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.