Lottery funding will help museum search for archaeological clues on Bradford's history

Wiltshire Times: Mervyn Harris and Roy Canham from the museum consulting old maps in preparation for the project Photo: Trevor Porter  (41373) Mervyn Harris and Roy Canham from the museum consulting old maps in preparation for the project Photo: Trevor Porter (41373)

A STUDY of Bradford on Avon’s history through the features of its landscape is to be carried out with the help of a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The Bradford on Avon Museum has secured the money to pay for a new archaeological survey of the surrounding area.

Its project, called Ancient Landscapes of Bradford Hundred, will carry out an aerial survey of the ground from Winsley to the Avon Valley, using an airborne laser scanner.

Museum trustee and Wiltshire archaeologist Roy Canham is hoping his team will carry out the survey, using a light aircraft, in late February.

The laser will be able to scan through any bare trees in woodland and get the exact measurements of the ground’s surface.

Any ridges and anomalies could indicate details of archaeological features.

Mr Canham said: “The area, particularly in Winsley, has seen a lot of things uncovered and we hope to find details of ancient fields and settlements previously unrecorded.”

Mervyn Harris, the chairman of the Bradford on Avon Museum Society, is hoping that, if they uncover anything, volunteers would be able to get involved with surveys of the land and archaeological digs.

He said: “It’s great that we have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started.

“We love where we live and know there’s so much more to discover about our past.”

The money for the survey is part of the All Our Stories funding programme for 2012, giving community groups the opportunity to carry out archaeological and historical research activities and help people explore, share and celebrate their heritage.

Television presenter and historian Michael Wood, who supports the project, said: “It is really tremendous that the people of Bradford on Avon have been inspired to get involved, to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own past.”

Richard Bellamy, the head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the South West, said: “Clearly, the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past.”

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