Tom Dommett

Project Archaeologist, Clandon Park

Profile
Tom Dommett - Project Archaeologist

Tom has recently come on board to lead the team of archaeologists at Clandon Park.

Tom Dommett Clandon Park Project Archaeologist
I joined the National Trust as a Regional Archaeologist in 2012, leading community archaeology projects and providing archaeological advice to our properties across Sussex and the South Downs. I’m also the National Trust’s specialist for Remote Sensing, looking at things like airborne and terrestrial laser scanning. At Clandon I oversee a team of archaeologists undertaking the salvage work within the building, retrieving items from the collection and also uncovering clues about the history of the building itself.
 
To my great regret I’d never visited Clandon before the fire, and like so many people I watched the reports of the fire with shock and sadness. I’ve joined this complex project part way through and, without having previously known the building, it’s been a daunting task but a challenge I was really keen to take on. 
" While the terrible loss caused by the fire is always at the forefront, we’re presented with an incredible opportunity to get to grips with the history of the building."
- Tom Dommett

While the terrible loss caused by the fire is always at the forefront, we’re presented with an incredible opportunity to get to grips with the history of the building and to take on a very unique approach to archaeological excavation. Spectacular moments like seeing the team of abseilers working inside the building reinforce how innovative we’ve had to be throughout this project.
 
Our biggest challenge now that the building is clear of debris, is to create an accurate record of the structure itself. We’re using advanced survey techniques like laser scanning to produce a model of the building, which is accurate to within millimetres and made up of millions of individual measurements. Along with documentary sources, maps and plans, this will be vital to help us understand how the building was constructed and modified over the course of nearly 300 years, and inform how we go about continuing this tradition in the future.