Alton 'Big Dig' - the main event

Daily from

14 - 28 July 2019

Alton Public Gardens

There will be an archaeology excavation in Alton Public Gardens in the lawns at the northern end (between the fountain and the public WCs) to investigate buried building foundations we have detected with our geophysics scans.  Initially this will involve digging a number of 'test pits'.  We hope to find archaeology ranging from the Romano-British period (55 AD) through to the Second World War.

The work will be led by volunteers from Liss Archaeology but members of the public who wish to take part will be able to do so.

We also hope to carry out similar test excavations in a small number of private gardens in the adjoining streets.

We will have guides on hand to talk to the public about what we are doing and what we find, as well as some displays and activities for children.

Public meeting and introductory talk


22 May

7:30 - 8.30 pm


Alton Community Centre

(Garden Room)

This meeting is mainly intended to provide more information about the Alton Big Dig in July to those residents of homes near the Public Gardens in the following roads:

  • Barton End

  • Lenten Street

  • Westbrooke Road, and

  • Kingsland Road

We will be talking about:

  • past archaeology finds in Alton;

  • why we are undertaking this project; and

  • showing pictures and examples of some of our past Romano-British finds.

We hope to persuade some residents to allow us to dig test pits 1 metre square in their gardens if the conditions are suitable, to a maximum depth of 1 metre, to look for any signs of archaeology (of whatever period).

Other members of the public are welcome to attend subject to there being sufficient seating.

Our thanks to all the local residents who attended this session and especially those who agreed to let us dig test pits in their gardens.

Alton Community Fayre


22 June 2019

11.00 am -

3.00 pm

Alton Public Gardens

Come and talk to us and find out more about the Alton Big Dig and what we will be doing.  Liss Archaeology will have a stall and a display of the community archaeology work that our volunteers do locally at the Roman villa sites we have been working on at Liss, Colemore (near Farringdon) and Stroud (near Petersfield).  We will also have some activities to interest children.

This event is organised by Alton Town Council for local clubs , groups , charities and organisations to showcase their work.  For more information see the Alton Events website or the poster here.

Display in Alton Library

1 - 30 July 2019

during Library open hours

Alton Public Library

We will have a display stand in the Library giving more information about our plans for the Alton 'Big Dig' and showing the work we have been doing on our other archaeology sites in East Hampshire.


If you are interested in archaeology and would like further information about our community group, Liss Archaeology, there will be leaflets available .

Display and Q&A sessions in

Curtis Museum, Alton

6 – 27 July 2019

during Museum opening hours (closed Sunday and Monday)

Curtis Museum

We will have a display in the Museum showcasing the Alton 'Big Dig', any interesting finds we make during the Dig and also showing information about our current projects elsewhere in the county.

There will also be someone from our community archaeology group in attendance to answer questions about the “Big Dig “ and archaeology in general on the following days:

  • Saturdays 13th & 20th July: from 13.00 until 16.00.

  • Wednesday 24th, Thursday 25th and Friday 26th July: from 14.00 until 16.00.


If you have any 'finds' you have dug up in your back garden and would like us to look at them, please bring them along.  We will do our best to identify them.