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Eric Warrilow




With great sorrow we have to report that our friend and fellow digger Eric died recently. Maureen Thomas related her memories of Eric at his funeral last month. You can read her eulogy to Eric here, and see several pictures (taken by Dave Thomas). These pictures show Eric at some of our excavations over the last few years. I'm sure that these words and pictures will bring back to all our members who knew him, many of their own fond memories of Eric.


17th July 2014



Excavation at Cox Bank Farm starts again



We have just started this year's excavation at Cox Bank Farm, to further investigate the Burnt Mound we worked on last year and the two previous years. This year we hope to find a second trough, that we think we may have seen a corner of at the very end of last year's dig. More of the pot that we found a large sherd of would be good, too. Follow our progress in this year's dig diary.


11th May 2014


Lecture cancellation


Unfortunately, the speaker who was due to give us our final talk of this Spring season on May 9th, has had to cancel. Apologies if you were hoping to attend.

The Society's rooms in the museum will still be open, for any post-excavation work which may be required, and/or for access to our library. Or just for stimulating conversation with other members!


14th April 2014



Kings Low and Queens Low Report


I know I said earlier that I wouldn't report here as new books are acquired for our library, but this one is special. Our librarian has now added to the library a copy of the report on the excavations of two Early Bronze Age barrows which the Society undertook at Kings Low and Queens Low, at Tixall, near Stafford.


This and other books so far acquired this year (and last) are listed on our Library page.


5th April 2014


The Bridestones (update)



This sketch of the Bridestones was drawn by Staffordshire artist Thomas Peploe Wood (1817-1845). I have copied it from the front page of the report of our investigations at the site in 2011 and 2012. The report has been updated following review by English Heritage, and a report of our small excavation near the monument added. I have updated our Bridestones page accordingly, and you can download the full report from near the bottom of that page, or directly from here.


2nd February 2014


"Medieval Homerwych"


Pending availability of the full report of our excavations at Hammerwich, we are making available Colin Sparkes's historical introduction section of the report. It provides a very interesting insight into the area's medieval history, and you can download it as a pdf document using the link above.


13th January 2014


Full Lecture Programme for Spring 2014


We now have information about all the lectures in the Spring 2014 programme. For more detail, see our Lectures page. Included is an evening devoted to the launch of a new book reporting the excavations that the Society carried out some years ago at Kings Low and Queens Low near Stafford. The evening will include a talk by Professor Gary Lock and Winston Hollins.


11th January 2014


Spring 2014 Lecture Programme


Our new lecture programme kicks off with two lectures of local interest: the first (this coming Friday, 10th January) is about Richard Arkwright and the Cromford Mill; the second (Friday January 24th) is about ceramics production and prehistoric society in the Peak District. For some more detail, see our Lectures page. (Sorry about the short notice!)


7th January 2014

Two new links on the links page


I have added two new links on the links page. These are to a blog describing (amongst other things) the excavation and analysis of an early Bronze Age burnt mound at Sizergh; and to a very interesting thesis covering the derivation of all the main and many of the minor place names in Staffordshire (including a review of the early history of the county and of the various languages and dialects which have influenced its place names).


7th January 2014

A Happy New Year to all our members and visitors!



New books, and 2014 Opening Dates


While I have been on holiday, members of our committee have been busy booking our meeting rooms in the Museum and buying books for the Library. (I'm sure they've been doing other things as well, but these are what they've told me about so far). You can find out what books have been acquired on the Library page, and our 2014 Opening Dates on the Opening Dates page. The first date in the New Year is the 10th January - hope to see lots of you there!


15th December 2013


Society Library - Acquisitions


Over the last year, our librarian has acquired several new books and reports for our library. You can see a list of these books on our Library page.

As books are acquired for the library, I will add their titles to that page without further notification here.



Autumn 2013 Lecture Programme


Our new lecture programme covers a wide range of very interesting topics - Mesolithic/Neolithic footprints in Formby, Bronze Age Burnt Mounds, the discovery of Richard III's remains in that Leicester Car Park, and the history of Shugborough from the Bronze Age onwards. For dates and times, see our Lectures page.



The Bridestones: Historical Background Report


 Colin Sparkes has written a detailed historical background paper on the Bridestones. He surveys historical descriptions of the monument, and compares the Bridestones with other Neolithic tombs having similar features.

You can now download a copy of this paper here from our Bridestones page.



Coxbank Farm 2013 excavation completed, 11th July

with a summing-up report (added on 19th August)


We have now backfilled this year's excavation at Coxbank Farm.

This has been an extremely successful excavation - we have found a large (ca 2.5 metres by 0.75 metre) trough which shows evidence of having been wood-lined (though no remains of any wood were found). We also found evidence of a working surface which had been made at one end of the trough, and in the stones of this surface we found a relatively large (ca 11cm by 9cm) pot sherd. Some small worked flints also emerged. Pictures (click for a larger view) of trough and pot sherd are below. See our pictorial diary page for more pictures.

Our Dig Director, Winston, has written a summing-up report on this year's excavation - find it here.





Coxbank Farm 2013 excavation updated to 21st June


We think we may have found the trough of a Bronze Age burnt mound at Coxbank Farm. To see the pictorial diary, updated to 21st June, click here.


We have received a report from the lab in New Zealand where we sent some of last year's charcoal for carbon dating: the result is the same as that for the other mound  that we excavated on this farm in 2006: ca 1300 BC - definitely Bronze Age.


While excavating the latest mound recently, Winston found a small flint tool. Here's a picture taken by Dave Thomas.

To see the other side of the flint, see the Coxbank 2013 diary.




Guided Walk around Roman Buxton


Members, don't forget the guided walk around Roman Buxton which has been organised for the Society. As notified in a recent email, we will meet at 11:00 am on Sunday 23rd June 2013 outside the Tourist Office in the Pavilion Gardens at Buxton. The guided walk is free for members. Guests are welcome to attend but they will be asked to pay a small fee of £3 (£1.50 for students).



Coxbank Farm excavation, 2013


We are currently working on what appears to be a Bronze Age burnt mound at Coxbank Farm. To see how we are getting on, click here for a week-by-week pictorial diary.



Additional Lecture


We are delighted to add an extra lecture evening to the Spring series. Stephen Dean (Principal Archaeologist, SCC) has kindly agreed to visit SOTMAS and talk to us about field walking, using the latest Hammerwich/Hoard site as an example.  He will also be updating us about the latest Hoard finds.

This lecture will be given in the usual place (see our lectures page for more information) on Friday 24th May 2013 at 7:30 pm.



The news which previously appeared on the rest of this page related to 2012, and can now be found by following the "More News" link below. Details of all the fieldwork and reports mentioned there can be found via the "Fieldwork and Trips" menu, above.



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Website originally designed by Alex Carnes, Jan 2006. Last updated 17th July 2014 by John Winch.