How we're celebrating the Festival of Archaeology 2021

Published: 14 July 2021

Last update: 14 July 2021

Blog post
This blog post is written by National Trust archaeologists, Archaeology and heritage specialists National Trust archaeologists Archaeology and heritage specialists
hands with trowels digging in sand

The National Trust is taking part in the Festival of Archaeology 2021; the UK’s biggest annual celebration of archaeology. In this blog, some of the archaeology team talk about the events they are organising to celebrate the festival.

Festival of Archaeology 2021

The archaeology team at the Trust is excited to be supporting the Festival of Archaeology 2021 which is taking place between Saturday 17 July and Sunday 1 August. The festival is organised by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and is the UK’s biggest annual celebration of archaeology with events delivered by community groups, heritage organisations, and universities.

The Trust's archaeology team will be delivering both online and face-to-face activities. Some of those taking part tell us about the events they are involved in below.

Kathy Laws National Trust Archaeologist

Meet Kathy

'A highlight of the festival this year is our 'Evening with National Trust Archaeologists’ on Monday 19 July 7pm-9pm, which is delivered in partnership with the CBA.'

Kathy Laws, Archaeologist, Wales

'A highlight of the festival this year is our ‘Evening with National Trust Archaeologists’ on Monday 19 July 7pm-9pm which is delivered in partnership with the CBA. It's a fantastic opportunity to hear about the varied work of the National Trust’s Archaeologist and I will be giving a presentation on Conflict Archaeology in Wales which will provide a brief overview of the types of military remains that people can explore on or near National Trust sites across Wales.'

Anti-tank blocks looking out over Nant Francon and guarding the Ogwen Pass, Snowdonia
Anti tank blocks guarding the Ogwen Pass
Anti-tank blocks looking out over Nant Francon and guarding the Ogwen Pass, Snowdonia

'There will also be presentations from my colleague James Brown in the London and South East team, looking at a few of their sites along with the ambitions and projects on the horizon as well as tips on how you could get involved. And my colleague Angus Wainwright in the East of England who will be considering two periods in the long history of the landscape of Wimpole; the Iron Age farming communities and the agricultural revolution in the 17th century.

'These events will be followed by a live Question-and-Answer session, chaired by Tom Dommett, the Trust’s Head of Historic Environment, and is a brilliant opportunity to ask those questions about archaeology you've always wanted to. We are hoping it will be a fascinating and informative evening for all. There is still space at the event, so please join us.'

An evening with National Trust Archaeologists Tickets, Mon 19 Jul 2021 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

James Brown National Trust Archaeologist

Meet James

'I am helping to set up the Archaeology Day at Hindhead Commons, Guildford, as part of the face-to-face events the Trust is organising.'

James Brown, Archaeologist, London and South East

'I'm helping to set up the Archaeology Day at Hindhead Commons as part of the face-to-face events the Trust is organising. Giving a closer look at the changing landscape of the dramatic Devil’s Punchbowl and Hindhead Commons, we will be helping show how archaeology can reveal some of the hidden stories locked within the land you walk.

'From folklore to follies, farming to finds, turnpikes to tunnels and commons to crosses, Hindhead Commons have been a hive of human activity. Though it may look like a magnificent untouched rural wilderness, the human hand has sought to tame and control this landscape over thousands of years. Indeed, 10 years ago, the road that passed over this landscape connecting London to Portsmouth from Tudor times with a rich history of its own, suddenly fell silent as the Hindhead Tunnel opened on time and under budget.'

View of Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punch Bowl
view across hillside and heather at Hindhead Common
View of Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punch Bowl

'Staff and volunteers from the National Trust and partner organisations will be on site during the day running a range of archaeological activities to help you unlock the colourful stories and events of Hindhead. Activities to enjoy include information stands, guided walks, self-led walks, archaeological scavenger hunts, storytelling, finds handling and much, much more.

'There will also be an opportunity to bring along any archaeological finds you might have discovered in your garden during lockdown for help identifying and recording. It will be a brilliant event and great way to celebrate the festival.'

Shannon Hogan National Trust Archaeologist

Meet Shannon

'As the National Archaeologist, I'm supporting our digital offer for the festival. One of these is our new Heritage Explorer Challenge, which is aimed at families and young adults and it has nine archaeological features to spot when visiting one of our gardens or parks.

Shannon Hogan, National Archaeologist

'As the National Archaeologist, I'm supporting our digital offer for the festival. One of these is our new Heritage Explorer Challenge. This challenge is aimed at families and young adults and has nine archaeological features to spot when visiting one of our gardens or parks.  Features include ha-has, statues and dovecotes. The challenge can be downloaded as a PDF or printed from the Trust’s website before a visit.'

Willington Dovecote, Bedfordshire
Willington Dovecote
Willington Dovecote, Bedfordshire

'Archaeology is so often hidden, but it’s also not always buried under our feet, so we want to help visitors to stop and see all of the archaeology around them and to better understand the complexity and richness of our places. This challenge is part of our expanding resources for young archaeologists available on the Trust’s website including an Anglo-Saxon activity pack at Sutton Hoo, a Roman activity pack at Chedworth and a medieval activity pack at Fountains Abbey.'

Other activities

These are just some of the activities over the two weeks. Keep up to date throughout the Festival, through the Trust’s social media channels and the Trust’s Archaeology Facebook and Twitter accounts.

More to explore