8th October 2013:

Oxford Archaeology East, working with Fane Road Allotment Association and supported by the City Archaeologist at Peterborough City Council, has been awarded a grant of £88,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver a wide range of community heritage activities over the next 20 months. This exciting project is based on the high status Roman villa uncovered during excavations that took place prior to housing development at Itter Crescent, Walton, Peterborough between August 2011 and February 2012.

This exciting project will for the first time provide an opportunity for the local community and residents of Peterborough to actively take part in a community excavation of a high status villa that has lain undisturbed in Peterborough for over 1700 years. Only part of the villa was excavated during the building work by Bellway Homes (East Midlands) at Itter Crescent and the rest of the villa may lie under the existing allotments. This project aims to find this out through a 20-day community archaeological excavation next May/June. There will be site open days and opportunities for schools, organisation and local firms to have guided tours of the excavations in addition to a visit to them by an archaeologist.

Before then, archaeologists, staff from Peterborough City Council, and others will run a series of free Heritage Learning Sessions. These ‘hands on’ sessions will also include free trips to other archaeological sites including a daytrip to St Albans (the Roman city of Durobrivae).

In addition, the project will work with local teachers and Peterborough Museum to produce a set of teaching resources together with publications on the project for adults and children.

The project will be launched on Saturday 30th November (11am – 4pm) at Paston & Gunthorpe Community Association, Community Centre, Hallfields Lane, Gunthorpe, Peterborough, PE4 7YH.  Further details about the project can be found on the main Romans of Fane Road webpage.

Liz Law, an allotment holder and secretary of the Fane Road Allotment Association said. “It’s an amazing opportunity for local people to get involved and find out more about their heritage and its right on our doorstep. We hope that the local schools and community will get involved and enjoy the ‘hands on’ sessions that have been planned.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “HLF are pleased to support this exciting project to excavate this fascinating archaeological site. The community dig will provide a great opportunity for people to uncover and really engage with their local heritage.”