Historical Staunton at Snowdrop Sunday

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Monday, 5.20pm- ROMAN artefacts and wreckage from a Second World War plane found in Staunton will take pride of place at this year's Snowdrop Sunday.

Monday, 5.20pm- ROMAN artefacts and wreckage from a Second World War plane found in Staunton will take pride of place at this year's Snowdrop Sunday.Historic Staunton Hall hosts the event this Sunday, with archaeological finds from the area taking centre stage.

The Roman artefacts and the wreckage are being exhibited thanks to retired Staunton farmer Sid Baggaley. Mr Baggaley, who died in 2000, ploughed the fields of Staunton for 40 years, keeping Roman artefacts he found in his barn.

The finds only came to light after he met keen local archaeologist, Di Ablewhite.

Mrs Ablewhite, of Long Bennington, said: "Mr Baggaley farmed the Staunton estate for 40 years and while ploughing he would stop when he found something interesting and he would dig it up.

"He found a lot of pieces of Roman pottery and kept it all in his barn. Only after talking to myself did he try and find out more.

"The finds cover most of the Roman era from the first century to the fourth."

The field where the artefacts were found was given ancient monument status this month, giving Mrs Ablewhite of Farndon Archaeological Research Institute (FARI) more time to investigate the site.

Initial geophysical surveys have indicated the presence of structures beneath the ground.

Mrs Ablewhite said: "We should be able to do a survey to see if there are any buildings there. We will start this summer."

Wreckage from a Lancaster Bomber that crashed in Staunton, killing all seven crew, will also be on display.

An archaeological investigation has found more than 100 pieces of the aircraft which crashed in Staunton during World War II.

FARI were only alerted to the wreckage in 2000 by Sid Baggaley, months before his death.

Mr Baggaley witnessed the crash while ploughing a nearby field. He was part of a rescue crew who pulled the seven dead crew from the plane.

Staunton Church is now home to a memorial to the crew.

The family of one of the dead crew, George Arthur Hitchons, visited the crash site from their home in Burnley on Sunday February 3.

Mrs Ablewhite said: "They brought us photographs of Arthur and the telegram sent saying he had been killed.

"It was all very emotional. They were quite upset by the memorial. They couldn't believe people who didn't know him had gone to such trouble."

The Sunday Snowdrop exhibition has been organised by Annie Hogg, granddaughter of Sid Baggaley.

Money raised from the event will go towards the restoration od Staunton Church.

Doors open at 11am. Admission 2.50 for adults, free for children.

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