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13th October 2023

The South Blockhouse Project has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The project's community archaeology programme, led by Humber Field Archaeology, has been shortlisted for the Council for British Archaeology’s 2023 Archaeological Achievement Awards, in the Engagement and Participation category.

Formerly the British Archaeology Awards, the awards are coordinated with the support of a judging panel and aim to celebrate archaeological achievements from across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The project started out in July 2022, with a major community archaeology excavation, which undertook an 11-week dig to expose the South Blockhouse’s buried remains, with more than 120 community volunteers working alongside professional archaeologists from Humber Field Archaeology at every stage of the excavation. Over 1,500 people visited the dig during those 11 weeks and the project also reached out to various communities, including young people, ex-servicemen and refugees.

The fieldwork was carried out to gain a better understanding of the South Blockhouse’s condition and the tell the story of the 16th century fortress, which played a key part in the city’s maritime history for over 300 years.

Since the dig ended, Humber Field Archaeology have continued working with local people and community organisations across Hull and East Riding to explore the history and heritage of the South Blockhouse, and help raise awareness of the long-term plans to develop a visitor attraction on the site. Altogether this work has generated storytelling, theatre performance, podcasts, digital and tabletop games and much more - all inspired by the hidden history of South Blockhouse.

More than 120 community volunteers worked alongside professional archaeologists from Humber Field Archaeology. Image Credit: HEY! Volunteering

The South Blockhouse, a nationally significant scheduled monument, was part of a scheme of fortifications on the east bank of the River Hull constructed on the orders of Henry VIII between 1541 and 1543.

The South Blockhouse Project, led by Hull City Council, explores this important part of Hull’s maritime history and complements the Hull Maritime programme, a key cultural regeneration scheme in the heart of Hull that will protect and celebrate 800 years of Hull’s heritage as one of the most important ports on the east coast of England.

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “The South Blockhouse Project has captured the imagination of so many people across the city, so it is great that it’s been recognised with this prestigious nomination.

“The Council has been engaging with the community about future plans for a transformation of the site, where we want to celebrate and highlight it for future generations.”

The winners of 2023 Archaeological Achievement Awards will be revealed at the De Grey Rooms in York on the evening of Friday 24 November.

For more information on the awards, visit here.