Petersfield High Street South Side

Part of front cover designed by Edward Grainger for Petersfield Monographs No. 2 entitled ‘High Street Petersfield’.

Archaeology Group News

The Petersfield Big Dig

Liss Archaeology in conjunction with the Petersfield Area Historical Society is to undertake a series of archaeological explorations in Petersfield this summer.  The Big Dig will run from 14th to 31st July to coincide with the Festival of Archaeology fortnight.  Targeted areas for surveying and potential test pitting include the Avenue playing fields and The Spain as well as a number of private gardens in the old part of the town.

Many people will remember the People of the Heath project (2014-2018) which added greatly to knowledge of this area in prehistoric times.  The aim of the Petersfield Big Dig is to investigate sites hinting at occupation prior to the 12th century foundation of the town and to enhance understanding of how Petersfield has developed since Norman times.

There will be the opportunity to talk to the archaeologists about the results of their investigations, children’s activities and, in due course, public lectures and a display of finds.

When is a barrow not a barrow?

Barrows Excavation No 2 - June 2015

The People of the Heath project recommenced in June with excavations of Barrows 18 and 21. Once again, members of the Society joined the team led by Project Directors Stuart Needham and George Anelay.

Barrow 18 with its low altitude and position close to the lake offered the prospect of encountering waterlogged deposits. In the event, no features were found but in the base of the buried soil was a scattering of flint work, which is currently being examined and there is little doubt that these flints have remained undisturbed since they were dropped, probably in Mesolithic times. 

Barrow 21 was more of a surprise as it was discovered that it was not a manmade mound and consequently has now been removed from the inventory of barrows for future management of archaeology of the Heath. It is believed the deception was probably due to natural processes in the sandy environments. Disappointing but perhaps one of the joys of archaeology is the unpredictable outcomes!

The Excavation No 3 takes place from 8–26 September 2015. If you would like to be involved, find out more from

Petersfield and Liss Archaeological Groups Joint Framework for the Future

Peter Price

At our joint meeting on March 18 with Liss Archaeological Group, proposals were made for a framework for future joint fieldwork study. The proposal is to undertake a landscape analysis of an area encompassing the roman sites at Liss, Colemore, Stroud, Froxfield, Ridgehanger Lane. Within this area there are a number of sites that can enable the group to gain a greater understanding of what was happening in this area in the late Iron Age, Roman and possibly post–Roman periods.

The expected outcome of this study are:-

  • A  photographic record of selected sites.
  • A database of local Roman and earlier  finds that can be used as a resource for future field walking.
  • A greater understanding of the Late Iron Age and Roman settlement within the target area.
  • A greater idea of where it might be useful to undertake geophysical surveys within the area.
  • The possibility of discovering new and so far unrecognised sites.

For more information on this exciting project, contact Peter Price at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


PAHS members work on the Heath Barrows project

Petersfield Heath Barrows Project

Several members of the Historical Society assisted with the excavation of the Petersfield Heath barrows during September. Working on the three sites, they were involved with a range of tasks from excavation and sieving to recording. For more details of the project and how to volunteer, visit the People of the Heath website.

Our photo shows our member Lyn Pease pointing to evidence of the ditch in the oval enclosure. Material from the ditch is undergoing analysis to establish dates. 




Silchester Town Life Project

Silchester dig

In July we made our second visit to the Silchester Town Life Project in this, the final year of an 18 year project. Organised for us by Lyn Pease, we were guided around the site by the dig director, Amanda Clarke. The tour commenced at Insula IX, which has been the major centre of their work. Located at the cross roads of the north/south and east/west Roman roads, the project has three main purposes

  1. To investigate the Iron Age dwellings beneath the Roman town.
  2. What happened when the Romans arrived.
  3. Why Silchester was abandoned—it was one of only three large sites in Britain known to be abandoned.

Read more ...

More Articles ...

  1. An Exciting September

Where Petersfield Archaeology Group Meets

Physic Garden
High Street
GU32 3JJ
Tel: 01730 269060

How To Join

Contact us for an application form. Membership costs £15 per person or £20 per couple. This includes eight meetings per year with a speaker and five optional meetings of the Society’s Archaeological Group. You will also receive a copy of the Society’s twice-yearly bulletin.

Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery

Petersfield Museum

Visit Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery to see some of the archival work PAHS has undertaken.

Petersfield Musical Festival


Petersfield Musical Festival has entertained the town with choral music for over 100 years.

Petersfield Physic Garden

fritillaryThe Physic Garden is open daily except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s day. Check the website for times. Entrance is free.

People of Petersfield Heath

People of the HeathVisit People of the Heath for more on the excavation of the Petersfield Heath barrows.