Hillington dig suggests earlier church

Hillington Archaeologist dig''Students from Kes, Springwood and Thomas Clarkson Schools with  Bethan Willey and Archaeologist  Carenza Lewis showing samples found. ANL-150319-164010009
Hillington Archaeologist dig''Students from Kes, Springwood and Thomas Clarkson Schools with Bethan Willey and Archaeologist Carenza Lewis showing samples found. ANL-150319-164010009
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Hillington may once have had an earlier church, according to results of a series of digs held at locations throughout the village last week.

The digs were organised by the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeological Society and the University of Cambridge Higher Education Field Academy.

Former star of TV’s Time Team, Dr Carenza Lewis, from the university, joined students from Lynn’s Springwood High School, King Edward VII Academy and the Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech, on site on Wednesday and Thursday along with members of the society. At the weekend, the society invited people from the local community to get involved.

Society chairman Dr Clive Bond, said that 10 test pits were excavated, including one at the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, which produced facts about the village previously unknown.

He said: “Near to the church we found medieval pottery which suggests an early settlement in the area. We found Thetford ware, which dates back to just before the Norman Conquest, and also Ipswich ware, which dates from 650 to 850.

“The suggestion is that there was some activity before the present church was built – possibly there was another church there before which would have been Saxon and is contemporary with the pottery.” He said that close to the church they also recovered “work flints” used for tools, which it is estimated date from 6500 to 2900BC.

On Friday, pupils from the school visited Cambridge to get a taste of life as a student. Dr Bond, who gave a talk at KES this week, said: “The digs gave students the opportunity to learn about Hillington’s history and about archaeology and science. They also had the responsibility of handling artefacts.”