Schoolchildren enjoy archaeological dig

Big Dig at Ford Moss
Big Dig at Ford Moss
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More than 200 children from both sides of the border took part in the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum Big Dig at Ford Moss.

Youngsters from Ayton, Chirnside and Coldstream Primary Schools, Longridge Towers School, Tweedmouth West First School and 1st Longridge B-P Scout Group all took part.

The Big Dig is a community archaeological excavation initiative designed specifically for schools and youth groups.

Children tried their hand at a variety of archaeological activities, from excavating and metal detecting, to kite aerial photography.

They also had the opportunity to look at a range of archive sources such as census information, historic maps and old photographs.

Jane Miller, Flodden 1513 education officer said: “The aim of the Big Dig is to give local children the opportunity to take part in a real archaeological excavation and learn a variety of archaeological and historical skills.

“As organisers, we very much hope that through taking part in the Big Dig the children will now have the skills and be encouraged to find out more about the history of their own communities.”

The event took place at Ford Moss, the site of the former Ford Moss Colliery. Known to have been active from the 17th century, the archaeological remains of the former colliery at Ford Moss are an iconic feature of the landscape.

The coal mine largely operated along the northern and western edges of Ford Moss, where the ruin of an old engine house and a large brick chimney are the most obvious features.

The mine closed in 1918, but several of the miners who lived and worked at Ford Moss colliery in the late 19th century were depicted by Louisa Lady Waterford in her famous paintings on the walls of the school which she built in Ford.

The excavation was directed by the Flodden 1513 archaeology manager, Dr. Chris Burgess while archivist, Linda Bankier, delivered the documentary research activities.

The excavation took place by the ruined miners’ cottages. Pottery, glass, clay pipes, fragments of children’s toys and animal bones were amongst the many finds.

Archaeology Scotland brought their kite aerial photography kit. The kite’s camera produced images of the colliery site from the air.