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Dig for Kidderminster's Saxon monastery to begin
7:20am Friday 23rd August 2013 in Local
THE dig to find the missing Saxon monastery thought to have once stood in Kidderminster is due to begin.
The Kidderminster Civic Society’s dig at St Mary’s churchyard will begin on Tuesday and is expected to last four weeks.
The society was awarded nearly £50,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the community project, which will include more than 100 volunteers.
The ‘minster’ part of the town’s name means a Saxon church or monastery and a Saxon deed from the year 736 refers to a monastery built in the area, which many academics believe to be Kidderminster.
The 19th century historian of the town Reverend John Burton believed that it was destroyed by the Danish Vikings on their way to Bridgnorth.
The dig will be the second stage in the society’s Historic Kidderminster Project after a radar survey of the churchyard in 2006, which found evidence of a structure several feet underground a few yards from the north side of the church.
Project leader Nigel Gilbert said: “We’re trying hard not to get too excited. All we know is there is something in the churchyard which was discovered in 2006 but we don’t actually know where the Saxon Monastery was. We’ve been told to manage expectations.
“We’ve had no trouble recruiting volunteers. We’ve got more than 100 people coming down. During the first week where there is more heavy work we have 20 volunteers a day and 15 volunteers every day for the final three weeks. Each volunteer is doing three days.”
Worcestershire County Council’s archaeology team, led by Tom Vaughan, will be helping with the dig.
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