About Us

103 Portway House, our Salisbury headquarters

Wessex Archaeology is the trusted market leader in the provision of quality archaeological and heritage services, delivered from a UK wide network of offices. Established for over 35 years Wessex Archaeology offers an unrivalled range of services above ground, below ground and underwater. We work in partnership with planners, designers, developers and property managers to deliver practical solutions.
Employing over 200 staff, working out of six regional offices, Wessex Archaeology can deal with all your heritage needs. You will find us responsive, reliable and professional. This complete service is delivered by five skilled and innovative teams: heritage, archaeology, geoservices, central services and coastal & marine.
Wessex Archaeology is a charitable company which puts sustainability and community engagement at its heart.





Contact Us


Welcome to Wessex Archaeology 
For enquiries regarding our Fieldwork Services
please contact the most appropriate office below:
South: Office details | Tel: 01722 326867
London & SE: Office details | Tel: 01622 963210
West Office details | Tel: 01172 897040
North: Office details | Tel: 01142 559774
Scotland: Office details | Tel: 0131 239 7050
Wales: Office details | Tel: 01938 578157
For more General Commercial Enquiries
info@wessexarch.co.uk +44 1722 326867
Coastal & Marine
For enquiries regarding coastal & marine services
d.atkinson@wessexarch.co.uk 03315 249561
For enquires regarding geophysics, geoarchaeology or geomatics services
For enquires regarding heritage services
a.bryant@wessexarch.co.uk 03303 133416
Community & Education
For enquiries regarding education and outreach
education@wessexarch.co.uk 03303 133467
Media & Press Enquiries
For all media and press enquiries Katy Taylor
press@wessexarch.co.uk 07896 848425 
Request for WA image reproduction
For use of our images please download and complete a copy of the PDF here
and return it to Pippa Bradley
For other Key Contacts click here

Registered Charity

Wessex Archaeology is a Registered Charity

Number 287786 & SC042630 LINK
Our Purpose and Aims
The objects for which the Charity is established are to promote
Public Benefit 
Our activities aim to deliver public benefit by gathering and creating knowledge about the past, interpreting and disseminating it. We help bring the past into the present, where it is valued as our cultural heritage. Cultural heritage contributes to a sense of place; to community identity and enhances appreciation of the environment in which we live. It is both tangible and intangible: each contributing to social capital, making our communities more self-reliant and dynamic. Our work enhances social inclusion and cohesion, promotes cultural diversity and contributes to economic, social and physical regeneration.
The sustainability of our cultural heritage depends on managing, conserving and protecting the historic environment, balanced against the needs of the present and future. As part of this process we record and interpret the physical attributes of the cultural heritage – historic buildings and structures, landscapes and seascapes, and archaeological remains – in response to the changes brought by development or management priorities. This work is delivered as individual projects and the interpretations of these are disseminated through written reports, public talks and displays, education projects, the web and broadcast media. Scholarly works are also published, and the finds and archives from fieldwork are preserved by museums, archive stores and digital repositories.
The process of providing these services, and the discoveries and interpretations made, help to replenish and renew the value of cultural heritage for our communities. As a result, the beneficiaries of our work encompass a wide spectrum of communities and groups across the UK and beyond. In addition to the organisations or individuals commissioning the work, beneficiaries include fellow heritage professionals; individuals using reports and digital resources; local communities; special interest groups; teachers and students in all sectors of education; disadvantaged groups such as young offenders; disabled individuals and young carers.
To be the heritage consultancy of choice, spearheading knowledge creation whilst delivering excellence, value and innovation.
We deliver value for our customers, partners and our shared heritage, through trusted relationships based on quality products and services.
Combining commercial perception and world leading technical expertise, we support sustainable development through effective heritage risk minimisation.
Charitable aim
Our charitable aim is to support the education of the public in the arts, culture, heritage and science through the pursuit of archaeology, to benefit society and the economy.
Our core values and commitments

Structure, Governance and Management

Wessex Archaeology Limited is a registered charity and is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and without a share capital. The governing document is its Memorandum and Articles of Association, amended by replacement with a new document and a resolution dated 2/5/2014. Members of the charitable company may vote at general meetings and their liability for its debts is limited to £10 each. There are currently eight members and the maximum number is twenty.
On appointment, all Directors of the Company also become Trustees of the charitable company. The procedure for appointment of the Directors and Trustees is described in the charitable company’s Articles of Association. Trustees are appointed by ordinary resolution in general meetings. All Trustees appointed for the first time must be recommended by other Trustees, who may approve such appointments. Any new Trustees appointed by the other Trustees, retire at the next annual meeting at which Trustees are required to retire, and may then be considered for re-election by the Members. New Trustees spend time at one of the charitable company’s offices at the beginning of their appointment. Their induction day includes meetings with the charitable company’s Chief Executive and with the Chairman of Trustees. The induction day aims to familiarise new Trustees with the work of the charitable company and its aims and objectives. Further training and awareness-raising is provided by the Company Secretary or Chief Executive as appropriate.
The Trustees are responsible for the overall strategic direction and policy objectives of the charitable company. Day-to-day management is delegated to the Chief Executive and the other Principal Officers. The key points on delegation are set out in a Board policy statement on authorisation levels and delegated powers, which is supported by a more detailed Management Protocol.
To find out more about our Trustees follow this link.

Company Accreditations


To find out more about these accreditations click on the links below.


Quality Policy


Wessex Archaeology has developed and implemented a Quality Management System (QMS) that meets the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001:2015.
Our QMS addresses the planning, production and delivery of our services, and documents our business processes and practices. This ensures that we are better able to satisfy the requirements and expectations of our customers, while at the same time improving the overall management of the company. 
if you want to verifiy our ISO 9001 status, please follow this link and enter our number 606559.

