CBA Wessex Events

CBA Wessex offers a wide range of study days on topics such as pottery, bone and flint recognition.

We organise field trips and guided walks led by experts in the archaeology of Wessex, where you can find out more about your local area and meet people with a similar interest in the historic environment.

Each November we hold our Annual Conference with a themed topic. In 2018 we held our 60th anniversary conference ‘Dawn: New Light on our Earliest Ancestors to the Hunter-Gatherers of the Mesolithic’ at the University of Southampton in collaboration with the Prehistoric Society and Wessex Archaeology, with keynote speaker Prof. Alice Roberts.  Past conferences have included topics on Ritual & Religion, Warriors, Weaponry & Warfare in Wessex and Science in Archaeology (‘From Bones to Drones’) all with lectures by distinguished speakers.

Both members and non-members are welcome to attend our events, but as a member (which costs from just £10 per year) you will benefit from discounted rates.

Bookings can be made online, but please remember, your place is not confirmed until we have received payment.

 

Read up on the walks we led during 2018 and book FIVE new walks for 2019.

Members examining a large sarsen stone out on a walk led by Katy Whitaker

Five walks were offered in 2018, all very varied in subject and location. Unplanned weather conditions varied too, from damp to very hot or freezing, but did not deter from the enjoyment of all who took part. In April our group learned first hand about the operation and archaeology of the ‘floated water meadows’ at Harnham, Salisbury, under the expert guidance of Dr Hadrian Cook of the Harnham Water Meadows Trust. Carriers, drains, hatches, spillways and the work of the ‘drowner’ are no longer a mystery!

The sudden snowy arrival of the Beast from the East in March caused the re-arrangement of Katy Whitaker’s West Woods walk near Marlborough to early May. We were then able to delight in massed bluebells under the trees while exploring surviving lengths of the Wansdyke, a large but concealed long barrow, and the curious sarsen stones scattered about.

The Medieval Reading walk was also in May, when we met at Reading Museum for an urban tour by Matthew Williams of the museum. Exploring the town we went inside the Abbey’s inner gateway building at Forbury Gardens, followed by the extensive Reading Abbey ruins. Here we had special access just prior to the site’s re-opening to the public after a programme of conservation.

In contrast, June’s walk was up on the Lambourn Downs in Berkshire, with Eloise Kane and Katy Whitaker. This was a walk taking in the archaeology of Ashdown Park and the environs of the house, the downs and a climb to Weathercock Hill, with its magnificent views.

While June was hot, it was decidedly cool, with sub-zero temperatures for October’s walk. Sunny and dry, though. Julian Richards led us over Whiteheet Hill, on the chalk downs overlooking Stourhead near Mere, Wiltshire. All within a relatively small area, we explored the earthworks of a causewayed enclosure, round barrows, cross-dykes, hillfort, and more. It was memorable and exhilarating for those well wrapped up, and a grand way to finish our last walk of the year.

CBA Wessex Walks for 2019

These include an exploration of Newbury’s Civil War sites; prehistoric sites on Cranborne Chase and Morgans Hill near Devizes, featuring old roads and an early wireless station. Other walks in the New Forest and elsewhere are in the pipeline.

 

 

The following events are all now available to book:

Newbury’s Civil War, with Abi Tompkins - Sun, 17 March 2019

A walk along the River Lambourn between Shaw House, the Second Battle of Newbury battlefield, to Donnington Castle

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Britain’s Ancient Past - Sat, 23 March 2019

A study day on the history of Britain from the arrival of the first hominids to the Roman invasion

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Worth Matravers and the Cliffstone Quarries, with Peter Stanier - Sat, 06 April 2019

This walk takes in Dorset’s finest strip lynchets and the cliff quarries at Seacombe and Winspit

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Down Farm, with Martin Green - Sat, 11 May 2019

A walk around the heart of Cranborne Chase, viewing prehistoric sites

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Mr Marconi’s Morgans Hill, with Katy Whitaker - Sat, 15 June 2019

A circular walk at this hilltop site 4 miles north of Devizes

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New Light on D-Day Lepe, with Stephen Fisher - Sun, 27 October 2019

An opportunity to catch up with the results of recent research at this important World War II site

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