Let’s Go Digging BIG CHRISTMAS RALLY. We have now chosen the location for our 2017 Christmas rally and carefully picked the area for its central location and history. We will be holding the event in Hallow Worcester on 100 acres of cultivated land. We will have Christmas fancy dress and prize for best costume, marquees, free pig roast (this time cooking in the field), a massive raffle with a luxury Christmas hamper, Deus metal detector and other prizes. This will be a fantastic day to see in the festive season with Let’s Go Digging and members, usual hot mulled wine & Baileys for those not driving, mince pies will be on offer. This event will be limited so please register your place early to save disappointment.
For anyone who didn’t attend last years event in Brightwalton here are a few pictures from the day to give you an idea of what to expect from Let’s Go Digging at Christmas.
The trade route past Worcester which later formed part of the Roman Ryknild Street dates to Neolithic times. The position commanded a ford over the River Severn (the river was tidal past Worcester prior to public works projects in the 1840s) and was fortified by the Britons around 400 bc. It would have been on the northern border of the Dobunni and probably subject to the larger communities of the Malvern hillforts. The Roman settlement at the site passes unmentioned by Ptolemy’s Geography, the Antonine Itinerary and the Register of Dignitaries but would have grown up on the road opened between Glevum (Gloucester) and Viroconium(Wroxeter) in the ad 40s and 50s. It may have been the “Vertis” mentioned in the 7th century Ravenna Cosmography. Using charcoal from the Forest of Dean, the Romans operated pottery kilns and ironworks at the site and may have built a small fort.
In the 3rd century, Roman Worcester occupied a larger area than the subsequent medieval city, but silting of the Diglis Basin caused the abandonment of Sidbury. Industrial production ceased and the settlement contracted to a defended position along the lines of the old British fort at the river terrace’s southern end. This settlement is generally identified with the Cair Guiragon listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons attributed to Nennius. This is not a British name but an adaption of its Old English name Weorgoran ceaster, “fort of the Weorgoran”. The Weorgoran (the “people of the winding river”) were precursors of Hwicce and probably West Saxons who entered the area some time after the 577 Battle of Dyrham. In 680, their fort at Worcester was chosen—in preference to both the much larger Gloucester and the royal court at Winchcombe—to be the seat of a new bishopric, suggesting there was already a well-established and powerful Christian community when the site fell into English hands. The oldest known church was St Helen’s, which was certainly British; the Saxon cathedral was dedicated to St Peter.
The town was almost destroyed in 1041 after a rebellion against the punitive taxation of Harthacanute. During this time, the townsfolk moved to (and at times were besieged at) the nearby Bevere Island, 2 miles upriver. The following century, the town (then better defended) was attacked several times (in 1139, 1150 and 1151) during the Anarchy, i.e. civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I. This is the background to the well-researched historical novel The Virgin in the Ice, part of Ellis Peters’ The Cadfael Chronicles series, which begins with the words:
“It was early in November of 1139 that the tide of civil war, lately so sluggish and inactive, rose suddenly to wash over the city of Worcester, wash away half of its lifestock, property and women and send all those of its inhabitants who could get away in time scurrying for their lives northwards away from the marauders”. (These are mentioned as having arrived from Gloucester, leaving a long lasting legacy of bitterness between the two cities.)
By late medieval times the population had grown to around 10,000 as the manufacture of cloth started to become a large local industry. The town was designated a county corporate, giving it autonomy from local government.
Worcester was the site of the Battle of Worcester (3 September 1651), when Charles II attempted to forcefully regain the crown, in the fields a little to the west and south of the city, near the village of Powick. However, Charles II was defeated and returned to his headquarters in what is now known as King Charles house in the Cornmarket, before fleeing in disguise to Boscobel House in Shropshire from where he eventually escaped to France. Worcester had supported the Parliamentary cause before the outbreak of war in 1642 but spent most of the war under Royalist occupation. After the war it cleverly used its location as the site of the final battles of the First Civil War (1646) and Third Civil War (1651) to try to mount an appeal for compensation from the new King Charles II. As part of this and not based upon any historical fact, it invented the epithet “Fidelis Civitas” (The Faithful City) and this motto has since been incorporated into the city’s coat of arms.
In 1670, the River Severn burst its banks and the subsequent flood was the worst ever seen by Worcester. A brass plate can be found on a wall on the path to the cathedral by the path along the river showing how high this flood went and other flood heights of more recent times are also shown in stone bricks. The closest flood height to what is known as the Flood of 1670 was when the Severn flooded in the torrential rains of July 2007.
The Royal Worcester Porcelain Company factory was founded by Dr John Wall in 1751, although it no longer produces goods with production ceasing in 2009. A handful of decorators are still employed at the factory and the Museum on the site is still open to the public.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Worcester was a major centre for glove making, employing nearly half the glovers in England at its peak (over 30,000 people). In 1815 the Worcester and Birmingham Canal opened, allowing Worcester goods to be transported to a larger conurbation.
The British Medical Association (BMA) was founded in the Board Room of the old Worcester Royal Infirmary building in Castle Street in 1832. While part of the Royal Infirmary has now been demolished to make way for the University of Worcester’s new city campus, the original Georgian building has been preserved. One of the old wards opened as a medical museum, the Infirmary, in 2012.
In 1882 Worcester hosted the Worcestershire Exhibition, inspired by the Great Exhibition in London. There were sections for exhibits of fine arts (over 600 paintings), historical manuscripts and industrial items. The profit was £1,867.9s.6d. The number of visitors is recorded as 222,807. Some of the profit from the exhibition was used to build the Victoria Institute in Foregate Street, Worcester. This was opened on 1 October 1896 and originally housed the city art gallery and museum; now located on Foregate Street. Further information about the exhibition can be found at the museum.
During the Second World War, the city was chosen to be the seat of an evacuated government in case of mass German invasion. The War Cabinet, along with Winston Churchill and some 16.000 state workers, would have moved to Hindlip Hall (now part of the complex forming the Headquarters of West Mercia Police), 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Worcester and Parliament would have temporarily seated in Stratford-upon-Avon. The former RAF station RAF Worcester was located east of Northwick.
In the 1950s and 1960s large areas of the medieval centre of Worcester were demolished and rebuilt as a result of decisions by town planners. This was condemned by many such as Nikolaus Pevsner who described it as a “totally incomprehensible… act of self-mutilation”. There is still a significant area of medieval Worcester remaining, examples of which can be seen along City Walls Road, Friar Street and New Street, but it is a small fraction of what was present before the redevelopments.
The current city boundaries date from 1974, when the Local Government Act 1972 transferred the parishes of Warndon and St. Peter the Great County into the city.
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING ALL LET’S GO DIGGING EVENTS
Please note: We expect all finds to be shown for photographing, all items considered treasure for the finder to provide identification and a contact number. Whilst it is not our responsibility to report items of treasure found on our digs, we will advise the finder to do so and expect confirmation it has been done. And finds of this nature not reported will result in the finders details being passed to the relevant authority.
The event will start at 9am after a short briefing so please arrive between 8am and 8.45am. Digging finishes at 4.30pm. Parking will be on the edge of the field if it is dry, if it isnt dry enough parking will be on the grass verge on the road.
There will be toilets on site.
If you can no longer attend after registering for the event please UN REGISTER, failure to do so can result in you being blocked from all future LGD events.
Non paid members £25
Paid members with a membership card £20
Under 16s free (no need to register)
Hallow Christmas Event - Sunday 17th December
Registration opens at 31-10-2017 13:44
Registration closes at 16-12-2017 18:00
Max Participants: 150