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Start of Lees Court Estate Project season 2023

Submitted by Laura Freeman on 23 May 2023

Excavations for the 2023 project season will commence on Tuesday 11th April 2023 and end on Saturday 27th May 2023 (Bank Holidays and Coronations will see the sites closed).


Posted Tue, 23 May 2023


In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, we excavated a significant prehistoric landscape on the Lees Court Estate. As with any excavation, this left many unanswered questions, and with the intervention of Covid, we could not seek answers. We said we would be back!


We will return to the Estate from Tuesday 11th April to Saturday 27th May 2023, during which we will target three excavation areas for further investigation.


The site can be found here

Site Map
Site map setting out the excavation sites and location of car parks, toilets, offices etc.

In 2018 we conducted an exploratory excavation over a significant ring ditch structure. The evaluation revealed many features consistent with this being a round barrow.

Aerial photograph of excavation in Stringman's Field around the possible causewayed enclosure.
Aerial photograph of excavation in Stringman's Field around the possible causewayed enclosure.

However, a possible entrance on the right-hand side of this picture has thrown up the possibility that the structure might be a causewayed enclosure. Keith Parfitt will direct an area excavation to establish precisely what this structure is.


Again in 2018 and 2019, we partially excavated a ring ditch structure in the southeast corner of Stringman's Field.

Excavations around the South-East corner of Stringman's Field.

A subsequent resistivity survey by John Townsend in 2019 has shown the ditch is rectangular. Combined with the Neolithic artefact evidence found during the 2019 excavations, there is a possibility the structure might be a Neolithic long barrow. Richard Taylor will direct the excavation to establish the structure’s age and identity.


Holly Grove Mound is thought to be a Bronze Age round barrow. The extant structure will remain un-excavated. However, a resistivity survey has indicated the possibility of outer ring ditches surrounding the barrow and extending into Stringman's Field.


Small test pits over the possible ring ditches will be conducted to ground truth the resistivity survey.


Get involved

We are looking for:

  • People new to “dirt” archaeology and would like to come along for the experience.
  • Experienced (all levels) excavators who would like to help
  • Helping with geophysics (GNSS Mag Res)
  • Finds handling (pot washing, classifying, labelling, bagging)
  • Metal detecting
  • Archaeological photography
  • Site recording (planning and drawing)
  • Site administration (Database recording)
  • Landscaping/Fieldwalking
  • A resident artist


Register your interest

If you are interested in participating, please email Lees Court Admin to let us know your areas of interest and dates that you would like to be on site.