This year saw the last season of use for our excavation shed. Since 2008 this shed has provided shelter to thousands of excavators, and with it, many fond memories.

Over the past month, volunteers have been sending us images of their time in the shed. We have put a few below.


Volunteers photos

One volunteer went a step further and wrote a poem – which we think sums up the building perfectly.


Ode to the diggers’ shed

By Ann Hetherington


How can a shed have a personality?

It is exactly that:

A shed.

Wooden. Cold. Dusty. Muddy at times.

And yet

This shed has a character.

How can a shed be a friend?

And yet it has been exactly that.

A refuge. A replacement for the Nissan huts

That originally stood here

Serviceable and sturdy

But noisy in the rain.


More recently this hut squatted

Here in the landscape


Quietly. Sheltering the diggers and workers

And bones

Trays of ancient bones and pot.


Yet more than a shelter

It has housed dreams


Networks, love affairs and kindnesses.


It has been like the United Nations.


It has united people in their escape

From the wild weather


Snow, ice and the prevailing wind.

Over cups of hot tea and coffee and many biscuits

And a desire to find history.


But all things need to move on.

Even sheds.

Move onto pastures new.

Literally - a farmer’s field

Where it will have another life

And reinvent itself.


We wish it well

The old shed

And look forward to its sparkly successor

Warm, light and with hot running water.

It won’t take long

Before it is a member of the family.


The shed leaves us to make way for our new Robin Birley Archaeological Centre for the start of the 2020 excavation season.


                                       An image of new centre

 The new design takes inspiration from the original Nissan sheds that were on site way back in 1974.


                                      The site and the shed complex in 1974


Progress is coming along nicely for our new centre. It is being built in five parts by a company called Green Unit in Oxford, and then will be transported to the site.


                                      The progress so far, two of the five sections coming together


If you would like to make a donation towards our new centre, please follow the link below:

You can keep up to date with the new centre’s progress through our social media channels – or even better – pay us a visit!