The project began as an idea in the Summer of 2008 during a conversation between fellow archaeologists and East Oxford residents Jane and David. Discussions with colleagues and other people with an interest in the area's archaeology and history revealed a major 'gap' in the public's archaeological consciousness of the area, even though it lends itself superbly to the kind of community archaeology initiative that has now become the "East Oxford Project".
The University's John Fell Fund kindly gave a small start-up grant in 2008 which enabled the Department for Continuing Education to engage Jane part-time as a project developer, leading to Round One of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) application, which was later supplemented by an HLF development grant in 2009-10, which led to Round Two. The Project was helped enormously throughout this process by Research Coordinator Sarah Knaggs and of course by the many volunteers who participated in the talks, visits and guided walks which were created to help demonstrate the level of public interest and potential in the area. From the outset the local support was hugely encouraging.
In October 2010 the project entered its current phase thanks to the success of grant applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Oxford University's John Fell Fund, which two dedicated project workers to be appointed to 'make the idea happen'.
The Official Launch of the project on 19th October 2010 was held in the Straw Bale garden workshop at Restore, Off the Cowley Road, and was attended by the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University Andrew Hamilton, Local MP Andrew Smith, and Heritage Lottery Fund Trustee Hilary Lade - who all gave speeches welcoming the project. Many of the people who had helped to make the first phase of the project a success, were also there. Articles appeared in the Oxford Mail, Oxford Times and on BBC Radio Oxford, where Jane was interviewed.
The event was followed by a site visit to nearby St Bartholomew's Chapel.
Talks, excavations, geophysics, and other hand-on investigations are now taking place involving local groups and individual volunteers from across East Oxford
Please contact us if you would like to know more or want to get involved...