Knaresborough to hold first community archaeology festival
Last updated Oct 27, 2023
Knaresborough Museum Association volunteers at a dig.

Knaresborough’s fascinating past is to be brought to life at the town’s first community archaeology festival this month.

Visitors will see hundreds of local artefacts from prehistoric times to the modern era, including a 4,000-year-old ceremonial hand axe.

They are also invited to bring along any artefacts they have found and a team of experts will answer questions about them.

Knaresborough Museum Association is hosting the free to enter festival over the two half-term weekends of October 28 and 29 and November 4 and 5 from 10am to 4pm at Centre-on-Gracious Street.

Kathy Allday, chair of the association, said:

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for visitors to look at a wide range of archaeological finds from the local area and find out what these tell us about the people who have lived in this area for generations.

“We can learn about the first inhabitants who came to hunt, live and farm in Knaresborough, and see what they left behind.”

“The displays also tell us what the Romans, Vikings and Saxons got up to in Knaresborough, as well as shining a light on the town’s amazing medieval history.”

Association vice-chair Malcolm Hay inspects a find.

A £10,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to the association funded the festival and also paid for a geophysical survey of Priory Cottage Orchards on Abbey Road, where the Trinitarian Priory precinct once stood.

Some of the objects on display will be used in a quiz for adults and a game for children at the festival.

Nun Tabbetha will be making an appearance, writing exquisitely illustrated medieval pardons for anyone who needs forgiveness for being naughty.

Audio visual recordings from conservationist Keith Wilkinson on the archaeology of Nidd Gorge, and mudlarker Steve Mycroft will be available and local history books and Knaresborough Christmas cards will be on sale to raise funds for the association.

The association is commissioning a 3D model of the Gates Hill Iron Age fort.

The association plans to take its displays to outlying villages, libraries and community centres, expanding its outreach work with community groups and schools.

It also had plans to organise more exhibitions, research projects and further archaeological survey work.

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