Quality Policy

Wessex Archaeology aims to contribute to advances in archaeological knowledge, practice and cultural heritage management, and to create opportunities to enhance the public’s understanding of the past and their appreciation of our heritage. 
We aim to provide our clients with high-quality heritage advice and services, which satisfy their needs and expectations. 
We aim to apply the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and consideration in our relationships, both internally with our staff and externally with clients, professional associates, subcontractors and suppliers. 
We aim to ensure the continuing success of our company through new, repeat and referred business, to be achieved by all staff focusing on the needs of our clients. 
To help us achieve our aims we seek to continually:
  • Improve our staff development via training and investment. 
  • Improve our products and services as well as developing new ones. 
  • Improve our QMS by monitoring and evaluating its performance and providing the leadership and communication necessary for it to be effective.
This Policy provides the focus for our quality objectives, it supports our strategic direction and is communicated to all employees.
Chris Brayne
Chief Executive

Health, Safety and Welfare

"Wessex Archaeology recognises that our employees are our greatest and most valuable asset, and we are fully committed to achieving zero harm throughout our operations, whilst providing the safest sustainable working environment possible”. 
Chris Brayne
Chief Executive
To show our commitment to Health, Safety and Welfare Wessex Archaeology provides:
  • Safe places of work
  • Safe plant and equipment
  • Safe systems of work
  • Safe and competent employees
  • Supervision, information, instruction and training
Wessex Archaeology ensures that at all levels, staff are trained in Health & Safety. The Senior Management Team are trained to Lead Safely, and we lead the sector by employing a full time Health & Safety professional who is a Graduate Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). All our Project Managers attend the four day IOSH Managing of Safely course, ensuring that from project start we are working safely. 
Our Supervisors and Officers are trained in National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) or the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) nationally recognised schemes; Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) and Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS).
Our fieldwork site staff as well as being professional archaeologists are all trained in Health & Safety Awareness as required by the ‘Constructing Better Health scheme’ and hold the Construction Skills Safety Skills (CSCS), Construction Related Occupation (CRO) Archaeologist Technician Card. 

Our Environmental Policy

Our Committment

Wessex Archaeology is a leading heritage practice and is committed to the protection of the environment by meeting the needs of the present without compromising those of the future. Wessex Archaeology is also committed to preventing and minimising the impact of its operations on the environment. This will be achieved by:
Complying with all relevant legislation regarding;
     • Air pollution
     • Water pollution
     • Waste disposal
Working closely with our clients and partners in minimising our environmental impact.
Working with our suppliers to minimise the impact of their operations on the environment.
Promoting individual awareness of good environmental practices within Wessex Archaeology Ltd.
This Environment Policy is communicated to all employees and contractors who work for Wessex Archaeology. The policy will be displayed prominently at all sites and work places. It is this company’s intention that all work is carried out in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions and that all reasonable practicable measures are taken to avoid and/or alleviate potential damage or nuisance to people and impact on the environment.
Wessex Archaeology’s management and supervisory staff are responsible for implementing the Environment Policy throughout the company, and must ensure that, subject to requirements of Health and Safety, Environment Protection has a high priority in planning and everyday work practices.
Wessex Archaeology will continue to improve our environmental performance by:
Putting in place an Environmental Management System, ISO 14001 compliant.
Training our employees in environmental awareness.
Measuring our environmental impact and setting an action plan, to include:
     • Implementing energy saving technologies and initiatives.
     • Adopting strategies to minimise the environmental impacts of business travel
     • Using utilities in a responsible and economic way to minimise negative impacts on the
     • Managing waste according to our duty of care, minimising volumes going to landfill, by re-use
       and recycling wherever possible.
     • Purchasing supplies wherever possible which are recycled and recyclable, and whose production
       and use minimises the consumption of natural resources.
     • Conserving resources by ensuring that buildings and fittings are properly maintained and reflect
       appropriate eco guidance.
This Policy is applies to all employees of Wessex Archaeology Ltd, and contractors involved in operations and activities associated with the Company.
Chris Brayne
Chief Executive

Vacancies at Wessex Archaeology

RSS feed icon Subscribe to our vacancies RSS feed or follow Twitter @wessexarch on Twitter

Current Vacancies

We are not currently recruiting 
HR-F-006-003-A_Application Form.doc108 KB

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Wessex Archaeology? [top]
Wessex Archaeology is one of the largest archaeological practices in the country, employing over 200 archaeologists across six offices, and working across the country.
We work with councils, developers and heritage organisations to ensure that archaeological remains are recorded and preserved before work begins on new development schemes.
Wessex Archaeology, which was set up in 1979 and is based just outside the medieval city of Salisbury, is also a charity, devoted to educating the public about archaeology through lectures, events and public relations. Our surplus is put back into our charitable work or to improving our service to clients
What does Wessex Archaeology do? [top]
Archaeology in Britain has been revolutionised in the last decade by a change in planning regulations that can require developers to have land archaeologically assessed and excavated before construction begins.
Our projects can range from one archaeologist surveying and recording a disused 19th century inn before it is converted into a restaurant to 25 staff excavating a Roman town in advance of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
Wessex Archaeology works in areas such as housing developments, extraction, utilities, road schemes, railway and airport projects – anywhere that has the potential for significant archaeological remains.
Archaeology need not be simply digging in a trench. Wessex Archaeology also carries out building surveys, underwater archaeology, coastal studies, human remains analysis, heritage management, illustration and 3D computer modelling, finds and environmental work and publication.
Not all of our projects are as a result of planning regulations, for instance Wessex is carrying out strategic work for both Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland, assessing maritime wrecks.
Where does Wessex Archaeology work? [top]
We work across the UK and abroad, not just in the Wessex area. We also have offices providing archaeological services in Kent, Sheffield, Bristol, Welshpool and Edinburgh.
Our work is offshore, too. We have carried out heritage management projects across Europe, in Africa, and Australia. Our underwater projects range from regular survey off the UK, to desk-based work for European countries, Africa and even the Bay of Mexico.
Is Wessex Archaeology a company or a charity? [top]
Wessex Archaeology is both a limited company and a registered charity. This reflects our commercial work which funds our remit to educate the public about our work and archaeology in general.
Our company and charitable object is “to promote the education of the public in the subjects of arts, culture, heritage & science through the pursuit of archaeology”.
Many of our staff take part in outreach activities to promote archaeology to the outside world by giving talks and workshops and organising events.

How is Wessex Archaeology funded? [top]

Wessex Archaeology is entirely funded from its commercial work. We do not receive any direct state funding, either from central or local government.

Who does Wessex Archaeology employ? [top]

Wessex Archaeology employs more than 200 staff on permanent and fixed-term contracts. Most of these are archaeologists either working in the field or at our offices around the UK. All of our staff are experienced and trained professionals, most with degrees in archaeology. Some are national experts in their field.
Wessex also employs specialist staff in design, publications, photography, public relations, finance, administration, IT and education.
What has Wessex Archaeology found? [top]
Wessex Archaeology’s staff have made many important discoveries over the last 35 years, many of which are now in museums. 
The finds are taken from the site to Wessex Archaeology’s headquarters, where they are recorded, washed, analysed and stored. All are sent to museums for display. A report is prepared for our clients on what we have found and we frequently prepare a paper on the archaeology to be sent to an academic journal. Copies of many post-excavation reports are available for download from our reports section.

