Displays, Events & Exhibitions

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At Wessex Archaeology we work with developers to promote interest in ongoing excavation as well as post-construction presentation, and dissemination to a broader audience. Working alongside our Community & Education Team, the Graphics Team produces innovative and distinctive display material. Our understanding of the target audiences allows us to tailor material to client's individual needs. 

For a selection of our events & exhibitions choose from the links below or right.
For a full list of our services visit our Services Home Page.
 

Longforth Farm - Community Engagement

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Project Brief

Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by Bloor Homes to undertake a community outreach project at Longforth Farm, Wellington in relation to a programme of archaeological mitigation. The objective was to promote community interest in the medieval building complex uncovered at Longforth Farm and to add value to the Bloor Homes development by fostering a sense of place and community though shared heritage assets. 
 

Implementation

Wessex Archaeology, supported by Somerset County Council, delivered an extensive and inclusive week-long programme of activities that aimed to engage all age groups within the local community.
 
The media day at Longforth Farm was well attended by members of the television, radio and printed press. The interest generated by this event and the associated press release resulted in extensive media coverage on a local, national and international scale. 
 

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On-site school workshops took place over three days and over 250 children from four local schools participated. Workshops featured a tour of the archaeological site and the opportunity to design medieval floor tiles using clay. Feedback from all four schools was very positive and several of the students and teachers returned on the community open day. 
 
The local historical society tours, which were fully booked, provided an in-depth opportunity for this specialist audience to preview the archaeology and the artefacts ahead of the community open day. They also provided an opportunity for society members to share their knowledge of the site and the area with us. 
 

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The community open day offered local residents an opportunity to explore this exciting archaeological site and discover a previously unknown part of Wellington’s heritage. Over 1400 people attended this free event; an unprecedented number that reflected the high levels of local interest in the site and the success of our media strategy. Activities included guided tours of the excavation area led by the archaeologists, and several hands-on children’s activities. Phil Harding, from Channel 4’s Time Team, was also on hand to meet visitors. Feedback from this event was overwhelmingly positive and there was great interest in future events, lectures and museum displays. 
 
High quality promotional materials were produced by Wessex Archaeology’s specialist graphics team in support of the project, during the three-week preparation period. These materials included information panels, leaflets, activity sheets and a promotional flyer. In addition a set of project web pages was created on the Wessex Archaeology website and a successful social media strategy was implemented across several platforms. 
 

Outcomes

The Longforth Farm community engagement project was a great success and an excellent example of partnership working. Wessex Archaeology’s effective health and safety management and event-specific risk assessments ensured smooth running of the project at all stages. 
 

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Local schools, societies and residents came together and were inspired by the archaeological site. 
Over 1750 people engaged with the site throughout the week-long programme of events, and several thousands more accessed the information via the associated press coverage and online through our digital media. Feedback from all events was overwhelmingly positive. 
 
For more on this project visit the Longforth Project Pages.
 

Project Florence - Community Engagement

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Case Study
Wessex Archaeology developed an innovative community engagement initiative entitled Project Florence, and was awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aims of Project Florence were to promote community interest in the rich archaeological heritage of South Wiltshire, to provide a range of training opportunities for local people and to complement the work of Operation Nightingale, a military recovery initiative for injured soldiers. 
 
 
Implementation

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Wessex Archaeology’s dedicated Project Florence Officer delivered an extensive and inclusive programme of activities over 13 months, which aimed to engage all age groups within the local community. Events included on-site activity days and open days, post-excavation volunteering opportunities, talks and lectures and creative events to celebrate the national Big Draw festival. High quality promotional materials were produced by Wessex Archaeology’s specialist graphics team in support of the project and a targeted media campaign was employed. Digital media formed a key part of the project, enabling several thousands of people to follow developments online via Facebook, Twitter and the Wessex Archaeology website. 
 
 
Project Florence also included several particularly innovative elements: 
 

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Make a Movie Project
The Make a Movie project was an exciting opportunity to engage young people with their local heritage and enable them to develop new skills and talents for the future. Through this partnership project between Wessex Archaeology and Salisbury Arts Centre, a group of 14-25 year olds were trained by professional filmmakers to film, edit and produce a 25-minute documentary about Operation Nightingale and the Barrow Clump excavation. The film received excellent reviews and has been viewed over 1800 times on YouTube. Each of the 11 young volunteers involved in the project achieved a nationally recognised Bronze Arts Award certificate. 
 
 

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Playing with the Past Archaeology Club
Playing with the Past was a free archaeology club for
8-16 year olds. Meetings were organised in association with the Army Welfare Service and covered a range of interesting archaeological topics and periods. Highlights included discovering underwater archaeology, building Neolithic houses and the Victorian Christmas party. The club successfully gave the budding archaeologists an increased knowledge of their local heritage and provided opportunities for them to develop their social skills and creative talents. 
 
