Who we are - Affiliated to the Council of British Archaeology, we are a diverse group of enthusiastic amateurs in and around the village of Great Bowden, near Market Harborough, Leicestershire, UK.

What we do - small Excavations: Field Walking: Geophysics: Metal Detection: Research: Publications: Local displays: Training: Field Trips: and Social Events. We process and record finds, issue Excavation Reports and Field Walking Reports, and occasionally publish booklets, leaflets, and CDs.

All our findings are logged with Leicestershire's Historic Environment Record and a documentary archive created and stored at Leicestershire's Collections.

Current projects:Bowden Ridge Research which is exploring, with fieldwork and research, the history of the hill that separates Great Bowden from Market Harborough, and St Mary in Arden, a research project looking at the history of that ancient church close to Market Harborough station.

Past projects:  Dig for Bowden's Hidden Past, CORS Project 2013-2016, a Heritage Lottery funded excavation project in the village, farming, field, wildlife surveys and Bowden Before the Conquest, a year of varied activities attempting to learn about life here before the Norman Conquest, also funded by the Lottery. 

New Members welcomeContact us if you are keen to pursue any interest which falls within the Heritage and Archaeology of our area. 

Something for everyone - You need not be expert or even super fit. Desk research, washing finds and making tea is as valued as fieldwork.  Digs though may require some prowess with spade or trowel!

No membership fees - We raise funds to support our activities. Those taking part in Fieldwork should however be covered by insurance. We ask these people to join Leicestershire Fieldworkers for a minimal cost. 
Membership of that organisation will include insurance. 


About Us

Today, we are an inclusive group of roughly 30 individuals with a wide range of skills, and a common interest in the heritage and archaeology of the area of Great Bowden.

Whether we are translating
old documents;  doing fieldwork; giving talks or  putting on a show, we work hard and have fun.



Picture shows some of the group taking a break from a dig  near the centre of the village. The tea tent is always on the go and provides welcome shelter in bad weather! 


See us on Facebook

How we started in 2000

Great Bowden Heritage had its birth at the Great Bowden Village Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2000 with a display in the Congregational Church in the village (now in 2012 no longer a church but converted into flats). People signed up for the County’s Heritage Watch project due to start at the end of October 2000.  Twenty-eight people originally signed up, reducing over the next few months to a core membership of 15 enthusiasts.

The interest in these early days was more towards natural history rather than archaeology which emerged in later years.  Below are extracts from an article which appeared in the Great Bowden Village Newsletter in Spring 2001:

“Back in the summer of 1999 I was asked if I would take on the voluntary role of Heritage Warden for the Parish.  This scheme has been set up by the Museum and Records Service of the County Council although the appointments are made by Parish Councils.  They are hoping to establish a network of enthusiastic local people who can act as focal points for the recording and safeguarding of anything of local historical and ecological interest.”

The Heritage Group formed to support the Heritage Warden. 

“We have in the past few months had two group meetings and attended training days in archaeological field walking, flint identification, the biodiversity of ancient trees, looked at local archaeological finds at the museum and taken part in the autumn and spring Seasons Watch, a recording of events in nature which eventually can be used to predict seasonal changes.  Individuals have taken on numerous roles in areas of interest to them.”

Great Bowden Heritage Group continued to undertake diverse projects and surveys.  See Past Projects.

By 2005 we began to move towards archaeology. Summaries of f
ield work undertaken can be found in Field Walking Reports, and Excavation Reports

In 2009 we added archaeology to our title and became 
Great Bowden Heritage and Archaeology as we are today.  I
n 2010, we introduced Metal Detection and in 2012 built a resistivity meter. We are mastering the art of Geophysics. 
 We continue to conduct research, produce booklets and leaflets. See Publications