In Marcham today there was an archaeology open day at Manor Farm, next to the circular dovecote. (Marcham is 2 miles from Abingdon)
Archaeological digs happened there for 11 years ending in 2011. The excavations revealed the foundations of Roman buildings including a circular arena. There were also many Iron Age pits. During that time a lot of artifacts were collected. The current work called Trendles Project, funded by the National Lottery, involves experts leading, and enabling local people, and school children, to help and sort and categorise a lot of the finds: Iron Age and Roman pots and bones and coins etc.
The open day involved archaeological talks by the project director, and story telling by Chris the Celt who is telling here about how the first harp was made.
There were samples of Roman Food prepared with the help of Apicius’ Roman Cookery Book; demonstrations of various ancient arts and crafts including basket making, pottery, and spinning; and the chance to view and help sift through some of the artifacts that had been found.
Before cycling back to Abingdon I viewed a couple more Marcham dovecotes: one shown me by the owner of Manor Farm, who is a great supporter of the archaeological work, and follow up project, on his land.
The other dovecote is next to Marcham parish Church and has been fully restored.
Marcham had several dovecotes. The first ones would have been built when the Manor was owned by Abingdon Abbey – when pigeons were a source of winter meat, allowed to the privileged.