Village Test Pitting: Bicknoller (Somerset)

16th and 17th October 2021

Past Participate will be leading an archaeological excavation project in Bicknoller on the 16th and 17th of October and we’d like to invite you to take part! This will take the form of a series of 1m square test pits across the village and is part of the Quantock Landscape Partnership, funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund. We will be looking to understand how Bicknoller developed as a village and we need you to help us out.

Please get in touch if you are local to Bicknoller and/or

  • fancy giving it a go (no experience required),
  • have lots of archaeological experience,
  • have a garden where you could dig a 1m square pit under our guidance,
  • would like to help us with logistics, setting up, tea and coffee, cake making,
  • would like to get involved in finds washing.

Why Bicknoller?

In the countryside around Bicknoller there is evidence of prehistoric life but the earliest known evidence for the village is in the Domesday book . At this time the parish was divided into two estates (Woolston and Newton). This suggests that Bicknoller itself was probably founded after the Norman conquest. Its compact and regular street pattern indicates that it could have been a medieval planned village. The Bicknoller church includes some 12th century elements but was largely rebuilt in the 15th & 16th centuries. There are also several buildings in the village that survive from the 16th and 17th centuries. Written evidence tells us that during this time that the people who lived in Bicknoller worked in the cloth and clothing industries, as weavers, dyers, tanners, fellmongers, glovers, clothiers, and shuttle manufacturers.

Through the excavation of a series of test pits across the village we hope to find evidence of those who lived in Bicknoller in the past and to begin to answer the questions: where did the initial settlement happen and how did the village grow?