We had our third successful year at Blaise Castle for the Bristol Museum Festival of Archaeology event – billed as Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology Day. We arrived early for gazebo erection duties, however, it soon became clear that the larger gazebos were struggling with the wind and the wet weather plan came into play. Wessex West, however, confident that our pitch was securely tied down, continued to unpack for the day’s event! This year we had taken with us our large excavation sandpit (always a draw for the smaller visitors) and our coil-made pottery urns (back by popular demand!).  

Meanwhile, inside Blaise House, we also set up opposite the Medieval Feasting table resourced by Museum volunteers which meant a supply of tasters throughout the afternoon! Alongside our display boards, showing some of our most recent high-profile projects and images of lovely artefacts we have been lucky enough to recover, we also had a quiz. More difficult than it perhaps seemed at first, the quiz had many visitors (and Saxons) of all ages scratching their heads…. We are about to announce the lucky winners and send them a range of books and Wessex publications from a variety of sites….

'Saxons' taking part in the quiz Busy WA stand The team

The weather quickly changed for the better, and mercifully held, and the visitors flooded through the doors of the ever popular and well-loved venue.  It was lovely to see so many faces from the past (archaeology is such a small world) and we thoroughly enjoyed chatting about sites, artefacts, local history, what kids had learned in school and the myriad ways of getting involved with archaeology in general.  

Our favourite comment of the day was; ‘we only came to see Gromit – and we’ve been two hours already….’.  Well played archaeology! Well played!  With over 3000 visitors through the house and lawn display area, this event definitely counts as one of the bigger regional archaeo events – and somehow it gets better and better each year….so well done to the Bristol Museums Team!

We’re already plotting next year’s activities…

By Kirsty Nichol, Project Manager

To find out more about Gromit Unleashed click here.