Welcome to Hampole Priory, one of South Yorkshire’s most exciting and undiscovered heritage sites. Thanks to the extreme generosity of several private landowners, we have been working here since 2018.

This summer, we are returning!

Working with universities and regional heritage experts, Soldier On’s archaeology fieldwork projects provide an opportunity for people to learn about their community’s history in a fun, friendly and inclusive environment.  Instrumental roles exist for people of all ages, experience and abilities and we hope participants will acquire new skills, develop existing ones, and be able to return home with increased confidence and new friends.  Those who engage in our personal development coaching can gain more direction and focus, returning home able to take the first small steps towards independent and happier futures. 

Whilst we are welcoming applications from anyone who meets our charitable aims, the key theme for ‘HAMPOLE III’, is recreating the friendship, camaraderie and usefulness many people over 50 years old tell us they really miss.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS: You do not need to have had any previous archaeological experience.  Indeed, one of our guiding principles is to deliver inclusive community projects, where complete novices to archaeology are made extremely welcome.  We allocate spaces to people who are vulnerable, socially isolated or disadvantaged in some way. For this project, although not exclusively, we are particularly keen to help armed forces veterans, over the age of 50, who are looking for friendship and camaraderie through shared experiences.    

THE PROJECT: Under the direction of Tim Jones, Mfil, MA, BA, The archaeological aim of the project is to carry out surveys and excavations within the area of a large and expansive privately-owned site, which we now know holds the remains of the medieval Hampole Priory, founded in 1150 AD. The chief claim to fame of the priory is as the home and burial place of Richard Rolle, the famous medieval mystic and writer, who in the second quarter of the 14th century served as priest and spiritual adviser to the nuns, and probably lived in a cell attached to the priory church.  It was closed under the orders of Henry VIII on the 19th November 1539.

We will be digging a number of trenches and exploring what lies beneath the ground as we establish the plan and dates of the site’s evolution, from medieval religious centre to C18th dwellings. What we uncover will be recorded and catalogued and will inform the statute bodies and landowner how best to protect and manage this site of historic importance. 

HERITAGE ACTIVITIES: Digging, surveying, trowelling, recording, measuring, drawing, washing, cataloguing and protecting finds, photographing, videoing, updating social media, showing visitors around the site and presenting our finds.  We encourage participants to try out different aspects of the dig and to ask if there is something specific you wish to do.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Long-term unemployed participants, or those who feel that life has limited direction or meaning, will be offered FREE employability and life coaching, delivered by our partner, Transperformance™, see www.transperformance.net for details.

FREE TIME: Working in the fresh air all day can be quite tiring, and most people will wish to have early nights.  Whilst we acknowledge people need time to themselves, we encourage eating together, supporting one another, and participating in talks and other social events.

If you would like to join us please register your interest by emailing administrator@soldieron.org.uk and Peter will be in touch.