Archaeology at the old St. Barnabas Church site Mayland Hill
Don’t be alarmed if you see a crowd of people with archaeological equipment on the site of the old church – it’s for a good cause.
Burnham U3A Archaeological Group are going to be surveying, excavating, photographing, drawing and recording the site of the old church demolished in the 1870’s, a few years after the present St. Barnabas was built 100m to the south.
The site is not a scheduled Ancient Monument and redundancy removed the need for consecration. We have permission from John Fisher of Mayland Hall and have informed the Diocese of Chelmsford and the Bishop of Bradwell who has given us his blessing, we’ve also informed Maylandsea parish council and local residents.
We aim to excavate the foundation walls of the demolished church looking for finds associated with the church, floor tiles, septaria etc. and we’ll be taking part in DEBS – Discovering England’s Burial Spaces as detailed below on their website:
• Set up a burial ground survey
• Record each memorial using a robust standardised method
• Produce a plan of your site
• Uncover the stories in your research
Our last two projects were uncovering lost Elizabethan walls at Creeksea Place and before that finding a completely unknown Bishop’s of London Palace built around the 11th Century at Southminster Hall. Although we’re a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs we’ve been professionally trained by Archaeology South East and we hope to reveal the lost church and preserve our data on the Historic Environment Records – available to all.
What we WON’T be doing is disturbing any graves, any excavation will be purely on the church walls, and clearing vegetation to the soil, mindful of wildlife. If we see grave markers they will be recorded but we absolutely won’t be excavating graves and our work will be respectful of the site.
This project is purely for research – the site is not going to be built on! We’ll be there every Wednesday and Saturday 10am to 2pm with up to 15 people.
If you have any information about the old church and its history we’d love to hear from you and we plan to keep all the residents informed of our progress, email me: Sue Spiers Deputy Leader Burnham u3a Archaeological Group at firstname.lastname@example.org