 

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Road Show Exhibition
A portable road show exhibition was designed to showcase the discoveries from Barrow Clump and promote community interest in the site. The road show proved to be an excellent method of increasing public awareness. Over 530 people were spoken to during the ten days of the road show and the variety of local venues selected ensured that a wide range of community groups were reached. The high quality exhibition, designed in conjunction with volunteers and produced by Wessex Archaeology’s dedicated graphics team, also went on display in Wiltshire Museum.
 
 
Outcomes
Project Florence has been viewed as an exemplary community engagement initiative. It has strengthened communities by providing access to shared heritage and by equipping local people with a range of new skills. It has also fulfilled a vital role within the Operation Nightingale project at Barrow Clump by raising awareness of this worthwhile initiative and nationally important site. Through Project Florence, Wessex Archaeology has demonstrated an innovative and inclusive approach to community engagement. 
 
For more on this project visit the Project Florence Project Pages.
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Heathrow - Biggest archaeological dig ever in the UK

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With our joint venture partners Oxford Archaeology, under the brand of Framework Archaeology, we have created a display for Heathrow Airport based upon our excavations at Terminal 5. There are two video screens showing a looped video telling the story of the excavations and the discoveries made. Beside them are cases containing replica artefacts from the site including a set of flint tools made by Phil Harding, a long standing presenter of the popular Time Team programme.
 
The video provides a glimpse of the sheer scale of the work at Heathrow and offers a unique insight not just into the history of Heathrow, but of the evolving landscape on the site over some 9,000 years.  
 

The way in which the work was undertaken was pioneering. New forms of data capture and analysis were introduced and a new approach to publication was adopted.These achievements were recognised by the heritage sector when the work was awarded the prestigious British Archaeological Award for Best Project in 2008 and was highly commended  in the award for ‘Best Innovation’.
 
You can find the video screens and replica artefacts at Terminal 5 Departures – near Gate 11.
 
To find out more about this project visit the Framework website 
 
Associated links:
Landscape Evolution in the Middle Thames Valley: Heathrow Terminal 5 Excavations - book shop
British Archaeological Awards - blog
T5 website - blog
 
 
 

Kingsmead, Horton two day event

Project Background

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Over the last 10 years archaeological excavations at Kingsmead Quarry, Horton have resulted in a wide range of remarkable discoveries, some of national importance. Wessex Archaeology along with our client CEMEX UK wanted the public to be able to learn more about this amazing site and gain community benefit from the work undertaken. 
 
In consultation with CEMEX UK we created a professional exhibition to be displayed in the local village hall in Wraysbury. A comprehensive programme of events was planned to engage with a range of audiences. 
 

Implementation

A high quality exhibition was designed and produced by our in-house expert team to showcase what had been discovered. As well as 18 exhibition banners and a rolling video, two glass cases displayed a range of important artefacts from the site, some of which had been recently featured in the national news due to a series of press releases. This exhibition was previewed by the press and a range of dignitaries including local councillors, curators and planners, and was opened by the Mayor of Royal Windsor and Maidenhead. 
 

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Local schools were invited to take part in workshops to learn more about the site through talks and activities, such as making their own versions of the pottery recovered from the site. Activity sheets guiding them around the exhibition ensured that they learnt about the key aspects of the displays. An evening lecture by the archaeologists that led the excavations allowed a more in-depth presentation of the site and the discoveries.
 
The highlight of the two day event was the public open day, which attracted a range of people from both the local community and further afield. The demonstrations from Wessex Archaeology’s staff, including Time Team’s Phil Harding and Jackie McKinley, were extremely popular and attracted a wide audience to the event.
 

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After the Event
In-school workshops by Wessex Archaeology’s Community & Education Officer took the story into the classrooms of a number of local schools, meaning that in total more than 370 schoolchildren learnt about the site.
 
The exhibition has since been installed at two of the client’s offices, and a future programme of public venues is planned.  
 
Outcomes
These events generated significant attention with interviews on BBC Radio and articles in the local and national press, including The Independent and The Guardian. The story was also picked up in Spain, Germany and the USA. Over 500 people attended the open day and all of the feedback from the event was positive. Publicising the events through Wessex Archaeology’s website and social media meant that many thousands more people learnt about the site than were able to attend the open day. This generated significant coverage of the work, that has been funded by CEMEX UK, and the exceptional archaeology that was discovered.
 
For more on this project visit the Kingsmead Quarry project pages.
 

Time Team Display

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Wessex Archaeology has been involved with Time Team from the very beginning through one of the programme’s best known characters, Phil Harding. In 2008 Time Team came to Salisbury to dig around the cathedral. They were searching for the site of the 13th century Bell Tower and the 15th century Chantry Chapel of Bishop Richard Beauchamp, both demolished in the 18th century. 
 
