We’re delighted to announce that we’ve just received £9,700 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards an exciting new community archaeology project called Discovering Dunkeswell Abbey. Working with local communities and project partners, The Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership, we will be uncovering the rich heritage of this nationally significant abbey complex through participatory and fun events and activities.

If you visited the site of Dunkeswell Abbey in East Devon you’d struggle to understand the significance of this substantial monastic complex, since there is currently no signage or interpretation information at the site and only fragments of the 13th century Cistercian abbey survives above ground. There are also many questions left unanswered about the extent and significance of Dunkeswell Abbey, which the community archaeology programme will help to solve.

The project is expected to run for a year, with opportunities for people of all ages to explore and enjoy their local heritage, both as participants and volunteers. Surveying the remains of the abbey and river walking to look for pottery are just a couple of the volunteer activities on offer. Watch this space for more details on ‘Dunkeswell Abbey on Tour’, a series of interactive workshops and events taking the project into schools and the community.

By the end of the project, a newly-commissioned interpretation drawing of the abbey will be installed at the site, alongside information informed by the community archaeology programme. We are also looking forward to training up 5 volunteers as Dunkeswell Abbey Ambassadors – local people who would like to gain an in depth understanding of the abbey and could share it with others in the future.

If anyone would like to volunteer, please contact Catherine Farnell on Catherine@heritageartspeople.uk to register your interest.

Read the full press release here: DDA – Project Launch Press Release

Read updates on this project here (re our Dunkeswell Abbey celebration event) and here (re our Dunkeswell Abbey illustrator)