Pupils from Stone CE School spent a morning digging for medieval history and made some exciting finds of their own.
The group of year 6 pupils were exploring a recently excavated medieval ‘industrial estate’ in a field opposite St John the Baptist parish church in Stone, which has uncovered remains of metal working, a kiln, grain processing and farm animals.
Before long they were jubilantly displaying bones, pottery and pieces of metal, prised from archaeologists’ trenches, that had lain below the surface for almost 1,000 years.
The site, in Bishopstone Road, is soon to be a building plot for 12 houses, and was opened for a day to village residents to have a look.
It has provided a significant insight into rural industry in the 11th and 12th century, says Buckinghamshire County Council archaeology officer Eliza Alqassar.
Eliza has been overseeing the three-month archaeological project, run by Archaeological Solutions on behalf of the developer, which has already unearthed pottery, animal bones, metal buckles and ampullae - badges of pilgrimage - thought to be connected with a Christian pilgrims’ route through Stone.
Deputy headteacher Sarah Hale said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn about local history. The highlight was definitely getting hands on and using their newly acquired archaeological skills to unearth some buried treasure of their own.”
Warren Whyte, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “These pre-development archaeological excavations give us a really valuable insight into Buckinghamshire’s history, and are a great enhancement to our heritage knowledge.”