How can I become an archaeologist? [top]
Many people want to be archaeologists and it can be very rewarding career. Archaeologists have many specialisms including excavation, buildings, maritime, geophysics, computing, illustration, artefacts and environmental analysis to name but a few.
Try these links for further information. Our website has a vacancies section, which gives the sort of job requirements needed. Try the links below for more information:

Do you take volunteers? [top]
We do take volunteers to help in our post-excavation section, but not for fieldwork. This work involves helping to wash, record and store the remains we find on site which have been brought back to our offices.

Complaints Policy

Wessex Archaeology views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.
Wessex Archaeology believes that by having this procedure it can demonstrate: 
Commitment to clients and other stakeholders.  
Commitment to providing the best possible service. 
The aim of the Complaints policy is to ensure Wessex Archaeology: 
Provides a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
Publicises the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
Makes sure everyone at Wessex Archaeology knows what to do if a complaint is received.
Makes sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
Makes sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired. 
Gathers information which helps to improve the company. 
All complaints information will be handled sensitively, following the relevant data protection requirements. 
How do I make a complaint?
If you wish to make a complaint about Wessex Archaeology please contact the Salisbury Office on 01722 326867 or email complaints@wessexarch.co.uk
You will be asked for your name, address, telephone number and email address (if you have one) and a brief outline of your complaint only. 
Your complaint will be logged and passed to the Complaints Manager who will contact you within 3 working days to discuss the complaint and take details. The Complaints Manager will either investigate the complaint themselves or nominate another senior member of staff to do so.
Any complaint made will be dealt with as soon as reasonably possible, usually within 28 working days, and you will receive a letter summarising the results. 
If you wish to remain anonymous then please leave details of your complaint which will be logged and passed onto the Complaints Manager.

A History of Wessex Archaeology


An archaeologist's equipment, on display in the Time Team exhibiton in Salisbury Cathedral, 2009.An archaeologist's equipment, on display in the Time Team exhibiton in Salisbury Cathedral, 2009.Explore the history of Wessex Archaeology

Wessex Archaeology was founded as the Wessex Archaeological Committee on 1 May 1979 - the last of the regional units to be created by the Department of Environment (the DoE, now English Heritage). This brought together individual archaeologists in Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Wiltshire.
In 1983 the name changed to the Trust for Wessex Archaeology and it became the not-for-profit charitable company which it remains today.


2009 - 21 years at Portway House

Bill Putnam (left), first Chairman of the Board of Directors and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Chairman of English Heritage.Bill Putnam (left), first Chairman of the Board of Directors and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Chairman of English Heritage.October 2009 marked the 21st anniversary of the official opening of Portway House as the Head Office of the Trust for Wessex Archaeology.
Invitation to the official opening of Portway HouseInvitation to the official opening of Portway HouseIn 1988, nine years after the establishment of the Wessex Archaeological Committee, the Trust was rapidly expanding, to the extent that the original offices in the heart of Salisbury - in the Cathedral Close and at Dunns House - were no longer adequate. A decision was therefore made to relocate, leading to the purchase and establishment of the current offices at the Old Sarum Airfield.
The Trust’s Chairman at the time, Bill Putnam, noted that ’it is a remarkable achievement that in only nine years the number of archaeologists employed by the Trust in the region has grown from one (March 1979 – Ann Ellison the Director) to nearly fifty.’ The Unit Director, Andrew Lawson, described the new offices as providing ‘ideal accommodation for a professional unit with offices, processing areas, drawing office and storage. Such a building provides the opportunity for efficient and economic management.’ Wessex Archaeology was the first archaeological practice in the UK to purchase its own premise
Lord Montagu opening Portway HouseLord Montagu opening Portway HouseThe official opening took place on Wednesday, 12th October, 1988. Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, then Chairman of English Heritage, unveiled three commemorative plaques in the entranceway to mark the occasion.
The plaques were made by Andy and Jo Young of Norfolk, and the first showed the logo of the Trust. The second read ‘Opened by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, 12.10.88’, with the final plaque reading ‘Acquisition supported by MEPC’ who not only funded the plaques themselves and backed the mortgage, but were a valued supporter of the Trust’s work.
The opening took place in front of a large number of honoured guests including the Mayor of Salisbury, David Mitchell (MP for Hampshire North West) and MEP Dr Caroline Jackson. In addition prominent archaeologists, many clients and local business people, national and local journalists and staff attended the event.
The wall plaques commemorating the opening of Portway HouseThe wall plaques commemorating the opening of Portway House


Through the years: 1979 to present

Wessex Archaeology Head OfficeWessex Archaeology Head OfficeExplore the history of Wessex Archaeology from its beginnings in 1979 to 2004. We're working on adding 2005 to 2010 soon. Click on a year to read more.


The Wessex Archaeological Committee (WAC), forerunner of the Trust for Wessex Archaeology and its archaeological unit, came into existence on the 1st May 1979. The committee's Chairman was Bill Putnam, who continued in that role until 1999.
WAC had in fact existed since 1974, although in a different form. Its earlier role was to devise and implement policies for archaeological research and investigation in Wessex and to advise the Department of the Environment (DoE), by whom it was funded, on matters archaeological. As development began increasingly to threaten archaeological sites, the DoE set up regional units to carry out research and excavation. The transformation of the Wessex Archaeological Committee made it the last such Government-funded field unit to be created.
The Committee employed no staff at all until a Field Officer was appointed in 1976. In preparation for the unit becoming active, others were gradually recruited during 1979. The first who took up appointments at the Committee's new offices in the Blackmore Museum in St. Ann Street, Salisbury were Dr. Ann Ellison (Director), John Eyles (Administrative Director), Rob Read (Illustrations and Records Officer) and Sue Davies (Senior Post-excavation Assistant).
Early work, although not a WAC project, involved helping Mike Pitts investigate a telephone cable trench at Stonehenge. The Prince of Wales had noticed the trenching during a visit to the monument, and, worried that no archaeologists were taking an interest, expressed his concern. The trench was soon examined and found to contain a previously unrecognised stonehole near the Heel Stone.


