Week of archaeological events at St Andrew's Holcombe

10 Jul 2012

As part of the Festival of British Archaeology Professor Mick Aston, well known to archaeologists and Time Team viewers will be working with local groups and the CCT in a week of cutting edge aerial archaeology at Holcombe on the Mendips.

The week is part of the Festival of British Archaeology and will consist of training sessions aimed at archaeology students and all those with an interest in learning more about the discipline.

Some of the highlights are:

  • Archaeology training events free to all 16 -21 July, St Andrew's church, Holcombe, Radstock
  • Learn how to use new archaeological technology including using a remote-controlled drone plane to do 3D scans
  • A chance to take part in a real live archaeological project

The week will run from Monday 16 to Saturday 21 July with archaeological training sessions every day and on Saturday a series of talks in the church by various experts including Mick Aston.

Events include:

  • Archaeological survey techniques
  • Geophysics experience day
  • Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), Demonstrations
  • Lectures and Q&A sessions with the experts
  • Flying demonstration of unmanned Aerial Vechicles (UAVs)


Events are open to all and places are free but limited in number so early booking is essential.

The training sessions take place in tandem with a live archaeology project being carried out by Mick, Wessex Archaeology, the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Somerset County Council, the Holcombe History Group, Cathedral Campers and local volunteers to carry out a church and landscape survey of Holcombe parish in Somerset, with St Andrew’s at the centre of it all.

The project will be using some recently developed laser-scanning technology that scans the ground from an unmanned remotely-controlled drone plane. The 3D results allows assessment of any archaeological features in the landscape and how they might relate to the church and churchyard. The team plans to survey the fields around the church using geophysical techniques.

 Dr Neil Rushton, who is heading the team for The Churches Conservation Trust, said;

’Alongside these surveys we will also be researching the history of St Andrew’s, which nestles below the towers of Downside Abbey to the west, and carrying out a churchyard recording survey and some vital conservation work to remove the peeling cement render on the north side of the church.

‘ This project will form the start of an interpretation project for all our Somerset churches over the next few years, and we are hoping to involve as much volunteer input as possible.’

Find out more about the event and book your place 

Find out about the archaeological survey techniques day

Find out more about the geophysical surveys day

Find out more about meeting and hearing from the experts 21 July