Looking for something to do this weekend? Did you know that the Festival of Archaeology is currently running? Held each year by the Council for British Archaeology, this event is a chance for communities across the UK to take part and get involved in their local history. This year’s event is themed around Journeys on every scale, through space, time, and personal experience.
As the event is taking place from 16th-31st July, it’s not too late to take part! The festival has hundreds of in-person and online events every year to encourage people to discover and explore their heritage. Find out what you can get up to this weekend and beyond! Where will your festival journey take you?
Local Events, Local Heritage
Oak House, West Bromwich
Looking for something to do today? This event is taking place over three days, with the last day being today – so act fast! From 11 am – 3 pm, anyone interested in archaeology will get an introduction to the trade and a chance to take part in a dig! You could dig up clues about the history of the property and take a journey through time.
Plus, if you want to dive even further into the past, there may be a chance of uncovering some prehistoric activity. The 17th Century Oak Field House will also be open to visitors to explore and some projects from the Wolverhampton Archaeology Group will be on display.
Weoley Castle, Birmingham
On Friday 29th July from 11 am there will be an open day at the Woeley Castle ruins! At over 750 years old this is one of the oldest buildings that can still be seen and visited in Birmingham. Various activities will be available throughout the day, that will let visitors unlock the past.
Activities include guided tours and walks, a play dig for the kids, and seeing finds from the ruins that are back on display for the first time in over 15 years! Prebooking is required for this event, and you can learn more about the open day or book here.
Staffordshire Hoard, Tales of Mercia
Still in the West Midlands with this one, this new reimagining of the Staffordshire Hoard gallery opened in time for the Festival of Archaeology and runs until the very end of the event on August 14th.
So, if you need a bit more planning time before your adventure, this event may suit you. This exhibit will feature the latest research on the treasure as well as digital characters and immersive sound experiences. Plus, entry is free!
Journeying Further Afield
Willing or wanting to head further out for your archaeological journey? No problem! You can use a handy tool to see a full list of available events You can either search for an event by location or keyword, and there’s a list or map view of all available events.
Events can also be filtered by date range, event type, region, historical period, and topic. Whether you’re looking for something family-friendly, a hands-on activity, or something else entirely, you’re sure to find something that ticks all your boxes!
Beyond the Festival
Did you know Wolverhampton actually has its own community archaeology group? Called Archaeology in Mind [AiM], they have excavated a range of sites across Wolverhampton. Previous digs include everything from the remains of a railway signal box to a prehistoric barrow. They aim to encourage community participation and present an opportunity to bring people together through a shared interest in archaeology. For more information, you can get in touch with them or check out their excavation diary on the AiM website. Or, if you’re interested, why not get involved? You can become a member of AiM or even just volunteer at one of their excavations no matter whether you’re a complete beginner. Begin your journey into the heritage that’s all around you!