Much of WAC's second year was occupied with establishing its Salisbury base. Staff from the five Wessex 'home counties', Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight, transferred to Wyndham House, a building shared with the Wiltshire Conservation Service, situated behind the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum in the Cathedral Close.
The transferred staff included field officers from the five DoE funded county committees and the M3 Archaeological Rescue Committee (MARC3): Pete Fasham (who was appointed Assistant Director at WAC), Peter Woodward (Dorset), Julian Richards and Sue Lobb (Berkshire), Vicky Basford (Isle of Wight) and Chris Gingell (Wiltshire), along with Pete Cox from Dorset, Jo Gingell and Phil Harding from Wiltshire, and John Hawkes from MARC3.
Although the newly arrived staff were already working on surveys and excavations in their respective areas, 1980 was the year in which WAC excavations started. The first 'Wessex' excavation, Wl, was a prehistoric, Roman and Saxon site at Wraysbury, between Windsor and Staines. (All excavations need a unique site code, so that the records and finds from one site are not confused with those for another).
W2 was an excavation at Coneybury, not far from Stonehenge, where a Neolithic henge (in this case an oval ditched enclosure with north-east facing entrance) was investigated. This was the first stage of the Stonehenge Environs Project, a project that continued through into 1986.


"A Policy for Archaeological Investigation in Wessex: 1981-1985", written by Ann Ellison after wide discussion with colleagues, both professional and amateur, was published in 1981. This was the first of a series of such regional policy documents which were subsequently produced for other areas. It assessed the known archaeology of Wessex and put forward a set of priorities for future work. WAC would undertake some of the work itself, such as the Stonehenge Environs Project (which had, in fact, started in 1980), while universities or other appropriate bodies would carry out other projects, such as work on Cranborne Chase and at Hambledon Hill in Dorset.
In Reading, excavations focused on the Abbey had been in progress since 1979. The town's archaeological potential had been considered low, but the 1979 excavation had shown that this was not so. The excavation at Abbey Wharf confirmed the value of Reading's waterfront sites for preserving not only structural but also organic remains, such as wood and leather. Organic material only survives in wet conditions, where air is excluded, but these often make for extremely difficult and unpleasant working conditions. A dewatering system was used at this and other Reading sites to allow excavation to go ahead more easily.
Elsewhere, a salvage excavation was needed to cope with the discovery during road widening of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery near Downton, Wiltshire. The cemetery had come to light only when a sword was handed in to Salisbury Museum.


During 1982 the Stonehenge Environs Project (SEP), South Dorset Ridgeway Project and the Lower Kennet Valley Survey in Berkshire continued. Like the SEP, both of these projects had developed from earlier government-funded work undertaken before WAC became an active field unit, in 1977 and 1976 respectively. All three projects set out to investigate the early development of landscapes that we see today. In order to do this, a variety of techniques were used to draw a larger and more complete picture. As well as excavation, geophysical survey, fieldwalking, phosphate analysis, environmental sampling, and analysis of soil and crop marks on aerial photographs were all used.
Excavations at Pingewood as part of the Kennet Valley project revealed what was initially thought to be a Neolithic ring ditch as a Romano-British feature. At South Street in Dorchester excavation uncovered part of the Roman town of Durnovaria. The excavation showed how the early town's water supply had developed from being carried along an open aqueduct channel to being piped.
There was a large-scale excavation at Easton Lane, near Winchester, the site proposed for Junction 9 of the M3 motorway. The excavation was co-directed by Pete Fasham for WAC and Dick Whinney for Winchester City Council. The whole site, some 10 hectares in area, was examined either by excavation or watching brief in the period between August 1982 and April 1983. Features dating from the Late Neolithic through to Late Saxon and early medieval period were recorded.


In 1983 the Wessex Archaeological Committee became the Trust for Wessex Archaeology Ltd (WA), a registered charity and limited company. That year also saw a change of Director, with Andrew Lawson succeeding Ann Ellison.
Approaches to archaeology were gradually changing too. The pace of development was starting to pick up and, as a consequence, so was the threat to archaeological sites. The archaeological response needed to be quick and appropriate, but this was not always easy to achieve. Government funding was limited and developers were not always in a position or willing to fund archaeological excavations.
It became apparent, for instance, that development of the Abbey Wharf site in Reading was going to be on a much bigger scale than was foreseen when the 1981 excavation was planned. The potential and preservation of archaeological deposits on the site were known to be excellent. Development on a larger scale would mean the loss of more archaeology. Something needed to be done. A decision was made to fund the excavation by means of a public appeal, which was undertaken jointly with the Berkshire Archaeological Trust. Although nerve-wracking, the appeal allowed the excavation to go ahead. The site was opened for public viewing, with over 4000 people visiting between 14th December and 11th February 1984. Not only was the appeal a good publicity and public relations exercise, it also began to focus local planning authorities on a more positive attitude towards archaeology.


Large-scale excavations in advance of development continued throughout 1984. At Greyhound Yard, Dorchester (now Waitrose) for example, WA added to the growing body of knowledge about the town's history. Although evidence of the Roman town was encountered as anticipated, the excavation also found part of a much earlier Neolithic 'enclosure'. This took the form of an arc of 21 massive post pits, each big enough to have held the trunk of an oak tree (evidence of which survived). The complete plan of the enclosure is still not known.
Along with Greyhound Yard, the excavation of an Iron Age farmstead and deserted medieval village at Hatch Warren, Basingstoke, also ran Community Programme Schemes, funded by the Manpower Services Commission to help combat increasing unemployment. The financial help these schemes gave not only allowed these important excavations to go ahead, but gave people who otherwise may never have experienced archaeology the opportunity to take part in an archaeological excavation. Some of these have made careers for themselves in archaeology as a result and are still with WA.
Another Manpower Services Commission-funded project was the excavation of a Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age midden at Potterne, near Devizes. The site was notable for the quantities of finds recovered, including domestic, animal, and industrial. It became the first Wessex project to use computers for statistical analysis. IBM was involved in the project, creating a three-dimensional model of the midden to test whether there were any special patterns to its development. Computer costs in 1984 were £645!


