I am pleased to say that there is now a Tilty Archaeology and Local History Group. To explain a little about the background, Oxford Archaeology East, in association with English Heritage, undertook a detailed survey of the site of Tilty Abbey during 2010, presenting the results in a report published in August 2011; the investigation incorporated earthwork, topographical and geophysical surveys, together with a wider area survey. There was also an illustrated talk and guided walk around the Abbey field in December 2010, which stimulated a great deal of interest locally amongst those keen to discover more, and to become involved in further research opportunities. This led to a well-attended meeting in November 2011 to investigate the feasibility of establishing an archaeology and local history group. Rachel Clarke (Oxford Archaeology East) and David Kenny (English Heritage) kindly attended this meeting, both to report on the Tilty survey and to provide guidance in setting up a group, as did Neil Blackshaw from the Chelmer Valley Project.

The Tilty Archaeology and Local History Group has now been formally constituted, and a Committee elected. We held an inaugural event on 18 March, a walk round ‘historic Tilty’ to look at the landscape ‘with an archaeologist’s eye’, which was attended by around thirty-five people. Regular General Meetings will be held during 2012 (in the upstairs Meeting Room at The Three Horseshoes), and the next is on Tuesday 8 May. Other events, and talks from external speakers, are being planned, and it is hoped that some will be held at Tilty Church; dates and details will follow. We are also hoping to run a stall at the Duton Hill Fun Day – at The Three Horseshoes – on Sunday 6 May, to raise awareness of the Group and its activities. We really want to encourage and support people in their own local history and archaeological investigations, and hope to develop this aspect of our activities during the course of the year.

We have an email address for the Group -- Tilty.Archaeology@gmail.com -- and a Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/294395137275350/ - so do get in touch if you’d like to know more about us. As a fledgling group, we would also welcome any guidance that anyone is willing to offer – particularly if there’s anyone who would like to come along to talk to us at one of our meetings.

Maggie Stevens
Secretary, TALHG
Local History Recorder for Tilty