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13th September 2022

After a successful summer dig, which has revealed more of the remains of Hull’s South Blockhouse than at any point in the last 150 years, the project draws to an end with a celebratory open day on Saturday 24 September - marking the end of the largest community archaeology excavation seen in the city for more than 25 years.

The people of Hull, and its satellite towns and villages, have spent the last 11 weeks contributing more than 4,000 volunteer hours and moving by hand tens of tons of earth, brick and stone to reveal the astounding remains of part of Hull’s Tudor defences.

On Saturday 24 September, from 10.30am until 3pm, visitors can find out more about the 16th century fortress, constructed on the orders of Henry VIII between 1541-43 and see 50 per cent of the site revealed for the first time since the reign of Queen Victoria.

The dig has been led by professional archaeologists from Humber Field Archaeology, who have worked in partnership with HEY! Volunteering and charities from across the city to celebrate Hull’s rich archaeological heritage and reveal how the South Blockhouse reflects Hull’s history over the last c.500 years.

Volunteers have contributed more than 4,000 volunteer hours

As well as being able to talk to the archaeology team about the discoveries they have made, there will be a finds display, art displays inspired by the dig, children’s activities, traditional music, arts and crafts, and an opportunity to sample some Tudor inspired food.

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “The 11-week excavation has given all of us the opportunity to really find out more about this wonderful historic site.

“This Open Day will offer visitors the chance to meet the team behind the excavation as well discover more about the Tudor fortification, its significance, why the excavation has taken place and the future plans.

“The end of dig celebration presents the prefect opportunity for people to learn about the fascinating discoveries that have been made over the summer!”

Volunteers have found some interesting discoveries. Image from HEY! Volunteering

The South Blockhouse site is located on the east bank of the river Hull, close to The Deep visitor attraction.

This phase of the programme has been made possible by a £1m grant from National Highways, who have Government funding to deliver benefits to communities above and beyond maintaining and operating England’s strategic road network.

The South Blockhouse will compliment Hull Maritime, a locally led project funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a key cultural regeneration scheme in the heart of Hull’s city centre that will protect and celebrate 800 years of Hull’s maritime heritage.