By the mid-1980s, surveys and excavations were pushing ahead in the traditional Wessex heartland of Reading, Dorchester, Potterne, Stonehenge Environs, Kennet Valley.
The encouraging result of the appeal for the 1983 Reading Abbey Wharf excavation had shown the value that people placed on archaeology. Archaeologists had taken confidence from the exercise and county and district councils saw that it was possible to press for the investigation of sites that would be destroyed. By 1985, the idea that archaeology should be taken into account during planning negotiations was becoming part of a more clearly defined strategy.
This was borne out at a site not far from Reading, at Anslow's Cottages, Burghfield. Proposals to extract gravel threatened an area of possible but unknown archaeological potential. Evaluation (or trial) trenching confirmed that archaeology existed by revealing a small landing stage or jetty in an old river channel and an occupation site nearby. Two seasons of excavation followed, one later in 1985 and another in 1986, confirming the value of evaluation.
The combination of evaluation trenching and geophysical survey produced good results at Alington Avenue in Dorchester, where the remains of a Neolithic long barrow, Bronze Age round barrow cemetery, Romano-British enclosure and Roman cemetery were excavated during 1985.
The Esso Midline, which ran from Fawley, near Southampton, to Seisdon in Staffordshire, was an important new type of project. Funded by Esso, WA acted as consultants which involved co-ordinating work along the entire route (and far beyond Wessex), and culminating in the publication of a popular booklet once the fieldwork was completed – Smith, R and Cox, P (1986) The Past in the Pipeline. Archaeology of the ESSO Midline.
The Past In The Pipeline: Archaeology of the ESSO Midline (from 1986)10.97 MB


The Treasurer's Report for 1986-7 marked the changes in archaeological funding (and thus in archaeology as a whole) of the previous years, when it said: "It is now true that the existence of the Trust, and the archaeological unit, is not dependent on Central Government funding."
Development and developer funding were certainly a growing force behind archaeology. Competitive tendering, normal practice in a commercial environment, would soon start to appear, but, in 1986, archaeology was already having to think about and make changes. Some people (particularly developers but archaeologists too) found the ‘new-style' archaeology hard to deal with. From the Wessex-based, long-term, overview projects that had been a feature of WA's early years, the thrust of much of the new work was towards determining whether:
  • An archaeological site existed
  • If it did, of what date and type
If it did, whether it should be:
  • Left completely undisturbed (in which case the development would either not go ahead or need to be extensively re-planned)
  • Excavated and so preserved by record
  • Partly preserved, partly recorded by means of an excavation or watching brief 
  • Any, some, all of these could be done as quickly, cheaply and well as possible
Of course, the permutations could be more numerous and complicated at any stage.
Out in the field, however, evaluations and excavations were still continuing, including major investigations along the routes of the Dorchester and Wareham Bypasses at Trowbridge, and in and around Reading.


By 1987, the attitudes and commercial acumen of developers were starting to make themselves felt. Archaeologists were used to working in their own territory (in the case of WA in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire and the Isle of Wight) where local knowledge and contacts had been built up. Being asked to tender for work throughout the country was one thing, but winning the tender and being asked to work further afield was a venture into the unknown! At the same time other archaeologists coming to work in Wessex was a concern.
Despite the changes, of most importance was that archaeological fieldwork continued. Trial trenching and geophysical survey on the route of the proposed Dorchester Southern Bypass in 1986 and early 1987 located several sites that were excavated later in the year.
Yet more sites were found while construction was in progress. Neolithic and Bronze Age enclosures, Bronze Age ring ditches and burials, Iron Age and Roman cemeteries, and medieval field boundaries all lay within a short distance of Dorchester. Elsewhere in Dorset, the development of the Wytch Farm Oilfield provided fantastic opportunities to examine a wide area of Purbeck heathland.
Away from rural Dorset, excavation at Jennings Yard close by the River Thames in Windsor, cast light on medieval building in the town, whilst excavation in the centre of Trowbridge showed an abundance of change in land use from Bronze Age field systems through to Saxon, then Norman enclosed settlement with church and graveyard. Later earthworks dated to a 12th century castle, which in turn were levelled during the post-medieval period.


A move to a new office

1988 was a busy year for WA, with the number of staff increasing as new work kept on being commissioned. Staff numbers were recorded as an average of 62 in the Treasurer's Annual Report for 1988/89. Whilst the continuing growth in work and staff was welcome, it also led to problems, particularly in terms of office space. The situation was becoming critical because, although additional space had been leased at Dunn's House since 1985, that building was about to be sold. So, in July 1988 WA moved to our current offices at Old Sarum Airfield (now Old Sarum Business Park), just outside Salisbury. Portway HousePortway HouseThe buildings were originally the Medical and Operations (flight rather than surgical) Blocks for the airfield and still held a few relics of their RAF use - a drugs cabinet and old newspaper cartoons stuck on a wall, for instance. Many staff pitched in to bring the offices up to scratch, with many painting and decorating their own offices.
The fieldwork for several of the large-scale projects of the late 1970s and early 1980s was finishing or had already done so. Post-excavation analysis for the Stonehenge Environs and South Dorset Ridgeway projects was in progress, setting both on the way to publication.
Although the Kennet Valley Survey had drawn to a close in 1987, it was decided that additional fieldwalking in this year and the next would be incorporated with the earlier results rather than published separately.
Post-excavation work is as important as the fieldwork. Without analysis and publication the archaeology is as good as buried still. Sites such as Greyhound Yard and Dorchester Southern Bypass were also moving towards publication, and WA was also writing up other people's unpublished sites, such as the Roman cemeteries at Poundbury (Dorchester).


After the move of the previous year, 1989 was a time for settling in to the new offices. There was time, however, to inaugurate the first WA Newsletter, a simple double-sided A4 handout. It was also a busy fieldwork and post-excavation year.
Post-excavation work for the sites at Jennings Yard in Windsor, Dorchester Bypass, Anslow's Cottages and elsewhere was in progress. WA was also about to start a major project that would draw together the results of all the excavations done at Stonehenge during the 20th century. It was estimated that almost half the area of the monument had been excavated, but the results had never been drawn together to give a comprehensive account of its development. The first task was to find and assemble copies of records from all the excavations.
Fieldwork was still based largely in the Wessex counties. The first seasons of excavation at Charles Street in Dorchester, Bray in Berkshire, Rooksdown near Basingstoke, and at Ashton Keynes in north Wiltshire all started in 1989.
A different sort of fieldwork was carried out at Monkey Marsh Lock on the Kennet and Avon Canal near Thatcham, Berkshire. There, an 18th-century turf-sided lock, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, was in such a state of disrepair that it was surveyed, partly excavated and restored under archaeological supervision. The rebuilt lock, which had already been repaired and rebuilt several times during its lifetime, was finished in time for the official re-opening of the canal in 1990.


