Viewing Platforms

Moveable viewing platforms were set up on all the major sites. These allowed visitors to see the excavations on a daily basis from an elevated position. They were to be moved periodically as the excavations progressed.

Schools Outreach

Outreach visits focused on young people's groups and after schools clubs. The visits helped encourage young people to participate in archaeology and to find out more about the sites on their doorstep. The visits succeeded in informing the wider community about the archaeological work taking place.

Schools visiting were given a PowerPoint slideshow at assembly to inform the children about archaeology, the processes used to discover and log finds and the M74 sites. Afterwards each class took part in a handling session and an activity which looked at primary and secondary sources including original material from the digs, maps and sections of sites and archive photographs.

Time Capsules Outreach Project.

The school children got to choose objects representing everyday life and looked at the themes of school, toys and games, the high street, transport and technology. The children also filled in object records which explained why they felt their objects were important. The objects will be buried in 2010 for 50 years in two time capsules along the route of the M74, one in Tradeston and one in Rutherglen.

Sim Dig

The simulated dig was run as drop-in sessions and provided members of the public with the opportunity to participate in hands-on archaeological activities, learn archaeological skills and techniques and discover information about their local history.

Open Day at Chester Road, Manchester

PCA held a public open day at the former Tom Garner Motors premises on Chester Road to see one of the most important archaeological finds ever made in Manchester. The event attracted hundreds of visitors of all ages, many of whom came along to take part in guided tours taken by PCA staff and to see the highly significant discovery - an inscribed stone altar of Roman date which was found during a two-month programme of excavation. The site lay on the opposite side of the River Medlock to Mamucium, the Roman promontory fort and associated settlement located in the Castlefield area of the modern city, and the investigations have provided important new evidence regarding the extent of Roman occupation in the city.

Bermondsey Abbey Excavations Open Day

Members of the public were invited to attend open days at the IGLOO Bermondsey Square Regeneration Project to view the archaeological remains of Bermondsey Abbey which were being excavated by PCA. The remains were made visible from a viewing platform from within the site and additional photographs, and information panels were shown. Archaeologists from PCA were in attendance to describe their work on the excavation of the scheduled ancient monument and answer any questions.

Comments from people visiting the site:

"the two open days this weekend were fantastic, it's a great opportunity to see something truly unique. the archaeologists were brilliant, their passion and knowledge shining through, patiently explaining again and again the history of the site and the plans for the development."

"Thanks to everyone involved in organising this. The team on site are a really friendly and enthusiastic bunch, eager to explain what you can see. Amazingly the stones of the south west tower were just a few inches under the tarmac!"

"A salutary experience! Those archaeology guys are like chess players, looking at things we can't see as they can. They showed me that our present is just a palimpsest on what has gone before. Humbling."