Tag Archives: digs

Flixton Digs Open Weekend

Prof. Nicky Milner with members of the public at Flixton digs in 2013

Prof. Nicky Milner with members of the public at the Flixton Island open digs open day in 2013


Get yourself down to Flixton Bridge on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th Aug for a fantastic chance to meet the archaeologists digging the Flixton Island Stone Age site. Organised by the University of York and The Star Carr Project in collaboration with the Wetland Project. Aall events are free – just turn up and join a tour on Saturday or Sunday.

Guided visits to Flixton Island archaeological dig- a rare opportunity to observe this summer’s excavations at this important Mesolithic site. Meet the archaeologists conducting the dig, observe work in progress, view the finds from this summer’s investigations and find out why this site is so important to understanding the environment in the Stone Age.

Wetlands Ancient and Modern – interpreting The Carrs landscape. Join Wetland Project Officer Tim Burkinshaw (Sat morning) for a journey of discovery about Scarborough’s wetland heritage. Learn the origin of the black peat soils at Flixton, discover the fascinating history of the drainage of The Carrs, The River Hertford and the work of local farmers to restore a modern day wetland landscape.

Artist Ruth Collett will be on site on Sunday afternoon to talk about her work interpreting the excavation in film and sculpture. There will also be a chance to buy one of the Star Carr books or pamphlets, which are excellent by the way. (£13 and £2 I’m sure correct change will be helpful) Proceeds go towards future public events by the Star Carr team.

Provisional schedule:

9.30am (Sat only) Landscape interpretation talk. “From Stone Age to Drain-age – A potted history of wetlands and land drainage in the Vale of Pickering.”  (20mins, subject to demand, for those who cannot stay after digs tour.)

10.00am, 12.30pm and 3.30pm Tours of the digs (both Sat and Sun)  – Join a member of The Star Carr Project team for a tour of the excavations and quiz the archaeologists about the Prehistoric site of Flixton Island. Tours will probably last 30-40mins.

11.00am and 1.30pm Landscape history walk (Sat only) –“ Wetlands Ancient and Modern” Join Tim Burkinshaw from Scarborough Borough Council for a short easy stroll from Flixton Bridge around adjoining fields. The walk will put the Flixton digs in a wider landscape context, including the formation of the Prehistoric wetland ‘Lake Flixton’ and its importance for studies of past climate, and to our future climate. Learn about the historic drainage act which enabled the improvement of the land for farming and how some local farmers are helping to ‘put back’ habitats for wetland wildlife through stewardship schemes today.

Getting there: Access to the site is just south of Flixton Bridge (TA 039 812) where there is off road parking by kind permission of the landowner. Access by car from Flixton village down North Street is a single track lane with limited passing and turning space. Please proceed slowly and take care of pedestrians, dog-walkers etc. Alternatively park at the top of North St and walk down the lane. Local buses eg Coastliner 843 stop at the top of North Street. Allow 20-30 minutes for the pleasant walk to Flixton Bridge. The Foxhound pub (large car park for customers) serves food from 12.00pm.

What to bring: Sturdy footwear advised. The site is very open – dress warmly and bring a waterproof coat if rain is forecast. Well behaved dogs welcome but must be on a lead in the fields.

Our thanks go again to Mr Paul Chapman on whose land the digs take place, for granting permission for the archaeological investigations and for public access for the open weekend. Please be aware that this is private land, so this is a special opportunity to view the Stone Age site. Trenches will be filled in again after the open weekend to preserve the archaeology.

You may also like to read about last year’s open days elsewhere on the blog