1990 marked a critical point in the relationship of archaeology to planning and development. Publication of Planning Policy Guidance Note 16 by the Department of the Environment summarised the importance of archaeological remains and emphasised their status as "a finite and non-renewable resource, in many cases highly fragile and vulnerable to destruction". Amongst other things, it offered advice about how archaeology could best be dealt with during the planning process and set out the existing legal protection for archaeological remains.
It did not propose a new protective legal framework for archaeology but did make clear that it was important and should receive proper consideration.
The new commercialism was gradually extending WA's work beyond our traditional Wessex counties; field projects were undertaken, for instance, in West Sussex and Oxfordshire. Consultancy, providing advice on the archaeological aspects of proposed developments, was becoming increasingly important. In this role, WA advised clients about potential archaeological aspects of developments in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Birmingham.
Nearer to home, excavations were carried out at Butterfield Down, near Amesbury, and at Market Lavington. The work at Butterfield Down was the start of an extended programme of work in advance of housing development. Evidence of prehistoric activity, including an Early Bronze Age inhumation burial, and of a Romano-British settlement were recorded. An Anglo-Saxon cemetery and part of its associated settlement were excavated at Market Lavington, although there was evidence of Roman-British activity there too.


Although WA had published leaflets describing and publicising its work in earlier years, a full company prospectus was not drawn up until 1991. Development work was slowing down and government funding was much reduced. Therefore, WA had to promote itself and the services it could provide. The prospectus achieved this, and promoted WA as embracing the new commercial spirit by extolling the value of skilled archaeologists and specialists to whoever might need their services.
The prospectus included brief details of senior staff, including our current Chief Executive Sue Davies, (who in 1991 was one of two Assistant Directors), recent fieldwork projects and clients, and the types of work that WA could undertake.
In the field, the extension of the M3 around Winchester from Bar End to Compton was the first of several contentious road projects undertaken by WA. The problem with new roads was with the nature of the development rather than the archaeology. The destruction of the countryside and the loss of habitats incensed the objectors (and protestors), who feared that the new roads would increase the amount of traffic rather than improve its progress.
The excavation, on Twyford Down, had mixed results. The survival of archaeological deposits was generally poorer than had been suggested by the evaluation, limiting the information that could be recovered. However, preservation of a Bronze Age barrow and its associated cremation and inhumation burials was good, and gave many new insights into Bronze Age burial practices.
Further afield, work on the route of the Theddlethorpe to Killingholme gas pipeline took WA to very new territory in north Lincolnshire and Humberside.


An Annual Review was published in 1992, the first since 1981-2, the old Wessex Archaeological Committee days. The 1991 review gave a short overview of the state of British archaeology and of the work of WA in relation to it. Summaries of work done during 1991, in the field, in post-excavation analysis and in publishing, followed. Also included were summaries of several desk-based studies. These were a recent device which set out to assess the known archaeology of a proposed development area by searching through existing information, old maps and so on. They were to become increasingly common as a prelude to fieldwork.
Areas of work were gradually becoming more widespread, with field projects taking place in London, Kent, Shropshire, Derbyshire, and Yorkshire during the year. In West Sussex, the early part of the year saw excavation of several sites along the proposed route of the A27 Westhampnett Bypass. Amongst these was an important Late Iron Age site, where 161 cremation burials, funeral pyres, and the remains of at least two shrines were excavated. Closer to home, fieldwalking was carried out for one of the first of what would become many projects associated with proposed improvements to the A303 between Stonehenge and Winterbourne Stoke.
Other work in progress included research for a detailed survey of the Palaeolithic archaeology of England south of the River Thames. The work, commissioned by English Heritage, had started in 1991 and was to continue, as a broader survey, until 1997. The results were published in 1999 under The English Rivers Projects (TERPS) and are accessible via the Archaeology Data Service.


A countrywide recession slowed development and the financial year 1992-3 was described in the Annual Review as "one of the most difficult for the unit...Wessex Archaeology has not only experienced very variable pressures of work but has withstood extremes . . ."
 There was serious talk of short-time working and other cost-cutting measures. The range of services offered by WA continued to grow, however. A most visible 'new' aspect of WA was Phil Harding, who was one of the early recruits from our days as Wessex Archaeology Committee. His new role was in the first series of Time Team on Channel 4. Phil had already appeared in one or two television programmes but this was the first series devoted to real archaeology and all its uncertainties, showing the difficulties and delights that go with it.
 There were other, more serious new developments too. Dr Julie Gardiner had been appointed as Reports Manager in 1991. Publication had always been in the form either of articles in the appropriate local, period or national journals or as monographs, published through local societies. One of Julie's many tasks was to prepare the first two monographs for a new WA series: Excavations in the Burghfield Area, Berkshire and Excavations in Trowbridge, both of which were published in 1993.
 Another first for the company was the introduction of a computer aided design (CAD) system in the drawing office, which was soon integrated with the more traditional skills already there.


During the early 1990s developers and archaeologists had found that, much though they may have initially resented it, they sometimes needed each other. Increasing demands from planning and other authorities meant that clients were looking for services beyond those of the 'traditional' archaeological skills. Clients whom WA had helped in one sphere were broadening their horizons and, happy with the service provided, encouraging WA to go with them. Historic landscape and building surveys, environmental assessments, coastal surveys and excavations were all new and growing areas of work, often in new parts of the country. Commercial archaeology had to diversify, and so did WA. 
 One of the first major coastal projects was the Langstone Harbour Survey on the Hampshire coast, for which WA joined Portsmouth University, the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology (HWTMA) and Southampton University. The survey made use of a wide variety of methods to study the intertidal area, amongst which were the digitisation of map and aerial photographic information, walkover and ‘swim-over' surveys (effectively underwater fieldwalking!), and excavation both on land and underwater. This was the first WA project to make use of divers (even though only one, Kit Watson, was from WA; the majority were from HWTMA).
 Major excavations were also in progress at two sites to the west of London, one at Hurst Park by the River Thames, and the other by one of its tributaries, the River Colne, at Prospect Park. Both had sequences of activity from the Neolithic to Early Saxon periods.


