EVEHD United Kingdom

EVEHD United Kingdom

The group visited Cumbria to restore a holy well and take part on a Roman excavation with members of the local community.

The UK action was based in Cumbria in the north west of England and would see the group split between holy well and an archaeological site. Participants included people from Germany, Iceland, Romania Turkey, Slovakia and some UK volunteers. Once everyone had arrived safely, there was a meeting to introduce themselves and discuss the week ahead. The group would split into those who would do the well restoration with Father John Muster and the others would join a Grampus Heritage lead Roman excavation as part of the HLF funded “Discovering Derventio” project.

As part of the meeting in Braithwaite, the participants were shown other wells that have been restored. Those who were working on the well visited site to get an idea of the work that needed to be done. The site to be restored was the Our Lady Mary’s well which is at Hutton John near Penrith, which had been in a dilapidated state for a while. It took 3 days to get the well cleaned and restored, before the group were able to visit another well site which has been restored.

266_1269a         Hutton_John_Holy_wella         266_1183a

The other half of the group spent the week on the Roman excavation which was being run by Grampus Heritage at the same time. After they were given a tour of site and a brief background of the project, the participants were given tools and assigned areas to work in alongside staff or local volunteers. Many of them uncovered finds of some sort, ranging from coins to pottery.

IMG_4540          IMG_4535         IMG_4406

During the week, there were cultural trips so the participants could learn a bit more about the area. There was a day trip to Carlisle and Hadrian’s Wall and a day exploring the Norse impact in Cumbria, including visiting sites to examine the carved stone work that is dotted about the county.

One source of great opportunities for heritage discovery is in traditional/ heritage theatres – we noticed really good examples of sculpture and art on the outside as well as theatrical performance inside. Romanian volunteers began a ‘discovery’ by photographing some West End theatres in London as they passed through on the way to Cumbria.

London theatresa         Hadrians Walla        Cumbria_norse_legacya

The UK action allowed the participants to spend time on an archaeological site and become part of the tea with the local volunteers, and to contribute to the project by making their own discoveries. The holy well they helped restore will now be accessible to the public and locals.