Following the programme, the Cathedral approached Wessex Archaeology's Graphics Team to prepare a special exhibition about the excavations. This was to be held in the Cloisters over the summer and autumn of 2009, and would include selected decorative stonework from the Cathedral’s own store. The brief was to design and supply eleven banners, a leaflet with a Bishop Beauchamp trail, two A3 posters to explain the stonework on display, and finally some artefacts from the Time Team dig and props to dress two display cases supplied by the Cathedral. 
 

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The end product was exactly as briefed and I was impressed with both the speed of turnaround and the level of care displayed throughout. Wessex were a pleasure to work with”.
 
David Coulthard
Marketing and Communications Director
Salisbury Cathedral
 
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Ste Apolline's Chapel

As part of the restoration work for a Chapel in Guernsey which dates from the 1390s, Wessex Archaeology produced a series of reports including a Conservation Management Plan and a Building Recording Report.
 
The work was commissioned by the Guernsey Heritage Committee, who wanted to inform visitors about the building's interesting heritage, important wall paintings, and the conservation work that had been undertaken. Wessex Archaeology produced the text and artwork for a 24 page booklet and an A1 display panel which was fitted on-site within the Chapel.

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Want to know more about this interesting site? Then follow this link.

 

Sherford New Community - Community Engagement

Wessex Archaeology in partnership with The Sherford Consortium and AECOM

 

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Project background

The Sherford Consortium, the network of homebuilders responsible for the development of the Sherford new community, commissioned Wessex Archaeology in collaboration with AECOM to organise and host a community open day at the Sherford site. The objective was to allow the public and press to see the archaeological works in progress and through doing so add value to the new South Hams community, by generating understanding around how the landscape and peoples have changed over time and fostering a sense of place through shared heritage assets.
 

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Implementation

Wessex Archaeology supported by AECOM, Plymouth Museum and Devon County Council delivered a community open day on site. The community open day enabled local residents to engage with the archaeological works and discover more about their local environment. Over 860 people attended the event where they were able to view the excavation area; talk to the site archaeologists; engage with Plymouth Museum’s display and for children there was the opportunity to take part in mini excavations. 
 
High quality display and promotional material were produced by Wessex Archaeology’s specialist graphics team for the event. These materials included information panels, leaflets, posters and a promotional flyer. In addition a project webpage was created on the Wessex Archaeology website and a successful social media strategy was implemented across several platforms.
 

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Outcomes

The community open day was positively received by the local community and the local media. The positive reception of the open day has reflected well on the Sherford Consortium and has therefore facilitated positive local engagement with the development.
 
A very impressive turnout on Saturday at Sherford.’ – Chris Ruse, Hon Chair Plymouth & District Archaeological Society
 
 
 
 

Archaeology at the Omega Centre, Portsmouth

Wessex Archaeology in partnership with the Workers’ Educational Association

 

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Project background

Wessex Archaeology and the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) are working together to bring a greater appreciation of the past to groups of adult learners who may have limited access to the heritage sector. Working in partnership, our joint aim is to introduce an interest in the past into peoples’ developing life skills, so helping them engage with their learning and increasing their sense of connection to their communities, their history and their place within the landscape. 
 

Implementation

The partnership was launched with an Archaeology Day held at the WEA’s Omega Centre in Portsmouth on 8 February 2016, at which a memorandum of understanding was signed by the chief executives of the two organisations. The event was organised by Wessex Archaeology’s Community and Education Officer with the support and involvement of the WEA tutors. 
 
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As part of the event eight archaeology-related topics, involving a range of objects and learning activities, were displayed around the centre. There was everything from a mammoth bone that could date back as far as 500,000 years, a 40,000-year-old flint axe, 2,000-year-old Roman coins and even a German Luftwaffe machine gun from World War II. Each topic offered the students a different opportunity to incorporate learning about the past into their Maths, English and Art lessons. 
 
This important event was very successful, with around 80 students attending, as well as volunteers, staff and invited guests. Among the guests was the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas, who talked about the city’s rich archaeological heritage, and Portsmouth South MP, Flick Drummond. 
 

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Outcomes

The Archaeology Day at the Omega Centre marked the forging of an exciting new partnership between the heritage and learning sectors, and the start of an innovative project, stimulating people’s interest in the history of their communities and landscapes, so helping them engage with their adult learning and education.
 
With the help of Wessex Archaeology’s Graphics Team publicity materials and specialist educational materials, including on-line resources, have been created for the WEA tutors to use in their classrooms.
 
Due to the joint publicity strategy established by Wessex Archaeology and the WEA the event received very positive media coverage, while our Social Media team has provided updates on Facebook and Twitter and created a webpage on the Wessex Archaeology website.
 
A WEA tutor at the Omega Centre commented,
The event was very rewarding – for the students, volunteers and tutors. It encouraged us all to interact with each other, to learn about history and discover new ideas and objects from the past. Thank you.”