Bosworth Links

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Latest News! We are extending to our friends and neighbours! Bosworth Links 2022 to 2025 – and beyond! Next digs are Shenton in April 2024 and Sutton Cheney September 2024. Volunteer lists are OPEN!

Yoo-hoo! Volunteers! Register for the fun and time travelling here!

Shenton Dig 20th & 21st April 2024

Cadeby Dig – Video

Cadeby Dig – Individual Reports

Cadeby Dig Photographs 9th & 10th September 2023

Carlton September 2022 Full Report

Carlton Test Pit Reports – Individual

Carlton 2022 Photographs

Carlton Dig 2022 Film

Coton 2023 Photographs

Coton Dig 2023 Film

Coton Dig Reports


Project Background

  1. Market towns, such as Market Bosworth, are quintessential elements of the English countryside, providing an important hub for a community much wider than the town itself. In 2017-18, community-driven archaeological investigation in Market Bosworth proved highly successful, giving its residents a unique opportunity to explore their own past, make new discoveries about the development of their town and identifying previously unknown archaeological sites dating back thousands of years to the Bronze Age. This was only one part of a much bigger picture. In the East Midlands, important avenues of archaeological research include gaining a better understanding of the role towns had as social, administrative, industrial and commercial centres within their regional marketing system. To do this, it is important to study surrounding settlements which share an infinity with it.
  2. A coherent archaeological study of a market town and its satellite settlements has never been carried out before and provides an important opportunity to investigate the nature and extent of the town’s influence on the surrounding countryside. For instance, in the medieval period did villages have a symbiotic relationship with their market town (i.e. did the fortunes of one influence the others)? Did manorial ownership affect relationships (some settlements shared the same tenants-in-chief, others did not)? The Black Death in the 14th century appears to have had a major effect on settlement in Market Bosworth, did it have a similar effect in the surrounding villages? Market Bosworth and some of the surrounding villages existed by the 11th century, and are mentioned in the Domesday Book, but others did not. When did these villages develop, and why did they seemingly develop after the 11th century? Villages like Osbaston and Cadeby have Viking name elements. What evidence, if any, is there for Scandinavian activity in these villages?
  3. Bosworth Links is an archaeological project organised by the Market Bosworth Society seeking to answer some of these questions through a programme of community-driven test-pit excavation. It is proposed that test-pits will be dug by homeowners and volunteers in gardens and public spaces across six settlements in west Leicestershire – Carlton, Osbaston, Cadeby, Sutton Cheney, Shenton & Far Coton.

What will you be doing?

So what is community test pit digging? Basically, it is the creation of teams, who do not require any archaeological expertise, to dig pits a metre square and to a maximum depth of one metre. Soil is removed in 10cm layers which are then sieved, and any evidence of manmade material is put to one side for further examination.


The team consists of four people. A digger who loosens the layer of soil, a person who removes the soil and takes it to the person sieving and finally a recorder who lists the items found for each layer and ensures it is bagged up with the correct reference number. It is hoped that the homeowner who has agreed to allow the pit to be dug on their property will recruit their own team from family members and friends. We also have a lot of enthusiastic volunteers who have remained with us since 2017 and are eager to get going again.

Full training will be given and the great thing about community archaeology is that everyone can take part. Age and physical ability are no bars to being involved in this great project. If you are fit enough to sit down, you can take part!

We need all sorts of volunteers, diggers, sievers, recorders, washers, collectors there are roles for absolutely everyone. It is a great way to meet people and make long-lasting friendships whilst doing something worthwhile and learning new skills. What is there not to like about Time Travelling?  

Get Involved! Volunteer form Right Here!

Still not sure?   

Why not watch the video of the dig in 2017? It shows exactly what the roles are and how much fun we all had taking part.


More Pits, Pots and pipes 2018 – Bill Newsinger

Test Pit Dig Reports 2017 to 2019

Reports from 2019

Short Souvineer Guide in PDF – Mathew morris

Metal Detecting Report – Mathew Morris

ULAS News – Bosworth Links

Photographs of 2019 – Nigel Palmer

Photographs 2018 – By Seth Lewis

Photographs 2017 – By Seth Lewis

Final Report (2018) to HLF – Gemma Tallis

Lidar, Resistivity and Ariel Photographs of Mkt Bosworth Country Park

Please don’t forget to ‘like’ Bosworth Links on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!



Bosworth Links is grateful to and supported by The Market Bosworth Society The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Dixie Educational Foundation, The Market Bosworth Parish Council, The Richard III Legacy Fund. The Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (PCIF) Heart of England Co-operative Society


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