History uncovered at Brede Woods

ARCHAEOLOGICAL surveys at Brede High Woods have uncovered interesting artefacts including a glass baby’s bottle and the remains of old farm building.

The work has been carried out by Woodland Trust volunteers and the ongoing digs are part of a wider project to develop knowledge of the history of the woods, woodland archaeology and its context within the High Weald.

Initial explorations took place at what was once a farmstead dating from the 16th Century of Brede High Farm which was demolished in the 1930’s. Volunteers learnt basic survey measuring techniques using tapes, as well as the more high tech ‘dumpy level instrument’, which is used to measure horizontal levels. Archaeological remains were discovered in the form of remnants of a sandstone wall of one of the farm buildings.

The Trust is now appealing for more volunteers to attend further digs in the New Year.

David Bonsall, site manager for the Woodland Trust said: “We’re hoping this project will lead us to a better understanding of the rich cultural history of Brede High Woods, and explain some of the features that exist today.

“We need volunteers to participate in future surveys and excavations so I’d urge anyone with an interest to get in touch, no experience is required.”

The project, which is part of a £50,000 funding package from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is looking for participants to take part in field work including archaeological excavation, washing and marking finds, as well as a host of support activities including archive research, photography and administration.

The project is being run for the Trust by Chris Butler Archaeological Services. Contact brede@cbasltd.co.uk for further details.

The next event takes place on January 14 and anyone is welcome to attend.

As well as the Heritage Lottery Fund, work at Brede High Woods is also funded by the Forestry Commission, Natural England, The Tubney Charitable Trust, Veolia Environmental Trust and many generous supporters and donors. Find out more at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/Brede.