Exploring Chester Farm

Sarah Bridges

20th October 2018 at 2:45 p.m.

Conference Suite, Main Hall at St Andrew's Hospital, Billing Road, Northampton

Chester Farm has been known to be the site of important archaeological remains, including a Roman small town, 'time out of mind'. Within its 35 hectares is preserved a microcosm of Northamptonshire's history; the County Council is in the process of developing it as a heritage attraction with a focus on learning and community participation.

This talk will explain the national importance of the site and why it needs to be looked after and given a sustainable future. The current development plans will be explained, including the creation of a countywide Archaeological Resource Centre that will enable safe preservation of and public access to archaeological artefacts. The talk will then move to explore some of the research work that has been undertaken to date, especially focussing on recent archaeological excavations. Knowledge about the site, especially during the Roman period, has increased considerably since 2010 and a few elements of this will be explored. The talk will conclude with a tribute to the volunteers who enable so much to be achieved.

Sarah Bridges graduated with a degree in Modern History from Durham University. She trained as an archivist at Liverpool University and spent a number of years in different posts at what is now Dorset History Centre. Since joining Northamptonshire County Council as County Archivist in 2002, among other things, she has led campaigns to save three nationally important family estate archives for the nation, as well as leading the service through a time of some challenge in terms of finances and governance. She is now called an Archives & Services Manager, and Chester Farm (including archaeological archives), the Historic Environment Record and the local operation of the Portable Antiquities Scheme are included within her remit.

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