Discover more about the fascinating findings found near Dorchester during the Dorset Visual Impact Provision project

  Posted: 11.06.21 at 13:05 by Lottie Welch

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You can find out more about the fascinating findings discovered during the Dorset Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project at Winterbourne Abbas.

The National Grid project aims to reduce the visual impact of overhead electricity lines and pylons near Martinstown and Winterbourne Abbas by replacing them with cables buried underground.

However, a wealth of archaeological artefacts - some dating back 6,000 years - have been found on the site.

Oxford Archaeology dug 147 trial trenches to help them learn more about the landscape and ensure the most important known assets were protected during construction. This identified previously unknown archaeological remains which would have not been found if it were not for the project.

These discoveries include ploughed-out Bronze Age barrows and settlement enclosures, Iron Age lynchets, Roman settlement and agricultural remains and an early Medieval cemetery. They also found an ancient stone burial chambers dating from the mid-sixth century, which contained seven human skeletons.

All of the finds will undergo expert analysis and where possible, will be donated to local museums.

With the archaeology now concluded and the engineering work in full flow, a series of webinars to give a taster of the findings and what they mean have been organised.

One on the Neolithic and Bronze Age was held on June 8, but the second webinar covering the Roman finds will take place on Tuesday, June 15. Works uncovered remains of a small Roman settlement comprising stone buildings with evidence for crop processing and aggregate extraction, along with the remains of a few of the inhabitants. Register for the event here.

The next webinar, early to post Medieval, will take place on Tuesday, June 22. The Saxon arrived West Dorset around the end of the 7th century and excavation of a large cemetery dating to the early-mid 8th century will provide an insight into the population of the area at this time. Evidence of later material activity was also noted within the scheme and sheds light on the agricultural landscape we see today. Register for the event here.

A recording of the webinars will be made available after the event.

For more information, visit

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