Village dig reveals hidden past at Oxborough
- Credit: Archant
A community dig has found remains of farm labourers' cottages demolished almost two centuries ago.
Oxborough History Group is digging pits next to the wall of the village churchyard, near Oxburgh Hall, where the homes once stood.
Members have found fragments of brick, glazed tile, pottery, clay pipes smoked by farm workers and the head of an iron nail.
Retired archivist Kelvin Smith, the groups coordinator, said: 'We know from old maps we've got that there were four cottages on this site and we know about the people who were here, their names and what they did - they were labouring families' cottages.'
He said the properties were not shown on the first Ordnance Survey Map of the area, which was based on a survey carried out in 1870, but are shown on a map dated 1720, meaning they were built in the early 18th Century.
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The houses are believed to have been demolished in the 1840s to make way for the Foulden Road to be diverted from west to east of the church.
Villagers obtained a £8,500 Heritage Lottery grant last year to fund their researches. One of the conditions of the award was that the money would encourage local people to take up something new.
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'Next year, we'll be looking for somewhere else in the village,' said Mr Smith.
'We haven't got any professional archaeologists, we're amateurs so it's a little bit of hit and miss, but it's a nice community thing to do.'
Six villagers took part yesterday. More are expected to join the two-day dig today.