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Wroxeter 150: Past, Present and Future – Day School

January 27, 2009

A Day-School to be held at Burlington House
Friday 6th February 2009
9:30 -:5.00

On 3rd February 1859, Thomas Wright’s workmen began to excavate beneath the arch of the Old Work at Wroxeter. By the end of April, when Charles Dickens visited the site, the monument as we know it today was largely exposed and thronged with visitors. Such was the excitement that Lord Barnard generously donated the site to the newly founded Shropshire Archaeological Society to open as a visitor attraction. February 2009 thus marks the 150th anniversary of a momentous event in British archaeology: the re-discovery of Wroxeter Roman city, and the opening of one of the earliest archaeological visitor attractions in the country. February 2009 also marks the completion of work on the last results of the modern phase of work at Wroxeter enabling for the first time a full overview of the site.

The aim of the day school is not so much to celebrate past achievements but to focus on future directions for Wroxeter in terms of its archaeology, the visitor experience and what it has to continue to offer to the development of archaeological practice. The visionary acquisition of the site by the then Department of the Environment in the early 1970s removed the threat posed by modern deep-ploughing regimes and protected the site from the damage that so many other comparable sites have suffered. Equally, Wroxeter has been mercifully under-excavated: the bulk of our knowledge of the site has come from remote-sensing from both the air and ground. This has given us a far more complete picture of the town than might otherwise be expected, but without the detailed view of time-depth and nuanced understanding of the town’s development that would have resulted from excavation. How are we to continue to explore Wroxeter’s rich heritage without compromising the inheritance for the future?

This day school brings together leading experts in their fields to explore how Wroxeter might be managed in the future to curate it as a resource, to increase public awareness of and interest in the site’s extensive remains and to continue to research the town’s archaeology. No-one would deny that the potential of the site is not enormous but we need to think now of what might happen in the future and draw together a vision for what Wroxeter could become.

Payments of £15, inclusive of lunch and wine reception, can be made either by

credit card by telephoning  Sue Bowen on 0121 414 7245

or by sending a cheque payable to ‘The University of Birmingham’ to

Dr Roger White
Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

t: 0121 414 5493


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