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The Wolverhampton Archaeology Group (WAG)

WAG Activities
Meetings and Activities Digs
We shall be digging at Himley in March, details to be announced. We shall also be at Wrottesley most Sundays. Details of individual digs will appear below. News from last dig
..16/02/2019 Geophysics at Coven
17/02/2019 Wrottesley
Next meeting 26/02/2019 Martin Holland. Archaeological videos.

Stop press!!

The South wing at Himley Hall has been converted to an art gallery and the coffee area refurbished
. Close to the coffee area will be a time line display for Dudley Castle. We have been asked to contribute with work we have done at Himley. The following can be seen in our display.
  • We have found the earlier medieval church together with an even earlier one with a floor tile dated to the late 13th century.
  • We can describe the early village and how it has moved over the years.
  • We can show what the earlier church looked like and how it fitted in to the village.
  • We have evidence for a mesolithic floor together with mesolithic flints in situ.
  • This is due to open on February 23rd. Well worth a visit to this display and the Art Gallery. The Coffee Shop is open Wednesdays to Sundays.
Come at see us at archaeology fairs, Perton, Penn History Fair and the Molyneux.
Dates to be announced. :
Penn History Fair June 7th and 8th
Staffordshire Egyptology Society next meeting,
06/03/2019 Lee Young: speaking about Alice Claverley and Myrtle Broom who painted many of the sites, Myrtle also wrote home about her exploits. Followed by an AGM.

At Staffordshire County Staff Club, 77 Eastgate St. 7:45pm. For more details please click on Sister Societies below.
Want to give archaeology a try?
Do you like history?
Would you like to discover how your ancestors lived?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes then why not come along and join us? Whether you are skilled in archaeology, a total novice, just interested, or enjoy research, we would love to meet you. We can take you back in time over 6000 years!
We are based in Wolverhampton and have been actively engaged in local archaeology for 18 years.
Amongst our skills, we have the ability to conduct small open excavations, conduct test pit projects, carry out resistivity and magnetometer surveys, plan and record sites and we also carry out pseudosection jumps. Just have a look at some of our projects on the web page.
If you are not the outdoor type, we also do research and produce mini desk top surveys using information from local historical environment records offices, local archive offices, aerial images and Lidar surveys. Another indoor activity we perform is to give talks to other interested societies and schools usually by PowerPoint presentation. Maybe you like meeting people and talking to them?
Would you like to fly a drone?

We have recently acquired a dual camera drone and are looking to enhance our projects with flyovers and also discover new sites.
Every month at City of Wolverhampton College, we have an experienced speaker coming to tell us about an archaeology related subject. In fact recently, several of our speakers have been featured on TV. We have field trips several times a year to interesting and exciting places of importance or special exhibitions.
For £20 per year you will get free access to all of our talks and when on site you will be insured against injury and damage. We provide all of the digging and working tools so you donít have to buy anything. All we ask is that you arrange your own anti tetanus vaccinations. What have you got to lose?
Come along, bring a friend too and give it a try or contact any of the group members listed. We really would like to meet you whether you are 14 or 80 years old!

A brief history of WAG

We are the only archaeology group in the Wolverhampton area which has been trained by a professional archaeologist. We can offer geophysical surveys, open excavations (depending on location) and test pits. We like to say we can do everything that Time Team did but on a smaller scale.

In the years leading up to 2000, at least 10 of us were taking part in a fieldwork archaeology course. We were trained by a professional archaeologist up to site director level. We had theory lessons in the week and put those into practice at a dig in Gerrards Bromley.

In 2000 the government withdrew funding for lifelong learning so the course closed. We did not! We formed WAG and continued to do archaeology.

By 2011 we had published 31 reports, most of those describing open excavations (test pits had not been invented at that time).

In 2011 Mick Aston taught us how to do test pits on a Time Team dig. That enabled us to investigate the public area at Himley Hall where we found the church belonging to the previous Hall and an earlier church dated from an encaustic tile to the late 13th to early 14th century. Further test pits allowed us to study the extent and nature of the medieval and post medieval Village.

So far, we have written 38 reports and these may be read by selecting the header 'WAG projects' in the panel to the left.
Carole Griffith's Archaeology for Schools classes.
Our Sister Societies
Help. Do you know this church furniture? Please click here to view.

16/2/2019 Six of us did geophysics at Coven looking for an old bloomery. Nine grids in all, hard work but fun.