A total of 301 projects were worked on during 1995/6, about 200 of which were new. It was estimated that nearly two-thirds of the company's work resulted from commercial developments, that approximately half of the new projects were either desk-based assessments or evaluations, and that about a tenth were associated with new services such as pipelines.
Road developments were major contributors to WA's work through the 1990s, but during 1995 the roads were of a rather different sort. The company was commissioned to carry out evaluations and excavations ahead of the construction and upgrading of tracks on the archaeologically rich Salisbury Plain Training Area. Bronze Age boundary ditches, pits and a settlement, and Iron Age pits, post-holes and hut circles were all excavated and recorded before roads strong enough to withstand use by tanks could be built.
An excavation was also undertaken on the site of a new sports field for Boscombe Down Airfield. Late Neolithic pits, another Bronze Age boundary ditch and a late Romano-British cemetery were excavated.
 Also of local interest, 1995 saw the publication of Stonehenge in its landscape: Twentieth-century excavations, which drew together the work of very many people, both in the field and for the publication.
Building surveys at Portsmouth Cathedral and the Christopher Hotel in Bath showed the diversity that such work can bring. Consultancy, an increasingly important facet of WA's work, brought the start of what was later to become a long-term field project at Cambourne in Cambridgeshire which was eventually published in 2009 as Cambourne New Settlement: Iron Age and Romano-British Settlements on the Clay Uplands of West Cambridgeshire  now available to download from this site as an e-book.


Since its earliest days WA had always set out to "promote the advancement of public education in the subject of archaeology" as part of its status as a Charitable Trust. This had been done through events such as talks to local groups and schools, taking students on work placements, site open days and displays, participation in courses and day schools. In June 1996 a new step was taken with Pippa Smith's appointment as Community Officer, a post funded in part by English Heritage. Much of Pippa's work involved visiting schools, taking a selection of finds for the children to look at and handle, and answering their questions.
At Clovelly Bay, Plymouth, archaeological assessment of the foreshore and seabed ahead of dredging and the construction of a new marina made this the first project where WA used only its own divers. Diving had been the only means of taking auger samples of the sediments forming the bed of the bay.
Excavations on a major road construction project, the A30 Honiton to Exeter Improvement, started at the end of 1996. Several different archaeological bodies had a hand in the various stages of the project. Assessments, fieldwalking and evaluations were carried out by the (then) Exeter Museums Field Archaeology Unit between 1989 and 1994. Geophysical surveys were undertaken by Oxford Archaeotechnics in 1994/5. Oxford Archaeology was appointed as the Project Archaeologist and Wessex Archaeology as the Project Contractor in December 1996. The archaeology was there but it needed plenty of archaeologists to find it!


The path of even the most well planned projects can be affected by unexpected discoveries! This was shown during the A30 Honiton to Exeter Improvement scheme when, in August 1997, the site of a 1st century AD Roman military base and later civil settlement was found at Pomeroy Wood. Although the presence of a Roman site alongside the line of a known Roman road (the earlier version of the A30) was not unlikely, what was unusual was that no trace of it had been seen on aerial photographs, which was how most of the A30 sites were identified. The site was instead found during the watching brief that ran throughout the construction programme.
Although the A30 and its associated project, the A35 Tolpuddle to Puddletown Bypass in Dorset, were on a large scale, WA was just about to start work on a bigger project. Work on the Channel Tunnel High Speed Rail Link (CTRL) involved archaeologists from several different companies. WA carried out an evaluation of the Roman town of Vagniacae at Springhead in Kent, the first stage of work that continued into 2003.
A large-scale project of a completely different sort was drawing to a close in 1997. The Southern Rivers Palaeolithic Survey (later the English Rivers Palaeolithic Survey), which had been commissioned by English Heritage in 1991, had set out to assess known Palaeolithic material against the likelihood and location of sites as yet unknown which might become threatened by future gravel or sand extraction.


Despite having undertaken assessments of several relatively small airfields in the past, WA became involved with airport archaeology in a much larger way during 1998. The British Airports Authority (BAA) was considering developments at some of its most important airports such as Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. Archaeological investigations would be needed at each airport on such a scale and with deadlines so critical that it was considered impossible for any single company to complete the work. As a result Framework Archaeology, a joint venture between Wessex Archaeology and Oxford Archaeology, was set up to take on the task.
The first Framework projects were at Heathrow Airport, where BAA proposed building a new terminal, Terminal 5. Aerial photographs and previous excavations had shown that the surrounding area and the airport itself were rich in archaeological remains.
Investigations within the airport at Perry Oaks Sludge Works and at Mayfield Farm, outside the southern perimeter, set the scene for work in future years.
Meanwhile, ongoing fieldwork (away from the noise of Heathrow Airport) continued, and several Iron Age sites were investigated. Excavation of a Late Iron Age enclosure at Lea Farm, Hurst, Berkshire, followed on from a WA evaluation that had been carried out eleven years earlier. At Watchfield, Oxfordshire, another evaluation found evidence of several Iron Age enclosures and a Romano-British cremation cemetery. Another Iron Age settlement was investigated at Battlesbury Bowl, near Warminster, not far from the Iron Age hillfort of Battlesbury Camp.


1999 was a year of changes and innovations. Bill Putnam stood down after twenty years as Chairman, and was followed in the role by Professor Clive Gamble. At the Head Office in Portway House, increasing staff numbers meant that office space was becoming more and more cramped. A decision was taken to build a single storey extension linking the old Operations and Medical Blocks. Work on this started in October 1999 and was finished by July 2000. 
The partnership between Wessex Archaeology and Oxford Archaeology was further cemented in 1999 by the creation of Oxford Wessex Archaeology (OWA). In this new arrangement they set out to investigate the archaeology of the M6 toll road near Birmingham and of the A120 in Essex. 
Meanwhile, Framework Archaeology continued work for BAA at Heathrow Airport, where evidence of activity from Mesolithic to medieval times was found and recorded. Work also started at Stansted Airport in Essex. A completely new recording system and database that would link all aspects of site recording (contexts, digital drawings, finds and environmental data etc.) were introduced for use on Framework sites. 
Closer to home, evaluations at the site for Southampton Football Club's proposed new stadium in St Mary's, showed that it lay partly within the area of the Saxon town of Hamwic, the forerunner of modern Southampton. Despite the site being criss-crossed and disturbed by the remains of modern gasworks buildings, the archaeology was important and merited excavation. This started at the end of 1999.


