Leicester, United Kingdom

Medieval Grace Dieu

when 18 July 2022 - 29 July 2022
language English
duration 2 weeks
fee GBP 450

In the past year Past to Present Archaeology have begun a research initiative to study the medieval landscapes of Leicestershire as part of our wider Archaeology of Leicestershire project. The project aims to add to the ever increasing amount of research-led archaeological investigation of Medieval Britain to help us to better understand how those inhabiting Medieval Leicestershire lived, worshipped and farmed.

For this year's Festival of Archaeology, we are holding a two week field-school around the grounds of Grace Dieu Priory, in collaboration with the Friends of Grace Dieu Priory. Grace Dieu was one of only two female priories in Leicestershire, and is the site of a wealth of medieval archaeology, from standing ruins to earthworks. Join us in this exciting opportunity to delve into the fascinating medieval archaeology of Leicestershire! Tickets must be booked in advance to take part, however, the excavation area will be open for free public viewing.

Activities included with your ticket include: archaeological excavation, recording and drawing (plans and sections), photography, archaeological interpretation, archaeological survey with a Leica GPS, environmental sampling, finds processing, building recording, and dry sieving for flints! Guided tours of the Priory are also on offer, provided by our partners - The Friends of Grace Dieu Priory (see their website for more information).

If you can't join us, would you consider making a donation. The research we provide will help us understand the historic landscape of Grace Dieu greater than ever before! But we need your help. To carry out this project, we need equipment. This ranges from your basic excavation tools (trowels, spades, shovels etc.), to surveying equipment (like GPS), and geophysics. Every penny counts and even the smallest amount will help us fund the necessities to explore the fascinating history and archaeology of Grace Dieu.

Course leader

Rupert Birtwistle

Target group

All ages

Course aim

2022 marked the beginning of our research into the medieval landscape of the county, beginning with Grace Dieu Priory. In February 2022, we undertook a programme of geophysics alongside our friends at Allen Archaeology which identified lots of potential archaeology around the periphery of the priory. Following this we excavated a number of test pits to examine these potential features. The results revealed a number of ditches and a rubble stone wall. In July 2022, the first season of excavation will commence with a community participated field school. This first season aims to characterise monuments and features through dateable evidence to better understand activities around the priory and what the area was used for. The first season also sets out to better understand how the site evolved over a period of time, how well archaeological deposits have been preserved as well as ascertain the significance of any finds. This research will then help inform any further research done in the area.

Fee info

GBP 450: Adult ticket for one week. This gives us access to all activities and events for one week of the field-school.
GBP 800: Adult ticket for the full two weeks. This gives us access to all activities and events for full duration of the field-school.