They were an active amateur organisation based in the North Bucks area. They aimed to provide a forum and a focal point for people interested in archaeology. The ambition was to broaden the popularity of archaeology by arranging talks and lectures, as well as increasing the known archaeology of North Bucks by carrying out practical work such as digs and field walking.
They had a range of experience (both amateur and professional archaeologists) as well as a broad age range of participants.
The North Bucks Archaeological Society was formed in 1991 following two highly successful evening class courses at Ousedale Adult Education Centre in Newport Pagnell. The students and their tutor, Isabel Lisboa, were keen to continue their involvement with archaeology. The logical step was to form a society.
Excavation at Tickford Abbey
Over the weekend of 21st-22nd October 2000 we started the excavations at Tickford Abbey. This is a follow on from our geophysics survey back in July.
The first was in the vegetable garden behind the house. This was about 8 metres long and 1 metre wide. We were trying to transversely cut the wide linear feature seen on the geophysics survey. There was about a half a metre of top soil before we got to a layer of rubbish which contained recent pottery (19th-20th century?) and old beer bottles (some from the old Newport Pagnell brewery).
Below this was a layer of clay which many of us thought would have been the subsoil.Richard Ivens suggested it wasn't and dug right through it to more rubbish including recent pottery and bottles. It seems there was something hollow here which was filled in the fairly recent past with kitchen waste and general rubbish, including a fairly large quantity of clay.
It is probable that the feature seen on the geophysics survey and we were trying to locate with this trench was not a trackway as originally suspected, but a fishpond.
The second trench was much more significant. This was in the walled garden right up close to the current house. Here we discovered a robber trench, the absent wall being of mediaeval origin and therefore part of the abbey. Below this there were pits from an even earlier date.
The third trench was behind the trees fairly near to the gazebo. This was off our geophysics survey, but we wanted to eliminate this area as being significant. Nothing of any great note was found here, but it does suggest that the orginal abbey did not reach this area.
We intend to continue the excavations here for several months yet, though dates are to be confirmed. Contact us if you wish to take part.
Geophics Survey of Tickford Priory | Over the weekend of 6th-7th July 2000, Professor Arnold Aspinall of Bradford University was good enough to provide both the equipment and expertise to complete the geophysics survey at Tickford Abbey. Quite a large number of society members were able to take part in this interesting and useful activity.
It was hoped that the resulting resistivity measurements of most of the lawn and garden areas would allow us to identify possible features of the original Cluniac Priory hidden below ground. We now have the results of the survey, and although not conclusive there are a number of intriguing high resistance areas. We hope to be able to open a few trenches very soon to confirm the existance of underground features.
Our thanks also go to Richard Ivens who was instumental in organising the geophysics survey.