Founded in 1955, the Enfield Archaeological Society is active in carrying out research and fieldwork in and around the London Borough of Enfield, in order to understand and preserve its history.
Our main aims are: to promote the practice and study of archaeology in the district; to record and preserve all finds in the borough and encourage others to allow their finds to be recorded by the Society; and to co-operate with neighbouring societies with similar aims.
Membership is open to anybody with an interest in the past.
The Enfield Archaeological Society is affiliated to the Council for British Archaeology and the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society; the President for the society is Harvey Sheldon, B.Sc, F.S.A, F.R.S.A.Latest News
The Society has an active programme of fieldwork including annual research excavations on the sites of former Tudor and Jacobean palaces, and rescue work throughout the year including work on Roman roadside settlements, iron-age hillforts and others in and around Enfield.
Research work varies from casual field-walks, map regression and documentary research, remote sensing study and ground survey work. The Society has several publications both in and out of print; our most recent book is Enfield at War 1914-1918, by Geoffrey Gillam and revised by Ian Jones.
We are keen wherever possible to share the results of our work: Our summer digs take place as part of the CBA's national Festival of Archaeology, during which we give tours and talks to the public as well as school parties, in co-operation with Enfield Council.
With less than two months to go to this year’s Festival of British Archaeology, an online gallery of last year’s dig in Forty Hall on the site of Elsyng Tudor Palace is now online here.
If this year’s digs are half as successful as last year’s, there’s plenty to look forward to!
This coincides with the news this week that the entry in the Schedule of Ancient Monuments for the site of Elsyng Palace in Forty Hall has been updated, significantly increasing the protected area of the park, thanks in no small part to the work done by the EAS over the last ten years.
It’s been a long and extremely wet weekend, but we got the job done; although the archaeology didn’t quite turn out as expected we have confirmed the presence of the (presumed palace) midden and added a little to our understanding of its nature, though unfortunately definitive dating evidence is still elusive.
As planned, we opened two trenches at the far end of the lime tree avenue in Forty Hall, directly next to Maidens Brook, both targeting the dense bone deposit we’ve seen before in the ‘Greenway’ cycle track and the new HLF footbridge installation.
This year’s summer dig dates have been finalized: We will be digging at Cedars Park, Broxbourne, on the former site of James I’s Theobalds Palace on the 10th 11th and 12th July and the following week in Forty Hall, Enfield, on the former site of the Tudor palace of Elsyng from the 14th to 19th.
The dig in Cedars park will be further exploring the palace ‘loggia’ garden feature we successfully uncovered last year, to further establish its size and date, and also to get a better look at the ornamental ‘canal’ that bounded it.
The dig in Forty Hall will continue to look at the new (possibly early Tudor) palace building we discovered last summer, and hopefully continue to follow the palace boundary wall west of the lime tree avenue, further defining the perimeter of the palace complex.
As ever, the digs will take place as part of the nationwide Festival of Archaeology, and members of the public will be welcome to come and see how we get on – each Sunday there will be stalls and other activities and members of the Society will be available to explain our work.
Members of the Society wanting to join the digs should preferably bring a packed lunch, and are reminded that stout footwear and sensible clothing are essential. Details of times and meeting places will be published later in the year.
After an unexpected series of technical delays we have finally confirmed dates for the first dig of the year. We will be digging in Forty Hall at the site of Elsyng Palace on the weekend of March 28th and 29th in search of a late medieval/early Tudor palace midden (see previous post).
The dig site should be easy to find at the far end of the lime tree avenue in Forty Hall; members of the public will be welcome to come and see how we get on, but members of the Society who wish to join in are asked please to contact Lesley (membership) first.
We will be digging in Cedars Park, Broxbourne on the site of James I's Theobalds Palace, continuing our exploration of the ornamental 'loggia' feature and canal on the 10th, 11th and 12th July.
We will be digging all week in Forty Hall, Enfield on the site of Henry VIII's Elsyng Palace, looking for more of the new Tudor building we discovered last year.