Experience Weekends & Field Schools

Archaeology Experience Weekends

WEAG on behalf of the Copped Hall Trust Archaeological Project (CHTAP)  offers Archaeology Experience Weekends to absolute beginners who would like an opportunity to:

  1. Excavate on a ‘live’ site, where they can make an actual contribution to archaeological investigation, and handle real artifacts from that site.
  2. Learn about several geophysics techniques, including setting up the equipment, preparing the survey area, the surveying process and reviewing the results of the survey.

The weekends, which take place during the Festival of Archaeology run by the Council of British Archaeology, are held in July. In 2023 the cost was £60 per weekend. For the 2024 year the Archaeological Weekend on three weekends are planned for the 13th/14th July 2024, 20th/21st July 2024 and the 27th/28th July 2024.. Some reports of previous weekend see the Informal Reports page. For the 2023 year we gave geophysics experience to those who wanted it and we also operated a large wet sieve.

To express interest in the 2024 Archaeological Experience Weekends contact Ian Hunter at coppedhalldigs@weag.org.uk

A professional archaeologist will introduce you to excavating, stratigraphy, methods of archaeological investigation and to the geophysics processes, and you can expect to spend most of your time actually digging or surveying, assisted by supervisors who will help you as and when needed.

People of all ages (8 years and above) and backgrounds are welcome. To make the most of the weekend you need to be reasonably physically fit.   If you are below the age of 16, you will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult who has also signed up for the weekend. 

Starting time each day will be 9.30; finish at 5.00 pm. All tools will be supplied, including trowels.  You will need to bring a sandwich lunch each day;  tea, coffee and drinking water will be provided.  Flushing toilets and wash basins are a 250 metre walk from the site.  Wear suitable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, and strong footwear (preferably boots).

Accommodation is not available at Copped Hall, but details of nearby B&B / hotel / hostel / camping accommodation can be viewed here.  The site is just off the M25 motorway and easily accessible by car or bicycle.  Though not directly on any public-transport route, a taxi firm operates a service from Epping Station on the London underground Central Line.

Archaeology Experience Weekend – gift to friend

Are you looking for a different sort of gift for a friend or relative? Then why not treat them to an Archaeology Experience Weekend in July for only £60. Vouchers are now available. To purchase them please contact our Treasurer.

Field Schools

Please note that WEAG will NOT be running the Field Schools during 2023 or 2024.

A 5-day Field School running from Saturday to Wednesday, for people already familiar with the basic techniques of Archaeological excavation and recording.  A small number of places may be available for those who have attended one of the Taster Weekends but priority will be given to (1) diggers from other sites who are keen to develop their existing skills under expert supervision and (2) those returning to Copped Hall from previous years digs. No formal teaching sessions are planned for the Field Schools.  Our aim is to involve students as fully as possible in further excavating, examining, recording and interpreting the remains of the brick-built mansion and associated features and structures which are being revealed on the site. Reports of previous Field Schools see the Informal Reports page.

Supervision will be given by professional archaeologists assisted by highly experienced volunteers.  All of these know the site very well. The directors will be Christina Holloway and Lee Joyce.  Attendance certificates will be awarded at the end of the course.  The cost will be 100 GB Pounds for each week (WEAG members 80 GB Pounds). Students are welcome to book for either or both of the Field School weeks. If you are below age 16, you will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult who has also signed up for the Field School.

If you wish to attend one or both of the Field Schools, please fill in the BOOKING FORM, taking care to answer all questions, and send it off promptly with a cheque for the appropriate payment (made payable to the Copped Hall Trust). For further information please contact Ian Hunter via email coppedhalldigs@weag.org.uk.   If you book a place, a set of final joining instructions will be sent to you about a month before the school starts.