Even a brand new town can hold ancient secrets. That is certainly the case at Sherford, currently under construction outside Plymouth, where wide-ranging excavations have revealed a wealth of clues to much earlier occupation spanning thousands of years.

Some of the Sherford structures are enigmatic, but the estate covered in our next feature is downright eccentric. Fonthill Abbey, an elaborate Gothic fantasy, was as much a folly as a luxury dwelling. Now long-vanished, what can we reconstruct of this remarkable residence?

Another mystery comes from the Isle of Skye. Could a corroded object found buried in an islander’s front garden be a rare example of a Viking anchor? We explore the multidisciplinary battery of tests brought to bear on this intriguing artefact, and their surprising results.

The building excavated in a recent community project on the outskirts of Manchester was easier to identify: this was the remains of the Reno, a boundary-pushing nightclub in the 1970s that was demolished in 1986. We consider what its resurrection means to local residents, for whom it was as much a family and a safe haven as a nightspot, and what archaeology can add to our understanding of sites still in living memory.

From traditional digging to cutting-edge technology, our penultimate feature takes us soaring high over a clutch of sites in highland and lowland Scotland to learn how digital imaging is helping to record and interpret them.

Finally, we remain airborne as we visit an unusual conservation project on Salisbury Plain, starring the Bulford kiwi.

Carly Hilts

IN THIS ISSUE:

FEATURES

SHERFORD COMMUNITIES OLD AND NEW

Exploring millennia of settlement in Devon
With the development of a new town just east of Plymouth came the opportunity to explore evidence of the region’s previous residents, revealing a historic landscape spanning thousands of years.


GROTTOES, FOLLIES, AND VIDEO GAMES

Unravelling the story of Fonthill’s fantastical estate
Best known as the eclectic home of William Beckford, Fonthill went through many changes over the centuries – each more elaborate than the last. Here we explore the history of this eccentric estate.


A WEIGHTY MATTER

The case of the Camuscross anchor
Discovered under a thick layer of peat on the Isle of Skye, the Camuscross anchor took archaeologists on an unexpected journey in search of its origins.


RESURRECTING THE RENO

Unearthing the soul of a boundary-pushing Manchester club
The excavation of a soul and funk club on the outskirts of Manchester – a haven for the area’s mixed-heritage community until it was demolished in 1986 – has shown how even the very recent past can prove illuminating.


PICTURING THE PAST

Visualising archaeology on Scotland’s National Forest Estate
Today archaeologists have many tools to help them record and interpret a site. We examine some of the cutting-edge techniques recently brought to bear on two sites within Scotland’s National Forest Estate.


CONSERVATION BY CHINOOK

Re-chalking the Bulford kiwi
We visit a recent initiative to restore the Bulford kiwi, a  chalk carving made by New Zealand soldiers newly returned from the First World War. The present project required some decidedly modern military assistance.


NEWS

Tracing a Neolithic trackway in Suffolk; A West Sussex execution victim?; Iron Age settlement near Thurso?; Further finds along the A14; Second inscribed stone found at Tintagel; Science notes; Climate change in Bronze Age Ireland; Finds tray


REGULARS

Comment
Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive

Context
Hand of god: Vindolanda, Northumberland

Reviews
Londinium: a biography; In the Shadow of Corinium: prehistoric and Roman occupation at Kingshill South, Cirencester, Gloucestershire; Sites of Prehistoric Life in Northern Ireland; Myth and Materiality; New Forest: the forging of a landscape; 50 Medieval Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Exhibition
Roman Dead at the Museum of London Docklands and Your DIG: Tang Hall at DIG, York

Heritage Open Days
A selection of talks and events taking place during England’s biggest festival of history and culture

Sherds
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues

Odd Socs
Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society (YAYAS)

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