Archaeology isn’t just for adults! Bring your family to DigCamp at Soulton Hall and help us piece together the story of a ‘forgotten castle’ in Shropshire. What did it look like? How was it built? Who by? You’ll learn how to dig, make your own discoveries, and experience what it’s really like to be an archaeologist.
Dates: Wed 31 May, Thu 01 June & Sun 04 June 2023
Duration: 2 hours (10:00am-12:00pm, or 2:00pm-4:00pm)
Suitable for: Families with children aged 6-12
Family size: Maximum of one adult and two children per booking (you can make more than one booking)
Meals, travel, and accommodation: Not included (see FAQ for your options)
Experience level: All levels welcome
Fascinated by history? Got a bit of an adventurous streak? Join the DigVentures team on a real, live excavation, and help us piece together the story of this medieval moated manor. What did it look like? How was it built? Who by? You’ll learn how to dig, make your own discoveries, and experience what it’s really like to be an archaeologist.
Our team will guide your search for evidence, and help you piece together the evidence as you try to solve a real archaeological mystery… It’s the perfect mini family adventure for kids and adults who want to get outdoors and discover history for themselves this summer!
Our dig site
Our dig site is tucked away in a field beside Soulton Hall, among the beautiful rolling Shropshire hills. Just eight miles from today’s border with Wales, the manor itself dates back the 16th century, and the surrounding farmland is filled with Bronze Age, Roman, and medieval archaeology. But it’s the large, rectangular mound next to the manor which is the focus of our excavation.
Despite being a protected scheduled ancient monument, no one knew why it was there, and we were given permission to find out. After a week of digging, the evidence started to emerge: a moat, a wooden structure, and a solid stone wall. As the excavation continued, the evidence started piling up: a medieval ampulla, a medieval necklace, medieval cups, bowls, and jug handles, and a medieval token, all dating to around 1250. And when we finally went over the mound with a geophysics survey, the results were beginning to show the remains of even more structures and features lying just below the surface. It’s not every day that archaeologists discover a long-forgotten medieval manor, but that’s exactly what our evidence is pointing to!
What we'll do
Each DigCamp session is 2 hours. In that time, your family will learn all the basic skills that a field archaeologist uses on a dig. Starting with a lively introduction to the Tudors, we’ll grab our trowels and jump straight into the trenches to begin your hands-on archaeological training!
You’ll learn how to excavate, how to recognise new archaeological layers, and how to identify ancient artefacts. We’ll work together to unearth our site, and our friendly team of professional archaeologists will be there to guide your search for evidence every step of the way.
By the end, you’ll be heading home having experienced what it’s really like to be an archaeologist. It’s good, clean, fun!