Club hope Common excavation will unearth Bronze Age sites

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BRONZE AGE burial sites may be uncovered on L’Ancresse Common as a new archaeological dig begins.

A team of eight from Bristol's Clifton Antiquarian Club have been exploring mounds on the common. (24713953)

A team of eight from Bristol’s Clifton Antiquarian Club have been exploring mounds on the common, which could be Bronze Age burial sites, since the weekend.

Member of the club and amateur archaeologist Sheila Hicks said they come every year to do some work in the area and always feel welcome.

‘We do a lot of work and it’s always a challenge, but we love coming here,’ she said.

‘We’ve done some digs along the Rousse headland and in Delancey Park, but this year, as last, we’re focusing on L’Ancresse Common.’

Excavators some 70 years ago recognised the site to have archaeological significance when partly-burnt human bone, pottery fragments and some worked stone objects were found near to Rocque Balan.

The aim this year is to further clarify the nature of these mounds, with Clifton Antiquarian Club carrying out a series of archaeological evaluations and surveys.

States archaeologist Phil de Jersey said the site has puzzled people for a long time.

‘They look as though they could be prehistoric burial mounds,’ he said.


‘But there could be another explanation, we can’t be sure until we have had a proper look at the site.

‘Our Clifton Antiquarian Club colleagues did come last year, to perform some excavations on the common.

‘They only found limpet shells then, so they have come back to do a bigger and more extensive dig.’

The club’s Laurie Waite said they had dug a metre down close to where they can see the outline of a circular ditch.


‘So far we have not found anything from the Bronze Age but we remain hopeful,’ he said.

‘It’s painstaking work, with different layers of the earth relating to different dates.

‘We would like to find some flint or pottery, so that we can carbon date, but so far we think it goes back to the 17th or 18th century.’

Janet Enoch, the club’s amateur archaeologist, said they had been through the same situation before, finding something just as they were packing up.

‘As we were finishing the dig in Rousse, a few years ago, we found some French coins dating from the 1600s,’ she said.

‘It was amazing, to find those coins meant people were visiting the island even that far back.’

Laurie Waite said they were thankful to the States and the Vale Commons Council for their resources and financial support.

  • The dig is taking place on the common until Thursday.
Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter


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