A group of us, led by the Curator of Archaeology for the County’s Museum Service have planned a day when a lot more of our history can be made visible. This will include an exhibition in the two floors of the refurbished Bartholomew Room in the Square. There you will be able to see many of the things that were dug up during the Eynsham Abbey Archaeological Dig that took place some 30 years ago, when they first definitively identified the site of the Abbey in what are now the Cemeteries of the Anglican and Catholic Churches.
Items on display will include a fascinating Medieval lead plaque depicting Thomas Becket that was probably brought back as a Souvenir by some of the monks on their Pilgrimage to Canterbury and a little bronze flask that may have been used for storing and administering one of the Holy Oils. You will also be able to see some archaeological stonework from the Dig as well as other finds and coins that people have found in various places in the village over the years.
During the day there will be at least two guided tours in the morning and two in the afternoon. Each time, one will be of the Abbey site where one can guess how large the buildings were, even though nothing now remains above ground, and see above ground the one stone from Eynsham’s prehistoric past. The other Tour will be round the village pointing out some of the archaeological stonework from the Abbey that can be found built into the older houses and walls, for the Abbey ruins were a great source of stone after the Abbey was dissolved in the 16th Century. There will also be a Historical Tour of St Leonard’s Church.
We also hope to have an event for children, as well as some medieval pottery that they can be touched and held, and an I-Spy Family Quiz. Perhaps you have dug up some artifacts in your garden in the village? To help with this, we will have an expert on hand to run a kind of Eynsham Heritage Archaeological Roadshow to help you identify your own archaeological discovery. The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer will be on hand to look at anything you’ve found in your gardens, or when walking across fields, or metal detecting.
Please watch this space :-)