Celebrating history at free study sessions in Burnham Market

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The National Archaeological Trust heads to Burnham Norton next week for the return of its Heritage Lottery-funded Imagined Land Project.

The project gives West Norfolk residents the opportunity to explore and celebrate the heritage of sites at the heart of their communities through practical research, historical events and creative activities.

Working closely with Burnham Market Primary School, the Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group project includes a programme of study days and archaeological ‘test-pits’ in gardens and fields outside the scheduled monument area to find out more about the development of these enigmatic sites.

Archaeological and documentary research will then be used as the starting point for creative arts work such as writing, music, craft making and performance.

The whole thing will culminate on September 22 with a historical pageant devised and created with the local community.

Following great success in Tasburgh last year, NAT is moving its attentions to Burnham Norton Friary and will be holding a series of free study days in Burnham Market this month.

The events, which will take place at Burnham Market Village Hall on April 14 and 28, will focus on on themes around the development of the landscape, local settlement patterns and the story of the Carmelite Friary at Burnham Norton.

The event on Saturday, April 14, will focus on The Landscape and Settlement Context of the Carmelite Friary, Burnham, running from 10.30am to 1pm, followed by an afternoon field trip with local historian Dr Sally Francis.

The Friary was introduced into a well-established historic landscape and was a source of influence on the settlement pattern even after its dissolution.

This event looks at the development of the Burnham landscape and its settlement history - Saxon times, the Middle Ages, into the modern period.

Then on Saturday, April 28, the focus will be on Interpreting the Friary Site at Burnham Norton, from 10.30am to 4pm.

This event will explore interpretations of the site using a recent geophysical survey, archaeological excavations of other Carmelite sites, and historical sources.

There will be an opportunity for discussion of the complex issue of interpretation. A guided tour of the friary site is included.

Both the events can be booked by emailing burnhamfriaryevents@gmail.com

For those who want to know more about the archaeology a briefing will be held at the primary school at 7pm on Thursday, May 10.

For more information about the project, contact project manager Simon Floyd, email imaginedland1@gmail.com, or call 078967 81574.