The year started with an excavation at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton that started to rewrite the history of Saxon Hamwic (the forerunner of the modern city). The discovery of a cemetery containing cremation and inhumation burials, some richly furnished with weapons and others with jewellery, suggested that the town's earliest inhabitants may have been Jutish, preceding the West Saxons who were known to have arrived in 686. One gold pendant suggests that Hamwic may have had links with the 7th century Frisian (Dutch) royal court. 
At Stansted Airport, Framework Archaeology was in the middle a major fieldwork exercise that had started in 1999 and would end in 2001. An area of nearly 30 hectares was investigated. Two Palaeolithic hand axes and a scraper found near the course of an ancient river channel marked the earliest activity at the site. The gradual change from exploitation of natural resources to farming was marked by the remains of settlements from the Middle Bronze Age into later prehistory and beyond. 
Work on the Channel Tunnel High Speed Rail Link (CTRL) in Kent also entered a major new phase with excavations starting on the Roman town and temple complex at Springhead. Started in September 2000, the sites would not be finished until March 2003. The quantity and variety of finds from the excavation was enormous: bulk finds (such as pottery and animal bone) weighing 5,035 kg and numbering 7,565 individual finds, along with brooches, pins, coins (amongst other finds) were brought back to Salisbury for analysis.


As well as the more traditional range of archaeological fieldwork, WA was carrying out an increasing range of surveys and assessments. These might look at the history and development of discrete areas or broader landscapes, coastal margins or the seabed, individual buildings or collections of buildings, earthworks, environmental or artefactual data, or any combination of these categories. While many of the surveys were preliminary to fieldwork, others were an end product in their own right. 
WA had carried out a number of projects for the Defence Estates since 1998 under Specialist Term Commissions. The work of the previous years had included excavations at Tidworth and RNAS Yeovilton and a monument survey of the Salisbury Plain Training Area. During 2001, surveys and assessments of the archaeology of the Aldershot and Longmoor, and Cinque Ports Training Areas were carried out in south-eastern England, while building recording and earthwork surveys were undertaken at Okehampton Camp in Devon. 
While the surveys addressed different aspects of the various sites, they were all carried out with a view to management and preservation. Much of the work was made easier by the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) which helped locate sites in featureless or overgrown terrain. 
WA's Coastal and Marine section conducted a preliminary survey of the archaeological and historical heritage of part of the north Kent coast. The survey was used to assess and develop practical and technical methods of conducting similar surveys in the future.


Continuing growth in all departments led to more changes at WA's Old Sarum offices. Extra office space was created by integrating part of the Finds Room and the adjoining room, and by alterations in the old Medical Block. Two extra buildings were leased to provide additional storage space for the ever-growing quantities of finds, records and samples that were constantly arriving from all parts of the country, and, by the end of the year, the Finds Room was partly cleared so that space-saving rolling shelves could be installed. 
Cover of Insite, the new staff newsletterCover of Insite, the new staff newsletterA revamped Staff Newsletter, Insite, was launched in December 2002 as a means of keeping staff informed of these organisational changes and the various projects WA were undertaking.
The complexities of organisation and administration also meant that there were changes among the higher reaches of management. The Senior Management Group, Andrew Lawson (Chief Executive), Sue Davies (Deputy Chief Executive), Clive Burrows (Finance Director), Roland Smith (Resources Director) and John Dillon (Operations Director), were now supported by a Facilities Manager. There were, in addition, an Outreach and Education Officer and seven Section Heads: Coastal and Marine, Conservation Management, Framework Archaeology, General Development, Information Technology, Specialist Services, and Transport. 
WA's first big excavation in London took place at Fenchurch SThe Amesbury ArcherThe Amesbury Archertreet in the heart of the City. Activity on the site dated from 50AD, when the Roman city was founded, and carried through to the 3rd century, after which the site fell into disuse until the medieval period. 
Nearer to home at Boscombe Down, close to WA's Head Office, the grave of the ‘Amesbury Archer' (right) was excavated. The burial featured in one of a series of six television programmes called Pathfinders about WA's work, that were made during the year.

Find out more about this amazing excavation here.

The finds from the excavation are on display at the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, who have said that the Archer is "possibly the most significant find of its type in the Museum's collection" 


2003 saw changes at WA as Andrew Lawson stepped down as Chief Executive. Sue Davies, who had been with the original Wessex Archaeological Committee since its earliest days at the Blackmore Museum, replaced him.
An office in London, The Chandlery, on Westminster Bridge Road near Waterloo Station, was opened in March, and gave WA a presence in an area where more and more work was being done. There was more expansion at Old Sarum too, where two more buildings were leased to accommodate the ever-increasing numbers of staff and all that went with them. 
Projects during the year were as wide-ranging as ever. Locally, evaluation trenching and geophysical survey were done at the site of the proposed new Stonehenge Visitor Centre at Countess East, Amesbury. At Boscombe, not far from Stonehenge or from the grave of the Amesbury Archer, a grave containing seven Bronze Age burials was found during the excavation of a pipe trench. 
Slightly further afield, Autumn 2003 saw features found during a watching brief at a gravel extraction site at Kingsmead, Horton, Berkshire which resulted in a large-scale excavation that is still in progress today. 
Other projects included a major conservation statement for the "buildings, structures and spaces" at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Starting in January, the project took almost a year to complete, whilst 2003 also saw work commissioned overseas with a small scale conservation and management plan prepared for Sainte Apolline's Chapel on Guernsey.


Twenty Five years of Wessex Archaeology
2004 marked the 25th Anniversary of Wessex Archaeology, and also saw the appointment of a new Chairman, Dr. Geoff Wainwright. Dr Wainwright is an influential figure within British archaeology, and helped bring about immense changes to the profession during his time as Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage
Changing PlacesChanging PlacesTo celebrate, a major exhibition, Changing Places, was hosted at the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum in the historic heart of the city, and close to the original offices of the formative Wessex Archaeological Committee. The title of the exhibition was a nod to the many and varied changes that WA had experienced throughout its first 25 years. 
To cope with the changes, the company has itself had to change, expand and open up whole new areas of expertise. Throughout, the aim has always been to contribute to a greater understanding of the past, the environment, and the development of society as a whole. 
With these targets always in view, the busy fieldwork programmes continued, both from its base at Old Sarum and at its office in London. Ongoing work continued at Horton and Boscombe Down, whilst other large-scale projects included evaluations at Lydiard Park, Swindon and Temple Mills, Bristol, whilst the Coastal and Marine team undertook excavation of a wreck in the Princes Channel, which uncovered cannons belonging to Sir Thomas Gresham, a prominent Tudor merchant and financial advisor to Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I. The wreck was discovered in 2003 by the Port of London Authority in a busy channel on the approach to the River Thames, and offered a unique insight into a technique called 'furring' whereby the ship is rebuilt to increase the breadth of the vessel.


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