Hidden Holcombe - Discoveries underground at St Andrew's, Holcombe

The Trust joined forces with Wessex Archaeology and members of Time Team to undertake excavations underneath the main aisle of St. Andrew’s Church. The team also conducted a survey of the graveyard to record the epitaphs and memorial stones.

This is the latest phase of “Hidden Holcombe”, a project initiated in 2012 to find out more about St. Andrew’s Church and its surroundings.  In contrast to most churches, which are located in the heart of their communities, St. Andrew’s is situated in an isolated rural position a mile from Holcombe village. Archaeologists hope to shed light on whether the church, which dates back to 1100, could originally have been part of a medieval village that has since disappeared.

Budding archaeologists and people from the local area took part in the project through a range of free events and opportunities, including daily tours of the trench, artefact processing, and learning how to survey a graveyard.

Two adult skeletons and one child skeleton, all dating to the 18th Century, were found buried beneath the church's central aisle.

Other artefacts, including pottery and an entrance to a hitherto unknown crypt were also found in the church.

The final phase of the three-part project takes place in July 2013 with the launch of a new Young Archaeologists’ Club for Somerset in conjunction with Somerset County Council, Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society and the Council for British Archaeology.

This is part of a 10-year project to excavate and survey 18 of the oldest churches in Somerset.