We have an exhibition of our work at Himley Hall. There are two display cabinets, four display boards and some reports for visitors to read.

Thanks to Sue for the photographs.

6/10/2018 Perton History Fair.
A good turnout with a theme of the First World War. We met many friends and thanks to Sue for helping during the day. Next one is at the Molyneux on November 10th.

This year has been good for sunbathing but bad for archaeology. The ground was burnt solid and was very difficult to dig so we resorted to other amusements. We extended our geophysical survey at King George V playing field, helped at the Albrighton Moat project open day with a demonstration test pit and turned our attention to Wrottesley. A field at Wrottesley Lodge farm showed a crop mark on Google maps. We tried to find it by flying a drone over it, but no luck. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year or the wrong crop (rape).
When the rape had been harvested there was only a 2 to 3 week gap before winter wheat was to be planted so we spent most of August and much of September doing some geophysics of the area. This partially agreed with the crop mark and then dug some trenches.
We found some very interesting features in the trenches but we need independent confirmation before we can say what we have found but we are very excited about it.
01/07/2018 Albrighton Moat Fair A disused moat was recovered and is now used by the local fishing society. This caters for both able bodied and disabled fishermen. This summer fair included fishing, craft stalls, plant sales and a test pit demonstration by Wolverhampton Archaeology Group.
It was an extremely hot day but we had a lot of interest from the general public and help from the Moat Project staff, especially James who is investigating the history of this site. WE dug in an area which was covered with hard core and it was very hard going but we wanted to be as close to the English Heritage Scheduled Area as we could get. Preliminary findings were: we found a suspected compact surface ? floor, and sone pottery. The Medieval pottery from the original moat is probably much lower that we could dig in the time available.
12/5/2018 Perton Spring Festival We had a great time at this show. There was a steady flow of people and many of them came to our stand. Thanks to Carole and Peter who helped Jan and me with the stand.
06/05/2018 Well we didn't dig at Himley, far too hot so we flew the drone at Wrottesley instead. Lovely field of rape but no sign of any crop marks, Perhaps later in the season.
We had dinner at the monument and discussed how best to record this very complicated structure. Should keep us busy for this year at least.
See it fly|
15/4/2018 Test Pit 42. 42 is "The answer to life and everything" also the number of gods whose questions you must answer in the journey to the afterlife according to the
ancient Egyptians.
Thanks to Terry and Jan for the photographs.
Well we didn't find anything much, not the answer to life and everything but it may indicate the northern limit of the village so that is something useful.
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If you use Windows live mail or Outlook you can email from here, or copy the address into your web-based email programme
Chairman:Clive Westwoodemail Clivethewestwoods123@gmail.com
Contacts:Sue Foster
Jan/Martin Holland
07790 508522
01902 562568
Treasurer: Jan Hollandemail Janjanmartproductions@gmail.com
Publicity: Sue Foster email Sue susan_foster123@hotmail.com
Research:Sue Foster email Sue susan_foster123@hotmail.com
Webmaster:Martin Holland email Martinmartin.holland52@gmail.com
Schools education project:Carole Griffithsemail Carolecag18uk@yahoo.co.uk
Facebook Editor:Sara Ratcliffe..

The Wolverhampton Archaeology Group aims to support and encourage the practice of archaeology in and around the City of Wolverhampton.
There are regular meetings which are detailed under the "events" section and archaeology projects which are undertaken by group members.

WAG Meetings

Please note, meeting dates are for the last Tuesday in the month except where this clashes with half term.

Meetings are held at
The Conference Suite
Wolverhampton College
Paget Road

Time 7.00pm,
Entrance fee £2.00 (non-members).
Contact: Jan on 01902 562568.


Jan 29th. Kate Westwood. Forgotten Industries: the coffee mill makers of Wolverhampton.

Feb 26th. Martin videos. Time Team and Dig Village.

Mar 26th. Nigel Westwood. The Magic of LiDAR.

Apr 30th. AGM.

May 21st. Dr Kate Farr. You are what you eat.

Jun 25th. Ann Sadler. Wrottesley.

July Field Trip/Visits to be arranged.

August Field Trip/Visits to be arranged.

Sep 17th. Chris Modd. Battlefield sites.

Oct 22nd. TBA

Nov 26th. Project Reports

Dec 10th. WAG Christmas meal.

Useful Web Sites